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ACC Baseball News & Notes: The Tournament Is Off and Running

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With the ACC regular season now in the rearview mirror, it is time to focus on the conference tournament that has begun. Twelve of the fourteen teams have been split up into pools to start things off. Then, as the week moves on, teams will be sent packing and four teams will be left to decide the tournament winner and the automatic bid to this year’s NCAA field of 64. What makes this event even more interesting is all the teams in the field can make a claim for being included in the NCAA field. While it is not expected that all will get there, it does show just how competitive this league is. Here are some other tidbits on the final weekend of play.

Notre Dame and Georgia Tech were named number one seeds for the event in Charlotte. The Irish finished at 25-10 in league play. They arrived at the tournament with a four-game winning streak and a Top-10 ranking (#8). However, they would place just one player on the postseason All-Conference team. Niko Kavadas was the only Irish to make the grade. He was fourth in HRs with 16 and in runs batted in with 49. He placed fourth in both walks with 39, and on base percentage at .464, and third in slugging at .727. ND also had one member on the second team, pitcher Tanner Kohlhepp. He led the league with a 7-1 record with a 2.56 ERA. Tanner was second in OPP. batting average at .187 in 20 games.

Georgia Tech (21-15) placed a player on all three postseason teams. First team was Luke Waddell, second team belonged to Brant Hurter, third team and all-freshman went to Kevin Parada. Waddell ended up 14th in the batting race with a .322 average and was fourth in hits with 64, On the mound, Hurter was fourth in innings pitched with 77. He averaged 5.92 frames per start. Behind the plate, Parada was also good with a bat in his hands. He was 11th in batting with a .328 batting average and led the league in doubles with 19.

Florida State ranked #17 entering the tournament, racked up some hardware before it got started. Freshman pitcher Parker Messick was named both Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year. He became the first player to do this since Carlos Rondon did it in 2012. Parker ended his first season with the Seminoles with a 6-2 record, 3.30 ERA, and 114 strikeouts in 79 innings. The strikeouts placed him second in the league, the innings had him third.

The Seminoles also possess the Player of The Year in Matheu Nelson. He led the conference in home runs with 22, was seventh in runs scored with 47, fifth in doubles with 16. He led the league in RBI with 63, total bases with 142, and slugging percentage at .802. Florida State became the first school in ACC history to have Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, and Freshman of the Year in the same season.

The ACC Coach of the year is NDs Link Jarrett. He guided the team to their best-ever finish in the ACC as they won their first-ever division title. The Irish led the conference with 10 series wins, including three sweeps, and ended the year with 25 wins. It ties for the most wins in a single season in school history. They did not lose back-to-back games all season and have not done that since Jarrett took over (52 games). The Irish were the best fielding team in the country with a .986%, 21 errors in 39 games.

The Player of the Week is Wake Forest sophomore shortstop Michael Turconi. In a 3-1 week for his team, he led Wake at the plate with a .471 average, He had eight hits, one double, three home runs, and seven RBI. He slugged 1.059, with an on-base of .500. In his team’s sweep of Pittsburgh, Turconi batted .500 with seven hits, three HR, and seven runs batted in. All three of his bombs came in Thursday’s win over the Panthers. He became the first Demon Deacon to hit three HRs in a game since March 14, 2017.

Austin Love of North Carolina is the Pitcher of the Week. The sophomore right-hander went the distance in Thursday’s win over Georgia Tech. He fanned a career-high 15 hitters while giving up eight hits and no walks. He is the first Tar Heel pitcher to strike out 15 in a start since 2017. For Love, this is his second weekly award.

That’s it for this week in the ACC.

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