Making A Point

With eight All-ACC selections, the Florida State Seminoles anchored the 2003 All-Atlantic Coast Conference baseball teams as selected by a vote of the league's nine head coaches. Even so, the Seminoles are not happy that reliever <b>Daniel Hodges</b> and catcher <b>Tony Richie</b> were not selected to the first-team – both were second-team selections. Click here for more.

With eight All-ACC selections, the Florida State Seminoles anchored the 2003 All-Atlantic Coast Conference baseball teams as selected by a vote of the league's nine head coaches.

Even so, the Seminoles are not happy that reliever Daniel Hodges and catcher Tony Richie were not selected to the first-team – both were second-team selections.

The teams, announced Monday at the 30th annual ACC Baseball Tournament in Salem, Va., also included five players from North Carokna State and four players from Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Wake Forest. Maryland and Virginia each tab one All-Conference selection.

The Wolfpack's Elliot Avent was named this year's ACC Coach of the Year after leading the Wolfpack to a 39-14 record and a 15-9 conference mark.

The Seminoles (47-8-1, 195 ACC), which won the regular-season ACC championship, will play the winner of tonight's Duke-Maryland game in their first game Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Senior left-hander Matt Lynch will start for the Seminoles, followed by Trent Peterson and Daniel Davidson in the starting rotation.

While FSU must wait patiently on its opponent, Seminoles pitching coach Jamey Shouppe ran out of patience Tuesday concerning the All-ACC selections.

Shouppe -- and many others in FSU's circles -- felt Hodges (5-0, 0.77 ERA, 11 saves) and Richie (.329, 31 extra-base hits, 65 RBI) deserved to be first-team selections. NC State's Joey Devine (4-2, 2.35 ERA, 13 saves) and Colt Morton (.260 average, 15 home runs, 43 RBI) were selected at reliever and catcher, respectively.

On Tuesday, both Richie and Morton were among the 10 semifinalists named for the Johnny Bench Award. This award is presented annually at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet to the nation's top collegiate catcher, as voted on by a panel of sportswriters, sportscasters, Division I coaches and scouts. Devine, meanwhile, led the nation in saves for most of the season.

FSU had three players named first-team all-ACC – shortstop Stephen Drew, outfielder Tony McQuade and Peterson. Second-team selections included Hodges, Richie, first baseman Jerrod Brown, and pitchers Matt Lynch and Daniel Davidson.

"I feel great about the pitching staff and what they've been able to accomplish this year. I am very proud of the way they competed all year long," Shouppe told TheTerritory Tuesday.

"We are a little disgruntled at the way the ACC first- and second-team fell out yesterday. I thought we weren't represented on the first-team as much as we should have been. I think it was an absolute joke that Daniel Hodges wasn't selected first-team all-ACC. Here's a guy who was 5-0 with 11 saves on the season. Out of 34 appearances, he only gave up runs in two of those appearances. I feel bad for him (Hodges).

"There's nothing he can do but the ACC needs to take a strong look at how they vote on first- and second-team All-ACC because. ... it doesn't matter us to coaches. It doesn't help us win any more ballgames. But to these kids it matters. That's just another feather he (Hodges) could have put in his cap."

Shouppe also felt Richie was overlooked by league coaches.

"Look at Tony Richie," Shouppe said.

"You talk about pitchers and you can't talk too long about pitching without talking about catching because there's no staff in America that has a good ERA that doesn't have a very good catcher behind the plate. Tony Richie batted 73 points higher than the guy who was voted (first team). Though he had a few more home runs than Tony, Tony had three more extra-base hits on the season in almost identical at-bats."

While Shouppe stressed the Seminoles won't be distracted heading into tournament play, he believes the voting has left FSU with an unsettling feeling. Shouppe also believes FSU coach Mike Martin doesn't get the respect he deserves as well in voting for Coach of the Year.

"N.C. State's head coach (Avent) did a good job," Shouppe said.

"Gosh, we've won it the last three years in a row and Mike wasn't voted the coach of the year the last two years. Not only is that an insult to Mike Martin, that's an insult to our whole coaching staff. I just don't know...

"Anytime you go into tournament play, you want your players happy. You want your pitching staff happy. You want your players happy. It kind of bothers me that Daniel Hodges feels slighted going into this thing. The same thing goes wth the professional draft. I cringe every time the draft is close to when we are playing a baseball game because it does have an affect on these kids."


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