ACC Baseball News & Notes
Less than two weeks remain in the ACC Baseball regular season. Ten of the twelve spots available in the ACC championship have been claimed. Last weekend, four more teams punched their ticket to Durham, N.C. for the event. The four who made it in last week are Clemson, Duke, Notre Dame, and Wake Forest. They join Louisville, the Atlantic Division leader, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. Also included are Co-leaders of the Coastal Division, N.C. State, Florida State, and Miami. That means there are just two spots left to be taken. No team has been mathematically eliminated yet. Four teams, Boston College, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Pittsburgh are battling it out for the last two openings. The Eagles and Cavaliers are holding the inside track.
The big series of this weekend will be in Virginia as the Louisville Cardinals, winner of nine straight, head out on the road to take on the Cavaliers. The Cardinals are seven and two on the road in conference play and boast one of the best pitchers in the league in Reid Detmers. He leads the ACC in wins (9), Strikeouts (120), and Opposing Batting Average (.157) while being second in Innings Pitched (78). Virginia’s offense is fueled by sophomore Tanner Morris. He leads the league in Doubles with 20. Freshman Zack Gelof is eighth in stolen bases with 14. On the mound, Virginia is led by Griff McGarry a sophomore who is tenth in Opposing Batting Average at .272 (41 hits allowed in 185 at-bats in 11 games). Virginia comes into this series with Louisville having a five-game lead in the loss column on the Hokies. No doubt Virginia Tech fans will be pulling hard for Louisville as the team finishes up their final exam week.
Four ACC teams are included among the Top 15 of the current NCAA RPI rating. Louisville leads at #7, followed by Georgia Tech at #8. Miami, with a seven-game win streak, is at #11, North Carolina at #13, and North Carolina State at #15.
As mentioned earlier, Boston College holds the final spot into the championship. They have a two-game lead on the Hokies, who they just took two of three in Blacksburg. The series win was the Eagles first on the road versus Virginia Tech since 2006. They control their own destiny with one series left in conference play next weekend at home against the Fighting Irish. This week, the Eagles are off due to final exams.
The ACC Player of the week is Florida State’s third baseman, Drew Mendoza. Drew hit .800 (8-for-10) as the Seminoles took two out of three from Pittsburgh last week at home. He slugged 1.000 and had an On-Base Percentage of .833. His average jumped from .289 to .321 during the series. He went six-for-six in the final two games of the weekend with five runs batted in and six runs scored. It’s the first weekly award for Mendoza.
The Pitcher of the Week came from the same series at Florida State. Derek West, of Pittsburgh, threw a career-high seven shutouts innings in game one Friday night. The red-shirt junior allowed five hits and one base on balls while striking out nine. The victory over the Seminoles evened his record at two and two. For West, this was his first weekly award.
Next week we will preview the final weekend of play and look ahead to the ACC baseball championship.