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Cavalier Baseball Weekend Preview: Liberty, Citadel, and Kanasas

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College World Series - Virginia v Vanderbilt - Game Two Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

As the Cavaliers head in to week 1 many questions remain as to what exactly will these team look like come May. Many expect the lineup to carry the team while the pitching staff catches up after replacing an entire weekend rotation. Will Pavin Smith and Ernie Clement provide enough offense to lead the Cavaliers? Only one way to find out: LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

Liberty
After living in the shadow of Coastal Carolina for so long the Flames finally have the opportunity to take over the Big South. Unfortunately, many of the college baseball media don’t think this is their year. With a new coach in Scott Jackson, the Flames look to get back on track to make their first NCAA Tournament since 2014. LF D.J. Artis will be the man to watch this weekend. Artis is a top ranked prospect in the 2018 class and batted .369 last season. Coach O’Connor has an 11-1 record against Liberty and has not lost to the Flame since 2012.

The Citadel
On Saturday, the Cavaliers will take on the host Bulldogs. The Cavaliers have only played The Citadel once in Coach O’Connor’s tenure, a 5-3 win in 2006. Although the program has been to 13 NCAA Tournaments, and one College World Series (1990), the Bulldogs haven’t been to the postseason since 2010. 2017 doesn’t look much better with many expecting The Citadel to finish last in the SoCon. They batted only .236 as a club last year, but will look to improve being lead by Clay Martin and Shy Phillips.

Kansas
The first meeting in programs history will come Sunday when Adam Haseley comes in from the OF to take the mound for the Hoos. Although they only went 20-35-1 last year, the Jayhawks have made the NCAA Tournament as recently as 2014 and appeared in the College World Series in 1993. SS Matt McLaughlin is considered one of the better prospects in the Big 12 this season and OF Devin Foyle could make a name for himself in next year’s class. The guys at D1baseball expect Kansas to finish near the bottom of the conference, but could drastically improve from last year’s finish