(This was originally posted on our old blog in May. We recently moved and re-published this post as well as many other posts when we launched our new web site design in late September.)
Here’s a quick look at some teams that are getting hot at just the right time of year:
UC IRVINE: The Anteaters (38-12, 18-1 Big West) have been mostly hot all season, but they’re really firing on all cylinders now, with wins in 15 of their last 17 games. They have lost back-to-back games just twice this year. Friday’s 9-3 win over UC Davis clinched the program’s first-ever Big West Championship. A nice, but modest accomplishment for a team that made it to the College World Series and a Super Regional in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
STANFORD: Has a sleeping giant finally awoken? The Cardinal (28-21, 11-11 Pac 10) extended its winning streak to five straight with Friday’s 8-6 victory at USC. That might not seem like much, but it’s a season best for a team that lost 10 of its first 13 games, including six straight losses in late February and early March. Stanford has also now won eight of its last ten games with six games to go in the regular season (and no conference tournament).
SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks (36-19, 16-13) are surging toward the SEC Tournament and potentially a #2 regional seed with six straight wins and victories in nine of their last ten outings. They have won the first two games of their series with suddenly ice cold Georgia, which has lost 10 of its last 12 games after winning 14 straight to start the season.
LOUISVILLE: The Cardinals (40-14, 19-7 Big East) swept its season-ending series from South Florida to lock-up the conference regular season championship. They have now won 11 of their last 12 games since dropping two of three games at home to Notre Dame, including two wins by a combined 33-12 margin over a ranked Ohio State club.
MINNESOTA: Just when it looked like the Big 10 race was between Ohio State and Illinois, the Gophers have jumped back in the picture by winning 13 of their last 15 games. The hot streak started in the finale of their Illinois series after they had dropped the first two game to the Illini. Minnesota can clinch the top seed in next week’s Big 10 Tourney with a Saturday win at Penn State.
MISSOURI: The Tigers (30-23, 16-11 Big 12) have won 9 of their last 11 and 13 of their last 17 games. The hot stretch has moved Mizzou into second place in the Big 12, and includes wins in four of six games vs. Kansas and State State, which were recently tied for second in the conference. (Missouri also won a mid-week non-conference game vs. KU in Kansas City.)
FLORIDA STATE: Mike Martin’s Seminoles have rattled-off wins in 18 of their last 20 games, although the two losses were to Georgia Tech in their last ACC series of the season. They had won 14 in a row prior to a series-opening loss to the Yellow Jackets. FSU has won four straight ACC Atlantic Division crowns. An early season rough spell saw them lose six of nine games, including back-to-back set-backs to Jacksonville and North Florida.