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ACC Weekend Preview (May 19th-21st)

The ACC enters the tenth and final weekend of conference play this week. The Virginia Cavaliers lead the ACC Coastal Division by two games over second place Georgia Tech. UVA will visit North Carolina to try to wrap up the conference title while Georgia Tech visits Virginia Tech. The Atlantic Division is led by the Florida State Seminoles with a 18-9 conference record as they have a three game led over second place Clemson. The two squads will face off this weekend to determine the division winner. The other conference matchups see Duke visiting Miami (FL), NC State at Boston College, and Wake Forest at Maryland.

#1 Virginia at #14 North Carolina

Probable Starting Rotation
Thu. – UVA RHP Cody Winiarski (6-2, 3.14 ERA) vs UNC RHP Patrick Johnson (9-1, 3.07 ERA)
Fri. – UVA LHP Danny Hultzen (9-2, 1.42 ERA) vs UNC LHP Kent Emanuel (6-1, 2.94 ERA)
Sat. – UVA RHP Will Roberts (10-0, 1.41 ERA) vs UNC RHP Chris Munnelly (5-4, 4.08 ERA)

What to Watch For: Danny Hultzen has been outstanding all season as h is 9-2 with a 1.41 ERA while some draft experts have started talking about him going in the top 5 of the 2011 MLB Draft. It Is interesting that the Cavaliers have switched up their rotation this weekend to keep Hultzen on Friday and not push him up to Thursday to give him extra rest for the ACC Tournament next week.

Prediction: UVA 2-1

#12 Clemson at #6 Florida State

Probable Starting Rotation
Thu. CU Dominic Leone (RHP So. 5-1 3.06 ERA) vs FSU Sean Gilmartin (LHP Jr. 9-1 1.25 ERA)
Fri. CU Jonathan Meyer (RHP So. 5-2 2.89 ERA) vs FSU TBA
Sat. CU Justin Sarratt (RHP *Gr. 6-1 1.95 ERA) vs FSU Mike McGee (RHP Sr. 2-2 4.39 ERA)

What to Watch For: Clemson needs to sweep the Seminoles in Tallahassee this weekend to win the Atlantic Division title. It will be a tough task though as the Noles never lose it seems like at Dick Howser Stadium and to sweep them would be a great effort by the Tigers.

Prediction: FSU 2-1

#15 Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech

Probable Starting Rotation
Thu: GT RHP Mark Pope (10-3, 1.46, 98.1 IP, 78 SO) vs. VT LHP Joe Mantiply (5-7, 4.38, 78.0 IP, 60 SO)
Fri: GT LHP Jed Bradley (6-2, 3.10, 81.1 IP, 88 SO) vs.VT RHP Marc Zecchino (5-5, 4.60, 76.1 IP, 90 SO)
Saturday: GT RHP Buck Farmer (9-2, 2.81, 86.1 IP, 82 SO) vs. VT RHP Joe Parsons (7-2, 2.76, 71.2 IP, 49 SO)

What to Watch For: Virginia Tech will need a ton of help to get into the ACC Tournament but to have a chance they will have to sweep the Yellow Jackets and have NC State get swept by Boston College or have Maryland take two out of three with Wake Forest. Highly doubtful but it could happen.

Prediction: VT 2-1

Duke at #23 Miami, Florida

Probable Starting Rotation
Thursday: DU: Robert Huber, RHP (4-0, 4.18 ERA) vs MIA: Bryan Radziewski, LHP (8-2, 3.10 ERA)
Friday: DU: Dennis O’Grady, RHP (5-3, 4.00 ERA) vs MIA: Eric Whaley, RHP (7-4, 2.76 ERA)
Saturday: DU: Marcus Stroman, RHP (3-4, 2.86 ERA) vs MIA: E.J. Encinosa, RHP (4-5, 3.16 ERA

What to Watch For: Duke’s Marcus Stroman has been solid this season for the Blue Devils after a great summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League. He is now 3-4 with a 2.86 ERA and has been extremely good against some opponents this year. One of his opposition coaches said this season that he has the best fastball in the entire conference.

Prediction: Miami 2-1

NC State at Boston College

Probable Starting Rotation
Thursday: NCS TBA vs BC LHP Andrew Lawrence (2-2, 3.24)
Friday: NCS RHP Rob Chamra (7-2, 4.25) vs BC RHP John Leonard (4-6, 4.98) vs.
Saturday: NCS RHP Cory Mazzoni (3-6, 3.93) vs BC Bullpen

What to Watch For: It has been a tough season for Boston College first year head coach Mike Gambino with a ton of injuries in the pitching staff. If the Wolfpack can take care of buisness this weekend, they can clinch a spot in the ACC Tournament and give themselves a shot to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament in two weeks.

Prediction: NC State 3-0

Wake Forest at Maryland

Probable Starting Rotation
Thursday: WF LHP Brian Holmes (3-3, 2.54) vs MD RHP Sander Beck (2-5, 5.77)
Friday: WF LHP Tim Cooney (6-2, 2.61) vs MD RHP David Carroll (5-4, 4.35) vs.
Saturday: WF LHP Austin Stadler (1-8, 9.32) vs MD RHP Brady Kirkpatrick (2-4, 5.71)

What to Watch For: Wake Forest has gotten much better pitching this season behind the duo of Brian Holmes and Tim Cooney. If they can win the series against the Terps, they will secure a spot in the conference tourney next weekend.

Prediction: Wake 2-1