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Apr
01
2015

ACC Weekly Baseball Roundup – April 1, 2015

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This week serves as a halfway mark for the college baseball season, and each weekend brings us closer and closer to the ACC Baseball Tournament in Durham, N.C. and the NCAA Tournament that follows. This also serves as a great chance to see how the Atlantic Cost Conference’s baseball teams stack up and what work they need to do moving through the second half of the 2015 season.

1) Louisville: Two games ahead of their competition in the conference, a string of three consecutives ACC sweeps have the Cardinals perched atop the standings.  The Cardinals’ 2.56 team earned run average also tops the conference.

2) Florida State: The Seminoles are the only team in the nation other than Louisville with 10 wins against the RPI top 50. The contrast is that FSU relies on its offense, which is fourth in the nation in runs per game.

3) Miami: Miami leads the Coastal in nearly every offensive category, the primary reason behind their two-game advantage in the division. It’s hard to knock the Hurricanes when their only series loss of ACC play has been to Louisville.

4) North Carolina: North Carolina makes up for a middling offense with the small-ball sacrifices, steals, and bunts that annoy sabermatricians but have gotten the Heels to third in the Coastal. Shaky defensive squads will be pressured by the chippy Tar Heel offense.

5) Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets rebounded from getting swept by Louisville with wins over Georgia and Georgia State. With only a 4-8 record against the RPI top 50, Georgia Tech will need to prove they can consistently beat the nation’s elite to have a shot at an Omaha run.

6) Virginia: It was a rough start to ACC play for the Cavaliers, but they have won five straight games on the road at an important stretch in their schedule. Virginia desperately needed momentum before their next three series against Louisville, Georgia Tech, and Miami.

7) Clemson: Outside of the dominant southpaw Matthew Crownover, the Tigers have lacked consistent pitching in 2015.

8) Virginia Tech: The Hokies’ pitching was a bright spot during their hot start to the season, but now they have given up more runs than they have scored this season. They will have to flip the script back in the right direction, especially as their schedule ramps up this weekend.

9) Wake Forest: Sophomore Will Craig leads the ACC in batting average (.425), slugging percentage (.814), and home runs (10), a key cog in the only offense in the conference batting above .300.  It’s a good thing the offense is good, because their pitching and defense is worst in the ACC.

10) NC State: Optimists say the Wolfpack has won seven consecutive games, pessimists say the toughest team they have beaten during that stretch (which came after five losses in six games) was Boston College. This weekend’s series at home against Florida State should be a barometer of what this squad will do the rest of the year.

11) Notre Dame: Lies, damned lies, and statistics – the Irish were as high as seventh in RPI rankings before getting swept by Louisville and Virginia. They don’t have any bad losses, but they don’t have any marquee wins outside of two victories against not-as-good-as-usual Clemson.

12) Boston College: The Eagles haven’t had much success this year, but they have also played a brutal schedule both in and out of conference to date. The second half of the season should be much kinder to Boston College.

13) Duke: Losers of four straight, the Blue Devils will go to Coral Gables this weekend and host Louisville the following weekend. At least the basketball team is still playing.

14) Pittsburgh: The only team in the ACC ranked outside the top 100 in RPI, the Panthers have struggled in 2015. However, they did win two games against North Carolina, proving that every weekend can be an adventure in one of the nation’s premier baseball conferences.


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