NC State Baseball Begins Play In The ACC Tournament On Wednesday
May 19, 2002
RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State will begin play in the 2002 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament on Wednesday. May 22, with a 5 p.m. matchup with Wake Forest. The Wolfpack, 32-24 and the seventh seed in the tournament, has won six games in a row, including a three-game sweep of sixth-seeded Virginia this past weekend in the final games at the old Doak Field.
All of NC State's games in the tournament will be broadcast on WKNC, 88.1 FM, and can be heard via the internet on www.gopack.com by following the links to the webcast. Tony Haynes will handle the play-by-play on the broadcasts. In addition, live in-game stats will be provided all NC State games on gopack.com, and for all tournament games on www.theacc.com.
Following are the first-round pairings for the 2002 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament:
On Tuesday, May 21, #8 Maryland faces #9 Duke at 7:30, with the loser eliminated from the tournament.
On Wednesday, May 22, #4 Clemson will play #5 Georgia Tech at 10 a.m., and the Maryland-Duke winner will play top-seeded Florida State at 1:30 p.m. NC State and Wake Forest will play at 5 p.m., and #3 North Carolina will take on #6 Virginia at 8:30 p.m.
THE SERIES VS. WAKE FOREST: NC State leads the series with Wake Forest 121-93, with four ties in the series. Earlier this season, the Deacons defeated the Wolfpack twice in three games at Doak Field. NC State took the first game, 5-4, but dropped the final two games of the series, 8-6 and 13-7.
Wake Forest has won eight of the last nine meetings between the two teams, dating back to the 2000 season, and in the ACC Tournament, the Deacons have beaten the Wolfpack three times in a row, including a 17-4 blowout in the championship game a year ago. Overall, NC State has won seven of 12 overall meetings against Wake Forest in the tournament, including a 2-2 mark in opening-round games. The last time the two clubs met in the first round, in 1998 in Durham, the Deacons beat the Pack 9-1 and went on to win the championship, the first of three in four years under head coach George Greer.
NC STATE VS. THE FIELD IN ACC TOURNAMENT PLAY: NC State has played 113 games in ACC Tournament play over the years, and only Clemson with 127 has played more. The Wolfpack enters play in this year's tournament with a 63-50 mark in the tournament, and the Pack's 63 wins again ranks second only to Clemson with 84. The Wolfpack has played in nine title games and has won four championships.
NC State is 7-5 against first-round opponent Wake Forest in tournament play. North Carolina and Virginia, the other two teams on the same side of the bracket, also have losing records against the Pack in tournament play. NC State is 11-7 against Virginia and 9-7 against UNC. Against the teams on the other side of the bracket, NC State is 5-0 against Maryland and 10-2 against Duke, but 9-13 against Clemson, 3-7 against Florida State, and 9-9 against Georgia Tech.
LAST YEAR IN FORT MILL: NC State finished eighth in the ACC's regular-season standings a year ago, the Wolfpack's lowest finish since 1959. The punishment for finishing eighth or ninth in the nine-team ACC these days is a berth in the play-in game between the two bottom teams at 7:30 on Tuesday evening. The winner then gets to play the top-seeded team at 1:30 Wednesday afternoon. Given those circumstances, it's no surprise that few teams ever survive long after competing in the play-in game.
The Wolfpack last season proved to be the exception, and did so the hard way, defeating Maryland 11-5 in the play-in game, but losing 11-5 to Florida State the next morning. The Wolfpack took a 4-4 tie into the bottom of the eighth inning and allowed seven runs, six of them unearned.
From that point on, NC State had its back to the wall in the double-elimination tournament, but won four games in three days to advance all the way to the championship game against Wake Forest. The Wolfpack started its road to the finals with a 5-3 win over Duke on Thursday, and then eliminated Virginia, 6-2, Friday. On Saturday, the Wolfpack eliminated a pair of ranked teams from contention. NC State beat 15th-ranked Georgia Tech 6-4 in the second game of the day, and then stayed on the field and upset ninth-ranked Florida State 8-4.
The win over the Seminoles took what little juice the Wolfpack had left, and Wake Forest handed NC State a 17-4 drubbing in the championship game. Still, the Wolfpack set several records. The Pack's five wins rank as the most ever by a team that did not win the championship, and no team had ever eliminated five different teams in a single tournament.
For the record, NC State is 41-24 in elimination games in ACC Tournament play.
THE BATS COME ALIVE: Final exams couldn't have come sooner. NC State headed into finals having played a frightful stretch of games that saw the Wolfpack lose seven in a row and 10 of 11.
Following a week off for academics, the Pack snapped its seven-game losing streak May 10 with a 7-6 win over The Citadel. Maybe that was all it took, but NC State has gone on to win six in a row heading into the ACC Tournament this weekend, thanks to a revitalized offensive attack.
In the six wins, the Wolfpack has batted .384 (84-for-219) with 19 doubles and nine home runs. The Wolfpack scored 63 runs in those six games, an average of 10.5 runs per game, and collected 84 hits, an average of 14 hits per contest.
In the 11 games leading up to final exams, NC State batted just .257 (95-for-369) with 13 doubles and 11 home runs, and scored just 54 runs.
WHO'S HOT: Several Wolfpack hitters have heated up as the season has wound down, and not surprisingly, the hottest is two-time All-ACC outfielder Brian Wright, who comes into play in the ACC Tournament on a 12-game hitting streak, during which he is batting .468 (22-for-47) with seven doubles, six home runs and 14 RBIs.
Junior designated hitter Justin Riley got hot following the exam break, batting .500 (15-for-30) in NC State's final six games. Riley has three doubles, a home run and 10 RBIs in those six contests.
Sophomore catcher Colt Morton also got hot following exams, hitting .391 (9-for-23) with two doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs in his last six games.
Sophomore outfielder Joe Gaetti, last year's ACC Tournament hero, has batted .452 (14-for-31) with three doubles, three home runs and 12 RBIs in the last eight games of the regular season.
Sophomore first baseman David Hicks comes into the postseason hitting .444 (8-for-18) with two doubles, a homer and four RBIs in his last five games.
HITTING STREAKS: Senior outfielder Brian Wright had a 15-game hitting streak broken March 10 vs. Richmond. That was the longest hitting streak by a Wolfpack player this season. During his streak, Wright batted .456 (26-for-57) with eight doubles, three home runs and 23 RBIs.
Sophomore first baseman David Hicks had a 14-game hitting streak snapped on March 5 vs. William & Mary, the longest hitting streak of Hicks's career. Hicks batted .508 (31-for-61) with 14 doubles, one homer and 20 RBIs during his streak. Hicks's streak was the second longest by a Pack player this season.
CURRENT HITTING STREAKS: Heading into play in the ACC Tournament, the longest active hitting streak on the team belongs to senior outfielder Brian Wright, who has hit safely in 12 straight games. During his streak, Wright has .468 (22-for-47) with seven doubles, six home runs and 14 RBIs.
NC State Hitters Recent Performances
Matt Butler: Went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in the Virginia series ... Went 1-for-2 with a pinch-hit three-run homer on Tuesday at Charlotte ... Went 0-for-1 in his only plate appearance against The Citadel ... Went 0-for-2 in the Maryland series ... Is hitting .364 (4-for-11) in his last five games ... Is hitting .227 (5-for-22) in his last 10 games.
Jeremy Dutton: Went 3-for-11 with two RBIs in the Virginia series ... Went 1-for-2 with two RBIs on Tuesday at Charlotte ... Went 1-for-7 in the two games vs. The Citadel ... Went 0-for-10 in the Maryland series ... Is hitting .235 (4-for-17) in his last five games ... Is hitting .235 (8-for-34) in his last 10 games.
Sammy Esposito: Went 1-for-3 in the Virginia series ... Went 0-for-1 with a walk coming off the bench at Charlotte ... Did not play against The Citadel or in the Maryland series ... Is hitting .273 (3-for-11) in his last five games ... Is hitting .233 (7-for-30) in his last 10 games.
Joe Gaetti: Went 8-for-13 with two doubles, a home run and six RBIs in the Virginia series ... Went 1-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs on Tuesday at Charlotte ... Went 1-for-8 in the two games vs. The Citadel ... Went 5-for-12 in the Maryland series ... Is hitting .474 (9-for-19) in his last five games ... Is hitting .375 (15-for-40) with three doubles, three homers and 12 RBIs his last 10 games.
Adam Hargrave: Went 3-for-11 in the Virginia series ... Went 2-for-3 on Tuesday at Charlotte ... Went 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI in the two games vs. The Citadel ... Went 3-for-11 with a double, a triple and an RBI in the Maryland series ... Is hitting .389 (7-for-18) in his last five games ... Is hitting .333 (11-for-33) in his last 10 games.
David Hicks: Went 4-for-10 with two doubles and three RBIs in the Virginia series ... Went 1-for-3 with a solo home run on Tuesday at Charlotte ... Went 3-for-9 in the two games vs. The Citadel ... Went 4-for-12 with a double, a home run and six RBIs in the Maryland series ... Is hitting .444 (8-for-18) in his last five games ... Is hitting .324 (12-for-37) with three doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs in his last 10 games.
Marc Maynor: Went 0-for-5 in the Virginia series ... Walked in his only two plate appearances Tuesday night at Charlotte ... Went 2-for-7 and scored three runs in the two games vs. The Citadel ... Went 0-for-6 in the Maryland series ... Missed 20 of 22 games from March 6 until May 2 ... NC State is 21-8 with him in the starting lineup, and 11-16 with him on the bench ... Is hitting .105 (2-for-19) in his last 10 games.
Colt Morton: Went 4-for-9 with a double, a home run and five RBIs in the Virginia series ... Went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer on Tuesday at Charlotte ... Went 4-for-10 with a double and two RBIs in the two games vs. The Citadel ... Went 1-for-10 with a homer in the Maryland series ... Is hitting .333 (6-for-18) in his last five games ... Is hitting .306 (11-for-36) with four home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 10 games.
Chad Orvella: Went 4-for-13 in the Virginia series ... Went 2-for-6 with a double on Tuesday vs. Charlotte ... Went 4-for-6 in the two games vs. The Citadel ... Went 4-for-12 in the Maryland series ... Is hitting .333 (7-for-21) in his last five games ... Is hitting .359 (14-for-39) in his last 10 games.
Justin Riley: Went 7-for-14 with two doubles and three RBIs in the Virginia series ... Went 3-for-6 with a home run and four RBIs on Tuesday at Charlotte ... Went 5-for-10 in the two games vs. The Citadel ... Went 3-for-10 in the Maryland series ... Is hitting .520 (13-for-25) with three doubles, a homer and 10 RBIs in his last five games ... Is hitting .409 (18-for-44) with three doubles, a homer and 12 RBIs in his last 10 games.
Brian Wright: Went 7-for-13 with two doubles, two home runs and four RBIs in the Virginia series ... Has now played in 202 consecutive games, the third longest consecutive-games streak in NC State history ... Went 2-for-4 with two doubles on Tuesday night at Charlotte ... Went 3-for-9 with a double and three RBIs in the two games vs. The Citadel ... Went 4-for-10 with two home runs and four RBIs in the Maryland series ... Is hitting .455 (10-for-22) in his last five games ... Is hitting .462 (18-for-39) with five doubles, four home runs and 10 RBIs in his last 10 games.