2023 ACC Baseball Tournament Primer
With the conclusion of the regular season over the weekend, postseason baseball has arrived!
The annual ACC baseball tournament begins on Tuesday morning in Durham, North Carolina.
By virtue of winning the ACC Coastal Division, the Hoos earned the tournament 2 seed which also makes them the top seed in tournament Pool B.
As has been the case recently, twelve of fourteen ACC baseball programs qualified for the tournament. The qualifying teams are divided into four, three team pools.
Pool play is round robin with the two lower seeded teams in each pool playing first.
The winner of each pool will then advance to Saturday's single elimination semifinals. All pool ties are broken by advancing the highest seeded team in the pool tie.
The winner of each semifinal game advances to the winner take all conference championship game on Sunday.
Here's the composition of each of the four pools.
Lets take a deeper dive into UVA's tournament pool, Pool B.
Virginia: 44-11 (Overall), 19-11 (ACC)
North Carolina: 33-21 (Overall), 14-14 (ACC)
Georgia Tech: 30-25 (Overall), 12-18 (ACC)
Head To Head
UVA's ACC scheduled was bookended by road series against North Carolina and Georgia Tech. The Hoos took two of three at UNC to open conference play. The Hoos won the first two games before dropping the Sunday finale.
UVA closed its ACC season this past weekend at Georgia Tech. The Hoos pulled off a sweep of the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta.
In early April, UNC made the trip to Atlanta. The Tar Heels took two of three against Georgia Tech. UNC won the series opener on a Thursday evening. UNC then won the first leg of a Friday doubleheader to clinch the series before dropping the series / doubleheader finale.
UVA's pool play game schedule is as follows.
Wednesday, May 24 - 3:00 PM vs Georgia Tech
Thursday, May 25 - 3:00 PM vs North Carolina
And here's the schedule for the entire tournament.
These stats represent final numbers at the conclusion of the 2023 regular season. Rankings are as of games completed through May 21, 2023.
Format is raw stat (ranking in Division 1).
|Virginia||.431 (6)||.527 (21)||9.1 (7)|
|North Carolina||.403 (40)||.480 (77)||7.5 (74)|
|Georgia Tech||.418 (14)||.540 (14)||8.5 (17)|
OBP = On Base Percentage
SLG = Slugging Percentage
|Virginia||3.91 (6)||10.3 (19)||3.19 (8)|
|North Carolina||4.68 (43)||8.9 (93)||4.46 (124)|
|Georgia Tech||6.76 (220)||9.4 (57)||5.37 (239)|
K/9 = Strikeouts Per 9 Innings
BB/9 = Walks Per 9 Innings
|North Carolina||.975 (76)||29||12|
|Georgia Tech||.970 (142)||54||23|
FLD % = Fielding Percentage
SOS = Strength of Schedule
Note that all stats are from NCAA.com. RPI and strength of schedule data is from WarrenNolan.com and is as of games played through May 21, 2023.
The 2023 tournament will be contested at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina. The park is home to the Durham Bulls, the Triple A affiliate of the American League's Tampa Bay Rays.
Originally opened in 1995, the park has undergone numerous improvements and renovations. Its most recent update was prior to the 2014 season. Seating capacity is 10,000.
Borrowing from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park's website...
"The ballpark reflects many characteristics of old-time parks and the historic downtown Durham architecture. A 32-foot-high wall stands in left field 305 feet from home plate, resembling Fenway Park's Green Monster. The Blue Monster, as it's called in Durham, contains a similar old-style manual scoreboard. The ballpark's most distinctive feature is the Snorting Bull that stands tall above the Blue Monster. This Bull was modeled after the bull used in the 1988 film, Bull Durham."
A comparison of the dimensions of the venue to the home parks of Pool B participants.
|VENUE||LEFT FIELD||CENTERFIELD||RIGHT FIELD|
|DBAP||305 Feet||400 Feet||327 Feet|
|The Dish (UVA)||332 Feet||404 Feet||332 Feet|
|Boshamer Stadium (UNC)||335 Feet||400 Feet||340 Feet|
|Russ Chandler Stadium (GT)||329 Feet||390 Feet||334 Feet|
Other than playing for the pride of winning a conference championship, the stakes in Pool B are pretty simple.
UVA is a lock for the NCAA Tournament. Depending on who you ask, they're also a lock to host a regional or so close that the odds of not hosting are generally equivalent to finding me writing in rhyming couplets on this site.
A top eight national seed, and the guaranteed right to host a Super Regional if advancing past the regional round, is very much in play for the Hoos. The analysis is that UVA is generally the team most likely in possession of the national eight seed at the moment. But it's unlikely that the Hoos have that spot locked down. Opinions vary on what UVA must do to nail down the top eight seed. Winning Pool B and therefore advancing to the semifinals is generally the expected requirement with anything past that seen as hammering home the Hoos' case.
The Tar Heels are likely locked in to the tourney as well. Their case to make the tourney is pretty similar to UVA's to host as far as being a lock. Could UNC jump up to the host line? If they win the entire tournament, maybe. But in my opinion, I don't think that gets the job done either this season.
Georgia Tech is way down the list of tourney bubble teams. The Yellow Jackets' assignment is pretty clear in my estimation. Win the tourney or begin the offseason.
May 23, 2023