Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ACC Baseball Championship Begins Today

There will be plenty of baseball to see in Durham Bulls Athletic Park during the coming days, but none of the athletes will be sporting reflex blue and Texas Tan.

The 38th Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship will be played in Durham Bulls Athletic Park May 25-29, bringing together the top eight teams in the ACC. BUY TICKETS

This year's event marks the seventh time it's been held in Durham and the fifth time in Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Kris Pierce, Assistant Commissioner for ACC Championships, couldn't be happier about the location of the 2011 championship. "Hosting the ACC baseball championship in a historic park like the Durham Bulls Athletic Park is just something that makes it a very unique experience for our student athletes and our fans and our teams," she said.

Each year, a selection committee composed of athletic directors and other administrators meet to vote on a location for the championship. With five of the eight competing teams located less than 300 miles away from Durham, the 10,000-seat stadium seemed like an ideal venue for this year's event. "We enjoy it, and it's centrally located in the ACC's footprint, so that makes a lot of sense for us, Pierce said. "And certainly the support that we get from the Durham Bulls organization helps make for a successful event."

While there has been talk of making Charlotte the permanent location for the ACC Football Championship, Pierce said so far the committee is still discussing various future locations for the ACC Baseball Championship. The event will be held in Greensboro in 2012 before returning to Durham in 2013. But Pierce said the idea of choosing a permanent location could be the topic of future discussions. "Certainly I think there are some advantages to having a home site that you have the championship each year," Pierce said. "But that's certainly something that our conference will continue to discuss moving forward."

The championship will be held in a round-robin format for the fifth straight year, in which teams divided into two separate pools will compete in three games each. From Wednesday through Sunday there will be three games each day, with start times of 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday's final game will begin at 1 p.m. between the winner of each pool.

Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia and Wake Forest will appear in this year's championship. The Seminoles beat N.C. State in the 2010 final game to earn its fifth ACC title. With six of the eight competing teams ranked in the top 25, the 2011 ACC Baseball Championship will feature some of the best baseball talent in the country.

And Pierce just can't wait to see the athleticism showcased in the heart of downtown Durham. "We know that the teams are going to bring their talents to the field and we're all working hard to make sure that the other details are taken care of," Pierce said. "(We're) looking forward to working with Durham to have another record setting attendance."

Wednesday, May 25-Sunday, May 29, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham, N.C.

#1 Virginia (45-9, 22-8)
#4 North Carolina (44-12, 20-10)
#5 Miami (34-20, 19-10)
#8 Wake Forest (25-28, 15-15)

#2 Florida State (40-15, 19-11)
#3 Georgia Tech (39-17, 22-8)
#6 Clemson (39-17. 17-13)
#7 NC State (33-23, 15-15)

Wednesday's Games
11 a.m. - Georgia Tech (3rd Base Dugout) vs. Clemson (1st Base Dugout)
3 p.m. - Virginia (3rd) vs. Wake Forest (1st)
7 p.m. - Florida State (3rd) vs. NC State (1st)

Thursday's Games
11 a.m. - North Carolina (3rd) vs. Miami (1st)
3 p.m. - Florida State (1st) vs. Clemson (3rd)
7 p.m. - Georgia Tech (1st) vs. NC State (3rd)

Friday's Games
11 a.m. - Virginia vs. Miami (3rd)
3 p.m. - Florida State (3rd) vs. Georgia Tech (1st)
7 p.m. - North Carolina (1st) vs. Wake Forest (3rd)

Saturday's games
11 a.m. - Clemson (1st) vs. NC State (3rd)
3 p.m. - Miami (3rd) vs. Wake Forest (1st)
7 p.m. - Virginia (3rd) vs. North Carolina (1st)

Sunday's Championship
1 p.m. - Pool A winner vs. Pool B winner

Practice Times for Tuesday, May 24:
10-10:50 a.m. - Clemson
11-11:50 a.m. - NC State
12-12:50 p.m. - Georgia Tech
1-1:50 p.m. - Florida State
2-2:50 p.m. - Miami
3-3:50 p.m. - Wake Forest
4-4:50 p.m. - North Carolina
5-5:50 p.m. - Virginia

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