For the first time since 2014, there were no North Carolina teams among college basketball’s Final Four. There are, however, three state teams currently ranked among the nation’s top 11 in the current college baseball polls.
NC State, Duke and East Carolina all made significant jumps in the Baseball America rankings that were released Monday thanks impressive conference series victories over the weekend.
The Wolfpack moved from 10th to No. 6 by bouncing back from an opening game loss to win two out of three at Virginia Tech. The final of those two victories was a thrilling 1-0 shutout. Coach Elliott Avent’s team is now 23-5, with a 9-3 ACC record that puts it atop the Atlantic Division standings.
Duke, which started the week ranked 13th, moved into the top 10 for the first time in school history at No. 10 by sweeping Notre Dame. The highlight of the weekend was a 12-run eighth inning rally that turned a 4-4 tie into a 16-4 victory on Sunday.
Coach Chris Pollard’s team, who missed out on the NCAA tournament last year after qualifying in 2016, is now 24-3 with a Coastal Division-leading 9-3 mark in ACC play.
Like the Blue Devils, ECU is also looking to bounce back from a disappointing season a year ago.
Coach Cliff Godwin’s team took another step in that direction by rallying from a lopsided opening game loss to claim a series win against fellow American Athletic Conference frontrunner Wichita State. Sunday’s 5-0 win featured a stellar pitching performance from sophomore starter Tyler Smith and three relievers, who blanked the hard-hitting Shockers on just four hits.
Now 20-6 on the season (4-2 in AAC play), the Pirates made the biggest jump in this week’s poll from 17th to 11th.
All three teams are also ranked in several other polls.
Collegiate Baseball has State No. 4, Duke No, 7 and ECU No. 18 while PerfectGame.org ranks the Wolfpack at No. 5, the Blue Devils No. 11 and Pirates No. 17.