ACC: Gonna be another late night
By Glenn Tanner - May 24, 2007
It's 9:18 in Jacksonville, and the tarp is still on the field and rain is coming down. Supposedly this cell is just about through here, but they'll have to remove the tarp, and the teams will have to warm up, so I'm not a bit optimistic about having a first pitch before 10:00. We did just have a group of kids (NC State coaches' kids?) re-enact the tarp scene from Bull Durham, though. A member of the grounds crew just chased them off, which drew boos from the few people that are in the stands.
A minute ago, there was a lot of whooping and hollering and both teams came out of the dugout to look into the stands. Supposedly, a girl in one of the luxury boxes decided to make her own entertainment by flashing the teams. I may have to do some investigative reporting to kill the time.
The second game is a hatefest, though -- NC State and Carolina.
Wolfpack catcher Caleb Mangum really doesn't like North Carolina: "We really hate each other. I mean, really hate each other. There's no other way to describe it."
Both pitchers are throwing their aces. UNC junkballer Robert Woodard is 8-2 with a 3.05 ERA, while the Pack's Eric Surkamp is only 4-3 but has a fine 2.94 ERA.
Virginia's win eliminated both Georgia Tech and NC State in Bracket B. If NC State wins tonight, UNC will also be eliminated and Virginia will clinch a spot in Sunday's championship game.
Quotes about the previous game...
"NC State's a ranked team, they're ranked higher than us, they finished higher than us in the league, and we need to approach it like we do every game, trying to win. We know that if we win it puts us at 2-1 for the tournament. That would be great for us; it's like winning a series." -- GT coach Danny Hall about playing Saturday even though his team has been eliminated.
"I still like the format. There will be two very worthy teams in the championship, and it will give everybody a better chance to go into the NCAA tournament with a fully loaded team." -- Hall
"Sean Doolittle had one of the best outings he has had in a long time. He's going to have to pitch like that for the rest of the year for us to continue to advance." -- UVa coach Brian O'Connor
"We had practiced at Jacksonville Community College on Monday, and it was a pretty tough practice. Let me say that our coaches raised our voices a number of times and challenged our players. And it was about the little things it's going to take to win this time of the year -- executing our bunts, taking extra bases, and playing good defense." -- O'Connor
"Oh really? Oh yeah, OK. See you guys think about all those things. We just think about winning. So basically it comes down to us and North Carolina, huh?" -- O'Connor, when told that his team's win eliminated two teams
"It won't change our lineup. It won't change the way we approach the game, because if you gets a chance to beat North Carolina, you want to do that. It helps our power ranking. It helps our position nationally. It might change who we pitch Saturday." -- O'Connor on how a UNC loss tonight would change his plans
"We've given up two runs in the two ballgames, but there is going to be a point, either in this championship or the next championship we try to win, when we're going to have to win a game 9-8. I believe we're capable of doing that." -- O'Connor
Posted by Glenn Tanner at 09:16 PM on May 24, 2007