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ACC Baseball Weekend Roundup: GT takes the lead

Jake Buchanan pitched a 6-hitter Friday night against Maryland.
Jake Buchanan pitched a 6-hitter Friday night against Maryland.

New Baseball America Poll - Clemson now unranked, as they should be.

Clemson lost the lead in the Atlantic Division to FSU after being swept in Atlanta by GT, while FSU took 2 of 3 against Duke on the road. Should Clemson lose another series now, with so many teams hovering around the .500 mark, we could even lose our spot in the ACC Tournament, which only takes the top 8 clubs. The schedule sets up favorably for us though.

GT and UVA will fight it out with Miami down the stretch for the ACC Coastal crown, and it might come down to the last weekend of the season for them. GT's schedule is about to get a little tougher, while UVAs gets easy until the last two weekends against UNC and @ Miami. While Miami started slow, they've really not moved up at all in the polls since their hitting and pitching came together in ACC play. I believe they should be ranked closer to 10th. We'll see when they face FSU.

School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Florida State 12-6-0 .667 28-9-0 .757
Clemson 10-8-0 .556 23-14-0 .622
NC State 9-9-0 .500 25-13-0 .658
Boston College 9-9-0 .500 19-17-0 .528
Maryland 4-14-0 .222 14-24-0 .368
Wake Forest 2-16-0 .111 10-28-0 .263
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Georgia Tech 15-3-0 .833 31-5-0 .861
Miami 14-4-0 .778 27-9-0 .750
Virginia 12-6-0 .667 29-9-0 .763
Virginia Tech 9-9-0 .500 25-13-0 .658
North Carolina 6-12-0 .333 22-16-0 .579
Duke 6-12-0 .333 21-16-0 .568

Clemson (23-14, 10-8) @ #4 Georgia Tech  (31-5, 15-3 ACC) Series- Tech swept us in Atlanta 8-6 (10), 4-3, and 11-3; the home team won the series again as it has been since 1996. Clemson will face off against USC-Upstate this week, and then host UNC next weekend.

GT will have two games at home against Georgia Southern, and then a weekend series against Virginia Tech at home.

#20 Virginia Tech (25-13, 9-9) @ #2 Virginia (29-9, 12-6 ACC) Series -

UVA somehow lost to VMI in midweek 12-3, which I believe is their first loss to a team in midweek this year. They lost to Wright State 2-1 at a weekend tournament they hosted in early March.

Tech beat NC A&T in their only midweek game 5-1.

UVA then hosted a 20th-ranked VT squad, and took 2 of 3. Friday's game showcased a premier pitching matchup with VT's Justin Wright facing UVA's Danny Hultzen and it delivered for the first 7 innings, then UVA's stellar bullpen shut them down for the Virginia bats to come alive. 

Hultzen worked seven innings and pitched to the first batter in the eighth. He allowed two earned runs, seven hits and no walks while striking out 10. He recorded his sixth career double-figure strikeout game and his fourth this year.

Wright tossed 6.1 innings and allowed two earned runs, four hits and six walks while striking out five. Closer Ben Rowen (L, 2-1) took the loss after allowing two earned runs in the eighth to make it 4-2 UVA - he entered the game with a 0.67 ERA and had allowed just two earned runs all season.

Virginia scored six runs in its final three trips to the plate as it earned an 8-2 victory Saturday.

Virginia starting pitcher Robert Morey worked seven strong innings to earn the win (W, 5-2). He allowed two earned runs, five hits and three walks while striking out three. Tyler Wilson tossed two scoreless innings to pick up his second save after an inning of no-hit work the night before.

Virginia Tech starter Mathew Price (L, 4-3) pitched 6.1 innings, allowing five earned runs, nine hits and two walks while striking out two as he took the loss.

Tech managed to avoid the sweep Sunday afternoon 8-5. The Hokies rallied for five runs in the ninth inning against UVa's top two relievers, Wilson and Arico, who had stuffed them in the first 2 games. With one out Arico struggled to find the plate and walked the bases loaded - in his 20 innings this year, he had walked just four batters. Wilson came on and struck out Anthony Sosnoskie before walking Ryan to force in a run. On a 2-2 count and after fouling off several pitches, Buddy Sosnoskie lined a double off the left-field wall to clear the bases and give Virginia Tech a 7-5 lead. Wates followed with a bloop single to score Sosnoskie and push the lead to 8-5.

UVA UPCOMING: Richmond and George Mason at home, then to Maryland.

VT UPCOMING: at Radford, then to Atlanta

#6 Florida State (28-9, 12-6 ACC) @ Duke (21-15, 6-11 ACC) Series - played at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, NC, not at Durham Bulls Park.

FSU split their two midweek games in Tallahassee, winning the first against Top 10 Florida 3-1, and losing the 2nd to Jacksonville 10-8.

Duke didnt capitalize on the momentum from the Clemson series, and lost to Davidson 4-2, then defeated UNC-G 1-0.

The Seminoles pounded out a season-high 19 hits on Friday night as all nine starters registered at least one hit. Tyler Holt paced the Seminole offense with three hits, while four other Nole hitters each recorded two hits apiece in their 16-3 pounding of Duke.

Holt finished the night 3-for-4 as all three hits went for extra bases with a double and two home runs. He tied a career-high scoring four times in FSU's game one victory over Duke. The Noles put the game away early scoring 10 of their 16 runs in the first three innings. The 10 runs were plenty for FSU starting pitcher Sean Gilmartin to work with as he threw a season-high 8.0 innings to move to 6-2 on the year. The sophomore southpaw gave up three runs on eight hits as he walked two and struck out six.

On Saturday, Duke struck back 10-6. The Blue Devils erased a 5-1 deficit scoring all 10 runs over the final four innings including four runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh. Duke finished the game out hitting FSU 16-10.

Marcus Stroman closed the door on the Seminoles yielding just one hit in 3.0 innings of work to move to 4-1 on the year. Tyler Everett (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season as the junior right hander was tagged for five runs on five hits in 1.1 innings of work.

FSU won the rubber game of the set 8-3. The Seminoles erased a three-run deficit with four runs in the fifth to take their first lead of the ball game. FSU added four more runs over the final three innings to win it for a struggling John Gast (W, 5-2). The junior southpaw allowed just three runs, two earned, on five hits as he walked one and struck out one. It marked his longest outing since working 5.1 innings in earning a win over Maryland back on March 27.

FSU UPCOMING: A long home stretch starts this week with Charleston Southern in 2 games, then Miami.

Duke UPCOMING: at Liberty, then at Wake Forest.

UNC (22-16, 6-11 ACC) @ #14 Miami (27-9, 14-4 ACC) Series

Three UM pitchers combined on a one-hitter in 9-0 win Wednesday night against Florida Gulf Coast.

UNC lost to a ranked Coastal Carolina squad 12-4.

It carried through the weekend as Miami swept UNC in Coral Gables. The U hit three home runs and took advantage of three North Carolina errors in Friday night's series-opening 7-5 win. The Canes scored four runs in the first inning and plated runs in four of the first five innings off UNC ace Matt Harvey (L, 4-2) and while UNC battled back, they could not retake the lead.

Yasmani Grandal, who was named the ACC Player of the Week on Monday, raised his batting average to .417, going 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI on the evening. Grandal has now hit safely in eight straight and has 26 RBI in UM's last 15 games.

The hot bats continued to thump NC's pitchers 11-1 Saturday. Zeke DeVoss went 3-for-4, scored three runs and stole three bases to lead Miami offensively. Ryan Perry's homer came in the bottom of the second as his two-run blast to right proved to be the game-winner. Harold Martinez's homer - a three-run shot in the fifth - was his team-leading 11th this season, his fifth in UM's last 10 games and his second in as many nights against UNC.

Eight of UM's nine starters scored at least one run, while Scott Lawson had a season-high tying three RBI. Eric Erickson (W. 4-1) got the win for Miami, allowing just one unearned run on five hits while striking out six in five innings.

Sundays game was cut off due to travel rules in the 8th, with Miami winning 8-7 after plating 3 in the 8th.

Miami UPCOMING: Bethune-Cookman at home, then Florida State in Tallahassee.

UNC UPCOMING: Davidson, then at Clemson

NC State (25-13, 9-9 ACC) @ Maryland (14-24, 4-14 ACC) Series

State split two midweeks, losing to UNC-W 7-4 and defeating NC-Central 11-0.

Maryland beat UMBC 10-7, stealing 10 bases.

State then pounded the Turtles into soup, sweeping the series with a surprising pitching performance. Jake Buchanan (W, 4-3) tossed a complete-game six-hitter, throwing 99 pitches and beating the Terrapins 4-2 in game one Friday. NC State jumped on Maryland starter Eric Potter swiftly and suddenly in the top of the first. Dallas Poulk led off and singled to left, and Andrew Ciencin walked on four pitches. Drew Poulk made it 3-0 with what must have been a 430-foot home run to left, and Harold Riggins drove the next pitch out to right to give Buchanan the 4-0 lead before Potter recorded an out.

Cory Mazzoni pitched NC State’s second complete game in as many days, and five different Wolfpack hitters drove in runs to lead the Pack past Maryland 7-2 in the second game Saturday.He allowed just one earned run on five hits, walked one and struck out five. He never allowed more than two Maryland baserunners in a single inning and held Maryland hitless until two were out in the bottom of the fourth. He had retired 11 of 12 men to that point, and the one he reached base did so on an error, meaning Mazzoni did his job. For the game he set down 27 of 35 opposing hitters, and two of the eight who reached were the result of errors. Mazzoni retired 10 in a row in one stretch during the first four innings, and also cut down the final six batters he faced.

State's hitting took over Sunday in a 22-6 thumping. Dallas Poulk went 4-for-5 with 5 Runs scored, Pratt Maynard went 3-for-5 with 3 Runs and 5 RBI, while Danny Canela and Harold Riggins also chipped in with 3 RBI apiece.

NC State UPCOMING: a ranked ECU squad, then hosting Boston College.

 Maryland UPCOMING: At ODU, then hosting Towson before hosting UVA.

Wake Forest (10-28, 2-16) @ Boston College  (19-17, 9-9 ACC) Series

BC lost to UMass 8-4 and defeated Harvard 10-9 in their midweek games. WF lost to Elon 9-8.

Anthony Melchionda and Andrew Lawrence drove in 7 runs together as BC thumped the Preachers 11-9 Friday. Junior ace Pat Dean got the start on the mound and pitched 4.0 innings, allowing three runs - two earned - on five hits on a limited pitch count. Junior Kevin Moran got the win after throwing 4.1 innings in relief. Freshman Hunter Gordon picked up his first save, striking out the only batter he faced to end the game.

Wake Forest loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth, but a strikeout and a 1-2-5 game-ending double play gave Boston College a thrilling 5-3 win Saturday. Sophomore Mike Dennhardt had his second quality start in a row, throwing 7.0 innings and allowing three runs on eight hits. He struck out five but walked six. Dennhardt, the reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week, threw 13.1 consecutive scoreless innings before giving up two in the fifth.

Seven different players drove in runs and senior Robbie Anston hit three of the Eagles' 11 extra base hits in their 12-7 finishing of WF. Anston went 4-for-5 for BC (19-17, 9-9 ACC) with two doubles, a triple, two RBI and a run. He was a home run shy of the cycle. Senior John Spatola hit a pair of triples and drove in three runs. Sophomore Brad Zapenas went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three runs. Junior Mickey Wiswall was 3-for-4 with his 11th homer of the year, a double and three runs and freshman Matt Watson was 2-for-2 with a triple and a pair of RBI.

BC UPCOMING: Northeastern, then to NC State.

WF UPCOMING: At Charlotte, then hosting UNC-Greensboro and Duke.