2007 ACC Baseball Season Gets Underway Friday

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GREENSBORO, N.C. - After sending a league-record four teams to the College World Series a year ago, No. 2 Miami and 13th-ranked Florida State will both kick off the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball season this weekend.

In addition, the 2007 ACC Baseball Tournament will be played in a round-robin format for the first time in conference history.

Six ACC teams garnered recognition in four national preseason polls this year with Clemson, North Carolina, Miami, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Florida State appearing in all four. Clemson, the ACC overall preseason favorite, led all league schools in three of the four preseason polls. The Tigers made a No. 2 showing in the Collegiate Baseball, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls, while Clemson was ranked third by Baseball America.

Both Miami and FSU open the season at home with a three-game series on Friday, February 2. The Miami Hurricanes hit the field against Mercer, while the Seminoles host No. 18 Tennessee. The Friday and Saturday games in each series will also be broadcast on ACC Select.

A double-elimination tournament for the last 33 years, the ACC and the league's 12 head baseball coaches decided to implement a two division, round-robin format for 2007. Under the new format, each of the eight teams competing in the five-day event is guaranteed a minimum of three games within its half of the bracket.

Seeding for the eight teams advancing to the ACC Baseball Championship will be determined after the completion of the regular season. Seeds 1, 4, 5 and 8 will compete in pool play on one side of the bracket, while seeds 2, 3, 6 and 7 will play in the other. The two teams with the best record within their bracket will advance to the Championship title game, with the winner earning the ACC's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

The 2007 ACC Baseball Tournament, which takes place May 23-27, will return for a third year to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Fla.

Clemson, the 2006 ACC Regular-Season and Tournament Champions, will open the season with nine consecutive homes games and 17 of its first 18 games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. George Mason will come to town from February 16-18 to open the slate, High Point will take on Clemson in Tigertown on February 21, then Pacific will travel eastward to take on the Tigers the following weekend (February 23-25).

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