Diamond Deacs Sweep Tigers to Secure ACCT Bid

The Wake Forest Diamond Demon Deacons swept the Clemson Tigers at Wake Forest Baseball Park to secure the 7 seed in the upcoming 2012 ACC Baseball Tournament (to be held in Greensboro this coming Wednesday-Sunday).

The Deacs secured the berth with a fantastically exciting game on Wednesday that ended with Mac Williamson catching a DEEP fly ball from Clemson's Jon McGibbon with the bases loaded, and then firing it to Pat Blair at second, who made a diving tag on the tagging runner at first to win it 2-1.

Wake also took care of business on Friday and Sunday, where they defeated the Tigers 5-2, and 7-0 respectively, to complete a sweep over Clemson for the first time since 1999. In doing so, the Deacs improve to 32-22 overall, and a respectable 13-17 in conference play considering the difficulty of the conference (10 teams ranked in the top 40 of the RPI--see chart below).. The team also finishes with an astonishing 25-5 record at home over the course of the year.

Click through for what this means about the Deacs NCAA Tournament chances, as well as the ACC Tournament information that was unveiled last night.

The ACC announced the pairings for the 2012 ACC Baseball Tournament last night, and when they announce game-times today I will be sure to throw it up here.

ACC Tournament Pairings Link

ACC Tournament Homepage

DIVISION A – No. 1 Florida State, No. 4 Virginia, No. 5 Clemson, 8. Georgia Tech

DIVISION B – No. 2 North Carolina, No. 3 NC State, No. 6 Miami, No. 7 Wake Forest

Round-robin pool play will be held May 23-26 (game times 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day). The winner of each division will then advance to meet in the championship game on Sunday, May 27, at noon.

To put it in simple speak, the Deacs will play UNC, State, and Miami from Wed-Sat, and the team with the best record in division B will go on to play the team with the best record in division A.

Wake Forest won a game each during the season against UNC and Miami, and got swept by the Wolfpack in Raleigh. Interestingly enough the Deacs played all three on the road during the year so hopefully the neutral site will help offset that. Wake Forest did not play a neutral site game this year.

Since the Deacs sit at 32-22 overall, they are squarely on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, but those "in the know" seem to think that the sweep this weekend over a strong Clemson team (32-24, 16-14) puts Wake on the inside track for an at-large bid if the season ended today.

From the Baseball America blog

Wake Forest completed a sweep of Clemson with a 7-0 win behind Brian Holmes (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K). The Demon Deacons did what they needed to do to rescue their foundering at-large hopes this weekend. They finish the regular season with a solid enough 13-17 ACC record and a No. 34 RPI; they are a strong bet for an at-large spot.

From the Perfect Game College Roundup

Wake Forest (32-22) -- The Demon Deacons entered the weekend in huge trouble from an NCAA postseason bubble standpoint. However, they made a significant statement with a series sweep over Clemson, taking the series finale 7-0. Wake Forest starting pitcher Brian Holmes was tremendous, striking out six and allowing just two hits in six shutout innings

In my opinion, if Wake wins 2 games this weekend then they will likely be in. A 1-2 record would probably leave the Deacs about where they are now, perhaps a little worse off and closer to the meat of the bubble. An 0-3 record would hurt the chances a fair amount probably knocking the Deacs out. It nearly goes without saying that if Wake somehow wins all three games then they will be all but a lock after an appearance in the ACC Title game (and obviously if they were to win it all on Sunday they would get the auto bid).

If a team wins all three games they obviously go to the championship game. If they win 2 games and another team does as well then it goes to head to head to see who advances. If there are three teams at 2-1 then I believe it goes to run differential (not sure on this one though).

The Deacs are currently ranked 34th in the Warren Nolan RPI Rankings (the best out there for college baseball websites), and rank 20th in SOS overall. Below you can see how difficult the ACC was, and how the teams all break down with conference record and Warren Nolan RPI on the right.

Conference Record Record RPI
Team Current Predicted Current Predicted Current Predicted
Florida State 24 - 6 24 - 6 42 - 12 42 - 12 1 2
North Carolina 22 - 8 22 - 8 42 - 13 42 - 13 5 5
North Carolina State 19 - 11 19 - 11 38 - 15 38 - 15 10 11
Virginia 18 - 12 18 - 12 36 - 16 36 - 16 12 12
Clemson 16 - 14 16 - 14 32 - 24 32 - 24 22 22
Miami 16 - 14 16 - 14 33 - 19 33 - 19 14 14
Wake Forest 13 - 17 13 - 17 32 - 22 33 - 22 34 30
Georgia Tech 12 - 18 12 - 18 32 - 24 32 - 24 30 31
Virginia Tech 11 - 19 11 - 19 34 - 21 34 - 21 36 35
Boston College 10 - 20 10 - 20 22 - 33 23 - 33 96 93
Maryland 10 - 20 10 - 20 32 - 24 32 - 24 31 32
Duke 9 - 21 9 - 21 21 - 34 21 - 34 130 129

Finally, I want to give a huge shoutout to the seniors (and red-shirt juniors) that will be graduating tomorrow alongside myself, Bart and Rob tomorrow. It's been a great four years, especially for the baseball team, as they have turned things around significantly since I've been here! Kudos on the Senior Day sweep yesterday and doing us all proud!

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