Florida State closer Luke Tucker is expected to have surgery on his right shoulder by the end of this month to effectively end his season that never started. Tucker was expected to close but was shutdown in pre-season workouts with pain in his throwing arm. Mark Martin Sr. expects Tucker to return next season to fill the back end of the bullpen.
The ACC will be opening their conference season this weekend with many interesting match-ups with Miami visiting Chapel Hill being the marquee event.
Miami at UNC
The UNC Tar Heels will enter the ACC portion of their schedule with a 12-1 record. The only loss was to Penn State last weekend in extra innings when they lost 3-2. They have also been getting tremendous pitching on the season in which they have only given up more than 4 runs once. UNC starting pitchers of Robert Woodard and Alex White both have an ERA of less than 1.00 while third starter Luke Putkonen has a 1.08 ERA. Josh Horton is leading the Tar Heels at the plate with a .421 average. Miami enters with a slightly poor record of 10-6 this season. They had some tough series losses to Mercer and Florida. They also lost a single game to St. Bonaventure this week by a score of 5-2. Miami is led at the plate by Yonder Alonso who is hitting .453. Miami’s pitching staff has been weak this season after Eric Erickson who has a 2-1 record with 2.14 ERA. Scott Maine is suppose to be the ace of the staff but has a 2-2 record with a 5.00 ERA. Manny Miguelez is 0-0 with a 5.48 ERA in his five starts. The Hurricanes need to improve these numbers this weekend or the Tar Heels will roll easily. The College Baseball Blog predicts UNC to sweep the Hurricanes.
Expected Pitching Match-ups
Friday: Scott Maine (2-2, 5.00 ERA) faces Robert Woodard (3-0, 0.92 ERA)
Saturday: Eric Erickson (2-1, 2.14 ERA) faces Alex White (2-0, 0.95 ERA)
Sunday: Manny Miguelez (0-0, 5.48 ERA) faces Luke Putkonen (3-0, 1.08 ERA)
Virginia at Wake Forest
The Virginia Cavaliers visit Winston-Salem this weekend to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to open up the ACC slate for both schools. The Cavs enter with a 15-1 record with the only loss to Coastal Carolina which is not that bad of a loss now. Brandon Marsh has been clutch over the last two games with game winning hits against Delaware and James Madison. David Adams, Greg Miclat, Jeremy Farrell, and Brandon Guyer are all batting over .400 this season. All-American pitcher/first baseman Sean Doolittle is the seventh best hitter on the team with a hefty .333 batting average. Doolittle also leads the team on the mound with his minuscule ERA of 1.17 with a 4-0 record. Jacob Thompson is the number 2 starter also has a 4-0 record with a 0.75 ERA and third starter Matt Packer has a 2-0 record with a 2.57 ERA. Wake Forest is coming into the weekend series with a 9-4 record. They knocked off High Point and Gardner-Webb this week after taking two out of three over last weekend against UNC-Wilmington. Wake Forest is led on offense by Allan Dykstra who leads the team with a .347 batting average. The Deacons use an effective but not potent pitching staff with Brad Kledzik as the Friday starter. He has a 1-1 record with a 4.32 ERA. Eric Nielsen has landed in the number 2 hole with his 2-0 record and a 3.10 ERA. The third starter is Garrett Bullock who enters the weekend with a 1-0 record and a 5.74 ERA. The College Baseball Blog predicts that the Cavs take two out of the three games of the series.
Expected Pitching Match-ups
Friday: Sean Doolittle (4-0, 1.17 ERA) against Brad Kledzik (1-1, 4.32 ERA)
Saturday: Jacob Thompson (4-0, 0.75 ERA) against Eric Nielsen (2-0, 3.10 ERA)
Sunday: Matt Packer (2-0, 2.57 ERA) against Garrett Bullock (1-0, 5.74 ERA)
Maryland visits NC State
The North Carolina State Wolf Pack welcome the Maryland Terrapins to Raleigh to open the conference schedule for each school. The Wolf Pack has an 11-4 record and are coming off a victory over North Carolina A & T on Wednesday by a score of 6-2. They also lost to UNC-Greensboro 10-8 on Tuesday. NC State is led on offense by Ryan Pond who is hitting .333 on the season with 3 homers and 16 RBI. Andrew Brackman who decided to focus on baseball this year over joining the basketball team is the number 1 starter and he has a 3-0 record with a 2.01 ERA. The second starter’s spot is filled by Eric Surkamp who has a 2-1 record with 2.45 ERA and to fill out the weekend rotation is Jeff Stallings who has a 2-0 record with a 3.44 ERA. The closer role for the Wolf Pack is filled by Eryk McConnell who is 1-0 with four saves and an ERA of 0.00 in his seven appearances. Maryland has jumped out to a surprising mark of 9-3 to begin the season. The Terps are coming off a series with the Lafayette Leopards in which the Terps won two out of the three games. They are led on offense by catcher Chad Durakis who is batting .341 on the season and AJ Cesario who is batting .340. The Terps pitching staff has been very average this season which is led by staff ace Casey Baron who only is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA on the season. Ryan Moorer who started against Boston College last year when the College Baseball Blog saw him last is expected to be the number two starter for the Terps. He seemed to have a decent fastball last year but had to develop another pitch to become more successful in the ACC. He enters with a 2-0 record and a 3.15 ERA. Kevin Biringer finishes out the Terps pitching staff with his 1-2 record and a 5.52 ERA. The Terps also have Stopper of the Year candidate Brett Cecil in the bullpen. He has a 2-1 record with 3 saves and an ERA of 3.09. The College Baseball Blog believes the Wolf Pack will sweep the Terps this weekend.
Expected Pitching Match-ups
Friday: Casey Baron (2-0, 4.50 ERA) against Andrew Brackman (3-0, 2.01 ERA)
Saturday: Ryan Moorer (2-0, 3.15 ERA) against Eric Surkamp (2-1, 2.45 ERA)
Sunday: Kevin Biringer (1-2, 5.52 ERA) against Jeff Stallings (2-0, 3.44 ERA)
NC State Game Notes
Maryland Game Notes
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech
Danny Hall welcomes Peter Hughes and his Hokies to Atlanta to open each schools ACC slate of games. The Yellow Jackets had some major issues with the Peter Hughes system of baseball when they visited Hughes last season at Boston College. BC actually took the final two games of the series to wake up the Yellow Jackets before their big run to the College World Series in 2006. The Yellow Jackets enter this weekend series with an 8-5 record. They have won last weekend’s series with Rutgers by taking two out of the three games. The Rambling Wreck have some major issues with their pitching staff which is led by David Duncan. The tall lefty enters the series with a 3-1 record and a 4.91 ERA. He had a shaky start last season at Boston College when The College Baseball Blog saw him. He gave up five runs in his five innings of work. The Yellow Jackets other starting pitchers are John Goodman who has a 0-0 record with a 4.50 ERA and Ryan Turner who is 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA. All three starters need to step up for the Yellow Jackets to have a successful season that ends in Omaha. The Yellow Jackets still are loaded on the offensive side of things with Matt Wieters and Danny Payne. Wieters is hitting .350 with 3 homers on the young season and is one of the top prospects for the 2007 MLB Draft. Danny Payne is batting .404 in the lead off role for the Yellow Jackets. The Hokies of Virginia Tech enter the series with an 8-5 record overall also. The Hokies are in a transition year with Peter Hughes taking over the program this season. They will play more small ball under Hughes who brought his style over from Boston College. The Hokies offensive leader is Joe Cueto who is hitting .325 for the season. Greg Fryman is the ace of the staff with his 1-1 record and a 5.79 ERA. Andrew Wells will be taking the number 2 starter’s role with his 1-0 record and 4.76 ERA. David Cross finishes out the weekend conference rotation with a 1-2 record and a 3.00 ERA. The College Baseball Blog predicts that Georgia Tech will sweep the Hokies.
Expected Pitching Match-ups
Friday: Greg Fryman (1-1, 5.79 ERA) against David Duncan (3-1, 4.79 ERA)
Saturday: Andrew Wells (1-0, 4.76 ERA) against John Goodman (0-0, 4.50 ERA)
Sunday: David Cross (1-2, 3.00 ERA) against Ryan Turner (1-2, 4.76 ERA)
Boston College at Duke
The Duke Blue Devils will welcome the Boston College Eagles to Durham this weekend for the conference openers for each team. The Duke Blue Devils have been the surprise of the ACC this season by starting the season 15-1. The Blue Devils have been led on offense by Jonathan Anderson who has a .417 batting average while stealing seven bases. Tony Bajoczky leads the pitching staff with a 3-0 record and a 1.16 ERA in his four starts. The other two weekend starters in Andrew Walcott and Jeremy Gould have been atrocious this season. Walcott has a 2-0 record but has a very high ERA of 5.50. Jeremy Gould has a 0-1 record with an 8.74 ERA. The Boston College Eagles enter after knocking off Villanova in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday with a 2-6 record. They are led on offense by freshman Michael Belfiore who is hitting .440 in the first eight games of this career. Tony Sanchez, Johnny Ayers and Ryan Hutchinson are all hitting above .300 this season. The problem with the weak start from the Eagles has been their terrible closing of games. BC closer Dan Houston has pitched in five games this season and has a 0-3 record with one save and an ERA of 16.62 in his 4.1 innings of work. The Boston College starting pitching has been average with Kevin Boggan taking over the Friday starter role in the absence of Terry Doyle. Boggan has a 1-0 record with a 3.60 ERA in his two starts. Adam Crabtree has taken over the number 2 role in the rotation and has been terrible with a 0-2 record with an ERA of 9.72. The third weekend starter role has been going to Nick Asselin in the early part of the season. He has a 0-0 record with a 7.36 ERA. He did pitch extremely well against Vanderbilt in his first start of the season. The College Baseball Blog expects the Eagles to compete hard this weekend but they will get swept by the Blue Devils.
Expected Pitching Match-ups are unavailable at press time.
Duke Game Notes
BC Game Notes (I wonder if I will get some)
Non-Conference ACC Action
Clemson hosts Memphis
The Clemson Tigers will host Memphis this weekend for a three game set. The Clemson Tigers enter the series with an 8-3 record. They were swept by South Carolina last weekend in the two game set but picked up a win over Coastal Carolina in a mid-week contest. Memphis has a 7-3 record and has a record of 0-3 on the road. The College Baseball Blog predicts that Clemson sweeps the Memphis Tigers.
Expected Pitching Match-ups
Friday: Scott McGregor (0-1, 27.00 ERA) against David Kopp (1-1, 4.11 ERA)
Saturday: Marc Ashley (0-0, 2.61 ERA) against Ryan Hinson (0-0, 1.20 ERA)
Sunday: Lance Scoggins (0-0, 1.42 ERA) against TBA
Clemson Game Notes
Memphis Game Notes
Indiana at Florida State
The Florida State Seminoles host the Indiana Hoosiers for a three game set that starts on Friday. The Seminoles will try to increase their record start of 17-0. They are led by hot hitting Tony Thomas Jr. who leads the team with a .527 batting average. He was named the ACC Player of the Week for the second time this season this week. Bryan Henry leads the Seminole pitching staff with a 4-0 record and a 2.63 ERA. Micheal Hyde has been holding down the Saturday spot in the rotation with a solid 5-0 record and a 2.17 ERA. The Seminoles have been having some problems filling the third spot in the rotation but it looks like Ryan Strauss might be there for good as he has a 3-0 record and a 2.62 ERA. Indiana enters with a 4-4 record on the season. They have the typical late start for a Northern school thus the reason for such a low total of games. The Hoosiers are coming off a 6-0 victory over Butler in Bloomington. Evan Crawford leads the Hoosiers in hitting with a .500 average in the first eight games. The Hoosiers pitching staff has been up and down through the first eight games of the season with a Team ERA of 3.36. The College Baseball Blog predicts FSU to go to 20-0 on the season.
Friday: Bryan Henry (4-0, 2.63 ERA) against TBA
Saturday: Micheal Hyde (5-0, 2.17 ERA) against TBA
Sunday: Ryan Strauss (3-0, 2.62 ERA) against TBA
The UNC Tar Heels picked up a 14-0 victory over the helpless Temple Owls on Wednesday. Reid Fronk, Josh Horton, Chad Flack, and Dustin Ackley each drove in multiple runs to the lead the Tar Heels to the victory. Adam Warren earned the win as the Tar Heels used seven pitchers to combine on a seven hit shuout. Temple starter Tom Bingham picked up the loss to head to 1-2 on the season. North Carolina will be back in action this weekend when they open the ACC season hosting Miami while Temple hosts Buffalo on Saturday for a doubleheader and Sunday for a single game.
The Boston College Eagles picked up a 10-9 victory over Villanova in the first game of two on the day. Boston College used a key hit by freshman John Spatola to drive in Peter Frates from second base for the walk-off victory. Eagles pitcher Terry Doyle pitched the final 2.1 innings while giving up two runs on four hits to get the victory. Villanova pitcher Gus Guida picked up the loss.
BC and Monmouth tied 3-3 in the nightcap but there is very little info on the game.
Virginia Tech 4
Virginia Commonwealth 9
The VCU Rams got seven runs in the first two innings to cruise to a 9-4 victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies.
The Duke Blue Devils have continued their strong start to the season with a 7-4 victory over the Temple Owls. They used a squeeze play in the bottom of the sixth by Jonathan Foreman which got Alexander Hassan home to get the 5-4 lead and they tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning to get to the final score.
NC State 8
The UNC-Greensboro Spartans used a seven run fifth inning to cruise to a 10-8 victory over the NC State Wolfpack. Korey Judd picked up the win for the Spartans while Nate Karns picked up the loss.
NC State Recap
St. Bonaventure 5
Miami (FL) 2
Eddie Williams was able to scatter six hits and seven walks to only allow two runs in his 6.2 innings of work to pick up the huge victory for the Bonnies. It is only their second victory on the season. Miami was led on offense by Mark Sobolewski who went 4-4 in the losing effort.
James Madison 5
Brandon Marsh picked up his second straight game-winning RBI as he drove in Greg Miclat with the winning run in the ninth inning. Jake Rule picked up his first victory in a Cavs uniform while Casey Lambert picked up his third save of the young season. Allie Swanson picked up his third loss of the season for the Dukes. All-American Kellen Kulbacki went 1-4 in the losing effort for the Dukes.
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to pull out a 5-4 victory over Gardner Webb on Tuesday. Wake Forest was held to three hits and no runs through the first eight innings. The ninth inning was a different story as the Deacons came up with five hits and five runs for their third walk-off victory of the year. Willy Fox hit a two run double to drive in the tying and winning runs to be the hero on the day. Wake Forest will be back in action on Wednesday when they host High Point. Wake will send Alex Weisner (0-0, 8.31 ERA) to the mound to face Brandon Moore (0-0, 9.00 ERA). Gardner-Webb will be back in action on Friday when they visit Georgia.
The Boston College Eagles have continued their closer struggles by blowing a three run lead in the ninth inning on Tuesday night to let the Florida International University Panthers pull out a 11-10 victory. Boston College closer Dan Houston pitched a perfect eighth inning before running into trouble in the ninth. With a three run lead in the ninth, Houston gave up a lead-off double to Corey Lozano and then hit Bryan Pullin to set up first and second with none out. Mik Aoki decided to make a pitching change and brought in Mike Belfiore from first base to pitch. Belfiore promptly gave up a James McOwen single up the middle to make it a 10-8 game with runners on second and first still. Next batter, Luis Bautista hit a single to left field which let both runners score and Bautista ended up on second base as the winning run in the tie game. Chris Dunn ended up coming into the game to pinch run for the catcher Bautista. He then advanced to third base on a wild pitch which could not be stopped by catcher Jett Ruiz. Tyler Townsend hit a single up the middle to drive in Dunn for the winning run. FIU now has a record of 10-6 on the season and will host Rutgers on Friday for a 3 game set. Boston College now has a 1-6 record overall and will play Villanova and Monmouth on Wednesday. BC has blown five games on the young season and they better get their bullpen together on Wednesday because the ACC season opens up on Friday with a visit to Duke.
BC Recap (I’ll be shocked if I get it before 4 pm on Wednesday)
FIU will receive a visit tonight at 7pm from the Boston College Eagles. BC is coming off another devastating loss yesterday to Penn when Dan Houston picked up his third loss of the season. BC stands at 1-5 early this season. FIU enters the game with a 9-6 record after playing a weekend series with Wagner in which the Panthers took 2 out of three games.
Tony Thomas Jr of Florida State was named Player of the Week in the ACC for the week ending on March 5th while Duke’s Micheal Ness was named Pitcher of the Week. Tony Thomas Jr. led the Seminoles to a 4-0 record by hitting .611 (11-18) for the week. Ness picked up two victories this week with a start against North Carolina A & T and a relief appearance win against Holy Cross on Saturday.
The Boston College Eagles have continued to struggle early in the season with another one run loss this time to the Penn Quakers. Kyle Armeny hit the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth over the right field wall to give the Quakers the 7-6 victory. Johnny Ayers went 3-5 to lead the Eagles on offense while the Quakers were led by Alex Nwaka who went 3-4 in the victory. The Quakers will be off on Tuesday and will play St. Bonaventure on Wednesday while BC heads to FIU for a Tuesday night game.
This was Dan Houston’s third loss of the young season and hopefully the end of the experiment of him closing out game. I believe that Houston needs to head back into the rotation and switch with Adam Crabtree in the starter’s role. It makes sense since neither player is getting their current jobs done on the field.