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2017 ACC Championship

North Carolina TarHeels vs. Florida State Seminoles (NCAA)

Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  Well, here we go with the title game (and only two weeks behind…).  It was a beautiful day in the ‘Ville, as Trevor and I settled into our seats for the impending action.

The game started out well for North Carolina, despite playing ball just twelve hours earlier.  They plated three runs in the second inning, first on a solo shot from Tyler Lynn.  Michael Busch hit an RBI double to put the Heels up 2-0.  Then two errors by the un-named Seminole first baseman allowed Busch to score to put his team up 3-0.  Unfortunately for the Heels, that’s all the scoring they would get.  In my opinion, the turning point of the game came in the fourth innings when North Carolina had the bases loaded with no outs on a pair of walks and hit batter.  The next three TarHeels struck out, leaving the pond full of ducks, and NC fans bewildered.

On the mound for NC, Josh Hiatt took the loss, giving up six runs on six hits, two of those being home runs.  The Seminoles pretty much put the game away in the eight inning, scoring five runs.  The un-named first-baseman made up for his error with two home runs in the game.  An un-named pitcher for Florida State picked up the win, despite only working 1.1 innings and striking out one.  The worn out TarHeels just couldn’t compete late in the game with the more rested Seminoles.  FINAL:  TarHeels 3, Seminoles 7.

Also, as the game was a day before Memorial Day, this was a good time to thank and pray for all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this great country, so my son and I can enjoy a ballgame together.  At Louisville Slugger Field, there is a seat in the outfield reserved just for them.  Trevor put his American flag in the cup holder of the seat, and when we came back around, there were many more there!

This seat is reserved for our MIA and POW heroes!

Ok, maybe I was a little hard on Florida State through out this tournament.  My original plan was to take some good photos and maybe even a video of the celebration and trophy presentation after the game, no matter which team won.  And maybe it was a little rash of me to just head for the gate at that final out.  So here’s a video I found on YouTube courtesy of ACC Digital Network for you to enjoy.  It pains me to say this, but, congratulations Florida State…

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

Video courtesy of ACC Digital Network

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2017 ACC Semi-final Game 2

North Carolina TarHeels vs. Miami Hurricanes (NCAA)

Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  I’m not going to lie.  We never saw one inning of this game.  Not one pitch, not one at-bat…nothing.  For some reason the ACC decided to keep postponing the game, even though the weather was fine at the time.  The photo above is the TarHeels just hanging out, waiting to play ball.  However that wouldn’t happen for a couple of more hours.  Yes, there was a chance of rain, and yes, it did end up raining, but not until after the postponed start.  The ACC could have given the go-ahead, and when it DID rain, at least the teams would have gotten a large chunk of the game in.  Also, as we did, a large chunk of the paid attendance wouldn’t have been cheated out of a game, either, as fans headed for the gates when the announcement came that the game wouldn’t start for awhile, yet.   FINAL:  TarHeels 12, Hurricanes 4.

The Hurricanes heading for the batting cages

I’m not going to lie.  I really would have liked to have seen this game, but since it didn’t get over until almost midnight, that would have made for a very long and strenuous day, especially with my dad and Brian at the ballpark impatiently waiting for baseball that we paid for. At least Brian got to meet some of the North Carolina players, but we didn’t have a chance to catch up with any Hurricanes.

Brian with a pair of TarHeels

Before the announcement of the delay, we took the time to check out the ACC Fan Fest in the West Wing of Slugger Field.  I really wish the ACC would have shown that this is an important event, and maybe had some more things going on, and maybe some of the school mascots on hand instead of just cardboard cutouts of them.  Brian at least got to see the ACC Championship trophy, too.

Brian with the ACC Baseball Championship trophy

We spent most of the time at the Louisville Slugger display, where Brian was able to hold some bats of Major Leaguers, including Louisville’s own Adam Duvall.  Again, we were all very disappointed that we weren’t able to see any of this game, but just couldn’t stay there and wait around any longer.  I honestly wasn’t that impressed with the way the ACC handled this tournament as a whole, from the pool play down to it’s weather delays.  But, then again, having NC play until midnight and have to be ready to play the next day at noon, gave a HUGE advantage to the waiting Seminoles… Hhhhmm….

 

Brian swinging some pro lumber from Louisville Slugger

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

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2017 ACC Semi-final Game 1

Florida State Seminoles vs. Duke Blue Devils (NCAA)

Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  Back at it on Saturday, this time for the first of the semi-final games.  I have no idea how Duke survival a ‘pool’ with Virginia and Clemson, but somehow they made it this far, as did FSU.  Brian joined us for the games today, also, and he’s always happy to spend time with his Papa.

Duke simply looked like the next team to be fed to the ACC darling Seminoles, anyway.  Florida State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning due to some fine hitting from un-named players.  They then added two more in the third, and one in the fourth.  The Blue Devils didn’t have any offense going until the ninth inning, when Jimmy Herron scored on a Jack Labosky base hit.

Adam Laskey took the loss for Duke, giving up four runs on six hits during his 2.1 innings of work.  An un-named Seminole pitcher earned the win for his team, only giving up two hits and striking out eight in this 6.2 innings.  FINAL:  Seminoles 5, Blue Devils 1.

Brian got a ball from one of the FSU players, so at least they have on fan in the family

Not much of a competitive game, but still fun to be at the ballpark. We would check out the ACC Fan Fest between games, as we settled in for the afternoon bout.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

 

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2017 ACC Tournament Game 12

North Carolina TarHeels vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack (NCAA)

Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  The nightcap pitted in-state rivals North Carolina and NC State.  As this was our third game of the day, we were a little tired, but ready for another good game of baseball.  I felt a little bad for the Wolfpack, however, as a dropped pop-fly in foul territory during the first inning cost them eight runs, and really put them behind the 8-ball so to speak.

To their credit, the TarHeels did come out swing their bats, crossing the plate ten times in the first inning.  Carolina was lead by Tyler Lynn, who went 3/4 with two RBI’s and two runs scored.  Logan Warmoth, Ashton McGee, and Brandon Riley each added two hits, and Riley plated three RBI’s.  First inning aside, NC State played respectable baseball the rest of the game.  Josh McLain went 1/3 and had two RBI’s for the Wolfpack.

On the hill, Brian Brown gave up eight runs, but only two of those were earned, while giving up seven hits for NC State.  Sean Adler and Joe O’Donnell finally kept the TarHeels scoreless the last four innings.  For North Carolina, J.B. Bukauskus had a good lead to work with, and threw seven innings.  He allowed three runs on four hits, while striking out five.  A long day for us, but worth it to watch some great baseball.  On to the semifinals the next couple of posts.  FINAL:  TarHeels 12, Wolfpack 4.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

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2017 ACC Tournament Game 11

Louisville Cardinals vs. Florida State Seminoles (NCAA)

Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  I didn’t like this game.  Not at all.  In some way of dark magic, Florida State’s season came alive the weekend before when they rode into town and spanked the Cardinals two games in a row on their home field.  One would think that this game would be different, that Louisville would be pumped up and out for revenge.  Unfortunately for the packed house clothed in red and white here in the stands at Slugger field, the opposite happened.  The Cards seemed to play some uninspired baseball, en route to eliminating themselves from the tournament.

From here forward, I’ve decided not to mention any Seminole player by named during the re-caps.  Sorry, it’s nothing personal.  Well, yeah, actually I guess it is…  Kade McClure was on the mound for the Cards, and he gave up two runs in the first inning.  He only lasted 3.24 innings, giving up four runs on six hits.  Adam Wolf and Lincoln Henzman each gave up a run, also.   The Cards had little offense, but Brendan McKay did go 2/4 with a home run.  FINAL: Cardinals 2, Seminoles 6.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

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2017 ACC Tournament Game 10

Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Miami Hurricanes (NCAA)

Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  After a few days of rain delays and re-scheduled games, we finally made it to Slugger Field for some ACC baseball.  Since I practically live at this ballpark now, no need to go into details about it, so we’ll get right to the baseball action.

Wake Forest started off hot, and got all of it’s offense from Stuart Fairchild, who hit solo home runs in the first and third innings to give the Demon Deacons a 2-0 lead.  Miami really didn’t get things going until the seventh, when they cut the lead to one, and they then scored two runs in each the eighth an ninth innings.  The ‘Canes were lead by the bat of Johnny Ruiz, who went 1/3 with two RBI’s an a run scored.  Edgar Michelangeli added a solo shot for Miami, and Romy Gonzalez added an RBI double.

Also, the ACC Network was on hand to cover the action, and I got to chat with one of their reporters.

On the hill for the Demon Deacons, Parker Dunshee threw seven solid innings, only giving up the one run on a dinger, and striking out four.  Griffin Roberts took the loss, giving up four earned runs on three hits.  For Miami, Jeb Bargfeldt pitched five innings, giving up the two home runs.  Relief pitchers Gregory Veliz, Cooper Hammond, and Andrew Cabezas shut down the Deacons the rest of the way.  FINAL:  Demon Deacons 2, Hurricanes 5.

It was a fun game to watch, as the ‘Canes came through big in the last few innings. Not a huge crowd for this one, but that would change drastically, as the home town fans were filtering in for the next game featuring Louisville.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

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Freedom Double-header

Florence Freedom vs. Traverse City Beach Bums (Frontier League)

UC Health Stadium-Florence, KY:  Second double-header in as many days due to a rain-out the night before.  Again, because I’m so far behind, I’ll be combining both games into one post.  We settled in to see the Freedom take on one of my old teams from Michigan, the Beach Bums.  My dad was pulling for TC all the way, but I was torn a bit (or more accurately, didn’t really care much as long as I was watching a good game).   The stadium in Florence is nice, and usually has a pretty baseball savvy crowd, with Cincy just across the river.  It was another game without much of a crowd, however, mainly due to the possibility of rain.

Freedom mascot Y’All Star. Still don’t know what happened to the old mascots, Liberty and Belle (maybe this creepy mascot killed them…)

The first game was a close one, and one my dad was happy with the outcome of.  Leading Florence offensively was Daniel Fraga, who went 2/4 with two runs scored.  Jose Brizuela drove in four of the Freedom’s five runs, and also went 2/4.  On the mound, Tony Vocca took the loss, pitching 5.1 innings of the shortened game.  He gave up all six runs on ten hits, while striking out five.  FINAL (7) game 1:  Freedom 5, Beach Bums 6.

In the second game, the home team was able to even the score.  On the bump for the Freedom Cody Gray pitched all seven innings, only allowing three hits and striking out seven.  He was helped on the offensive side by Andre Mercurio, who went 3/3 with an RBI.  Jordan Brower pitched in going 1/2, also.  FINAL (7) game 2:  Freedom 4, Beach Bums 1.

It was a fun night of baseball, and really the seven inning games move along pretty quickly.  We enjoyed the ballpark and I still would like to get the kids up here for a family Sunday game.  The next posts will be starting the games at the ACC Tournament, and I’ll also use some space to plug my social media, as you can follow on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @minorbaseball.  You can see real time photos instead of having to wait for me to finally get all of these posts up!

I’ll end this one with a video of Y’All Star doing the YMCA, but some jack-hole kept getting in the way…

Photos and video property of Minoring In Baseball

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