The American Athletic Conference baseball tournament gets underway today, with teams from the league competing for a pretty trophy and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Schedule/How to Watch
Tuesday May 23
- Game One: No. 7 Memphis vs. No. 2 Houston 9 a.m. (American Digital Network)
- Game Two: No. 6 Cincinnati vs. No. 3 UConn 12 p.m. (American Digital Network)
- Game Three: No. 5 Tulane vs. No 4. USF 3:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
- Game Four; No. 8 East Carolina vs. No. 1 UCF 7 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
Wednesday May 24
- Game Five: Game One loser vs. Game Two loser 9 a.m. (American Digital Network)
- Game Six: Game Three loser vs. Game Four loser 12 p.m. (American Digital Network)
Thursday May 25
- Game Seven: Game One winner vs. Game Two winner 3 p.m. (American Digital Network)
- Game Eight: Game Three winner vs. Game Four winner 7 p.m. (American Digital Network)
Friday May 26
- Game Nine: Game Seven loser vs. Game Five winner 11 a.m. (American Digital Network)
- Game 10: Game Eight loser vs. Game Six winner 3 p.m. (American Digital Network)
Saturday May 27
- Game 11: Game Seven winner vs. Game Nine winner 10 a.m. (American Digital Network)
- Game 12: Game Eight winner vs. Game 10 winner 1 p.m. (American Digital Network)
- Game 13: Game 11 loser vs. Game 11 winner 4:30 p.m. (if necessary) (American Digital Network)
- Game 14: Game 12 loser vs. Game 12 winner 7:30 p.n. (if necessary) (American Digital Network)
Sunday May 28
- Game 15: Semifinal winner No. 1 vs. Semifinal winner No. 2 12 p.m. (ESPNews)
No. 1 UCF Knights (38-18, 15-9)
By virtue of their season series win over Houston, the Knights earned the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in this tournament. Powered by AAC Co-Pitcher of the Year Robby Howell (9-0, 3.48 ERA), the Knights are most effective because of their pitching (league-best team ERA of 2.91).
No. 2 Houston Cougars (36-19, 15-9)
The Cougars may have the most talent in the conference, led by power hitting third baseman Jake Scheiner, who led the league in home runs (15) and slugging percentage (.649), and staff ace Trey Cumbie, who led the AAC with a 2.02 ERA. The duo earned co-player and pitcher of the year honors.
No. 3 UConn Huskies (31-23, 14-10)
The defending champs had a fine season, particularly thanks to their success at home (13-5). Despite struggling to score runs (league-worst 249 runs scored) and hit for power (17 homer runs total), the Huskies managed to pull out more wins than you would expect.
No. 4 USF Bulls (40-15, 14-10)
The team with the best overall record in the conference somehow fell to the No. 4 seed by losing its final series of the regular season to UCF. The Bulls are second in the conference in batting average (.291) and ERA (3.15) and are paced by AAC hitting champ Kevin Merrell (.387).
No. 5 Tulane Green Wave (27-29, 13-11)
Tulane may have struggled compared to recent seasons, but it still managed to win more than lose against the rest of the conference. First baseman Hunter Williams led the AAC in hits (84) and launched 10 home runs en route to winning co-AAC Player of the Year honors.
No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats (28-28, 10-14)
The bad news is Cincinnati hits poorly (.249/.336/.370) and doesn’t pitch all that well either (4.75 ERA). However, the Bearcats lead the AAC in fielding (.983) and features hitting maestro R.J. Thompson, breakout star A.J. Bumpass and the heating bats of Ryan Noda and Connor McVey.
No. 7 Memphis Tigers (29-27, 8-16)
Fielding miscues have hurt Memphis quite a bit this season, as the Tigers have committed more errors than any other team in the league (70). However, Memphis still has a fighting chance with all-around contributor Chris Carrier (.318/.432/.609, 14 home runs).
No. 8 East Carolina Pirates (29-27, 7-17)
It was quite a fall from grace for the Pirates, who went 15-8-1 in league play last season. Their 17 losses came despite leading the conference in batting average (.293) and despite the work of Travis Watkins (.343/.386/.522), Eric Tyler (.342/.397/.496) and Chris Holba (4-2, 2.63 ERA).