2024 Kubota College Baseball Series - Weekend 2

Oregon State vs. Arkansas Baseball At Globe Life Field Preview

Oregon State vs. Arkansas Baseball At Globe Life Field Preview

Oregon State Baseball and Arkansas are two of the best teams in College Baseball this year. They meet at the Kubota College Baseball Series on Feb. 23.

Feb 23, 2024 by Joe Harrington
What It Means To Represent Arkansas Baseball

For the first time, the College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas was expanded to three weekends, 14 teams and some of the best conferences in NCAA Baseball. 

The first weekend, known as the Shriners Children's College Showdown, features two ranked teams in the field, Tennessee and Texas Tech, among the six teams with both teams going 2-1 over three days. 

Now the second weekend begins on Feb. 23, known as the Kubota College Baseball Series Weekend 2.

And it features possibly the best game the event has ever hosted. 

In one poll this weekend, Arkansas (3-1) rose to No. 2 in the country. In another poll, Oregon State (5-0) moved to No. 3. Every poll had both teams somewhere in the top 10 of the rankings and in some rankings Oregon State was higher than the Razorbacks. 

The first weekend saw No. 21 Texas Tech fall to No. 9 Tennessee. Last year, the event featured five teams ranked in the preseason top 25,  but none were in the top 5 of the rankings. The highest ranked in the 2023 College Baseball Showdown was No. 8 Arkansas. 

The last time a top-5 teams played at the College Baseball Showdown was in 2021, when No. 3 Texas Tech (which went 0-3 at the event) led a group of six top-10 ranked teams. That schedule featured Texas Tech against No. 6 Ole Miss, which was College Baseball Showdown matchup featuring the two highest ranked teams ever in the event. 

Until this year. Here's what to know about Oregon State vs. Arkansas Baseball.

When Is Oregon State Baseball Vs. Arkansas?

The game is the nightcap of Day 1 and follows the Michigan vs. Oklahoma State game at Globe Life Field. The scheduled first pitch for Oregon State vs. Arkansas game is 8 p.m. EST, but could be delayed depending on the first game's outcome. 

Stream Arkansas Baseball vs. Oregon State At The Kubota College Baseball Series Weekend 2

Weekend two and three will both stream live on FloBaseball and the FloSports app. 

Oregon State Baseball Just Handed It To Texas Tech 

If you thought Oregon State's 4-0 record at the Sanderson Ford Baseball Classic was inflated by wins over three teams that struggled in 2023, then Wednesday's game against No. 19 Texas Tech should change your mind. 

The Beavers rolled into Globe Life Field a few days early to face the Red Raiders. They led 6-0 in the fourth inning and then surged back ahead with four runs in the sixth to win 10-4. 

Oregon State pitching is still having issues with walks through five games. They dealt eight against Texas Tech to bring the total to 30 walks in five games. 

But the Beavers also scored 52 runs in five games with 55 hits and 14 home runs and 11 doubles. 

Arkansas Baseball Will Like Playing Indoors

The weather wasn't great in Fayetteville in week one when Arkansas hosted James Madison for a four-game series, and it led to a challenging opening series for the Hogs. Hagen Smith pitched just one inning and allowed three earned runs in his start. Will McEntire was able to steady the ship and pitch 5.2 innings in the 6-4 win. 

Arkansas's lone loss came on a day when Texas Tech transfer Mason Molina recorded nine strikeouts in 3.2 innings. The Dukes scored four runs in the seventh and eventually won 7-3. 

A lot Of Good Freshmen Will Be Playing In The Arkansas vs. Oregon State Game

The Razorbacks have the best freshmen class in the country according to most sites and are led by pitcher Hunter Dietz (the No.6 recruit) and pitcher Gabe Gaeckle (No. 26). 

Dietz hasn't played yet as he recovers from a stress fracture injury to his throwing elbow. There's no timetable for his return, but his appearance at the College Baseball Showdown is likely doubtful. 

But Gaeckle appeared against James Madison and took the loss in his debut after allowing three runs. Ryan Helfrick, the No. 49 recruit, hit a home run his college debut for Arkansas. 

Home Run You Say? Meet Oregon State Baseball Freshman Trent Caraway

Caraway was the No. 30 recruit in the country at Perfect Game. He was also the California Gatorade Player of the Year as a high school senior. His college career is starting with a five-game hitting streak with two home runs across his first two games. 

He enters the Arkansas game with a slash line of .474/1.492/.947. He has two homers, three doubles and nine hits in five games. He has even stolen two bases. 

The third baseman has also done this as the No. 9 hitter in the lineup batting ahead of All-American Travis Bazzana. 

Hagen Smith vs. Travis Bazzana Would Be A 2024 MLB Draft Showcase

Hagen Smith and Travis Bazzana were both All-Americans last season. While Hagen Smith didn't have a great outing to start 2024, Bazzana has been one of the best players in the country. The Australian infielder is battig .450 through five games while slugging 1.050 and an on-base percentage of .560. he also has two steals. He hit 11 home runs in 2023, and already has three along with a triple and a double. 

Bazzana is college baseball's No.3 MLB Draft prospect while Smith, who had a 3.64 ERA in 71.2 innings with 109 strikeouts in 2023 is No. 15 and third-highest pitcher-only player in the top-100 rankings.

Smith has not pitched since Opening Day for Arkansas and the team hasn't announced it's starter for Friday's game as of Feb. 22. But seems to lineup for the ace to face Oregon State on Friday. His first hitter he faces would be Bazzana, who hits leadoff for the Beavers. 

Arkansas is slated to be the home team in this game, so that dual will be the first matchup of the 8 p.m. nightcap on Day 1. 

Key Transfers Power Both Arkansas Baseball And Oregon State

Arkansas has the No. 6-ranked transfer class in college baseball according to D1Baseball. Oregon State was at No. 19. In the first week, they helped immensely. 

Arkansas' transfer class is powered by a pair of Texas Tech transfers in catcher Hudson White and Molina. But also Ty Wilmsmeyer (Missouri), Wehiwa Aloy (Sacramento State), Ross Lovich (Missouri), Jared Sprague-Lott (Richmond), Hudson Polk (Oklahoma), Koty Frank (Nebraska) and Stone Hewlett (Kansas) are also key. 

Wilmsmeyer had four hits against TCU in the 2023 College Baseball Showdown. He slashed .311/.380/.482 lastyeat. 

Oregon State, meanwhile, also added a player from their own conference. Aiden May arrives from Arizona and Kyle Scott from Cal Poly. May pitched 5.1 innings against New Mexico and struck out four to pick up the win on Opening Day. He could be the starter against Arkansas on Friday. 

Scott pitched 1.2 inning on Feb. 17 against Minnesota and picked up the win over the Golden Gophers. 

Arkansas Baseball Coach Dave Van Horn vs. Oregon State Baseball Coach Mitch Canham

This is a matchup of two programs led by alums, Dave Van Horn and Mitch Canham.

Dave Van Horn has been one of the best coaches in college baseball and has been at Arkansas since 2003. Now in his 22nd season, he has led the program to:

  • Seven College World Series
  • 19 NCAA Tournaments
  • Three SEC overall titles
  • Seven SEC Western Division championships
  • One SEC Tournament title 
  • 839 wins
  •  333 SEC wins

Canham, one of the most popular players in Oregon State history, became the head coach in 2019 and has yet to miss the NCAA Tournament. 

Both Van Horn and Canham took over for legends. Van Horn replaced Norm DeBriyn, who coached at Arkansas from 1970-2002. Canham took over for one of the greatest coaches ever, Pat Casey, who won three NCAA championships (2006, 2007, 2018). Casey was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame this year. 

Oregon State Baseball vs. Arkansas A Rematch Of 2018 College World Series Final

Head-to-head wise, the two programs are 3-3 all-time but they haven't played since June 2018. 

That's when Oregon State beat Arkansas in the finals 2 games to 1 to win Pat Casey's third national championship. Casey retired after the series. 

2024 Kubota College Baseball Series Weekend 2 Schedule 

All times Eastern

Friday, Feb. 23 

  • 4 p.m. – Michigan vs. Oklahoma State 
  • 8 p.m. – Oregon State vs. Arkansas

Saturday, Feb. 24 

  • 4 p.m. – Michigan vs. Oregon State 
  • 8 p.m. – Arkansas vs. Oklahoma State

Sunday, Feb. 25 

  • 2 p.m. – Arkansas vs. Michigan 
  • 6 p.m. – Oklahoma State vs. Oregon State

D1Baseball Top 25 Poll On Feb. 19

  1. Wake Forest
  2. Arkansas
  3. LSU
  4. Florida
  5. TCU
  6. Vanderbilt
  7. Oregon State
  8. Texas A&M
  9. Tennessee
  10. Clemson
  11. East Carolina
  12. Duke
  13. NC State
  14. Virginia
  15. North Carolina
  16. Texas
  17. Alabama
  18. Iowa
  19. Texas Tech
  20. UCLA
  21. South Carolina
  22. UC Santa Barbara
  23. Indiana
  24. Kansas State
  25. Coastal Carolina

NCBWA Top 25 Poll 

TCU (3-0) moved up to No. 3 in the first update. The Horned Frogs, who play in the College Baseball Showdown Weekend 3, moved up from No. 6. Arkansas dropped a spot to No. 5. The writers moved Oregon State four spots to No. 8. 

  1. Wake Forest
  2. LSU
  3. TCU
  4. Oregon State
  5. Arkansas
  6. Florida
  7. Tennessee
  8. Clemson
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Vanderbilt
  11. Virginia
  12. Duke
  13. East Carolina
  14. North Carolina
  15. Texas
  16. South Carolina
  17. NC State
  18. Alabama
  19. UCLA
  20. Texas Tech
  21. Iowa
  22. Auburn
  23. Stanford
  24. Kentucky
  25. DBU

Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically): Alabama State (2-2), Arizona (2-1), Bethune-Cookman (2-1), Cal State Fullerton (2-1), Campbell (2-1), Coastal Carolina (1-2), Connecticut (2-1), Grand Canyon (2-0), Houston (3-0), Indiana (2-1), Indiana State (2-0), Kansas State (2-1), Lehigh (1-2), Maryland (2-1). Miami (Fla.) (3-0), Mississippi State (2-1), Northeastern (1-2), Notre Dame (3-0), Oklahoma (2-1), Oklahoma State (1-2), Ole Miss (2-2), Oral Roberts (1-2), Oregon (2-1), Sam Houston (2-1), St. John’s (1-0), Southern Miss (2-1), UC Irvine (3-0), UC Santa Barbara (1-2), UNCW (2-1), West Virginia (1-1).

2024 Kubota College Baseball Series Weekend 3 Schedule 

All times Eastern

Friday, March 1 

  • 3 p.m. – USC vs. TCU 
  • 7 p.m. – Arizona State vs. Texas A&M

Saturday, March 2 

  • 3 p.m. – Texas A&M vs. USC 
  • 7 p.m. – TCU vs. Arizona State

Sunday, March 3 

  • 12 p.m. – Arizona State vs. Texas A&M 
  • 4 p.m. – USC vs. TCU

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These tournaments will stream on FloBaseball and the FloSports app in February and March:

When Is The 2024 MLB Draft?

The actual time and date of the MLB Draft hasn't been announced, but it will take place during 2024 MLB All-Star Week. MLB All-Star festivities kick off on Sunday, July 14, with the main event taking place on Tuesday, July 16.

In 2023, the draft began All-Star week on the Sunday before Tuesday's game between the National League and American League. 

The draft began at 2 p.m. EST in 2023. 

More MLB Draft 2024 Coverage 

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