Rob Foldy-US PRESSWIRE
Man this is just starting to weird me out. NC State was picked by the coaches to win the ACC in baseball. So that's two of the three major sports in which the Pack has been pegged as league favorite. Seriously this weird, man.
|NC State (10)||69|
|Florida State (1)||60|
|North Carolina (9)||69|
|Georgia Tech (1)||55|
And that's nice and all, but Baseball America doesn't see it that way. They have Carolina as their preseason No. 1, while NC State checks in at No. 8. So I guess the Tar Heels have the team to beat. There's nothing weird about that at all. Georgia Tech and Florida State are also in BA's preseason top 25.
The Wolfpack will be very tough to beat on Fridays behind Rodon, the reigning national Freshman of the Year. With a fastball that easily reaches the mid-90s from the left side, a filthy 83-86 slider, a serviceable changeup and a serious mean streak, Rodon makes a strong case as the nation's best pitcher. Jernigan also has electric stuff-a low-to-mid-90s fastball with some life, a very good 12-to-6 curve and a decent changeup that can be too firm-but must throw strikes more consistently than he did a year ago. Ogburn is a steady Sunday starter with feel for an 86-91 fastball, sharp mid-70s curveball, effective low-80s slider and a solid changeup. Jr. RHP Josh Easley looked good this fall after returning from Tommy John surgery, flashing low-90s heat and a swing-and-miss downer curveball, giving the 'Pack a quality fourth starter option.
BA is assuming that Jernigan will be a weekend starter this season, but I wonder if Anthony Tzamtzis might yoink that spot away--the dude did make 10 starts last year. But they both have the same problem, which is control. Jernigan walked more than six batters per nine innings pitched last year and Tzamtzis walked 5.5. If Jernigan starts putting it together this year, though, watch the hell on out.
Aaron Fitt also wrote a good piece on the UNC-NCSU rivalry.
And we've seen black uniforms for basketball and football, but does it end there? It does not.