Lineup Card: Snowmageddon Edition
Lineup Card is a weekly roundup of ACC Baseball. Each week will feature 9 points including power rankings.
Well all in all, it was a good week in ACC baseball. Most teams settled in with an opening tournament somewhere down south. Some teams went farther south than they originally imagined which brings us to our first point:
1. How ’bout that snow?
Teams north of the mason-dixon usually can’t use their own field until mid-March due to snow. This week though, a few southern teams fell victim to the weather. The south got its yearly dose of “Snowmageddon” and NC State and Louisville were forced to cancel games. Virginia planned ahead and moved all their weekend games to various sites in Charleston, SC. Thursday’s game took place at a high school with a reported crowd of around 50 people. They stayed perfect in those games to remain undefeated which says a lot about the team.
2. UCLA cruises to take series in Chapel Hill
UCLA took 2 of 3 from UNC, which was probably the best North Carolina could have hoped for. Yet, something still didn’t feel right about the Tar Heels. They seemed to play right into UCLA’s hands throughout the weekend. Benton Moss only lasted 3.2 innings during which he only gave up 2 runs on 4 hits, but threw 86 pitches. UCLA makes other teams beat themselves and UNC did just that. Let’s take the 6th inning for example. UCLA put up 3 runs on a wild pitch, passed ball, and a fielders choice. UCLA did virtually nothing and still put up 3 runs. Overall, UNC made 6 errors throughout the game which ended up being the difference in an 8-5 loss on Friday. They’re still going to be a solid team this year, but they can’t expect to beat the elite teams unless they can minimize the errors.
3. Disappointing weekend at the beach for NC State
NC State didn’t show well this weekend. They had hoped for some close games and a couple wins at Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach. An opening loss to Albany turned the whole weekend sour. The following day’s win over FIU did little to help the team’s confidence as it was followed by a 12-3 thumping by Coastal Carolina. The young Wolfpack team showed they have lots of room for improvement. The talent they need is on the field, but the team itself hasn’t quite come together.
4. Georgia Tech doesn’t go down easy
Also at Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach, Georgia Tech turned in an impressive showing in Myrtle Beach. They started off the weekend right by pounding FIU 16-9, but couldn’t quite get past Coastal Carolina losing 7-5. The Jackets capped off the weekend with a walk-off win over Albany. GT improves to 5-2 on the year with all 5 of those wins coming from behind. While it certainly makes for exciting baseball, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind having the lead a little more.
5. Miami couldn’t get it done in Gainesville
Two top 10 teams battled this weekend as #6 Florida and #8 Miami played a 3 game series. Miami played well, but dropped 2 of the 3 games. These aren’t bad losses but definitely some winnable games for the Hurricanes. They are in the midst of tough times after losing 3 of their last 4.
6. More trouble in the Sunshine State..
#12 Florida State also dropped 3 of their 4 games this week, but all to unranked teams. The ‘Noles lost their weekday game to Jacksonville and then lost 2 of 3 to Georgia. There isn’t just one main problem either. With scores like 4-1 and 10-5, it’s clear that the offense can’t score and pitchers can’t stop the opposition from scoring. A 14 game homestand comes at a perfect time for FSU as they look to regroup.
7. They lost to who?
This week was not without some games that will make you do a double take. Upsets are pretty common in baseball, but it’s more noticeable since many of these upsets feature schools you may not have been aware played baseball. Aside from those already mentioned, Pitt lost to Wofford and East Tennessee State, Virginia Tech lost to Rider, and Louisville dropped a series to Arkansas State.
8. Problems in Louisville
#7 Louisville lost 2 of 3 to Arkansas State this weekend while stranding 20 runners on base in those two games. The Cardinals obviously need to find a way to get these runners in because you can’t expect to be in the top 10 for long only scoring 1 or 2 runs a game. They turned it around in the final game of the series with a 14-8 victory. I’m not completely sold on Louisville yet. One series doesn’t define a season, but when a team struggles early it tends to become a trend.
9. Here are my ACC Power Rankings
1. Virginia (7-0)
2. Miami (5-3)
3. FSU (4-3)
4. Georgia Tech (5-2)
5. North Carolina (4-2)
6. Louisville (3-3)
7. Clemson (4-2)
8. Notre Dame (7-1)
9. Duke (5-1)
10. Wake Forest (4-2)
11. NC State (2-3)
12. Virginia Tech (3-2)
13. Boston College (2-5)
14. Pittsburgh (2-4)