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Deacs need strong finish to achieve lofty goals

Deacs close out the regular season with a three-game ACC series against Pittsburgh.

These Deacs have accomplished a lot.

They are already tied for the most ACC wins in program history (17). They are a consensus top-20 ranked school are are No. 9 in the RPI. Five Deacs have hit double-figure home runs for the first time in program history.

But now they have to close strong to achieve their goals. Every dream and every goal they talked about during fall and spring workouts are right in front of them, completely achievable.

But they have to take care of business this weekend against Pittsburgh (22-28, 8-19).

Wake (36-16, 17-10) hosts the Panthers in a three-game series starting at 6 p.m. Thursday to close out the regular season. Game two is at 6 p.m. Friday and the series concludes at noon Saturday. 

A series win and the Deacs are assured a coveted top-four seed in next week’s ACC Tournament in Louisville. If Wake sweeps Pitt, they will lock in the No. 3 seed. Clemson and Virginia currently trail the Deacs by one game at 16-11 each.

Clemson plays a three game road series at suddenly hot North Carolina State (14-13), while UVA plays three at Georgia Tech (10-17). The head-to-head tiebreaker goes Clemson’s way if they tie with Wake. The tiebreaker, though a bit complicated, likely goes Wake’s direction in the event of a deadlock with the Cavs.

The ACC Tournament begins Tuesday, with the Deacs slated to play two games in pool play, which finishes Friday. If they advance out of their pool, the semifinals are slated for Saturday at Louisville Slugger Field and the title game is Sunday. The Deacs last claimed an ACC Tournament Championship in 2001. It was the third title in four years under head coach George Greer.

Current projections by both D1 Baseball and Baseball America have the Deacs hosting an NCAA Regional as the national tournament begins the following week. An especially strong finish of the regular season and a strong showing in Louisville could potentially put Wake in the conversation for a national seed, which means they would also host a Super Regional.

The last time the Deacs made the College World Series in Omaha was in 1955, when they won the championship.

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