Another good week of Atlantic Coast Conference baseball is in the books. Three teams, Virginia, Louisville, and Wake Forest find themselves ranked in the Top-10 of national polls. The Boston Eagles are moving closer to being a Top-15 team based on another series win. This time, at the expense of the Florida State Seminoles. Let’s take a look at who is doing what in the ACC.
After taking two of three from Notre Dame, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (18-3, 4-2) jumped up to number two in both the D1 Baseball and USA Today polls. As Wake looks ahead to a big early season series at home with Miami, they do so with the best team ERA in the league at 2.36. The Demon Deacons have quite an arsenal of pitching that has been getting the job done. It starts with Rhett Lowder (4-0, 1.74 ERA) 39 SO in 31 innings pitched. Hitters are batting .196 against him. Sean Sullivan is 3-1 with a 1.75 ERA while batting just .111 versus him. He has 50 SO in just 25.2 innings thrown. Josh Hartle has a 4-1 record with a 1.85 ERA and hitters are hitting .224 against him and he has 47 SO in 29 innings. The back end of the staff is being taken care of by Camden Minacci who’s second in the league with five saves in eight games. Pitching wins games and Wake Forest has plenty of that.
A bit of a head-scratcher of late is the Virginia Tech Hokies (12-7, 1-5). They have lost five in a row, including back-to-back conference series to Boston College and Miami. This was a team that was ranked in several polls before league play began. While their offense is still near the top of the conference with a .314 team batting average, their pitching has taken a bit of a fall of late. They are 12th in the league with a team ERA of 5.60. The staff has given up the third most earned runs at 105 in 19 games. Walks have been a problem as they have allowed the second most at 102. In this league, being able to throw strikes is a must.
The Miami Hurricanes (14-6, 5-1) headed into the weekend with a four-game winning streak. Last weekend at home versus VT, they hammered the Hokies’ pitching staff by scoring 37 runs in the three-game series. Freshman Cyr Blake is hitting .362 with five HR and 25 RBI. He is eighth in RBI averaging 1.47 in 17 games. This lineup has been consistent if nothing else. Blake is the only one that shows up in the weekly stats sheet. On the mound, Karson Ligon has been averaging 6.1 innings per start. Batters are hitting .198 in his five starts (21 hits in 106 at-bats).
Speaking of pitching, the Duke Blue Devils (13-7, 3-3) have been doing some of that lately. They are third in the league with a 3.20 team ERA. The Blue Devils have a couple of guys that are stepping up. Closer James Tallon has three saves in seven games, while senior Charlie Beilenson is fourth in appearances with ten and has a 1-1 record to this point. Duke’s offense is being led by Alex Mooney who is hitting .373 in 20 games. He puts the ball in play as his nine strikeouts in 83 plate appearances will point out. He has eight XBH out of his 31 total at-bats.
The ACC Pitcher of the Week comes from one of the hottest teams in the league. Boston College’s Chris Flynn went a career-high seven innings vs the Seminoles last Saturday night. He struck out nine and issued only one walk while giving up two runs, and one earned on four hits. Flynn has been the Eagles number two starter since the season started. His five wins lead the ACC. He has averaged almost six innings a start for the Eagles. His 41 strikeouts are tied for third in the league, and he is averaging 12.44 strikeouts a game.
The ACC Player of the Week is Miami first baseman CJ Kayfus. He helped the team to a 4-0 week by batting .750 (12-for-16), with three home runs and eight RBI. He scored seven runs, walked seven times, and swiped three bases. His OPS for the week was 2.137. His slugging percentage of .658 is twentieth in the league. He has 24 runs scored which is 11th best in the conference, his 24 hits are 14th, and his 14 walks are tied for 13th place.
Next week we look at how the league is doing as the month of April gets closer.
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