UNC Suffers First Series Loss of Season

After losing two games to Georgia Tech, North Carolina needs a win against Virginia to secure the Coastal Division.
After losing two games to Georgia Tech, North Carolina needs a win against Virginia to win the Coastal Division.

ACC Standings (Rankings from Baseball America, May 13)

Atlantic Division
#9 Florida State – 41-10 (17-9)
#5 NC State – 39-12 (16-9)
#17 Clemson – 37-15 (17-10)
Maryland – 28-24 (9-18)
Wake Forest – 28-24 (9-18)
Boston College – 11-37 (3-23)

Coastal Division
#3 North Carolina – 45-6 (20-5)
#7 Virginia – 42-8 (20-7)
Georgia Tech – 32-20 (14-13)
#22 Virginia Tech – 33-19 (13-14)
Miami – 33-20 (12-15)
Duke – 25-26 (9-18)

Georgia Tech 5, North Carolina 4
North Carolina 3, Georgia Tech 1
Georgia Tech 9, North Carolina 8 (11 innings)

North Carolina suffered its first series loss of the season, dropping two games on the road against Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech relied on walk-off hits in both of the victories. On Friday, Mott Hyde hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to give Georgia Tech a 5-4 victory.

Benton Moss silenced Georgia Tech’s offense on Saturday, in UNC’s lone win of the series. The sophomore pitched eight scoreless innings, surrendering two hits and striking out five batters.

In the Sunday finale, the Tar Heels led 7-1 after five and a half innings and 8-5 entering the bottom of the ninth. The Jackets rallied to tie the game and force extra innings, then took the win in the 11th with a Zane Evans RBI single. The Tar Heels lost their No. 1 ranking in the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls to Vanderbilt as a result of the weekend.

NC State 3, Florida State 1
Florida State 12, NC State 3
Game Three Monday, 7:00 PM ET, ESPNU

The Wolfpack and Seminoles will play the rubber game of a premier ACC series tonight after splitting the first two games on Saturday and Sunday. In game one, Carlos Rodon edged out Luke Weaver in a pitcher’s duel. Weaver edged Rodon in strikeouts, 9-8, but Weaver allowed three runs over seven innings while Rodon surrendered just one run over eight frames of work.

On Sunday, the Seminoles slugged their way to a 12-3 victory. Outfielder DJ Stewart led the offense, batting 3-for-3 with three walks, three runs batted in and three runs scored. With the series even, the two teams will meet tonight. The winner of the game will finish the weekend as the leader of the Atlantic Division.

Miami 8, Wake Forest 3
Wake Forest 5, Miami 4
Wake Forest 9, Miami 3

Wake Forest picked up two home wins against Miami this weekend. Miami has played well at home, but now holds an 8-11 record away from Coral Gables. That eighth win came in the series opener, as the Hurricanes jumped on Wake Forest hurler Justin Van Grouw for a 7-0 lead and never looked back.

On Saturday, Wake Forest weathered a strong outing from Bryan Radziewski (7.0 innings pitched, 6 hits, 3 runs, 10 strikeouts) for a walk-off win in the ninth inning on a Matt Conway RBI single. In the series finale, which also marked senior day for the Deacons, a six run eighth inning provided the difference, breaking a 3-3 tie to secure a series win over a top-20 RPI team.

Virginia 6, Duke 5
Virginia 17, Duke 8
Virginia 14, Duke 6

Virginia swept Duke this weekend in Charlottesville, picking up three much-needed wins in the Coastal Division race. The first came on a walk-off RBI single by Nate Irving after the Cavaliers had trailed 5-3 entering the bottom of the ninth. Virginia dominated on Saturday, claiming a 17-8 victory. Duke took an early 3-0 lead in the Sunday finale, but ultimately lost 14-6.

Virginia may have benefitted from Georgia Tech’s victories, as well as their own success, but they’ll have a tall task ahead if they hope to win the Coastal. North Carolina leads by one game. However, the Cavaliers have played two more games, and will need to sweep the Tar Heels to claim the division on the basis of winning percentage.

Looking forward: As mentioned, Virginia would need to sweep North Carolina this week to claim the Coastal Division title. The Atlantic Division remains a three-way battle between Florida State, NC State, and Clemson. Florida State and Clemson will play three games against each other in Tallahassee, while NC State will visit Duke. That slate certainly favors the Wolfpack, which makes tonight’s game between the Seminoles and Wolfpack all the more important.

As far as which teams will participate in the ACC Tournament, seven teams are locked in – Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, NC State, North Carolina, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. Miami only needs one win in its last series of the season to secure the final ACC Tournament berth. Bad news: They will be facing a stout Georgia Tech team that just took a series from North Carolina. Good news: The series is in Coral Gables, where the team has played much better than their 8-11 road mark.

If Miami is swept, they could be edged out by one of three teams: Duke, Maryland, or Wake Forest. However, any of those three teams would have to sweep their series this weekend to insert themselves in the conversation. As mentioned, Duke is hosting NC State. Maryland will host Boston College, while Wake Forest travels to Virginia Tech.


Our latest articles, ACC links, and threads of interest, sent right to your inbox!

Follow Inside the ACC on Twitter at @InsideTheACC. Like Inside the ACC on Facebook. Get your ACC links at ITA’s Daily NewsLink Page. Talk about ACC sports on the ITA Forums.

Leave a Reply