It has been, gosh, more than a year since I have actually been at a baseball game, which is frightening for me. Aaron Fitt, D1Baseball.com, at Aaron Fitt, co-editor, national writer, great clubhouse guy. If you go on his Twitter profile, that's what it says.
The title of this segment is Learn Me. So I missed a lot of ACC baseball this year with, you know, hurricane stuff and all that. So I wake up, Wake Forest number one. Two weeks ago, Duke was number 10.
And I thought, wow, this is a crazy year. I know North Carolina and NC Theta have been kind of in and out all year. So catch me up because I know this is a great event here in Durham. They love the great to have it back here. So catch me up.
How good is the league? First of all, can I say it's great to have you back here in the college baseball world. Come on, this is what we need.
More Adam Gold in our lives. Yes, exactly. There are people who disagree with that, by the way.
Nobody. It's been a very interesting year for the league. You know, you mentioned the big story, I think, Wake Forest. I mean, they're the best team in the country and they're not just right in the country.
They're the best team in the country. You know, it's because we're in a climate right now where offense is out of control. Balls are flying out everywhere. Home runs are back to historic levels, 1998 levels.
Did they juice the bats again? The balls. Oh, okay.
Pretty sure it's a ball. All right. Yeah. Wound a little tighter? Something happened.
Made by Titleist? Exactly. Something happened. But, you know, given that context, Wake Forest, you know, they've got the best pitching staff in the country and the numbers they're putting up in a band box ballpark. I mean, they lead the nation in ERA in that ballpark. It is utterly insane. They lead the nation in ERA in a home run in his ballpark.
It's a home or dome. Yeah. And you've got two guys that read louder, you know, ACC pitcher of the year just repeated as that award winner. And, you know, and then you got Josh Hartle and both of those guys are two or lower ERAs. I mean, it's just mind boggling when you look around the league and the average ERA for a staff is like five something, you know? I mean, it's crazy.
All right. So you got Wake doing that, Duke doing what they've done. And I know they've tailed off a little bit here of late. How do two schools like that? How do those schools, you know, basically sit at or near the top of a league like the ACC? And in baseball, you know, a partial scholarship sport, it's so impressive.
It's not just partial. You get, what, 13? You get 11.7. 11.7 for the whole team. The whole roster.
Like 25, 30 guys. Right. And you can, you know, you can supplement that with some institutional aid, need base, merit base, whatever. But, you know, Wake Forest doesn't have a ton of that, first of all. It's hard to build your roster. It's hard to build depth as a private school with a high price tag in this sport. And so it's super impressive what they've done. You know, and I think in Wake's case, they did a great job recruiting and developing these guys a few years ago. I mean, the junior class is fantastic. Louder and Brock Wilkin and these guys. You're bringing Nick Kurtz.
He's a superstar first base last year. So they have a great combination of homegrown guys, older veteran guys, and then you supplement them with some key transfer portal additions. And Duke did that too. Duke has done well on the portal.
You know, going and getting some academic-minded kids from Northwestern or some Ivy Leagues or wherever. You know, they've done a really good job of that. Both those teams have it. And Duke, I mean, the way they built their team is from the bullpen forward. It's not great starting pitching. It's openers, but they got a great bullpen and their offense is just very solid.
Well, Aaron Fitt from D1 Baseball is joining us here on the Adam Gold Show. Based on the way pitchers are used in college baseball, isn't it kind of the way to do it? The way to build your team is to just say, all right, I need 10 or 11 guys that I can count on, go to, from at one point or another because you played midweek games. Your starters aren't going more than once in a week. So you need bullpen guys.
Isn't that the way to do it? You know, there must be something to it because that's the way the game is kind of trending at all levels. You know, you look at the big leagues too. I mean, how often do you see these horses going eight innings anymore?
It doesn't really happen. And so, yeah, I think we're going to see more and more of that. And we've seen it other places. Oregon State comes to mind as a team this year out west. It's having a very good year and their staff has built very similarly to Duke's. It's openers and then a lot of good bullpen guys. And yeah, you have people to mix and match and play those matchups.
And I do think it's a winning formula right now. So what happened in North Carolina and NC State this year? I know Carolina specifically got off to a good start. And I think they're the seven seed.
So they're obviously not bad. I mean, if you're a top, even a top, I guess, nine seed in the ACC, you're still a pretty good team. So what happened to UNC? What happened to NC State?
Have them sort of kind of starting the second half? So in UNC's case, I think for them, the biggest thing is figuring out the pitching. For a while, Max Carlson, I mean, he hadn't had a great year.
He's the race, right? I mean, he was the guy last year. They were counting on him to kind of be that bell cow for their pitching staff.
Their staff, they were kind of built that way. They needed him to eat up a lot of innings. And he had struggled, even fell out of the rotation at one point. He's back now. He's pitching better. Pitched great this past week. And so that's a key development for them. I feel like they're trending up here in the last few weeks. They got swept last week at Clemson.
Okay. Clemson's good though. Clemson's good.
And before that, UNC was playing great. And they're a solid offensive team with speed and power. They play good defense. They're athletic.
There's a lot to like about them. It's just finding the right pieces on the mound and putting them in the right spots. For a while, the bullpen took some time to settle.
So they kind of got that fixed. I think they're dangerous. They made a run this last year. They could do it again.
And NC State too is kind of the team that I've got my eye on this week as a team that could come out here and make a lot of noise. They could win this thing. They're very talented.
They're a lot better than their ACC record, 13 and 16. What about the arms for them? I know they've got some very impressive arms. They have. They've also had to deal with a lot of injuries there.
I know that. Are they a team that not only could be dangerous this week, but going forward? I mean, they probably have to do some work this week to get to the next one. Yeah, they probably need to win a couple games out here. I would say two wins in pool play probably gets them in.
But it may be one-on-one, depending on the size of the bubble. But yeah, the question mark is the pitching. They just don't have dominant stuff really on that staff. And Sam Heifel has had a good year. He's not had the same caliber of stuff we saw two years ago when they made that Omaha run. But he can pitch.
And he gets the most out of it. And Matt Wilson, same thing. His stuff has not come back from the off season.
I think it was hip surgery that he had. But you know what? He's good enough that he can carve it 85 to 88 and great secondary stuff. And Logan Whitaker, pitchability guys. And they kind of built their staff around those guys. And they got some veteran piece in the bullpen that don't dominate you. But I think there's enough there. They can just get those guys to pitch at their best at the right time. Because they're very offensive, one through nine. They're super deep, even one through 14.
I mean, they got guys on the bench that'd be starting almost everywhere else. All right, I got about two minutes left with Aaron Fitt, D1Baseball.com, co-editor and national college baseball writer. First, is college baseball right now better than it's ever been? How do you put it historically speaking in this era? Because there's a lot more attention given to it now, thanks to people like you, by the way, than there's really ever been. I think the game continues to grow steadily. I don't love exactly where we are right now as far as the product, because I think the game's out of balance again with the home run numbers through the roof. It feels like I said, I mean, it's gorilla ball again.
It's 1998. That's not what we need. I think they need to fix that. Right now, I mean, they don't seem to particularly care because people like... Chicks tick the long ball.
What are we talking about, Aaron? Exactly. And the game is ratings-wise and attendance-wise and all those things.
The pace of play has improved with some of the new rules. I mean, there's a lot of... We over in less than four hours? Oh, yeah.
Listen, we're under three hours this year. What? Oh, yeah. Oh, wait. That's good. It is good. All right.
All right. And one other thing. How have we survived without this week or how will we survive? Because it's just Tuesday without the big brand that is Florida State here. Shocking, isn't it? How unbelievable is it that neither Florida State nor Louisville are here at the ACC tournament? There's only 14 teams in the league, and the last two are those two? I mean, I cannot wrap my mind around that.
That is amazing. Like, Louisville's new to the ACC, obviously. But when... They've been in the class league since they've been here. They have been.
Absolutely. They've been like first or second pretty much every year. But when I was a college student at the University of Maryland, they used to be in the league, kids. We did the ACC baseball tournament. I went to Greenville, South Carolina to broadcast the ACC baseball tournament three years in a row. And it was Georgia Tech, Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina a little bit. But it was basically those three schools dominated the league. Tech's just okay, right? Yeah.
Right? It was before Miami, obviously. But it was all of that. It was... Actually, it wasn't Florida State. Florida State wasn't in the league yet.
But it was Clemson and Georgia Tech made that up. You are old. I am... Wow.
Aaron Fitt, at Aaron Fitt on Twitter, d1baseball.com, co-editor, national college baseball writer. Thank you very much for hanging out. By the way, you were on TV. I was a pleasure, my friend. Thank you very much.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-23 17:12:13 / 2023-05-23 17:17:10 / 5