This Week in ACC Baseball (4/18)

Miami Pitcher Thomas Woodrey
This Week in ACC Baseball
ACC Weekly Recap
#8 Florida State vs Wake Forest: 0-9, 13-8, 2-4. Wake Forest wins series 2-1. Parker Dunshee tossed seven strong innings to open the series, allowing only two hits while striking out four in the 9-0 win. It was Wake’s largest margin of victory over a Top-10 opponent since the turn of the century. Ben Breazeale went 2-4 with 4 RBI, a double and home run in the win.
#1 Miami vs Duke: 14-2, 5-12, 9-0.  Miami wins series 2-1. Johnny Ruiz went 4-7 with five runs, 5 RBI and four walks in the Hurricanes’ two wins over the Blue Devils. Willie Abreu added a 3-5 performance in the series opener, knocking in three runs with two doubles.
#11 NC State vs GT: 8-3, 15-6, 7-16. NC State wins series 2-1. McLain went 3-5 with 2 RBI and three runs in the series clinching win.
#12 UNC vs Virginia: 4-7, 8-1, 9-15. Virginia wins series 2-1. UNC had big days at the plate by Tyler Lynn in game one—3 for 3, three runs, triple and home run—and Miller’s 5 for 5 performance in game three, but the Cavilers took the series after a 15-9 shellacking of the Heels in the final game.
Pitt vs VT: 4-5, 6-5, 8-3. Pitt wins series 2-1. Alex Kowalczyk finished the weekend 6 for 12 with four doubles and 3RBI to lead the Panthers back for the final two wins. Nick Anderson went 5 for 5 for the Hokies in the series opener. Garrett Wrambel worked five solid innings of shutout relief for the Hokies, allowing only one hit.
Boston College vs Notre Dame: 1-4, 1-4, 9-11. Notre Dame sweeps 3-0. Ricky Sanchez ripped a double and home run while driving in three as the Irish completed the sweep. Johnny Adams had a 4 for 5 outing with 4RBI and a homer in the loss.
#15 Clemson vs #10 Louisville: 15-2, 7-2, 9-8. Louisville sweeps 3-0. Corey Ray shined with a 7 for 14 offensive display, racking two doubles, a home run, 5 RBI and four runs. Blake Tiberi roped a double and homer with 4RBI in game one. Brendan McKay backed up his seven innings of two hit ball on the mound with a 3 for 5 evening at the plate, driving in two and scoring twice.
Standout Performers
Pitcher of the Week: J.B Bukauskas of UNC fired seven solid innings in the Heels’ 8-1 win over Virginia in game two. Bukauskas allowed only one run while adding 11 more strikeouts to his ACC leading total of 59. The sophomore has a total of 79 strikeouts this season and is averaging 13.5 per game.
Hitter of the Week: Corey Ray of Louisville was a Clemson killing machine at the plate over the weekend. Ray batted .500 in the series, clubbing two doubles and his 5th long ball of the year while plating four runs to propel the Cardinals back to the top of the ACC Atlantic Division.
Conference Matchup of the Week
Notre Dame vs. No. 11 FSU: After a weekend shortfall at the hands of Wake Forest, the Seminoles slipped out of the Top 5, losing four of its last eight including three of its last four. FSU took two over Louisville two weeks ago and has one of the hottest teams in the ACC coming to Tallahassee this weekend.
The Irish’s sweep over Boston College made it five in a row and they have won 13 of the last 15.  The downfall for the Irish, FSU has been nearly perfect at home in ACC play (6-1) while ND is 4-5 on the road.
The Seminoles will likely turn to the weekend rotation of Mike Compton, Drew Carlton and Cole Sands. Compton and Carlton lead the way with 4-2 records on the season but the weekend rotation has a 4.41 ERA, leaving plenty of work to be done to cool the Irish bats. Sands lasted only four innings in the finale, allowing four runs on eight hits. Carlton was roughed up in only 4.1 innings of work, allowing 11 hits and eight runs to the Demon Deacons. Compton had the best outing of the trio, working five-plus innings of three hit baseball before hand the ball to the bullpen in the six.
John Sansone and Taylor Walls sit atop the potent Seminoles lineup, hitting .387 and .372 respectively. The duo has combined for 35 extra base hits, including 27 doubles and seven home runs. FSU is extremely aggressive on the bases; swiping 44-of-54 stolen base attempts this season.
The Irish will combat the Seminoles lineup with the rotation of Peter Solomon, Sean Guenther and Ryan Smoyer, who leads the rotation with a 3.03 ERA and a 3-3 record. Smoyer’s one downfall, walks, as he has allowed 21 over 47.1 innings of work. The duo of Guenther and Solomon will need run support as both owns four-plus ERAs. To the credit of the Irish, its bullpen was stellar over the weekend, as seven relievers saw action in the finale after Smoyer lasted only a third of an inning. Guenther tossed 6.2 innings in game two, allowing only one run while striking out five and giving up no walks, something that will be critical in this series. But the weekend was owned by Solomon, giving up only three hits in seven innings after carrying a no-hitter into the fifth.
The Irish’s lineup is fueled by Ricky Sanchez (.342) and Zak Kutsulis (.323) and both will be needed this weekend to keep things rolling. As a team, ND scores nearly six runs each night, a number that is vital for a series win this weekend in the Sunshine State.
Last Meeting: Notre Dame swept then No. 7 FSU in South Bend, winning 5-2, 4-1 and 2-1.
OUTLOOK: This is a matchup of who’s hot and who’s not, and right now the Irish are scorching hot. With the nearly 4.50 ERA of the Seminoles’ weekend rotation, there are plenty of scoring opportunities for the taking if the Irish can continue its hot hitting. If the series turns into a pitchers duel, give the edge to Notre Dame. Although Notre Dame leads the all-time ACC matchups 4-2, this series is in Florida and FSU has something to prove as the final push of the regular season begins this weekend. While good baseball should be expected all weekend, look for the upset by the Irish, as they take 2-of-3 in Tallahassee.
Preview of the Week’s Other Key Matchups
Georgia Tech vs. No. 20 Clemson: GT sits at 8-9 in fourth place in the Coastal division while Clemson is 8-10 in fifth place in the Atlantic. Although in different divisions, this series is key for both in the ACC standings. Clemson sits only two games behind FSU for second and GT is only a half a game behind UNC and Virginia for second. Clemson took one on the chin to Louisville last weekend as the Cardinals dominated every statistical category.
Much like Clemson, GT had a rough go against NC State but did manage to scrap out a 16-7 win in the series finale. The problem with both teams was there was no consistency throughout the weekend. GT does however own the third best batting average in the ACC (.306) but the Yellow Jackets’ pitching is in the cellar with a 6.16 team ERA. The good news for GT, Clemson is only one spot ahead at 5.49.
Last Meeting: GT took 2-of-3 last year at home, securing the series with a 5-4 10-inning win in the finale.
Outlook: Offense will be the deciding factor in this series as neither program has proven it has a pitching staff that can dominate an opponent. Clemson must find a way to limit the production of Tristin English. In only his freshman season, he’s hitting .443 in ACC contests and leads the conference with 10 doubles and has struck out only five times. Clemson has only mustered up five runs per game in ACC action, something that has not allowed their starting pitching any room for error.
Expect runs a plenty in the shootout with the Yellow Jackets stinging the Tigers twice in the weekend affair.
No. 24 Virginia vs. No. 1 Miami: In a close second to the ACC Matchup of the Week, two Top-25 teams clash in Florida with a chance for Virginia to close the gap in the Coastal division. Miami had its 12-game winning streak snapped by Duke over the weekend but still took the series. Good news for the Hurricanes, they are playing at home, a place they’ve lost only once in ACC play. Virginia hasn’t been the best on the road, but the Cavilers own four wins over Top-25 teams this season, two coming over UNC this past weekend.
Miami swings and pitches it with the best in ACC, entering with a .294 average and a team ERA of 4.31. On the flip side, Virginia is hitting only .256 but has a pitching staff that is comparable to that of Miami, sitting at a 4.32 team ERA.
The Hurricanes will turn to the crafty rotation of Thomas Woodrey, Michael Mediavilla and Danny Garcia with the later anchoring the rotation with a 5-2 record and 2.40 ERA. Virginia will combat with Connor Jones, Adam Haseley and Alec Bettinger and the two at the top have been lights out for the Cavilers. Jones boasts a 5-1 record with a 2.66 ERA but Haseley betters him with a 6-0 mark and 1.42 ERA.
Zac Collins leads the Hurricanes lineup with a .417 clip at the plate and Carl Chester comes in at .391. Collins leads the ACC with 24 RBI in conference games and has earned a league high 22 walks. Matt Thaiss leads the Cavilers’ offensive attack with a  .348 mark including seven extra base hits. The Cavs do have a commodity that most don’t, a pitcher who can rake in Haseley. The sophomore is hitting .342 in ACC play with five doubles and two triples.
Last Meeting: Miami won 9-5 in the 2015 ACC tournament. Miami took 2-of-3 in the regular season meeting in Charlottesville winning 5-4 and 5-2 before falling 8-6.
OUTLOOK: While both have solid rotations, Miami swings it at a much high clip than Virginia, earning the edge in this matchup. The Cavilers best shot at upsetting the No. 1 team in the nation comes in game 2 when Haseley takes the ball to defend his unbeaten record. Should Virginia pull off the upset of the season and sweep in Miami, they would be only one game out of the conference lead, but on the flipside, a sweep by the Hurricanes would send the Cavilers tumbling toward the bottom of the Coastal division.
Other ACC games this weekend include: Louisville at Boston College, Duke at VT and UNC at Wake Forest. NC State and Pitt will entertain nonconference series with North Carolina A&T and Miami (OH) respectively.