ACC

ACC Baseball News & Notes: Time to Play Ball

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This coming Friday the college baseball season begins. The “Road to Omaha” gets underway. In the Atlantic Coast Conference, teams usually find their way to Omaha to play in the college world series on a regular basis. In fact, the league has placed at least one team in that event for the past 15 years. Over the last 17 NCAA tournaments, the ACC has had at least six teams named to the field of 64. It is an impressive resume to possess, and one of the reasons why the ACC is the place to head if you are serious about playing the game of college baseball. Here is a look at this year in ACC Baseball.

The Florida State Seminoles have been named the preseason favorite to win the ACC. They received eight votes to win the league outright, and 88 total points to win the Atlantic Division. A good reason why is sophomore pitcher Patrick Messick who in his freshman year with FSU was named conference pitcher and freshman of the year. He is the second player in conference history to be named both in the same year. The other was Carlos Rondon of NC State in 2012. As he heads into his second year as Seminoles’s starting pitcher, Messick has already been named by Perfect Game as the National Preseason Pitcher of the Year, and to the Golden Spikes watch list. Big things are expected of Patrick this year as the team’s number 1 starter.
Georgia Tech was selected to win the Coastal Division. The Yellow Jackets were picked by eight coaches and earned 91 total points. Georgia Tech is trying to become the fourth team in league history to win three straight division titles since the conference moved to split divisions in 2006. Their offense is stacked and both Perfect Game and  D1 baseball have their lineup ranked as one of the best in the country. The Yellow Jackets, who begin the season ranked #11 in the country, have seven players ranked in MLB Top-300 prospect list by Perfect Game, and four by D1 baseball Top-100 prospect list. The best of the bunch may be sophomore catcher Kevin Parada who was named to the preseason Golden Spike Award Watch list. He becomes the 11th Georgia Tech player to be named to that list since 2009. He made 48 starts behind the plate a season ago hitting .318 which led the team and finished in the league’s top-20 in hitting. He led the league in doubles with 20 and had four four-hit games. Only two other players had three.
Notre Dame was picked by three coaches to win the Atlantic Division. A good reason why could be LHP John Michael Bertrand who last season went 8-2, with a 3.21 ERA. In 92.2 IP, he had 68 SO and three complete games. John led the pitching staff in innings pitched, wins, strikeouts, and complete games. His three complete games were #1 in the conference, the eight wins had him second, and he was third in innings pitched. He was named to the Perfect Game preseason All-American list as well as the NCBWA preseason All-American list.
Virginia took five first-place votes in the Coastal Division. Backstopper Kevin Teel was placed on the Golden Spike Award Watch list. His .335 batting average was a big reason he was selected to the list. The average led the team and was 10th in the conference. He also was the first true freshman in Cavaliers history to lead the team in hitting. Teel hit nine HR last season which was tied for the team lead and had 41 RBI, second on the team, His name was put on the lineup card 53 times a season ago, 15 times as the catcher, and the other 38 times were either as the DH or RF.
Louisville was the third team in the Atlantic Division to register a vote from the coaches to win their division title. They will be missing a major member of last year’s team in catcher Henry Davis who was last year’s #1 overall pick in the MLB draft. Luke Brown, who played in 50 games and made 49 starts, will hopefully help to fill the void of losing Davis with his bat. He hit .320 last year with 17 extra-base hits and 17 SB in 22 attempts.
Miami did get one vote to win the Coastal Division. The Hurricanes have a reliable closer to help with finishing games off when Miami has a lead late. Carson Palmquist finished last season with 14 saves in the Hurricanes bullpen. Over two years as the closer, the LHP has a 2.24 ERA, 90 SO in 56.1 IP. His 14 saves ranked him third in the nation last year.  He has been named to the Golden Spike List among others. Palmquist is considered a premier arm in college baseball and a pitcher that MLB has on their radar.
This will give you some idea of the talent and teams in this league. All season long we will have our notes article to keep you up to date on what is happening in the ACC.
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