ACC Weekend Preview (April 9th-11th)

The ACC enters the fifth weekend of conference action this week which is headlined by number 2 ranked Georgia Tech visiting the Virginia Cavaliers in the marquee matchup. The other matchups see the Florida State Seminoles going to Winston Salem to take on Wake Forest, Miami (FL) visiting Virginia Tech, Clemson at Duke, NC State visiting UNC, and Boston College hosting Maryland.

#2 Georgia Tech at #5 Virginia

Written by Allen J. Kha

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head on the road to Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend to take on the Virginia Cavaliers. Georgia Tech enters the weekend with a 26-3 overall record while being 11-1 in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets feature an extremely balanced and potent offense that scores 11 runs per game, possesses three batters with 10 home runs, and features seven starters with over a .300 batting average. Matt Skole, Chase Burnette, Cole Leonida, and Tony Plagman lead Georgia Tech’s offense, all batting over .350 and have more than 33 RBI.

Georgia Tech comes into Davenport on a tear, having won 12 out of its last 13 games. The Yellow Jackets recently swept Duke last weekend and won its mid-week encounter against Kennesaw State.

RHP Deck McGuire, one of the best pitchers in the nation, comes into Friday’s game with a 5-1 record and 1.53 ERA. RHP Brandon Cumpton and LHP Jed Bradley will most likely pitch Saturday and Sunday.

Virginia enters the weekend with a 25-6 overall record while being 8-4 in ACC play. The Cavaliers won its midweek games against fellow in-state schools James Madison and Radford. The Cavaliers’ offense is extremely prolific, hitting .350 with 262 runs on the season already. Virginia has nine players who see regular playing time batting over .300. Phil Gosselin enters the weekend with a career-best 14-game hitting streak and is hitting .408 this season. Stephen Bruno, a recent inclusion into the three-hole of Virginia’s lineup, bats .475. Keith Werman leads the team with a .484 batting average.

Danny Hultzen, one of the best pitchers in the ACC, comes into Friday’s game with a 4-1 record and 1.57 ERA. Robert Morey and Cody Winiarski will most likely pitch Saturday and Sunday.

Considering Virginia’s bullpen struggles last weekend against NC State, the Cavaliers used the mid-week victories against James Madison and Radford this week primarily to experiment with different bullpen personnel.

Freshman RHP Branden Kline’s two relief appearances highlighted the mid-week games. Coach O’Connor appears to be grooming Kline, previously a mid-week starter and contender for the Sunday starter role, into a shut-down middle reliever. Runs will be at a premium in this series, highlighting the importance of Kline’s move into the bullpen. Kline should provide a valuable arm to Coach O’Connor’s late-inning arsenal, alongside Tyler Wilson and Kevin Arico.

Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday: Georgia Tech – Deck McGuire, Jr., RHP (5-1, 1.53 ERA, 54 K’s) v. Virginia – Danny Hultzen, So., LHP (4-1, 1.57 ERA, 55 K’s)
Saturday: Georgia Tech – Brandon Cumpton, Jr.., RHP (5-0, 5.03 ERA, 25 K’s) v. Virginia – Robert Morey, Jr., RHP (4-1, 3.43 ERA, 34 K’s)
Sunday: Georgia Tech – Jed Bradley, So., LHP (4-1, 3.46 ERA, 50 K’s) v. Virginia – Cody Winiarski, Jr., RHP (3-0, 5.18 ERA, 21 K’s)

Predictions
Brian Foley- UVA 2-1
Allen Kha- UVA 2-1
Kyle Tait- GT 2-1
Skip McCarty- UVA 2-1

Virginia Series Notes
GT Series Notes

#8 Florida State at Wake Forest

The Florida State Seminoles head up to Winston Salem this weekend to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in a three game series. Florida State enters the series with a 22-7 overall record while being 7-5 in ACC play. They are led on offense by Sherman Johnson who has a .369 average with three homers and 29 RBI. Sean Gilmartin has been the best pitcher this season as he sports a 4-2 record with a 3.32 ERA. Wake Forest enters the weekend with a 10-21 overall record while being 2-10 in ACC play. The Demon Deacons are led on offense by Mike Murray who has a .355 average with three homers and 25 RBI. Tim Cooney has been the most consistent starting pitching as he is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in seven starts.

Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday: FSU LHP Sean Gilmartin (So., 4-2, 3.32) vs WF RHP Michael Dimock (So., 1-5, 6.47)
Saturday: FSU RHP Geoff Parker (Jr., 1-0, 6.52) vs WF LHP Tim Cooney (Fr., 3-1, 3.00)
Sunday: FSU LHP John Gast (Jr., 4-2, 5.20) vs WF LHP Austin Stadler (So., 1-2, 5.53)

Predictions
Brian Foley- FSU sweep
Allen Kha- FSU sweep
Kyle Tait- FSU sweep
Skip McCarty- FSU sweep

FSU Series Notes
Wake Forest Series Notes

#12 Miami (FL) at Virginia Tech

The Miami Hurricanes head north this weekend to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in Blacksburg. Miami enters with a 22-7 overall record while being 10-2 in the ACC. They are led on offense by Yasmani Grandal who has a .396 average with five homers and 31 RBI. The top pitcher fro the Hurricanes has been Chris Hernadez who has a 4-2 record with a 2.45 ERA in seven starts. Virginia Tech enters with a 21-10 overall record while being 6-6 in ACC play. The Hokies are led by Austin Wates at the plate as he has a .436 average while hitting four homers and driving in 30 runs. The Hokies pitching staff has been led by Jesse Hahn who has a 4-2 record with a 2.23 ERA in seven starts.

Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday: UM – LHP Chris Hernandez (4-2, 2.45) vs VT – LHP Justin Wright (4-3, 3.95)
Saturday: UM – LHP Eric Erickson (2-1, 3.12) vs VT – RHP Mathew Price (4-1, 4.26)
Sunday: UM – RHP Jason Santana (3-1, 4.46) vs  VT – RHP Jesse Hahn (4-2, 2.23)

Predictions
Brian Foley- VT 2-1
Allen Kha- VT 2-1
Kyle Tait- Miami 2-1
Skip McCarty-VT 2-1

Miami (FL) Series Notes
Virginia Tech Series Notes

#14 Clemson at Duke

The Clemson Tigers head up the road to Durham NC to take on the Blue Devils in a key ACC series. The Tigers enter with a 22-8 overall record while being 9-3 in ACC play. They are led on offense by Brad Miller as he is hitting .327 with two homers and 19 RBI. Kyle Parker is the leading hitter for the Tigers but has been sidelined the last couple of games with an injury. He is hitting .377 with 11 homers and 29 RBI. The best pitcher this year for the Tigers has been Casey Harman who is 5-0 with a 2.14 ERA in seven starts. The Blue Devils enter with a 17-12 overall record while being 9-3 in the ACC. The best hitter this season for the Blue Devils has been Jeremy Gould with a .336 average while hitting three homers and driving in 25 runs. Christopher Manno is sporting the number 1 spot in the rotation with a 1-1 record and a 3.16 ERA.

Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday, April 9- CU: Casey Harman, LHP (5-0, 2.14 ERA) vs Duke: Christopher Manno, LHP (1-1, 3.16 ERA)
Saturday, April 10- CU: Scott Weismann, RHP (3-1, 3.57 ERA) vs Duke: Dennis O’Grady, RHP (0-2, 4.26 ERA)
Sunday, April 11- CU: Will Lamb, LHP (3-1, 3.60 ERA) vs Duke: TBA

Predictions
Brian Foley- Duke 2-1
Allen Kha- Clemson 2-1
Kyle Tait- Clemson 3-0
Skip McCarty- Clemson 2-1

Clemson Series Notes
Duke Series Notes

NC State at #20 North Carolina

The NC State Wolfpack head to intra-state rival North Carolina for a key three game series for both squads. NC State enters with a 20-10 overall record while being 5-7 in the ACC. They are led on offense by Kyle Wilson who is hitting .414 with five homers and 23 RBI. The Pack is led on the mound by Jake Buchanan who is 3-2 with a 4.53 ERA in eight starts. North Carolina enters the weekend with a 20-11 overall record while being 4-8 in the ACC. Jesse Wierzbicki is the top hitter on the team with a .352 average while hitting seven homers and driving in 32 runs. Matt Harvey has been the true ace for the Tar Heels as he is 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA in seven starts this season.

Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday NC State Jake Buchanan, RHP vs UNC Matt Harvey, RHP
Saturday NC State Cory Mazzoni, RHP vs UNC Patrick Johnson, RHP
Sunday NC State TBA vs UNC TBA

Predictions
Brian Foley- NC State 2-1
Allen Kha- NC State 2-1
Kyle Tait- NC State 2-1
Skip McCarty- UNC 2-1

NC State Series Notes
UNC Series Notes

Maryland at Boston College

The Maryland Terrapins head to Chestnut Hill MA this weekend to take on the Boston College Eagles. The Terps enter with a 12-19 overall record while being 3-9 in ACC play. Redshirt sophomore Brandon Padula has been leading the offense with a .413 average with two homers and 21 RBI. Brett Harman has been leading the pitching staff this season with a 3-4 overall record while accumulating a 5.01 ERA but is not listed as one of the probable pitchers this weekend. Boston College enters with a 13-15 overall record while being 4-8 in the ACC. They are led on offense by Robbie Anston who is hitting .348 with a homer and 13 RBI on the year. Pat Dean has been the Eagles number 1 starter this season as he is 5-0 with a 2.93 ERA in six starts but will not be appearing this weekend due to an injury.

Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday (2:30): UMD LHP Eric Potter (2-4, 7.20) vs. BC RHP Mike Dennhardt (1-5, 9.51)
Saturday (1:30): UMD RHP Sander Beck (0-5, 8.35) vs. BC RHP Taylor Lasko (1-0, 3.97)
Sunday (1:00): UMD TBA vs. BC RHP John Leonard (1-0, 0.00)

Predictions
Brian Foley- BC 3-0
Allen Kha- BC 3-0
Kyle Tait- BC 2-1
Skip McCarty- BC 2-1

Maryland Series Notes
Boston College Series Notes