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ACC BASEBALL: 2014 Championship held at NewBridge Bank Park May 20-25

The ACC Baseball Championship will be played at Greensboro’s NewBridge Bank Park on May 20-25. The participants are the winner of the Atlantic Division, the winner of the Coastal Division and the top eight other teams, based on their conference records, regardless of which division they are in.

Florida State won the Atlantic Division, and Miami ended up victorious in the Coastal Division. Miami, seeded No. 1 in the tournament beat out Virginia, seeded No. 3. The Cavaliers had been ranked No. 1 in the country for the past several weeks by Baseball America. For the record, Miami is ranked No. 4 and Florida State is ranked sixth by Collegiate Baseball.

Ironically, Duke, seeded fourth, was the first Big Four team to clinch a spot in the upcoming Championship. North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest all had to scramble to get in this year. State, with two of the top players in the country, pitcher Carlos Rodon and shortstop Trea Turner (ranked No. 1 and No. 3 respectively by Collegiate Baseball) is seeded 10th, while Carolina is seeded seventh. The Tar Heels were ranked No. 1, nationally, virtually all of last year before being knocked off in the College World Series by UCLA. Preseason, State had been ranked nationally in the top five, but, with the exception of its two stars, had a disappointing season. Also in the ACC tournament are Clemson (seeded No. 5), Maryland (No. 6) and Georgia Tech (No. 9).

On Tuesday, State played Carolina in the first game and Georgia Tech took on Wake. The losers of those games have been eliminated. The division winners get a bye. From there on out, it is double elimination.

This will be the third ACC Baseball Championship to be held at NewBridge in the past five years. In 2010, 50,266 came to the Greensboro Grasshoppers home park watch the tournament, and in 2012, it attracted 52,926. Single-game tickets, Wednesday through Saturday (May 20-24) in the seating bowl are $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 5-12. Single game general admission tickets Tuesday through Saturday are $8 for adults and $4 for children. Championship game reserved tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children. Championship game general admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children. Children under 5 get in free.

“We have an estimate for the ACC Baseball Championship to have an economic impact of $7.5 million,” said Henri Fourrier, president of the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The NCAA has approved the use of experimental instant replay rules during this event.

They are generally only in effect during the College World Series. These rules will allow umpires to review game videos to review home-run calls, fan interference or fair/foul calls.

The fact that Virginia, Miami and Florida State are ranked so high nationally give hope to the speculation that an ACC team could win the College World Series. That has only happened once – way back in 1954, when Wake Forest won it. Miami has won the CWS before, but not as a member of the ACC.

Below are the ACC members of Collegiate Baseball Daily’s ranking of the top 100 college baseball players:

1. Carlos Rodon, left-handed pitcher, N.C. State

3. Trea Turner, shortstop, N.C. State

32. DJ Stewart, outfielder, Florida State

34. Derek Fisher outfielder, Virginia

38. Luke Weaver, right-handed pitcher, Florida State

46. Skye Bolt, outfielder, North Carolina

49. Nathan Kirby, left-handed pitcher, Virginia

55. Branden Cogswell, shortstop, Virginia

59. Mike Papi, outfield-first base, Virginia

83. Trent Thornton, right-handed pitcher, North Carolina

97. Jack Fisher, right-handed pitcher – infield, Wake Forest.

ACC players not included, but listed by Baseball America on its pre-season top 100 college players are Nick Howard, third base-righthanded pitcher, Virginia; Brenton Moss, right-handed pitcher, North Carolina; Logan Jernigan, right-handed pitcher, N.C. State; Daniel Gossett, right-handed pitcher, Clemson; Brandon Downes, outfielder, Virginia; Chris Marconi, first base-outfielder, Duke; Boo Vazquez, outfielder, Pittsburgh; Brett Austin, catcher, N.C.

State; and Andrew Suarez, left-handed pitcher, Miami.

A couple of interesting non-ACC notes here. With State claiming two of the three top spots, No. 2 is Jeff Hoffman, a right-handed pitcher at East Carolina, meaning North Carolina (the state) has the three top college players in the nation. Also, Fischer does not have the monopoly of Triad college players in the top 100. UNCG’s Max Povse, a righthanded pitcher, was ranked No. 99.

Back to the ACC; you won’t be seeing all these players because not all teams are going to make this tournament, but it’s a cinch you’ll be seeing good baseball as players battle for the prestigious ACC baseball crown. Enjoy it while you can in Greensboro. The tournament will be played in Durham for the next four years.

The 2014 MLB Draft will take place June 5-7. MLBPipeline.com has come out with a projection of the draft’s first round and, indeed has Rodon speculated to be the first player chosen. Other ACC players predicted for the first round are Turner (11 th ), Fisher (26 th ) and Howard (31 st ). East Carolina’s Hoffman, who earlier this month underwent Tommy John surgery, was predicted to go 18 th in the mock draft. !

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