ACC Weekly Baseball Roundup – April 16, 2015


Irish Chop Seminoles: Before losing to Toledo on Wednesday, Notre Dame extended its winning streak to eight games by sweeping the Florida State Seminoles. The Irish held Florida State to four runs over the course of the weekend in South Bend, dominating the series.

So what does this mean for the Atlantic Division? Firstly, Louisville stretched out its lead to five games despite (finally) losing a game, when Duke defeated them Saturday, 2-1. Secondly, Notre Dame moves to third in the division, just two games behind Florida State.

And for every team in the Atlantic Division except for Boston College, it means there is now a gap of 1.5 games or more between them and the tie for tenth place in the ACC cumulative standings between Virginia and Virginia Tech. This gives them considerable breathing room towards making the 10-team ACC Tournament field, which will be filled sooner than we can all imagine.

Commonwealth Conundrum: Speaking of the Cavaliers, their road to Durham got significantly tougher as they lost two games to Georgia Tech. Now at 7-11 in the conference, they’ll need to beat out their in-state rivals or hope the field comes back to them in order to qualify for the ACC Tournament. This is a shocking development for a team most considered to be the favorites to win the conference in 2015.

As I discussed with James Alverson on Twitter earlier this week, the road only gets tougher for the Cavaliers. While the Hokies will enjoy sets against Boston College and Pittsburgh, Virginia must face Miami, NC State, North Carolina, and Duke over the final month of the season. Thus, the Wahoos will need to outplay the Hokies against a tougher schedule to make the field of ten.

Crying Wolves: North Carolina defeated NC State on Friday and Saturday in their series against NC State, with the Wolfpack winning on Sunday to prevent a sweep. However, it was how UNC won the first two games that had fans of both teams buzzing.

On Friday, Zac Gallen pitched a complete game to lead the Tar Heels to a 2-1 win. It looked like he might be a bad-luck loser in the low scoring affair, but Skye Bolt’s seventh inning home run pushed his squad ahead.

The Saturday contest featured free baseball, as the rivals were deadlocked 2-2 after nine innings. In the 10th frame, however, disaster struck for NC State. Freshman Tommy DeJuneas, typically one of the Wolfpack’s most reliable bullpen arms, walked the bases loaded before hitting Zack Gahagan in his left arm to bring home the winning run.

This Week: This weekend, both of the Virginia teams battling to make the ACC Tournament will host Coastal Division foes, as the Hokies bring in North Carolina and Virginia plays host to Miami. A series victory for either team could greatly enhance their prospects of playing in Durham after the regular season.

Another series to watch in the postseason chase could be Notre Dame-NC State. With the Irish on fire and the Wolfpack reeling, NC State needs a strong showing this weekend to boost their hopes of making the NCAA Tournament. Winning the series against Louisville to close the regular season seems unlikely, and beating Virginia or Wake Forest will only help NC State’s RPI marginally, making this series against Notre Dame (No. 26 in RPI per WarrenNolan.com) pivotal for the Wolfpack.

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