The No. 12 nationally ranked Wake Forest Diamond Deacs kick off its 2017 ACC Tournament against Georgia Tech tonight in Louisville. Wake Forest (38-17) is the 3 seed in the event, while Georgia Tech (27-27) is the 10 seed.
The game will air on RSN at approximately 7 PM (depending on what happens with the earlier games).
Due to the ACC Tournament scheduling quirks mentioned by Bart in his article earlier this week, Georgia Tech was eliminated in a 13-inning loss yesterday to Miami, making tonight’s game against Wake Forest meaningless for both teams in the scheme of the ACC Tournament.
Regardless of what happens tonight, Wake Forest will play Miami tomorrow at a 3 PM to see who advances out of its three-team pod in an effective “winner-take-all” matchup. In the event of all three teams going 1-1 in the pool, the better seed advances, which in this case would be our beloved Demon Deacons, hence making tonight’s game unnecessary as far as the ACC Tournament goes
While the game has a small possibility of mattering for the Deacs as far as hosting a regional in the NCAA Tournament next weekend, the tone of Coach Tom Walter’s comments indicate that he feels Wake has done enough to host and will plan for tonight’s game accordingly.
As a result, the Deacs will not throw weekend starters Donnie Sellers or Connor Johnstone tonight in order to keep them rested for possible pitching appearances this weekend in the semifinals and finals.
Parker Dunshee will take the mound tomorrow against Miami to try to propel the Deacs into the semifinals. Georgia Tech actually saved its Friday night starter to pitch against Wake in the event they defeated Miami, so it will be probably be freshman Xzavion Curry pitching tonight unless the Ramblin’ Wreck decide to go different route altogether.
In comments earlier this week to Scout’s Les Johns (who is doing a great job covering this tournament in Louisville), it sounded like Walter might go with John McCarren tonight.
The key tonight is just get used to the ballpark, try to get the bats going early, and not put too much stress on the game either way. While a loss wouldn’t be the best thing in the world as fares negatively impacting the Deacs chance to host, the biggest focus should be on getting the team ready for tomorrow and beyond. If the Deacs lose tonight and then defeat Miami to advance to the semis then it will at worst even out.
Wake defeated Georgia Tech in two of three games this year, and really should have swept the Yellow Jackets were it not for a complete collapse in the bottom of the 9th with two outs up by 4 runs in the Friday game played in Winston-Salem.
With rain in the forecast for the next few days it will be interesting to see how the games get played out since there are still three full days of three games apiece to be played.
In an ideal world the Notre Dame-Florida State game gets played at some point today, and the UNC-Boston College and Wake Forest-Georgia Tech games just get cancelled so we can move on to tomorrow without worrying about a pointless game.