Baseball

Breaking down the Atlantic Coast

The ACC has six teams ranked in Baseball America’s preseason top 25. The Coastal division is far superior to the Atlantic division but these 12 teams that make up the ACC are dangerous opponents.

Atlantic Division

Boston College: This team is on the rise after making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1967 last year. Junior left hander Pat Dean will lead the way as their No. 1 starter. Losing catcher Tony Sanchez will be tough to replace. He was the No. 4 overall pick in last year’s MLB Draft.

Clemson: They are guided by heralded baseball coach Jack Leggett. They have made the NCAA Tournament 15 of the 16 years under Leggett. The Tigers have always been known for their stellar pitching. Last year they were fifth in the country in ERA (3.68) as a team.

Florida State: Head coach Mike Martin’s a great regular season manager but a postseason failure. The Noles lost a heartbreaker to Arkansas last year in the Super Regionals. FSU will be anchored by Tyler Holt and Mike McGee who were named second and third team preseason All-Americans respectively.

Maryland: The Terps lost three of their top four hitters in terms of batting average. Maryland has to replace 65 percent of its run production and 66 percent of its RBI from 2009.

N.C. State: This team had hitting woes last year with a league worst of .266. Star quarterback Russell Wilson is a two-sport athlete and is also a middle infielder for the Wolfpack.

Wake Forest:  They are going to struggle to say the least. If their team ERA is below 6.00 that would be impressive. They have a new head coach in Tom Walter who hopes to turn the program around.

Coastal Division

Duke: Hats off to Sean McNally, the head coach who has revitalized the baseball program in Durham, N.C. Losing power-hitting first baseman Nate Frieman will leave big shoes to fill as he hit 20 home runs last year. Duke’s pitching staff is solid. They are also the best defensive team in the ACC.

Georgia Tech: The Ramblin Wreck are an offensive juggernaut. A team always known for their discipline and power, the Ramblin Wreck are tough to beat especially at home. They also have reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year Deck McGuire.

Miami: The Canes are going to be a team built on small ball and pitching. They team is extremely fast and will put pressure on opposing defenses. The starting pitching combination of Chris Hernandez and Eric Erickson is the best in the ACC.

North Carolina: It  lost the most talent from last year out of any team in the ACC. Losing Dustin Ackley, who was the No. 2 overall draft pick hurts, but Mike Fox’s a great coach and the Tar Heels have been to the CWS four straight years.

Virginia: They are the reigning ACC Champions and had the hardest route to the CWS last year where they ended up going to Omaha for the first time in program history. All-American outfielder Jarrett Parker and ACC Freshman of the Year Danny Hultzen are two players to watch out for.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies are probably the worst team in the Coastal Division. This is a team with not much power but could play a spoiler down the stretch.

Justin Antweil may be contacted at jantweil@themiamihurricane.com.

February 17, 2010

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Justin Antweil

Senior Sports Writer


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