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ACC Weekend Preview (May 6th-8th)

The ACC has a slow week with only four teams facing off in conference play as most of the teams are in the midst of finals. The two series are with North Carolina hosting Maryland and Boston College heading down to Wake Forest.

The out of conference series sees Central Florida visiting Florida State, Gardner-Webb and Clemson facing off in a home and home series, Georgia Tech heading on the road for a rare three game series at Illinois-Chicago, Miami (FL) hosting Hofstra, East Tennessee State at NC State, and James Madison at Virginia Tech.

Maryland (20-29, 5-19 ACC) at North Carolina (34-10, 13-8 ACC)

Maryland heads into the weekend with a 20-29 overall record while being only 5-19 in ACC play. They are coming into the series with a four game losing streak dropping the final two games against NC State before dropping a mid-week two game set to local rival Towson.

The Maryland offense this season has been led by junior second baseman Ryan Holland who is hitting .304 with with 30 RBI. Freshman first baseman Tim Kiene has started to come around as he has upped his average to .252 and is hitting .474 over his last five games.

The pitching for the Terps has been a major issue as they have a staff ERA of 6.51. The most consistent pitcher this year has been David Carroll who is 2-4 with a 5.93 ERA. Freshman LHP/CF Korey Wacker has been a find out of the Maryland bullpen according to head coach Erik Bakich as he is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in nine appearances.

North Carolina heads into the weekend with a 34-10 record while being 13-8 in ACC play. They enter the weekend on a modest three game winning streak as they defeated Miami (FL) in their series finale before defeating East Carolina and Gardner-Webb in midweek action.

The offense has been led by senior first baseman Jesse Wierzbecki and freshman Colin Moran. Wierzbecki is hitting .326 with 32 RBI. Colin Moran has been an absolute stud this season as he is hitting a team high .341 with seven homers and an ACC leading 54 RBI.

Kent Emanuel has been the best starting pitcher for the Heels sporting a 6-1 record and a 2.58 ERA in 13 appearances including nine starts. Patrick Johnson has also been solid with a 7-1 record and a 3.45 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts). Michael Morin leads the team with three saves in his 18 appearances (includes six starts) while being 3-2.

Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday (7 p.m.): RHP Sander Beck (2-4, 5.51) vs. RHP Patrick Johnson (7-1, 3.45)
Saturday (1 p.m.): RHP David Carroll (5-4, 4.34) vs. LHP Kent Emanuel (6-1, 2.58)
Sunday (1 p.m.): RHP Brady Kirkpatrick (2-3, 5.70) vs. RHP Chris Munnelly (4-3, 3.59)

Prediction: UNC 2-1

Boston College (16-26, 7-16 ACC) at Wake Forest (17-26, 7-14 ACC)

Boston College heads down to Wake Forest in a key ACC matchup for both schools as each of them is trying to get into the top eight in the ACC and get to the postseason tournament.

Boston College will open up the series with a 16-26 record while being 7-16 in conference play. They are coming off a series loss to Virginia last weekend but were able to pick up a victory over the number 1 ranked Cavaliers on Saturday. Sophomore outfielder Matt McGovern missed a large portion of the season but is back in the lineup making a major impact. He is the most potent bat in the lineup as he is hitting .424 with 16 RBI in only 26 games (22 starts). Senior infielder Anthony Melchionda is the only other Eagle above .300 at .318 with a homer and a team high 34 RBI.

The Boston College pitching staff has been devastated all season with injuries as Mike Dennhardt suffered a season ending injury in the ACC opener while projected starter Taylor Lasko got injured playing summer ball and missed the entire 2011 season. The BC coaching staff has gone to a pitcher by committee style on both Fridays and Sundays to try to maximize their chances in winning games. On Saturdays, John Leonard has been getting the starts as he is 4-5 with a 4.74 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts).

Wake Forest will enter the Boston College series with a 17-26 overall record while being 7-14 in ACC play. They will be coming off an eight day layoff for finals with their last game taking place against Elon on April 27th.

Redshirt sophomore outfielder Mac Williamson leads the Demon Deacons offense as he is hitting a team high .294 with eight homers and 40 RBI. Junior third baseman Carlos Lopez has shown good power as he also has eight homers on the year to go with a .275 batting average against.

Tim Cooney has been the best pitcher for Wake Forest as he is 5-2 with a respectable 2.70 ERA in ten appearances. Brian Holmes is having a solid campaign as he is 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 11 appearances (seven starts). Austin Stadler has been a major disappointment for the Deacons this season with a record of 1-7 and a 10.34 ERA.

Friday: LHP Andrew Lawrence (2-2, 3.13) vs. LHP Brian Holmes (2-3, 3.12)
Saturday: RHP John Leonard (4-5, 4.74) vs. LHP Tim Cooney (5-2, 2.70)
Sunday: Bullpen vs. LHP Austin Stadler (1-7, 10.34)

Prediction: Boston College 2-1