This is Part 2 of our two part ACC Weekend Preview for the first week of conference action from March 6th-8th. In this preview, we look at Maryland at Georgia Tech, Virginia at Wake Forest, and Virginia Tech at Duke. You can view the first part of our ACC weekend preview by clicking here.
Maryland at #10 Georgia Tech
The Maryland Terrapins enter the weekend with an overall record of 4-4 with all four of their wins coming in College Park. They were swept in a three game series by UNC-Wilmington while losing a mid-week game to James Madison. They are led by Terry Rupp who is in his ninth season in charge of the program after a successful run at Tampa.
Maryland’s offense has struggled early in the season with a .286 team batting average. Gerry Spessard has been the top hitter for the Terps at .440 with a homer and a team high 11 RBI. A.J. Casario who entered the season as the most accomplished hitter has started the season off with a .290 average with a homer and six RBI.
The Maryland pitching staff has a team ERA of 4.09. The Terps have seen five different pitchers start a game this season. Matt Fullerton has been the best pitcher during the non-conference portion of the schedule as he is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA in three appearances including two starts, Scott Swinson who was expected to be the ace of the Terps staff entering the season is 1-1 with an ERA of 1.69. Adam Kolarek has the only save of the season for the Terrapins as he has appeared in four games with an ERA of 3.52.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets finished their preseason schedule with a 6-1 overall record with the only loss coming to Georgia Southern. The Yellow Jackets are led by head coach Danny Hall who is in his 16th season with the Georgia Tech program.
The Yellow Jackets offense has a team batting average of .304. Luke Murton has been off to a strong start to the season with a .500 average in his 26 at-bats. Derek Dietrich who entered the season as the top returning position player has struggled with a .269 average with only a homer and nine RBI.
The Georgia Tech pitching staff has a staff ERA of 3.05. Deck McGuire entered the season as the top pitching prospect and has not disappointed at all as he is 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA. Zach Von Tersch has made two starts this season where he has struggled with a 5.73 ERA. Brandon Cumpton will also be starting this weekend where he will be sporting an ERA of 1.50 without a decision after starting one game. Mark Pope has picked up two saves in his four appearances out of the bullpen with an ERA of 1.93.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday: MD RHP Scott Swinson (1-1, 1.69) vs. GT RHP Deck McGuire (2-0, 0.60)
Saturday: MD RHP Ian Schwalenberg (0-1, 4.50) vs. GT RHP Zach Von Tersch (2-0, 5.73)
Sunday: MD LHP Matt Fullerton (2-0, 0.96) vs. GT RHP Brandon Cumpton (0-0, 1.50)
Brian’s Prediction: GT sweeps the Terps.
Vu’s Prediction: The Yellow Jackets sweep the Terrapins.
Virginia at Wake Forest
The Virginia Cavaliers enter the weekend series against Wake Forest with a perfect 9-0 record. They are led by Brian O’Connor who is in his sixth season in charge of the Virginia program.
The Cavaliers have gotten off to a good start on the offensive side accumulating a team batting average of .373. The leading hitter for them has been Steven Proscia who is hitting .486 with two homers and 13 RBI. Dan Grovatt is also above .400 with a .455 average with a homer and 9 RBI. Jarrett Parker is another Cavalier regular who has kept his average above .400 as he checks in at .438 with two homers and 13 RBI.
Virginia’s pitching staff has been outstanding in the first nine games of the season even though they haven’t played the toughest schedule. The top three starting pitchers for Virginia all have ERA’s lower then 1.00. Danny Hultzen has a perfect 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA in 12 innings of work. Neil Davis also hasn’t given up an earned run this season in his two starts while pitching in eleven innings. Andrew Carraway who was the best pitching on the staff entering the season has been outstanding also with a 2-0 record and a 0.68 ERA.
Wake Forest enters the weekend with a 6-1 overall record after losing their last game against UNC-Wilmington. They are led by Rick Rembielak who is in his fifth season with the Demon Deacons.
Wake Forest has been hitting at a .356 during the pre-conference schedule. The top hitter for them is Redshirt Senior Weldon Woodall who enters the weekend with a .552 average with a homer and 12 RBI. Ryan Semeniuk is second on the squad with a .417 average in the first seven games but only has two RBI. He has picked up five stolen bases in six attempts. Dustin Hood (.379), Carlos Lopez (.370), and Evan Ochiltree (.370) are the rest of the Deacons with averages above .300.
The Deacons staff has a 4.71 ERA which is led by Austin Stadler. He has a 2-0 record with a 0.82 ERA in his two starts where he has struck out 12 batters. Daniel Marrs is the only other pitcher with more then one start as he has a 1-0 record and a 3.00 ERA. Phil Negus has the only save of the season as he has made four appearances out of the bullpen with a 1-0 record and an ERA of 3.38.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday:WF LHP Austin Stadler (Fr., 2-0, 0.82) vs. UVA LHP Danny Hultzen (Fr., 2-0, 0.00)
Saturday:WF RHP Brad Kledzik (Sr., 1-1, 6.14) vs. UVA RHP Andrew Carraway (Sr., 2-0, 0.68)
Sunday: WF RHP Michael Dimock (Fr., 0-0, 3.68) vs. UVA TBA
Brian’s Prediction: UVA takes two out of three games from Wake Forest.
Vu’s Prediction: The Cavs take 2 out of 3.
Virginia Tech at Duke
The Virginia Tech Hokies enter the weekend with a 8-1 overall record with the only loss coming to East Tennessee State. They are led by Peter Hughes who is in his third season in charge of the Virginia Tech program.
The Hokies have a team average of .341 during the pre-conference schedule. They are led by Anthony Sosnoskie who has a .452 average while leading the team with three homers. Steve Domecus is second on the squad in batting average with .417 average. It was recently announced that Senior outfielder Sean Ryan will be out the rest of the season as he recovers from a broken bone in his foot.
The Hokies have a team ERA of 2.89 which is led by Sean McDermott. He has a perfect 1-0 record in his two starts with an ERA of 1.50. Rhett Ballard also has a 2-0 record with an ERA of 2.19 to begin his season.
The Duke Blue Devils enter the weekend with a overall record of 6-1 with the only loss coming to in the season opener to LaSalle. The Blue Devils are led by head coach Sean McNally who enters his fourth season in charge of the program.
The offense for the Blue Devils has been solid during the early portion of the season with a team batting average of .321. The top hitter for Duke has been Alex Hassan who is hitting at a .481 clip with two homers and six RBI. Matt Williams is at .400 while Nate Freiman has been the major power source as he has a .391 average with a team high four homers and 13 RBI.
The pitching staff for the Blue Devils have a Team ERA of 2.71 The weekend rotation has been filled by Andrew Wolcott, Christopher Manno, and Jonathan Foreman. Wolcott has a 2-0 record with a 1.29 ERA in his two starts. Christopher Manno is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in his two starts while Jonathan Foreman has no record in his two starts with a 5.40 ERA. Alex Hassan has been serving as the team’s closer this year with two on the year in his only two appearances of the year.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Game 1 – Friday, March 6 (3 p.m.)
Duke Starter: Christopher Manno (1-1, 4.76 ERA)
Virginia Tech Starter: Rhett Ballard (2-0, 2.19 ERA)
Game 2 – Saturday, March 7 (2 p.m.)
Duke Starter: Andrew Wolcott (2-0, 1.29 ERA)
Virginia Tech Starter: Justin Wright (1-0, 4.91 ERA)
Game 3 – Sunday, March 8 (1 p.m.)
Duke Starter: TBA
Virginia Tech Starter: Sean McDermott (1-0, 1.50 ERA) OR Matthew Price (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
Brian’s Prediction: Duke sweeps Va Tech
Vu’s Prediction: The Hokies take 2 on the road