ACC Baseball Tournament 2022: Final Four Scores, Championship Bracket, Schedule
AP Photo/Ben McKeown
The 2022 ACC Baseball Championship Game will be a battle of North Carolina with the Tar Heels taking on the Wolfpack with an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament on the line.
North Carolina is peaking at the right time after a 7-2 win over Notre Dame in Saturday’s first semifinal. The Tar Heels have won six consecutive games overall, tying their longest streak of the season.
Notre Dame was the highest seed remaining in the tournament coming out of pool play. Despite an earlier exit than anticipated, head coach Link Jarrett’s club will be included in the NCAA tournament when the field is announced Monday.
NC State got started quickly in the second semifinal against Pittsburgh. The Wolfpack put up five runs in the first inning en route to an 8-3 win. This marks the program’s second consecutive trip to the ACC title game. They lost to Duke in last year’s final.
The Tar Heels took two out of three against the Wolfpack in their regular-season series May 6-8 at Carter-Finley Stadium.
2022 ACC Baseball Tournament Semifinal Scores
Game 1: North Carolina def. Notre Dame, 7-2
Game 2: NC State def. Pittsburgh, 8-3
2022 ACC Championship Game Schedule
Matchup: North Carolina vs. NC State
Date: Sunday, May 29
Start Time: Noon ET
Watch: ESPN 2
North Carolina 7, Notre Dame 2
In their first head-to-head matchup of the season, North Carolina used a late rally to beat Notre Dame and reach the conference title game for the first time since 2019.
The Tar Heels struck first on Colby Wilkerson’s fielder’s choice RBI in the top of the second. Jack Brannigan tied things up in the third with a solo homer to left field off North Carolina starter Will Sandy.
Carter Putz gave the Fighting Irish a 2-1 lead with a homer in the bottom of the fifth. North Carolina evened things up in the top of the sixth on Hunter Stokely’s RBI double.
After a scoreless seventh inning, the Tar Heels broke things open in the top of the eighth. Mac Horvath drove in a run with a bases-loaded single. Danny Serretti brought two more runs home with a double off Will Mercer.
Johnny Castagnozzi gave the Tar Heels two insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Davis Palermo closed out the game with two scoreless innings.
A total of five North Carolina pitchers combined to allow seven hits, all singles, to Notre Dame. Palermo and Gage Gillian both had three strikeouts in the win.
Despite the loss, Notre Dame is still in a good position heading into Selection Monday. D1Baseball.com projected the Fighting Irish to be a No. 1 seed and host a regional coming into today’s game.
North Carolina was also projected to be a No. 1 seed and host a regional before reaching the ACC title game. It’s potentially safe to assume the Tar Heels won’t have to travel far when the NCAA tournament begins, regardless of Sunday’s outcome.
NC State 8, Pittsburgh 3
NC State’s offense came out of the gate swinging against Pitt starter Logan Evans. Devonte Brown blasted a solo homer on the fourth pitch of the game. After LuJames Groover III grounded out, Tommy White homered to extend the lead to 2-0.
Four batters later, Dominic Pilolli smacked a two-run homer to right field that made it a 5-0 game.
Pitt tried to claw its way back in the top of the fourth. Brock Franks’ two-out single off Canaan Silver drove in two runs.
When it seemed like Pitt was building some momentum, NC State took it right back in the bottom of the fourth. Groover’s sacrifice fly made it a 6-3 score. Noah Soles drove in two more runs with a single to left center.
That would be more than enough offense for the Wolfpack pitching staff. Silver, Justin Lawson and Chris Villaman combined for 13 strikeouts and allowed three earned runs on nine hits.
Pitt did threaten in the top of the ninth when Lawson walked the first two hitters. Villaman came in and shut things down with three consecutive strikeouts to end the game.
NC State limped into the ACC tournament with four losses in its final five games of the regular season, including a three-game sweep at the hands of Wake Forest last weekend.
The Wolfpack got revenge by beating Wake Forest in their first game of the tournament. They have added wins over Miami and Pitt to reach the conference title game.