Over the course of the last five weeks, State baseball has become a completely different team. Early in the season, there were struggles all around as they fell to bottom of the ACC standings. Then April winning streaks hit, capped off by the recent sweep of #15 Virginia Tech. Here’s three points of emphasis, as the Wolfpack try to make a late season run.
We’re Going Streaking!
On March 23, State sat at 5-10 (with just one win in ACC play) and had just been swept EASILY by Louisville. It wasn’t pretty all around. Over half of State’s pitchers had double-digit ERAs, the bats were inconsistent (putting it lightly) and folks were starting to bring up daily, “Is this Avent’s final season?”
Then the Pack made a run.
This last month, State has gone 14-4, including 7 wins against ranked teams. They’ve gone from bottom of standings to middle of the pack, knocking on the door of Florida State, who sits just a few games ahead. Biggest factor is the hopeful avoidance of a top-two seeds, starting ACCT play.
Daily Dose of Q1
When you beat three ranked teams (sweeping two) in a matter of weeks, your NCAA Tournament resume absolutely jumps to the next level. In just the last week, by beating ND once and VT sweep, State’s RPI moved up 16 spots to #45. In fact, they currently have a higher RPI than Louisville, UNC and FSU, all previous Tournament shoe-ins.
While Louisville is the top team in the Atlantic, their strength of schedule is 113 (State’s is top-30!) and the Wolfpack have double the Q1 wins. Furthermore, at 8-7 in those games, State is tied for 11th most Q1 wins in the nation.
This recent run has single-handedly brought State into the spotlight and closer to a postseason invite.
No Place like Road?
Here’s something interesting and could prove to be important with ACCT and NCAAT. State is one of the best teams in the country on the road. While they’re subpar at Doak, 10-11, State sports an amazing 9-2 record in away games. That .818 win percentage is tops in the ACC.
Road trip to Charlotte for ACCT? Road trip along the East Coast for NCAAT? Somehow, someway, that might be best for the Wolfpack.
As we look ahead, they can further expedite consideration with a game against App State on Tuesday and a series against Wake Forest this weekend. Best part? All are on the road. 😉