Three Unbeatens Remain in ACC Baseball

aroundtheacc3Three ACC baseball teams remain undefeated leading into the opening weekend of conference play.

North Carolina improved to 10-0 with three wins in the Astros Foundation College Classic in Houston, Texas over the weekend and maintained their spot atop the national rankings.  On Friday, the Tar Heels defeated No. 12 Rice 2-1.  Junior Kent Emanuel pitched seven innings, allowing run earned run while striking out five Owls.  The go-ahead run came in the ninth inning, when Chaz Frank scored on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth.

On Saturday, the Tar Heels defeated California 11-5.  Freshman shortstop Landon Lassiter led UNC in the win, batting 4-for-6 with two runs and an RBI.  North Carolina followed it up with a mercy-rule win in 6 1/2 innings against #30 Texas A&M, 14-2.  Lassiter, as designated hitter, was 2-for-2 with three runs, two walks, and an RBI in that contest.

Florida State moved up to fifth in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll with a weekend sweep of Villanova. Seven Seminoles had multiple hits in their opener on Friday, rolling to a 23-5 victory.  The Seminoles concluded the weekend with 7-0 and 2-1 wins against Villanova. Marcus Davis, a transfer from Walters State Community College, was 5-for-8 with five RBI and five runs in the first two games of the series.  Florida State hurler Brandon Leibrandt fanned eight Wildcats in 5 1/3 innings to open the weekend, while Scott Sitz pitched six shutout innings and struck out nine batters on Saturday.

Virginia is now 19th in the NCBWA poll following a weekend that featured two wins each against Bucknell and Harvard.  Sophomore Brandon Cogswell leads the conference in on-base percentage (.618). This weekend, Cogswell was 7-for-13 with seven runs.  On the mound, Scott Silverstein, Brandon Waddell, and Nick Howard combined to surrender four earned runs and strike out 23 batters over 19 innings for the Cavaliers over the weekend.

Miami entered last weekend with an unblemished mark, but lost two of three at Florida  They won the series opener 3-2 to reach 10-0 before dropping the Saturday and Sunday meetings.  The Hurricanes fell to 24th in the latest NCBWA poll as a result.  Chris Diaz shined in the Friday game for Miami, pitching seven shutout innings to improve his ERA in 2013 to 0.47.

RODON REDUX: Carlos Rodon was named ACC Pitcher of the Week for the second week in a row following another stellar outing for the Wolfpack.  The sophomore suffered the first loss of his career on opening day against Appalachian State, but has struck out 30 batters in his last two outings. Against Florida Atlantic Saturday in Myrtle Beach, Rodon fanned 16 Owls (not a great weekend for teams with that nickname facing North Carolina squads) over seven innings, allowing only one earned run.  Rodon now leads the conference in opposing batting average (.104) and strikeouts (38).

Georgia Tech junior Zane Evans was named ACC Baseball Player of the Week by the conference.  This week, he was 11-for-19 with nine RBI and four home runs.  The power surge, following a .125 start to the season, moves him atop the conference leaderboard in home runs (5).

HOT HOKIES: Virginia Tech continues to roll, moving up to 30th in the NCBWA poll and 24th in the Baseball America poll.  This weekend, the Hokies defeated Rhode Island, Ohio, and Tennessee while losing to 22nd ranked (and future conference foe) Notre Dame in Cary, NC.  Virginia Tech is one of four teams in the conference to hit at least 10 home runs so far in 2013.

The Hokies’ Brad Markey was charged with the loss against the Fighting Irish, but he posted a strong outing nonetheless. In eight innings, Markey allowed two earned runs and struck out seven Notre Dame batters. The junior now has a 2.14 ERA, with 22 strikeouts (5th in the ACC).

Atlantic Division
Florida State – 10-0
NC State – 10-1
Maryland – 9-3
Wake Forest – 9-4
Clemson – 6-4
Boston College – 2-7

Coastal Division
Virginia – 12-0
North Carolina – 10-0
Georgia Tech – 11-1
Virginia Tech – 11-2
Miami – 10-2
Duke – 5-5

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