Division leaders take the weekend off from ACC play as the conference bubble teams keep fighting for position…
ACC Standings/Weekend Schedule
1) FSU (19-2, 33-7) – Hosts Rhode Island.
2) NC State (13-8, 27-12) – Hosts Duke.
3) Clemson (12-9, 24-18) – At Georgia Tech.
4) Wake Forest (9-12, 26-16) – At BC.
5) Maryland (7-14, 27-17) – At Virginia Tech.
6) BC (6-15, 16-26) – Hosts Wake Forest.
1) UNC (13-8, 30-13) – Off this week.
2) Miami (12-9, 27-14) – Hosts Virginia.
3) Virginia (11-10, 28-14-1) – At Miami.
4) Georgia Tech (9-12, 25-17) – Hosts Clemson.
5) Virginia Tech (8-13, 28-15) – Hosts Maryland.
6) Duke (7-14, 16-26) – At NC State.
ACC Baseball Notes/Weekend Preview
- NCAA Projections: Looking at SEBaseball, PerfectGame and ESPN respectively – Mark Etheridge has 10 ACC teams in right now with UNC, FSU and NC State hosting; Kendall Rogers has Maryland and Virginia Tech out in the cold; Jeremy Mills has the Terps out and the Hokies not even in the first nine out. Etheridge posted on Twitter that he didn’t think 10 ACC teams will make the final field, which I agree with – it’ll be hard for them not to knock out a fellow conference bubble team with so many in the same situation.
- Division leaders FSU and UNC take the week off from ACC play as we enter the wacky schedule around exams. Virginia hits Miami, trying to gain traction on the Heels and boost their NCAA Tourney profile. The Cavaliers are 3-9 on the road in ACC play, but coming off taking 2-of-3 in Durham. The Hurricanes have lost three of their last four ACC series, including being swept on the road at FSU last week. Top Miami slugger Peter O’Brien (.354 BA/10 HR) has been out the last four games with a hairline fracture in his wrist – it’s unclear as of now if he’ll be back this weekend. This would be a big series win for Virginia, and it could really go either way.
- Down on the NCAA bubble, Georgia Tech hosts Clemson after taking 2-of-3 in Chapel Hill last weekend, and the Tigers swept Maryland in College Park. Tigers coach Jack Leggett doesn’t like Yellow Jackets fans…really, really doesn’t like them. Friday’s start probably determines the series between two fairly evenly-matched teams, with hard-luck Clemson ace RHP Kevin Brady (1-2, 2.58 ERA) and GT RHP Buck Farmer (6-3, 3.26 ERA) – who’s sporting a 0.90 ERA over his last four starts says Shakin the Southland. I thought the Tigers would win the series in Maryland last week, but all bets are off in a rivalry series like this. I’d just be a bit concerned about Clemson’s pitching, which surrendered 10 runs on 15 hits at home against Coastal in a loss on Tuesday.
- Maryland at Virginia Tech seems to set up as a NCAA Tourney at-large bid death match, and especially big for the Terps coming off a home sweep by Clemson and with a series at FSU still to come at 7-14 in ACC play currently. The Hokies have an opportunity to work their way up the food chain hosting Maryland and NC State the next two weeks before traveling to UNC to close the season. The Terrapins are atop the ACC in team pitching and fielding, but 11th in batting, while the Hokies are a top-tier hitting, middle-of-the-road fielding and sub-par pitching team. Both are on the outside looking in when it comes to the ACC Tournament, so a series win is crucial here.
- Wake Forest and NC State have a chance to improve their tourney résumé facing ACC division cellar dwellers BC (in Chestnut Hill) and Duke (at NC State) respectively. Against the Atlantic’s top two, the Eagles have managed to steal a game per series the last two weeks. If anything, Duke is due, losers of 9-of-11 and their last three ACC series.