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ACC Roundup: May 15

North Carolina (33-17) sweeps North Carolina State (31-18)

It started on Thursday night, with a dramatic come-from-behind walk-off suicide squeeze bunt by the Tar Heels. After trailing at various points of the game 5-0, 7-4, and 8-5, North Carolina stormed back with two runs each in the 8th and 9th innings to claim an instant classic, 9-8. In game two on Friday, UNC got a vintage Max Carlson start in his return to the weekend rotation. After a season of struggles, the former ace went 7.2 innings for the Tar Heels and gave up just 2 runs on 3 hits, as Carolina won 9-3.

With the series secured already, the North Carolina bats stayed hot in game three on Saturday, scoring 10 runs without reply in the first 4 innings enroute to a 12-2 win, completing the sweep. North Carolina State's postseason hopes are now hanging by a thread after missing the NCAA Tournament last year, and they will need a big final weekend and ACC Tournament to have a shot this season.

North Carolina heads to Conway, SC on Tuesday, taking on #10 Coastal Carolina, before finishing their regular season at #8 Clemson for three games. North Carolina State finishes their season at home against Pittsburgh.

North Carolina re-enters the College Baseball Central Top 25 this week at #24.

#16 Clemson (35-17) sweeps Virginia Tech (29-19)

Virginia Tech got off to a good start behind Drue Hackenberg on Friday afternoon, leading 4-1 heading into the 5th. But, the red hot Clemson Tigers went off in that 5th inning, scoring 8 times, flipping the score to 9-4, and ultimately winning 15-4. Saturday's game was a thrilling 9-8 win for the Tigers, after the two teams were deadlocked at 4-4 heading into the 9th inning. Clemson scored 5 runs in the Top of the 9th to make it 9-4, then barely held on in the bottom half of the inning to win 9-8. They completed the sweep of the Hokies with a 9-6 win on Sunday.

Clemson's Caden Grice gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so, but keep an eye on freshman centerfielder Cam Cannerella, who went 7-15 in the series and is 4th in the ACC with a .395 batting average. Virginia Tech's star outfielder Jack Hurley also made his return to the lineup, after missing three weeks with an injury suffered against Florida State.

Clemson hosts South Carolina Upstate on Tuesday before welcoming #24 North Carolina to town for their ACC finale. Virginia Tech heads first to JMU for their final midweek game before going south to take on #1 Wake Forest.

Clemson rises in College Baseball Central's latest poll to #8.

Georgia Tech (30-21) wins series at #12 Duke (34-16)

Georgia Tech, with an outside chance of making the NCAA Tournament, made major improvements to their resume with a massive road series win at #12 Duke this past weekend. It started with an 8-5 Yellow Jacket win on Friday, before Duke evened the series with a narrow 6-5 victory on Saturday. Georgia Tech was able to take the Sunday finale 8-5, thanks to 3 shutout innings to end the game by closer Terry Busse. With the series loss, Duke's chances at hosting an NCAA Regional take a major hit.

Georgia Tech heads on the road to Mercer for their final midweek matchup before hosting #13 Virginia for a three game series that completes their regular season. Duke's final home game will be on Tuesday against Gardner-Webb, then they head south to take on #12 Miami in a very important series that could determine the ACC Coastal Division champion.

Duke falls in this week's College Baseball Central poll to #20.

#1 Wake Forest (42-8) wins series at Florida State (20-30)

It was a routine Rhett Lowder performance on Friday night in Wake Forest's 10-0 win over ACC basement dweller Florida State. Lowder, who is the favorite to win what would be his second consecutive ACC Pitcher of the Year Award, went 7 shutout innings and struck out 6 Seminole hitters. The #1 team in the land trailed 2-1 after 7 innings and were tied 3-3 after 8 in Tallahassee, but that's when the wheels fell off for FSU pitching, with back-to-back hit batters with the bases loaded that made the score 5-3. Wake would add two more runs before the end of the game to make the final on Saturday 7-3.

Despite being officially eliminated from qualifying for the ACC Tournament following that game two loss, Florida State showed resilience after trailing Wake Forest 3-0 at the 7th inning stretch. The Seminoles would score three runs in the bottom of the 7th to tie it 3-3, before Jordan Williams walked it off in the 9th inning with a single to right center that scored Nander De Sedas. Wake's Sean Sullivan did not start over the weekend due to a minor injury, but he is expected to return ahead of the series with Virginia Tech next weekend.

Wake Forest will head on the road one last time during the regular season, to UNC Wilmington, before hosting Virginia Tech in their ACC finale. Florida State will host Kennesaw State in the midweek, then head to Kentucky, where they take on Louisville to conclude their season.

Wake Forest remains #1 in College Baseball Central's Top 25.

#15 Virginia (41-11) sweeps Louisville (29-22)

After a weekend off from the ACC for the exam period, Virginia came out swinging on Friday night, racking up a 15-5 win over a reeling Louisville team. The Cardinals proceeded to lose game two on Saturday by a score of 4-1, thanks to a series of self-inflicted mistakes that primarily took place in the 5th inning. Carson Liggett gave up a season-high 6 earned runs on Sunday in the finale, with Louisville unable to score until the 7th inning of their 8-3 loss. The sweep puts Louisville a full 2 games behind NC State for the final spot in the ACC Tournament.

Virginia will head to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech with hopes of claiming the ACC Coastal Division title, while Louisville will head home to face Northern Kentucky during the midweek and Florida State to complete their ACC slate.

Virginia rises in College Baseball Central's latest poll to #13.

#11 Miami (34-21) wins series over Pittsburgh (22-27)

Pitt gave Miami a massive fight at home in each team's penultimate ACC series, but the Hurricanes were able to survive with a series win, largely from a go-ahead pinch-hit sacrifice fly by Dorian Gonzalez, Jr. in the 7th inning of Game 3 on Sunday. On Friday, Miami was able to hold off the Panthers 9-8, thanks to three Hurricane home runs. Saturday went to Pitt, despite the Panthers only getting 4 hits in the game, though Miami pitchers did give up 10 walks in the game to assist in their 7-4 loss. With dreams of hosting an NCAA Regional, Miami needed a series victory and that's what they got on Sunday with a 5-4 win behind Gonzalez's timely SF.

The Hurricanes will take on FIU on Tuesday before hosting #20 Duke in a pivotal ACC finale. Pitt will face in-state rival Penn State during the midweek before heading to North Carolina State to complete their ACC schedule.

Miami falls one spot to #12 in College Baseball Central's latest Top 25.

Notre Dame (29-19) sweeps Akron (18-33)

It wasn't quite the easy weekend Notre Dame expected, but they still managed to sweep Akron in three games. The total margin of victory for the weekend was just 5 runs, and that included a walk-off 2-1 win on Sunday to complete the sweep of a very mediocre Akron squad.

Notre Dame will host Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Tuesday night, before they fly east to take on #21 Boston College in their final ACC series.

#23 Boston College (32-16) sweeps Villanova (13-34)

In a short two-game series that started on Saturday, Boston College needed a comeback to complete an 11-9 win over a bad Villanova team. They took care of business with ease on Sunday, however, getting a 12-3 win to conclude the weekend.

BC takes on Maine in the midweek before hosting rival Notre Dame in their ACC finale. Boston College is now ranked #21 in College Baseball Central's latest Top 25 poll.

ACC Atlantic Standings

  1. Wake Forest 20-6

  2. Clemson 17-10

  3. Boston College 14-13

  4. Notre Dame 14-13

  5. NC State 10-16

  6. Louisville 9-18

  7. Florida State 7-20

ACC Coastal Standings

  1. Virginia 16-11

  2. Miami 16-11

  3. Duke 15-11

  4. North Carolina 14-11

  5. Georgia Tech 12-15

  6. Virginia Tech 11-15

  7. Pittsburgh 10-15

ACC Tournament, May 23-28, Durham, NC (Durham Bulls Athletic Park)

Seeding (As it stands 5/15)

Pool A: Wake Forest (1), Notre Dame (8), Georgia Tech (9)

Pool B: Virginia (2), BC (7), Virginia Tech (10)

Pool C: Clemson (3), UNC (6), Pitt (11)

Pool D: Miami (4), Duke (5), NC State (12)

Out: Louisville, Florida State


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