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ACC Baseball News & Notes: Four Teams Headed to the Super Regional

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When the first weekend of the NCAA baseball tournament began, the Atlantic Coast Conference had nine teams that were all chasing that dream trip to Omaha, Neb. What started as nine has now been trimmed to four. Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Virginia Tech still have the dream alive. Step two of this process begins on Friday and it’s called the Super Regionals. The ACC will have two going on the road, Notre Dame and Louisville. UNC and Virginia Tech will have the luxury of staying home. At this point, being home or on the road may not matter all that much. What will matter is playing your best baseball this weekend to give yourself the trip that all college players dream about. A flight to Omaha. Here are what these four teams have to look forward to this weekend.

Notre Dame (38-14) heads to Knoxville, TN. to match up with the tournament’s number one overall seed, the Tennessee Volunteers (56-7). The Irish, who last season made the Super Regional for the first time since 2002, will be making back-to-back appearances for the first time in program history. The task at hand will not be easy as Tennessee is the #1 overall seed for a reason. This team is loaded. As a team, they hit .311 with an OPS of 1.023. The top seven hitters on the Vols stats list have batting averages of over .300 and an OPS of over 1.000. They hit 150 HR, with Trey Lipscomb leading the way with 21 long balls and 80 RBI. Their pitching staff is not too shabby either with an ERA of 2.38, nine shutouts, and one complete game. Chase Burns at 8-1 with a 1.14 ERA, 73 IP, 60H, 22ER, 98SO, and 24 BB leads the way. Burns is getting help on the mound from Drew Beam (8-1, 2.72 ERA) and Chase Dollander (9-0, 2.38 ERA). This trio has gone a combined 25-1 over 41 starts this season with 263 strikeouts and 58 walks. The Irish had the best pitching ERA in the ACC this year at 3.91. The duo of John M Bertrand (8-2, 2.39 ERA) and Austin Temple (4-1, 3.19 ERA) will have to come up big this weekend. ND has a middle of the pack offense team BA of .298, with a .380 OPS, and 110 HR. This cannot become an offensive series if Notre Dame is to move on.

Louisville (42-19-1) needed to survive a scare from Michigan last weekend to advance. Needing two wins to move on, the Cardinals got the job done in front of the home folks. With the regional win, Louisville takes to the road to meet Texas A&M (40-18). Both teams are no strangers to the Super Regional. For Texas A&M who entered last week as the #5 national seed, it was their 10th regional title. The Aggies were 25-9 at home this season and Jack Moss led the offense with a .388 batting average in 58 starts. Dylan Rock put up a .340 average with some power as he hit 18 HR and had 59 RBI. On the hill, Jacob Palsch with a 5-3 record and a 2.76 ERA with a save anchored the bullpen. Texas A&M has a staff ERA of 4.74. Louisville can hit with a .309 team BA. Jack Payton leads with a .351 average. Pitching is a little shaky with a 5.29 ERA. Jared Poland is the best of the bunch at 5-4 with a 2.92 ERA. Louisville is making its ninth trip to the Super Regional. This could be an offensive show between these two.

For a team that was picked to finish last in the preseason ACC coaches poll, Virginia Tech (44-12) has made quite a run and in the process made some believers out of a lot of people. They will be making their first Super Regional appearance and they will host Oklahoma (40-21). The Hokies had one of the better offensive attacks all season hitting .308 as a team. Jack Hurley, who for most of the year led the ACC in hitting, takes a .379 average to the Super Regional with 13 HR and 49 RBI. Tanner Schobel provides some help with a .373 average, 17 HR, and 68 RBI. The pitching staff posted a 4.19 ERA. Drue Hackenberg at 10-2 with a 2.83 ERA should get the ball for game one. The Sooners come into this series with a .296 team BA. Tanner Tredaway at .367 BA, six HE, 57 RBI is a key to this offense. So is Peyton Graham at .339, with 19 big flies and 68 RBI. The staff ERA is high at 5.45 with 329 earned runs allowed. Jack Bennett, at 8-3 with a 3.69 ERA, should get the ball for game one. The team that can get outs when needed will move on.

UNC (42-20) will host Arkansas (41-19) and they will get started on Saturday. For the Tar Heels, this will be their 10th appearance and the third in the past four seasons. Offense had been spotty this year for UNC. The team has a batting average of .281, with only 86 HR. This offense is led by two players. Danny Serretti with a .370 average seven home runs and 45 runs batted in, and Angel Zarate at .357, six HR and 35 RBI. They will have to drive this offense. On the mound, Max Carlson is 3-2, with a 3.65 ERA, and Brandon Schaeffer is 7-2 with a 3.70 ERA to anchor a pitching staff that has a 4.15 team ERA. The Razorbacks swing it at a .272 clip. Chris Lanzilli is a .323 hitter with 8 HR and 33 RBI. Arkansas hit 98 home runs as a team with a .381 OPS. Connor Noland at 6-5 with a 4.13 ERA may get the call on Saturday. No one really stands out of the three starters that the Razorbacks may employ this weekend. With the Tar Heels at home, they may have the best chance of getting to the College World Series.

The ACC has placed a team in Omaha for the past 15 CWS. This weekend we will find out if it becomes 16 years in a row.

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