ACC Baseball Championship Play-In Preview

No. 7 Duke vs. No. 10 Wake Forest: Tuesday, May 24- 11 AM
Previous Meetings: Wake Forest took two out of three in Durham in March. The Deacons smashed the Devils 12-0 in game one then followed with a 3-2 win in 10 innings to secure the series. Duke salvaged a 3-2 win in the finale.
Wake Forest is 6-2 in previous ACC Championship meetings with the last affair going in favor of the Deacons in a 10-1 victory.
Inside the Dugout with the Manager
Ultimately we've had to approach the last couple of weeks here, each game is more or less an elimination game with how jumbled up the ACC standings were, and we've had to play essentially elimination games on the road this past weekend at Pitt, and our guys responded well to that environment and they have done a great job of staying focused, staying loose, staying committed to the moment, which is something that we preach a lot. So I think that even though we're young, we're well seasoned for the start of tournament play, because in essence, our tournament started about two or three weeks ago.” –Duke Head Coach Chris Pollard on his team’s stellar play over the last 30-plus games.
“We are obviously excited to be part of the championship this year, and our team is pumped and ready to go. We've been playing pretty good baseball as of late. This past weekend, ran into a really good Louisville club obviously, but outside of that, feel really good. We are healthy for the most part, and Parker Dunshee is going for us tomorrow night. He's on our ace and our go to guy all year, so obviously feel really good any time he's on the mound. We've got a rested bullpen, and like I said, healthy positionally.” –Wake Forest Head Coach Tom Walter. 
Sizing up the Deacons
Well, I think that Wake Forest is one of the best offensive teams in the country. We'll throw Kellen Urbon tomorrow, who has thrown exceptionally well for us down the stretch, and who pitched well against Wake at Wake Forest back about six weeks or so ago. Wake has a tremendous amount of power in their lineup. They do it from both sides of the plate. You have got Will Craig and Fairchild from the right side, and then you have Mondou and Sheets from the left side.” –Chris Pollard
Sizing up the Blue Devils
“We know we'll have our hands full. Duke is playing really well right now and Kellen Urbon is throwing the ball well. We'll certainly have our hands full in the opener, but we're looking forward to getting back on the field.” –Tom Walter
Around the Horn
It will be a pair of right-handers on the bump with Kellen Urbon going for the Devils and Parker Dunshee taking the pill for the Deacons. Urbon leads the Devils with a 7-1 record and 2.72 ERA and makes his 13th start of the season in a win or go home affair. Dunshee boasts an 8-4 record with a 3.21 ERA as the leader of the Deacs’ rotation.
Offensively, Coach Pollard said it best when sizing up Wake Forest’s lineup. The Deacons have a Major League stick in Will Craig with his team-leading .392 average and 15 home runs, and brings great power from both sides of the plate. Gavin Sheets and Nate Mondou complement Craig in the order making it difficult to play situational ball from the bullpen in the late innings without burning nearly every arm available.
While Duke isn’t quite the offensive juggernaut of Wake Forest, it has a consistent lineup top to bottom led by Justin Bellinger and Jimmy Herron. The key to the Devils’ production lies in the hands of Jack Labosky and Chris Proctor. Both are hitting near .300 with Labosky possessing power at the dish.
Rounding Third and Heading for Home
After starting 1-7 in ACC play, Duke finished the season 13-8, winning nine of its final 10 games. Duke took a series over Florida State earlier in the season and finished with a two-game sweep at Pitt.
Wake was swept by No. 4 Louisville but took 2-of-3 from Virginia Tech in a slugfest that saw the Deacons smack at least 12 runs each game.
The winner advances to pool play as a member of Pool B, joining No. 2 Louisville, No. 3 Virginia and No. 6 Clemson. The Cardinals await the winner of this matchup to open pool play Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
No. 8 Boston College vs. No 9 Georgia Tech: Tuesday, May 24- 3 PM
Previous Meetings: Boston College needed everything, including a lucky horseshoe, to sneak into the final 10 but somehow made it happen. The Eagles swept the Yellow Jackets on the final day of the regular season while taking advantage of Wake Forest and UNC loses. Georgia Tech took game one 6-3 but fell 8-3 and 7-6 in the final day of the regular season.
Inside the Dugout with the Manager
“Obviously as a ballclub, we are excited to be here. I think one of the things that will jump out about this ballclub, when people see the ballclub, is how much fun these boys have and how hard they play and how much fun they have being together. They are as tightly-knit a group as I've ever seen and that's why they have been able to a couple times in the year when it looked like we were kind of out of things, kept their heads down and kept playing hard. So it's a fun team to be around. “ –Boston College Head Coach Mike Gambino on his squad.
“Well, we're excited to be in the tournament. Certainly look forward to playing Boston College, who we just played three times, and is an outstanding team and did a tremendous job of winning their way into the tournament this weekend. We look forward to it, and are anxious to get in there and start playing.” –GT Head Coach Danny Hall.
Sizing up the Eagles
“Well, there's probably not going to be any surprises either way, whether it's us looking at Boston College or Boston College certainly looking at us. They have an outstanding pitching staff, and I think that's one of their strengths. I don't know that you ever look forward to going against a team that has an outstanding pitching staff, but I think that's their strength and they played very well here this weekend. So you know, you don't have any doubt of what's getting ready to come your way, and it's just a matter of going out and executing what we need to execute to have some success.” –Danny Hall.
Sizing up the Yellow Jackets
When you play a team a three-game series, and come right back with them again, Georgia Tech is what you'd expect Georgia Tech to be. They are a really good ballclub and they are really well coached. Obviously you see the numbers, they can really swing it. They have arms in the pen. That's a team that once they get into the NCAA Tournament, that's a team that you could very well see in Omaha. And obviously whether or not we can keep that offense of theirs somewhat in check, because it's a really scary lineup and we all know that. We have all the confidence in the world in our pitching, and what Coach Foster has done with these guys, it's unbelievable and we have some really good arms. But it's still a scary lineup. So got to keep that lineup in check and see who can execute.” –Mike Gambino.
Around the Horn
Good luck keeping the ball in the park with the Yellow Jackets, as every hitter in the lineup has clubbed at least three long balls this season. Kel Johnson is the man who leads the swarm at the plate, clubbing a team-high 11 homers while driving in 51 runs. Tech swings at a .312 clip as a team forcing BC’s pitching to be on top of its game.
Tech will hand the ball to righty Brandon Gold in hopes of surviving to play another day in pool play. Gold owns a 7-3 record with a 2.55 ERA in over 90 innings of work. The Yellow Jackets also have one of the best closers in the league in Matthew Gorst. In his 37 innings, Gorst has a 0.49 ERA with 11 saves on the season.
The Eagles offense has come on strong in the closing weeks of the season, led by Michael Strem and Nick Sciortino. Consistency is the key for Gambino’s offensive unit as the Eagles have only seven more homers as a team than Kel Johnson has by himself. BC is a contact hitting team and needs runners on base to keep the pressure on GT.
Gambino will send Jesse Adams to the hill in his seventh start of the year with hopes of the southpaw pitching the Eagles into the next round. The lefty enters with a 5-4 mark and 4.20 ERA and will need to bring his best stuff to the bump in order to hold down the powerful Yellow Jackets’ bats. Adams owns one start over GT, working seven shutout innings of one-hit ball in a 2015 win.
Rounding Third and Heading for Home
This is Boston College’s first ACC Championship appearance since 2010 while earning a league-leading six series wins this season, including wins over Virginia and Louisville. Boston College has taken five of the last six meetings over the last two years with Georgia Tech, including sweeping the twin bill to close the regular season in Atlanta.
While the appearance is something new for the Eagles, Danny Hall’s Yellow Jackets make their 23rd straight ACC Championship appearance. However, Tech’s only meeting with the Eagles resulted in a loss in 2009.
The winner of this game advances to pool play as a member of Pool A, including No. 1 Miami, No. 4 Florida State and No. 5 N.C. State, with the Hurricanes awaiting the victor for a Wednesday afternoon matchup at 3 p.m.