Drew Poulk continued his torrid hitting, and Pratt Maynard and Tarran Senay drove in two runs apiece Saturday as NC State wrapped up the regular season with an 8-4 victory over Duke at Doak Field at Dail Park.
The victory clinched a sweep of the Blue Devils and guaranteed the Wolfpack the seven seed in next week’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. NC State improved to 36-20 overall and 15-15 in the ACC. Duke dropped to 29-27 and 8-22.
With the sweep, NC State leapfrogged Boston College, which lost two of three to Georgia Tech. BC earned the 8-seed over UNC by virtue of the tiebreaker.
The tournament, which begins on Wednesday, has a somewhat unusual format. The teams are broken into two groups of four, with each team playing a game against the other three teams in its group. The group winners meet for the ACC championship. The groups:
DIVISION A – No. 1 Virginia, No. 4 Miami, No. 5 Florida State, No. 8 Boston College
DIVISION B – No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Georgia Tech, No. 6 Virginia Tech, No. 7 NC State
I think State's in a much better position to do some damage than they would be had they finished 8th.
What they need to do--short of winning the thing--in order to get into the NCAAs is anybody's guess. Unofficially, State's RPI stood at 52 prior to today's win. That's not likely to move much with the win. The good news is that all of the teams in the Pack's pool are in the RPI top 50, so any win would count as a quality win. Prior to the Duke series, Yahoo!'s Kendall Rogers listed NCSU among the last 10-15 teams out. If that's at all accurate, they've got quite a bit of climbing to do, and perhaps nothing short of winning the ACC tournament will be good enough.
Update: here's the schedule.
Noon – No. 1 Virginia (45-10, 23-7) vs. No. 8 Boston College (29-26, 14-16)
4 pm – No. 4 Miami (39-15, 20-10) vs. No. 5 Florida State (39-16, 18-12)
8 pm – No. 2 Clemson (37-19, 18-12) vs. No. 7 NC State (36-20, 15-15)
Noon – Miami vs. Boston College
4 pm – Virginia vs. Florida State
8 pm – No. 3 Georgia Tech (44-11, 21-9) vs. No. 6 Virginia Tech (36-19, 16-14)
Noon – Florida State vs. Boston College
4 pm – Clemson vs. Virginia Tech
8 pm – Georgia Tech vs. NC State
Noon – Virginia vs. Miami
4 pm – Clemson vs. Georgia Tech
8 pm – Virginia Tech vs. NC State
1 pm – Championship
The two Techs got the short end of the stick in terms of their day off. They'll sit on Wednesday and play Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Everybody else gets a break in between games, which is a bonus for the bullpens. Ideally, we'll have Grant Sasser finish up another Jake Buchanan gem on Wednesday, rest up Thursday, and be good to go on Friday. Because we're definitely going to need him more than once.