The 2011 ACC Tournament kicks off this morning at 11 a.m. when No. 3 Georgia Tech (39-17, 22-8) faces rival No. 6 Clemson (39-17, 17-13). Many times in these kind of tournaments, coaches can tinker with the normal order of pitching rotations, but it just so happens that the schedule fits in perfectly with Tech's normal lineup.
The typical Friday starter Mark Pope (11-3, 1.54 ERA) will get the ball Wednesday against Clemson's Dominic Leone (5-2, 3.67 ERA). Throwing the staff ace first sets up the Jackets to get a quick start in pool play and gives Pope a chance at returning Sunday on short rest for a possible championship game.
Thursday's matchup appears to be Tech's easiest on paper, when they face No. 7 NC State (33-23, 15-15) who the Jackets convincingly swept earlier in the season by a combined score of 32-6. Jed Bradley (6-3, 3.71 ERA) will get the start. While Bradley has dominated at times this season and should be a high draft pick, he has struggled recently including allowing seven runs in 3.2 innings this past Saturday at Virginia Tech. The Wolfpack will counter with Rob Chamra (2-3, 5.10).
Sophomore Buck Farmer has been stellar this year, compiling a 10-2 record with a 2.89 ERA. He will face No. 2 FSU's Mike McGee (8-2, 4.03 ERA) on Friday at 3 p.m. This could turn out to be a battle for one of the last national seeds, depending on how Wednesday and Thursday go for both teams.