ACC Baseball Weekly Roundup – May 6, 2015


Atlantic Advance: We could (and likely will) see the crowning of an Atlantic Division champion this weekend in Louisville, as the Cardinals will host Florida State in a battle of top-ten teams in the nation.

The Cardinals have a five-game lead over the Seminoles in the ACC standings with six games left to play. This means that Florida State would have to sweep Louisville in order to extend the Atlantic Division chase into the season’s final weekend. This seems rather unlikely, of course, since Louisville has not lost a weekend series all season.

Nonetheless, it should be a great series and a preview of what to expect from two of the conference’s best teams entering the postseason. While the Cardinals have clearly been the best team in the conference all season, Florida State is playing its best baseball of the year right now. The Seminoles have won ten of their last 12, including a series win on the road against Miami

In-State Showdown: In a battle for fifth in the Atlantic Division (as well as local bragging rights and possibly an ACC Tournament berth), NC State and Wake Forest will play three games this weekend in Winston-Salem.

The Demon Deacons were reeling following two losses to Pittsburgh and three losses to Louisville, but rebounded by winning their series last weekend against Notre Dame. That could prove critical entering the closing stretch of the regular season. They are currently a half-game behind NC State in the standings, so winning this weekend’s series would push them ahead of the Wolfpack.

The winner of the series will likely determine who gets the upper hand in ACC Tournament seeding, especially if Wake Forest takes the upper hand. Wake Forest will face 7-16 Duke in the final weekend of the season, while NC State will be hard-pressed to get two wins against Louisville in their season finale.

Last Stand: This is also a pivotal weekend for Virginia, as the Cavaliers host Duke. The preseason ACC favorites enter the weekend with a 10-14 ACC record, sitting 11th in the cumulative conference standings. While Duke is one of the inferior teams in the conference, it is crucial that Virginia takes advantage of this opportunity for several reasons.

Firstly, they will face North Carolina in the final weekend of the series. There won’t be much margin for error in that series in Chapel Hill, but every loss this weekend in Charlottesville will shrink that margin.

Secondly, their postseason hopes depend on it. In last weekend’s Baseball America projected field of 64, the Cavaliers were listed as the 64th team in the field. Jim Shonerd acknowledges they have enough positives to impress the committee (a winning record on the road, a series win against Miami). However, even one loss against Duke could jeopardize their shot at the ACC Tournament and be the death knell for their NCAA Tournament aspirations, which have been against the ropes all season.

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