A handful of midseason watch lists for national awards were announced this week, and the ACC was well represented. Thirteen league players are listed for the Golden Spikes award, given to the nation’s top amateur player, while 11 were named for the Pitcher of the Year. A national-best five ACC players were recognized for the John Olerud Award, given to the country’s top two-way player, and four league shortstops are on the watch list for the Brooks Wallace Award.
Virginia, tied for second place in the Coastal Division, travels to division leader Miami in hopes of gaining ground in the division race. Miami holds a six-game lead in the lost column over Virginia and North Carolina with 12 conference games remaining in the regular season … The defending national champion Cavaliers lead the all-time head-to-head series by a close 24-23 margin; the two teams split four games (2-2) played in 2015, including a 9-5 Miami win at the 2015 ACC Championship in Durham, North Carolina, last May 20.
Other ACC series include Notre Dame at Florida State in a key Atlantic Division matchup … Louisville travels to Boston College, North Carolina visits Wake Forest, Duke plays at Virginia Tech, and Clemson plays host to Georgia Tech … Nonconference series find Miami (Ohio) at Pitt, while NC State faces North Carolina A&T. Notre Dame (23-12, 9-7 ACC) carries a seven-game winning streak into the Florida State series. The Fighting Irish have won seven consecutive games, 15 of their last 17 and 17 of their last 21 to make significant gains in both the NCAA RPI and the ACC standings.
The ACC enters the weekend with four teams ranked among the top 10 of the latest NCAA RPI … Nine league teams rank among the top 40, and 12 are among the top 50, the most from any conference in the country … Atlantic Division leader Louisville leads the way at No. 2, followed by Miami at No. 3, NC State at No. 8 and Florida State at No. 9 … Clemson holds the No. 11 spot, while North Carolina is at No. 16, Georgia Tech at No. 30, Notre Dame at No. 33 and Virginia at No. 40 … Pitt is currently No. 43, Duke No. 46 and Wake Forest No. 47.