This weekend in the Atlantic Coast Conference, we will get a chance to see which division is better. Five series will pit teams from the Atlantic and Coastal in weekend series. Clemson (1-2) vs Pittsburgh (1-5), Duke (2-4) vs Florida State (4-2), Georgia Tech (4-2) vs N.C. State (1-4), Virginia Tech (2-4) vs Notre Dame (2-3), and Virginia (5-1) vs Wake Forest (3-3). It should be a fun set of games between these teams and their divisions. Here is a look at what else is going on in the ACC.
As Virginia gets ready to take on Wake Forest starting on Friday, they will do so as one of the hottest teams in the league. At 20-1 overall, the Cavaliers are off to their best start ever after 21 games. They extended their home winning streak to 18 straight after their win over Towson on Tuesday night by a 15-3 score. Virginia, in conference play, is coming off a sweep of Boston College last week and will take a seven-game league winning streak into the Wake Forest series. The Cavaliers are ranked #3 by Collegiate Baseball. They boast the Conference Player of the Week in Alex Tappen. For the Demon Deacons, playing teams ranked in the Top-25 is no big deal. They have already played seven games vs teams in the Top-25 and have fared well in those contests with a record of 4-3.
North Carolina (5-1) begins a Coastal Division series on Friday vs Miami (4-2). The Tar Heels have won three in a row after a 4-2 win over Appalachian State on Tuesday night. That win gave UNC a 20-game home winning streak that dates back to last season. The Tar Heels head out on the road to Coral Gables as the #6 team in the country by Collegiate Baseball. Miami is riding a three-game winning streak of their own going into this series. The Hurricanes are 11-4 at home and 3-3 vs Top-25 teams this season. Their offense will be put to the test by a UNC pitching staff that has the second-best ERA in the country at 2.07.
The Boston College Eagles (1-5) have a lot going on with the month of April fast approaching. It will begin this weekend during their series with Louisville (3-0). On Saturday the Pete Frates Center will be officially opened. The center will house both the baseball and softball teams and could be a real game-changer for Boston College. Batting cages, a lounge, and locker room space are just some of the things that will be available to the players on both teams. For those who attend the Saturday game, tours will be offered to anyone who would like to see firsthand what is inside. Then on Saturday, April 23rd, BC will get an opportunity to play a league game at Fenway Park in Boston, MA. The ALS Awareness game returns to Fenway. This will be the third time this game has been played there. It is played in honor of Pete Frates who was diagnosed with the disease in 2012. He passed away in 2019 at the age of 34. Virginia Tech will be BC’s opponent for that game and weekend. A big thank you goes out to the Boston Red Sox for bringing the game back to Fenway Park.
As for this weekend, the Eagles will have their hands full with a team that is getting better as the year goes along. The Louisville Cardinal sit atop the Atlantic Division with a 3-0 record and 16-5 overall. They have a two-game lead in the loss column on Florida State. They are 4-0 vs Top-25 teams this year, and it is interesting to note, the Cardinal have played only one road game so far and lost it. Louisville had been unranked as of last week, but that all changed this week as they appear in both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Top-25 polls at #16.
The ACC Player of the Week is Virginia’s, Alex Tappen. In the sweep of BC last weekend, Tappen was a problem that the Eagles pitching staff could not solve. He hit three home runs in the series, and on Sunday went 4-for-4 with six RBI. For the week, Virginia played five games and won them all. Tappen went 11-for-18 (.611 BA) with 14 runs batted in. He has reached base safely in 19 straight games and keeps an eight-game hitting streak alive. Tappen also scored six times in last week’s games with two doubles.
The ACC Pitcher of the Week is Louisville RHP Jared Poland. On Saturday, Poland faced the then #1 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish and went seven scoreless innings in an 8-1 Cardinal victory. He allowed three hits and struck out a career-high 10 Irish hitters. Poland struck out at least one batter in every inning he pitched. Poland is currently working on 14.1 scoreless innings and is the only qualified ACC pitcher who has an ERA of below 1.00 (0.90). Louisville would go on to sweep the Irish in the series.
That’s all for this week. Next week we will be back with more from the ACC.
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