Tech's Deck McGuire
Well now we have a good idea of who has what in the conference, a little less than halfway through the season. Clemson has great weekend starting pitching, but so much youth in the pen and midweek starting that it pulls our team ERA down to 5th in the ACC. We're about midpack in terms of hitting for average with a few guys that are lineup regulars really struggling to get a base knock right now. However, with our last place defense, I would not see us getting past the Super Regional round unless we luck out with a great matchup. Still at this point we have swept the #1 and #4 hitting teams thus far, and went toe-to-toe with #2.
Virginia proved that they were a complete team this weekend against us, and deserving of their #1 ranking. I hoped for 2 games, but we couldn't get a clutch hit at all this entire week with RISP and 2 outs. UVA has a good pen, great starting pitching, and they have great hitters who hit lots of doubles and triples. They can even manufacture runs if they choose. Its hard not to see them in the CWS.
But Georgia Tech looks like a clear #2 team to me, their pitching is the best in the league (3.17 ERA) and the power hitting is tremendous (50 homers), and I could see some people ranking them above UVA, but they haven't played good teams. They'll face good pitching this weekend but I think UNC's performances so far have shown how overrated they were; the starting pitching is pretty good, but their offense is woeful.
Miami seems to be young and inconsistent at first glance, they've been up & down. They started out slow in non-con play and still lose midweeks they shouldnt, but Yasmani Grandal is a special player in Coral Gables and I'd never count Miami out in baseball. Their pitching is just ahead of Clemson's in league rankings.
The best of the rest is probably NC State and VT, two potent lineups with VT picking up the pace on the mound lately, I'd look for Tech to steal a series from someone good coming soon.
This weeks news after the jump
#1 Virginia (20-4, 7-2) vs. #16 Clemson (18-6, 7-2) - UVA took 2 of 3. Virginia will have two midweek games against Towson and then next weekend they go to NC State.
#3 Georgia Tech (21-2, 8-1) vs. North Carolina (16-9, 2-7 ACC) Series
GT went on the road to Chapel Hell and crushed a great pitching staff. The best game was Friday's pitching duel between two of the ACC's best in Matt Harvey and Deck McGuire with GT turning 2 DPs late to hold on at the end 2-1. UNC's Harvey (L, 3-1) fanned 11 in 7 innings and allowed only 3 hits, but 6 walks hampered his efforts. McGuire (W, 4-1) was similarly impressive, with 10 Ks and 6 hits allowed in 7 innings.
Cole Leonida and Matt Skole went a combined 5-for-8 with seven RBI at the plate, and the Georgia Tech baseball team scored nine runs with two-outs Saturday for a 13-5 win, crushing NC starter Colin Bates.
Leonida finished his day going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI. "Part of it is a testament to Harvey yesterday," said Leonida when asked about the difference in amount of hits between Friday and Saturday. " He really threw great stuff. Today, we set the tone in the first inning and that really started the fire for us and carried the momentum. We put up a lot of good runs over a lot of innings and I thought that propelled us today."
Derek Dietrich's two-run homer capped a five-run rally in the ninth inning, and tied the game at 8-8, before GT scored three more in the 10th for an 11-8 win Sunday to finish the sweep. It was the first time the Tar Heels had been swept at home since the 2003 season, and the first time Tech won all three in Chapel Hill since 1997.
GT UPCOMING: Georgia State and Kennesaw State and then Durham Park to fake the Blue Devils, all road games.
UNC UPCOMING: Winthrop and Richmond in Chapel Hill, then on to Maryland to right the ACC record.
#4 Florida State (19-4, 6-3 ACC) vs. Maryland (9-15, 2-7 ACC) Series
FSU took their lone midweek game against Stetson on the back of 11 walks by a score of 14-7.
Fans were treated to an old fashion pitcher's duel on Friday with both starting pitchers going 7.1 innings. FSU's Sean Gilmartin (4-1) was once again outstanding as he held the Terrapins to just one run on six hits as he struck out seven. He faced the minimum in five innings while striking out the side in the second. For the second time this year and third time in 21 starts, the Moorpark, Calif., native did not issue a walk as the Noles won the game 4-1.
Mike McGee paced the Seminole offense with a 3-for-4 night while tying a season-high with four RBI Saturday as the Noles pounded MD 12-5. FSU scored in 6 of 8 innings. McGee was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle as the junior left fielder singled in the second, homered in the fourth and doubled in the sixth. The Port St. Lucie, Fla., native reached base on four of his five plate appearances.
In the series finale on Sunday, Tyler Holt knocked out the cycle in his first four at-bats collecting a single in the first, double in the second, triple in the third and home run in the fifth. The Gainesville, Fla., native finished the evening 4-for-5 with three runs and two RBI. The four hits for Holt was a season-high. FSU finished the sweep 9-5.
FSU UPCOMING: #8 Florida again on Tuesday in Jacksonville, then Virginia Tech at home.
Maryland UPCOMING: VCU and the Naval Academy midweek, then NC, all at home.
#15 Miami (16-7, 7-2 ACC) @ NC State (15-9, 3-6 ACC) Series
Miami plated runs in each of the first five innings and eventually held on for the one-run win at NC State 6-5 Friday night. (Last week's PoW) Miami starter Chris Hernandez (3-2) earned the win, allowing four runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out six in five innings of work. For Hernandez - it was his third straight win to open conference play.
Trailing 6-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Wolfpack scored five runs to send the game into extra innings before plating the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th to give NCSU the win 7-6.
Miami held the lead throughout until the ninth. UM plated a run in the first, another in the third, two in the seventh and two more in the ninth while NC State (15-8, 3-5 ACC) scored just a single run in the fifth before its five-run bottom of the ninth.
Junior left-handed starter Eric Erickson earned the win in Sunday's 4-0 Miami win, tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings before relievers E.J. Encinosa and Eric Whaley combined to go the rest of the way and secure the series win for Miami.
Yasmani Grandal hit 9-for-14 and reached base on 11 of 16 plate appearances in the series. Grandal, who recorded multiple hits in all three games against the Wolfpack, recorded his first career triple on Saturday and finished with six RBI in the series.
Miami UPCOMING: FAU and Wake Forest, all in Coral Gables.
NCSU UPCOMING: ODU and Virginia, all at home.
Duke (14-9, 3-6) @ Boston College (10-13, 3-6 ACC) Series
They then hosted Duke in their first home series, taking 2 of 3 in hard fought games. The Eagles came from behind in the first game to take the win 5-3. BC was down 3-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth, but it scored three times to take the lead, capped by senior John Spatola's game-winning two-run single. In the second game, Duke scored twice in the seventh to break a 2-2 tie and then a wild pitch provided the eventual game-winning run in the top of the eighth.
On Sunday BC Junior Pat Dean and Duke's Dennis O'Grady went toe-to-toe on the mound, but Dean allowed just one run in a complete game effort to lead the Boston College baseball team to a 2-1 win. Dean started the game by pitching 3.1 innings of perfect baseball. Duke got its lone run in the fourth inning when it pieced together three singles. Dean then went on to retire 10-straight hitters from the fifth to eighth innings.
BC UPCOMING: back on the road this week, Northeastern and Rhode Island, then to Clemson.
Duke UPCOMING: High Point and UNC-Central at home, then to Atlanta.
Wake Forest (8-17, 2-7) @ VT (16-9, 4-5) Series
Over the weekend they hosted the Preachers and took 2 of 3 in 3 well-pitched games. Wakes similar-to-CU defense choked and gave up 4 errors and 3 unearned runs, but WF still got dominated by Justin Wright, who had a complete game 4-hitter in the 7-0 defeat.
Saturday VT split the doubleheader with WF. Tim Cooney avenged the defeat from the night before with 8 innings of 5 hit ball and WF won 5-0. Sunday VT starter Matthew Price again went 9 innings in a complete game 2-1 win. Wake Forest pitcher Austin Stadler went 8 innings for his own complete game in the loss.
VT UPCOMING: VMI at home, ETSU on the road then Tallahassee.
WF UPCOMING: at Charlotte, Elon at home, then to Coral Gables.