While day one of the 2017 ACC Baseball Tournament went in the books without a hitch in the weather, day two has unfortunately been plagued by the weather gods.
With rain likely throughout the day in Louisville (as of the time of publication, there is at least an 80% chance of rain every hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) the ACC made the decision to push back the start of play to 1 p.m.
Editor’s Note: The ACC announced at 12 p.m. that the 1 p.m. game would not start on time and is officially “delayed.” Follow Blogger So Dear for updates on Wake’s schedule.
The day two schedule is now as follows:
1:00: Florida State v. Notre Dame
5:00 (?): Game Two (one hour after conclusion of FSU-ND game): North Carolina v. Boston College
9:00 (?): Game Three (one hour after conclusion of UNC-BC game): Wake Forest v. Georgia Tech
While each of these contests features a pool play game, these games are not created equally.
As has been discussed on here previously, as well as on Twitter throughout the week, the first four games of the tournament (all three games yesterday and the Florida State-Notre Dame matchup today) are essentially elimination games.
The last two games of today featuring UNC-BC and Wake-Tech have no bearing whatsoever on the outcome of the ACC Tournament, because both Boston College and Georgia Tech fell in their opening game yesterday and cannot advance from pool play.
Similarly, as the cookie crumbles, both Wake Forest and North Carolina are firmly entrenched as projected regional hosts for the start of the NCAA Tournament next week and these games really have no meaning to either of these two teams.
That means, as was pointed out in my article last week, that today’s two later games are utterly meaningless. Neither UNC nor Wake is going to throw a weekend starter today, and it’s entirely likely that neither of these teams fields their starting batting lineup for more than a couple at bats – just to get used to hitting at the Louisville park.
What was, from the outset, terrible scheduling from the ACC has now morphed into a sizable disadvantage for Wake Forest.
Why is that? Well, the Deacs have an elimination game tomorrow at 3 p.m. against Miami, where the winner advances to the semifinals as the winner of Pod C.
Wake can be expected to take the field in a totally meaningless game at the absolute earliest, against Georgia Tech somewhere around 9 p.m. The game is not likely to end before early Wednesday morning and the Deacs will be back for another game roughly 12 to 14 hours later – a game which they need to win to advance to the semifinals.
While I am 100% on board with playing a full nine-inning Notre Dame-Florida State game, as it constitutes a meaningful game for the integrity of the ACC Tournament, it is idiotic for the conference and tournament organizers to require that UNC, BC, Wake, and Tech play a full nine innings on a day that is sure to have stop and go play, in contests that mean absolutely nothing.
There is no doubt that Walter will avoid throwing any guys from the bullpen that he intends to use in the course of three straight elimination games and it’s entirely likely, as mentioned above, that he only leaves the other starters in for a couple at bats.
As I see it, the ACC has two options that they should consider at this point:
1. Shorten the two meaningless games today to 7 innings
2. Cancel the Wake-Tech game entirely if it doesn’t start by 9 p.m.
Of course it’s unlikely the ACC does either of these two things (and I’m sure they don’t read BSD religiously - even though they should!) as I’m certain that they want to get the cash from attendance and sales at the game. But to that end, I can’t imagine that there would be that many fans at a Wake-Tech meaningless night game in Louisville even if there were perfect weather.
What Wake should do is just forfeit the game if it starts after 9 p.m. The ACC will fine the Deacs and likely would suspend Walter for a game but it’s totally worth it.
There is no reason why Wake should play a meaningless game tonight just so the ACC can say they got all the games in, when the ACC screwed up in the first place by scheduling pool play in such a manner that four meaningless games were guaranteed to occur.
While this situation is exacerbated by the rain, it’s not unlikely that at some point during a six day tournament rain will pop up and change the schedules around.
This situation is a disaster for the ACC and they should do something to fix it. You need to do better ACC.