ACC Weekly Roundup (April 1-3, 2022): Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected.


That has been the theme of the ACC this year. So far, we have seen Notre Dame sweep Florida State, Louisville sweep Notre Dame, Pittsburgh has won series against both Louisville and Clemson, Georgia Tech swept Virginia Tech, and Virginia Tech beat North Carolina.


The chaos is just beginning.


Let's take a look at what happened around the league this weekend.


No. 20 Notre Dame Stops Losing Skid, Sweeps No. 3 Florida State


After losing four straight ACC games, the Fighting Irish bounced back in a big way, sweeping the Seminoles in Tallahassee. The two teams were picked as favorites to win the ACC Atlantic Division prior to the season, but Notre Dame proved they can win in a myriad of ways over the weekend.



The Fighting Irish won the Friday night game due to pitching, they won Saturday due to bullpen depth, and the offense came alive on Sunday to complete the sweep.


Entering the 12th inning on Friday night, the score was knotted at zero, when Ryan Cole hit a two run, no-doubter to left field to break the tie. The score would hold as Notre Dame took game one, 2-0.


Cole would homer again on Sunday to help lead the offensive attack to shock Florida State on their home field. Carter Putz connected on home runs on both Saturday and Sunday to help propel Notre Dame to victory.


Pittsburgh Shocks No. 9 Louisville for Second Consecutive Top 25 Series Win


After taking both games from Clemson a week ago, the Panthers bounced back to win the series against the visiting Cardinals. Pittsburgh was picked to finish dead last in the Coastal Division, but the Panthers have made their presence known against two of the better teams in the league.



Matt Gilbertson looked like a Pitcher of the Year candidate in the first game of the series, throwing seven strong innings, giving up just two earned runs against one of the best offenses in the country.


After Louisville evened up the series with a 14-6 trouncing in the second game, the Panthers clawed back on Sunday, winning the rubber match 6-3. Pittsburgh hit six home runs over the weekend, led by Kyle Hess and CJ Funk, both with two apiece.


No. 6 Virginia Stays Hot, Dominates No. 27 Georgia Tech


The Cavaliers have been one of the biggest surprises in the country this season, improving to 25-3, 9-3 in ACC play. Georgia Tech took the first game of the series on Friday night, but Virginia exploded for 31 runs over the final two days to take the series.


Pitching and defense wins championships, but when you are near the top ten in almost every offensive category, you will win plenty of games and put yourself in the conversation to make it to Omaha.



Six of the Cavaliers everyday starters are batting above .300, led by Jake Gelof with a .435 average, who has also added 13 home runs and 48 RBI. If the season ended today, Gelof would have made a strong case to be named ACC Player of the Year.


Brian O’Connor and his club will have their hands full next weekend as the Cavaliers travel to Coral Gables to take on Miami, the current leaders of the Coastal Division. All eyes will be on the Top 5 matchup.


No. 26 North Carolina State Upends No. 31 Clemson


It appears that the Wolfpack have found their stride after winning five of their last six conference games against two quality opponents, Georgia Tech and Clemson.


The Tigers dominated game one on Friday, 14-3, but were unable to finish off the Wolfpack in the final two games of the weekend. North Carolina State pounded out 25 hits and scored 14 runs to finish the comeback and win the series.



Noah Soles was unconscious over the weekend, leading the Wolfpack with eight hits, seven RBI, and two home runs. He entered the weekend with just four RBI and one home run the entire season. College baseball is as good as it gets.


No. 4 Miami Sweeps Duke, Prepares for Showdown with Virginia


Entering the season, Head Coach Gino DiMare’s team was under plenty of scrutiny with more than a dozen players opting to transfer to other schools. The Hurricanes have answered the call, beginning the season with a 21-6 record and leading the Coastal Division at 10-2 after four series.


Although he did not pick up the victory on Friday, Carson Palmquist continued his dominance, tossing six innings, giving up one run, and striking out 12 batters. Palmquist will have his hands full next weekend against one of the top offenses in the nation. The scouts will be out in full force next Friday to see how he responds to the visiting Cavaliers.



Yohandy Morales pitched in with five hits, three RBI, three runs, and a home run this weekend.


Duke is flirting with disaster, falling to 12-16 and 3-9 in ACC play. Skipper Chris Pollard seemed to have his program rolling, winning the ACC Tournament for the first time in school history last year, but it will take a miraculous effort for the Blue Devils to turn it around this season. It has happened though; ask North Carolina State’s team from a year ago.


Virginia Tech Upsets No. 16 North Carolina in Chapel Hill


It is time that we start putting some respect on Virginia Tech’s name this season. The Hokies traveled to North Carolina and put up 25 runs against one of the top five pitching staffs in the entire country.


Virginia Tech blasted eight home runs, including six on Friday night to set the tone for the weekend. Gavin Cross belted three home runs while Carson DeMartini added two. The following stat is not a typo. Through 24 games this season, Jack Hurley is batting .453. He also leads the team with 31 RBI and is second with nine home runs.



The Hokies will have another chance to pick up a quality series next weekend as they return to Blacksburg to take on North Carolina State. Is this the year Virginia Tech makes it back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013? We shall see.


No. 33 Wake Forest Takes Two of Three from Boston College


Talk about offense, the Demon Deacons poured it on the Eagles this weekend, scoring 41 runs on their way to a series victory. The bad news for Wake Forest fans; the pitching staff gave up 25 runs to a Boston College team that is 2-10 in conference play.


Brock Williken made a strong case for ACC Player of the Week, contributing with five hits, ten RBI, five runs, and three home runs over the weekend.


On the mound, Rhett Lowder improved to 6-1 on the season with his only loss coming to Virginia. He has now picked up victories over Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Boston College. He gives Head Coach Tom Walter’s group an advantage every time he takes the mound and is a viable candidate to be First Team All-ACC.

 

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