The college baseball season is off and running. The ACC had a pretty good first weekend’s worth of games. They have gone 46-10 so far in non-conference action good for a .821 winning percentage. Nine teams entered this week’s schedule ranked in at least one major poll. Louisville and Wake Forest ranked as high as fourth. For the Cardinals (4-0), they are the #4 team in the Baseball America Poll, while Wake is ranked #5 in (5-0) by Perfect Game. There are seven league teams that have not tasted defeat yet. With only two Pittsburgh and Notre Dame under .500 at 1-2. Here is some news about the league so far
The Demon Deacons have come out of the gate swinging. They lead the nation with 16 home runs in five games. They are fifth in the league in hitting at .345 (60-for-174). Tommy Hawks (.471 BA) and Nick Kurtz (.467 BA) are leading the way for the Wake Forest offense. Kurtz is tied for first in runs scored with nine in five games. He is second in home runs with four, and in RBI with 11. Meanwhile, on the mound, Seth Keener’s first outing for Wake was a good one. He went five innings of one-hit ball with nine strikeouts.
Louisville, on the other hand, is third in the league in hitting at .346 (46-for-132). They boast the early season leader in hitting Eddie King at .636 (7-for-11, 3 XBH, 4 RBI, 5 RS). Ryan McCoy is hitting .500 (8-for-16) with 2 home runs, 7 RS, and 7 RBI. The pitching staff has gotten off to a bit of a slow start team ERA of 3.50. But it has not hurt them in the early going. King also leads the conference in on-base percentage at .733
Clemson head coach Erik Bakich reached a milestone on Saturday vs Binghamton. He recorded his 400th career win. Including a stint as the Michigan State head man, Bakich’s career record is 401-313 in 13+ years as a head coach. He has made one trip to the College World Series coming back in 2019 with the Spartans. On the field, Benjamin Blackwell is tearing it up on the base paths. He has eight stolen bases in four games. As a team, the Tigers have already stolen 21 bases and have been caught only three times.
Boston College (2-1) went out west to get things started. They visited Pepperdine last weekend and took two out of three from the Waves. On Saturday, they received a strong starting pitching effort from Chris Flynn (1-0) who came to the Eagles from the transfer portal. He threw six innings of one-hit, no-run baseball, striking out seven and walking only one. This is great news for a BC team that over the past few years has struggled with finding starting pitching.
The ACC player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week both come from Wake Forest. Sophomore first baseman Nick Kurtz hit .500 with four home runs, 10 runs batted, and eight runs scored during a 4-0 week for the Demon Deacons. He also led the team in slugging percentage at 1.500 and on-base percentage at .884. The two home runs both came in the same game. Against Youngstown State, Kurtz hit a second-inning grand slam, then went deep again in the fourth to tie his career high with two home runs, and he also had five RBI. Sean Sullivan made his pitching debut on Saturday for WF. In the 8-1 victory over Illinois, he went four innings, allowing two hits, and one walk, while striking out 10 hitters. He had at least two punchouts in all four innings on the mound. He never allowed more than one base runner in any of the four innings. He came out of the Demon Deacons bullpen to finish the job started by Rhett Lowder.
That’s how the ACC baseball season begins. We will be here all season with updates on how the ACC is doing.
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