We have arrived at the end of the regular season in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The twelve spots in the upcoming tournament have been secured. The seeding of these teams is really the only thing left to settle this weekend. There is also the possibility that two programs in this conference may be selected as sites for a regional in the NCAA baseball tournament. With that said, here is some other news from the ACC.
The Atlantic Division has been wrapped up by Notre Dame (22-10) The Irish entered the final weekend with a four-game lead in the loss column over Florida State (19-14). ND was able to capture the division title by winning a series in the league. They would lose only one during the year and that was to the Seminoles. Their pitching went a long way toward giving them chances to win week after week. They ranked third in the league in pitching era at 4.08 and Tanner Kohlhepp is number one in the pitching race with a 7-1 record with a 2.68 ERA. John Bertrand is number four in that race with a 6-1 mark and a 3.02 ERA. Having these two guys at the top of the Irish rotation have been a big reason why ND has racked up series wins in the ACC.
Boston College has been unable to maintain the hot start they got off to back in March. But it has not stopped one of their players from being noticed by MLB scouts. Sal Fredick enters the final weekend sixth in the batting race at .359 (66-for-184). He is second in both hits per game at 1.47, in runs scored at 1.02 (46 runs), and fourth in doubles with 15. Frelick is considered a possible Top-10 pick when MLB holds their draft in July. It’s been a tough conference season for the Eagles (9-21) but Frelick has been the one bright spot all year long.
The two teams that have a shot at hosting a regional when the NCAA tournament gets underway are Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. The surprise here is Pittsburgh. They should be considered one of the best stories in college baseball as well as the ACC. At (16-14) in league play, they still have a shot at winning the Coastal Division by the week’s end. Due to health and safety protocols, the NCAA decided to conduct championship events at a predetermined site. Of the 20 selected sites, the committee will select 16 to host regionals then eight of those will host super-regionals.
The ACC tournament will be held to full capacity in Charlotte NC. The conference is now making available tickets at Trust Field for the entire event. This was made possible following the Governor of the state lifting the mass gathering limit. All twelve teams that will play in the event will be tested before it begins.
The ACC Player of the Week is NC State outfielder Jonny Butler. He was the main reason why the Wolfpack was able to pick up their fourth sweep of the season at No.16 Pittsburgh. He batted .500 for the week and .500 in the series vs the Panthers. He now has eight straight multi-hit games and is slugging 1.167 during last week. He homered in back-to-back games and was a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen bases including a steal of home in Saturday’s win. He leads the league in hitting at .367 and is third in slugging percentages at .704.
The Pitcher of the Week is Virginia’s, Andrew Abbott. On Friday night vs Wake Forest, Abbott threw the first 7.1 innings of what would turn out to be the seventh no-hitter in the program’s history. Abbott struck out 16 hitters, the most by any ACC pitcher this season, and tied for third-most in a single game in school history. The first eight outs were swinging strikeouts. He would strike out the side four times and retire the final 12 batters he faced. Abbott leads the league in punchouts with 115. It’s the sixth most in program history. Abbott is now third on the UVA strikeout list with 280. He was also named the NCBWA Pitcher of the Week.
Next week we look ahead to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
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