Jim Quist @ACCTheQ –
Sunday’s games clinched Super Regional berths for Duke, Florida State and North Carolina. The Battle of the Birds will determine if Louisville will join the other conference teams. The Cardinals and Redbirds of Illinois State meet today at 1:00pm ET to settle two topics. Who advances and which team has the better mascot.
The No. 3 seed in the Morgantown Regional, Duke cleared their path to the Super Regionals with convincing wins over the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds West Virginia and Texas A&M. The Blue Devils who weren’t ranked in the last regular season USA Today/Coaches’ Poll surgically removed the No. 13 team in West Virginia and No. 18 Aggies from the conversation.
Duke will face the top seed out of the Nashville Regional, Vanderbilt in the Super Regional. The Commodores are ranked No. 2 in the poll.
The most recent visit to the CWS for Vanderbilt came in 2015 when they lost to Virginia. The previous year the Commodores defeated the Cavaliers for the title. Virginia’s appearance in 2015 is the most current showing for an ACC team in the championship.
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Before that two year run North Carolina had a back to back appearance in the title series in 2006 and 2007. The Tar Heels faced Oregon State both years and came up short.
The Chapel Hill Regional started off slowly for the No. 1 seed Tar Heels with a 6-5 win over UNC-Wilmington. Solid wins over Liberty and Tennessee followed to clinch a Super Regional berth where they’ll face Auburn. The Tigers knocked off Georgia Tech, the No. 1 seed in the Atlanta Regional, 6-5 and 4-1 to claim the championship.
The Seminoles who ended the regular season well out of the polls and to a degree flying under the radar dominated the Athens Regional. The bats were hot for Florida State as they opened with a 13-7 win over Florida Atlantic. But, how would they do against Georgia, the No. 1 seed and ranked No. 7 in the polls?
That answer came in the form of a 12-3 and 10-1 shellacking of the Bulldogs that perked up the ears of their next opponent in the Super Regionals, LSU.
Will this be the year that the magic happens for Mike Martin at Florida State? The skipper since 1980, Martin has come up short in clinching a CWS title. The last trip was in 1999 against cross-state rival Miami. The 75 year old announced his retirement at the end of this season and a title would be a crowning touch on a career that includes over 2,000 wins. That stat makes Martin the winningest coach in Division I college baseball.
Speaking of stats, the earliest appearance for an ACC baseball team in the championship was 1949 when Wake Forest lost to Texas. The Demon Deacons returned in 1955 to win the conference’s first championship trophy.
And, when it comes to who has the most college baseball titles in the ACC we look to Miami. The Hurricanes won in 1982, 1985, 1999 and 2001. This season ended this weekend against Mississippi State, the No. 1 seed in the Starkville Regional and No. 4 ranked team in the country.
The Louisville Regional will be decided this afternoon at 1:00pm as the Cardinals and Illinois State face off for the third time. In the first meeting the Redbirds, a No. 3 seed pulled a 4-2 upset of No. 1 seed Louisville. In yesterday’s game the Cardinals stormed back with an 11-2 decision. Today’s game, on ESPNU, will send the winner to the Super Regionals to face either East Carolina or Campbell.
The list of teams headed to the Super Regionals –
- Florida State
- Mississippi State
- North Carolina
- Texas Tech
The NCAA Super Regionals features 8 teams hosting an on-campus best of three series. With a brief break in the schedule the action begins on Friday, June 7 through Monday, June 10.
The CWS begins on Saturday, June 15 in Omaha with 8 teams advancing to a two week double elimination bracket. The final 2 teams play a best of three series scheduled for June 24 – 26.
Jim Quist is Managing Editor of ACC Nation, Co-Host of ACC Nation Podcast and a member of FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and ACSMA (Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association). He is enrolled in the Beer Brewer Professional Certificate program at the University of Richmond. Follow him on Twitter @ACCTheQ.