Tar Heels, Seminoles Perfect No More

ACC Standings (Rankings from NCBWA poll, March 18)aroundtheacc3

Atlantic Division
#5 Florida State – 18-1 (5-1)
#19 NC State – 16-5 (3-3)
Clemson – 11-7 (3-3)
Maryland – 12-7 (2-4)
Wake Forest – 12-10 (1-5)
Boston College – 3-15 (0-6)

Coastal Division
#1 North Carolina – 18-1 (5-1)
#11 Georgia Tech – 17-2 (5-1)
#15 Virginia – 17-2 (4-2)
Virginia Tech – 16-5 (4-2)
Miami – 15-7 (2-4)
Duke – 10-10 (2-4)

Miami 4, North Carolina 1
North Carolina 14, Miami 2
North Carolina 4, Miami 1

The top-ranked Tar Heels suffered their first loss of the season Friday. A three-run fifth inning was the catalyst for Miami in the win, which started with a Ricky Eusebio leadoff walk and was highlighted by a Chantz Mack two-RBI single. Chris Diaz pitched seven innings for the Hurricanes, allowing one earned run and striking out four Tar Heels.

North Carolina bounced back from the loss, taking the Saturday and Sunday games to claim the series. Shortstop Michael Russell entered the weekend batting .236, but improved his average to .288 with a strong showing against Miami. On Saturday, Russell was 3-for-4 with three RBI and a double, and he followed it up with a 2-for-4, two double outing in the rubber match Sunday. North Carolina’s Benton Moss was named ACC Pitcher of the Week for his efforts Saturday, when he pitched seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out nine.

Maryland 5, Florida State 3
Florida State 7, Maryland 6
Florida State 4, Maryland 3

Maryland ended Virginia’s undefeated season last weekend. They followed it up with a win against the Seminoles on Friday in College Park. Second baseman Kyle Convissar was 1-for-4 with three RBI for the Terrapins, with an RBI groundout in the first inning and a two-RBI single in the sixth.

Like their counterparts in Chapel Hill, though, Florida State rebounded to take the last two games of the series. Catcher Stephen McGee was 3-for-8 during the two wins, including a home run on Saturday.

Georgia Tech 12, Boston College 5
Georgia Tech 11, Boston College 3
Georgia Tech 9, Boston College 1

Georgia Tech continued their offensive dominance, slugging their way to a home sweep of Boston College. The Yellow Jackets have scored ten or more runs in 11 of their last 13 games.

Georgia Tech hit six homers during the weekend, including four on Saturday. Two of those bombs came from the bat of Zane Evans, who continues his tear in 2013. Evans earned ACC Player of the Week honors, batting 7-for-15 with two doubles, a triple, and nine RBI to go along with the two homers. Evans is now batting .395 with 30 RBI and eight home runs, leading the ACC in the latter two categories.

Virginia 6, Clemson 5 (11 innings)
Clemson 7, Virginia 6
Virginia 8, Clemson 5

12th-ranked Virginia took two games in a road trip to Clemson, starting with some heroics on Friday from sophomore Mike Papi. Papi entered Friday’s series opener as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning, and tied the game with an RBI single to force extra innings. In the 11th, Papi again came to the plate, this time blasting a solo home run to give the Cavaliers the win.

Clemson answered with their own dramatic win on Saturday. Garrett Boulware evened the series by hitting a bases loaded walk-off single for the Tigers. Boulware was 3-for-5 with two runs and four runs batted in during the second game of the series. This set the stage for Sunday’s series finale, which Virginia won 8-5. Virginia jumped on Clemson hurler Scott Firth early, scoring five runs in the first two innings. Firth would finish with six earned runs and nine hits allowed over five innings.

Virginia Tech 2, Duke 1 (11 innings)
Virginia Tech 14, Duke 7
Virginia Tech 6, Duke 2

Virginia Tech swept Coastal Division foe Duke at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, starting with an extra-inning thriller on Friday. Pinch-hitter Chad Morgan provided the game-winning single, plating Tyler Horan in the 11th inning for the Hokies. The extra-inning affair was set up by two sparkling pitching performances. Virginia Tech’s Brad Markey went 8 1/3 innings, striking out five Blue Devils and allowing one earned run on six hits. Duke’s Trent Swart fanned seven batters over seven shutout innings.

The remainder of the weekend proved more decisive for Virginia Tech, and Horan played a large part in that. In the Hokies 14-7 Saturday win, the junior outfielder was 4-for-5 with two triples. On Sunday, Horan was 2-for-4, adding a double and a home run as Virginia Tech won 6-2.

NC State 12, Wake Forest 6
Wake Forest 13, NC State 4
NC State 5, Wake Forest 2

NC State took two games from an in-state rival this weekend, an encouraging start to ACC play without preseason All-American Trea Turner. First baseman Tarran Senay was the star for the Wolfpack in its opening win, batting 5-for-5 with a home run.

Senay added another home run on Saturday, but it was the Demon Deacons providing most of the offense, hitting three homers of their own in a 13-4 victory. Two of those Wake Forest blasts came in the first inning against NC State’s Brad Stone, as Jack Carey hit a grand slam and Kevin Conway added another solo shot. The Wolfpack bounced back for a 5-2 win on Sunday, but it is worth noting that players who started at shortstop through the weekend (Matt Bergquist, Logan Ratledge, Sam Morgan) batted .160. Of the four hits between the trio, three came from Ratledge on Friday and Sunday, when he was manning second base. In other words, the search for Turner’s replacement continues.

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