NC State Woofers (11-1) @ #12 Clemson Tigers (10-1)
Yeah its early and NC State has mostly played easy competition, but they are killing people. Their best opponent, #8 Coastal Carolina, beat them in a 6-3 contest at Myrtle Beach in a weekend tournament for their sole loss. They defeated UC-Irvine at that tournament 7-4 in 10 innings. The 3 game set against Clemson begins a 9-game road trip.
The Tigers lead the overall series 104-68-1, and have beaten NC State more times than any other opponents aside from North Carolina and Duke.
From the NC State Preview
• Drew Poulk and Kyle Wilson all have hit safely in all 12 games.
• Wilson is hitting .426 (20-for-47) with four doubles, a home run and 12 walks.
• Poulk is hitting .392 (20-for-51) with six doubles, one homer and 16 RBIs.
• Pratt Maynard has hit safely in 10 straight games, batting .455 (20-for-44) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and 13 RBIs.
• Chris Schaeffer has produced a nine-game hitting streak and is batting .483 (14-for-29) during his streak.
From the CUAD Preview
The Tigers hold a 52-22-1 lead over the Wolfpack in games played at Clemson and a 39-14 lead at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers also hold a 82-54 advantage in ACC regular-season games.
Jack Leggett has a 38-18 record against N.C. State as Clemson's head coach, including an 18-5 mark at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Leggett was 7-18 against N.C. State as Western Carolina's head coach, meaning he has a 45-36 all-time record against the Wolfpack.
Last Weekend: Clemson took 2 of 3 against now-19th-ranked South Carolina. Clemson defeated Gardner-Webb 13-2 Thursday afternoon, with homers from Schaus, Parker, and Shaffer....oh and Brad Miller made 2 more errors giving him 8 on the season. Think his glove is going to cost us a close game at some point?
Friday 4pm: RHP Cory Mazzoni (2-0, 2.16 ERA, 16.2IP, 12H, 4 ER, 9 BB, 18 Ks) vs. Lefty Casey Harman (2-0, 2.30, 15.2IP, 13H, 4 ER, 6BB, 14Ks)
Saturday 2pm: RHP Jake Buchanan (2-1, 1.77ERA, 20.1IP, 11, 4 ER, 1BB, 15 Ks) vs. Unannounced, but likely Will Lamb, or perhaps Haselden will get a shot.
Sunday 1pm: NC State has not announced a Sunday Starter to face Scott Weismann (2-0, 2.93 ERA, 15Ks in 15.1 IP), which as you'll see below is to be expected.
NC State Team Batting Statistics through 12 games shows the best in nearly every category. NCSU leads in BA, Runs, Hits, Doubles, RBIs, being hit by pitches, and 2nd in HRs and Walks. Right now they hit 90 points higher than Clemson.
|Clemson||.302 BA||381 AB||100 H||115 R||24 2B||0 3Bs||19 HR||89 RBI||58 BBs||12 HBP||17-25 SB-ATT|
|Kyle Wilson CF||.426||22||20||4||1||10||12|
|Dallas Poulk 2B||.467||22||21||5||3||23||9|
|Andrew Ciencin 3B||.417||11||20||6||1||21||7|
|Pratt Maynard 1B/C||.455||13||20||3||2||13||11|
|Drew Poulk RF||.392||9||20||6||1||16||4|
|Danny Canela DH||.326||13||15||5||2||14||3|
|Tarran Senay OF||.345||13||10||2||1||4||6|
|Chris Schaeffer C/1B||.483||13||14||4||1||7||6|
|Matt Bergquist SS||.385||15||15||1||0||11||2|
Russell Wilson plays several positions and has come in as a pinch hitter and substitution quite often so I included him above. You can see its a very balanced lineup with good disciplined sluggers top to bottom. Harman, Weismann and Lamb will have their work cut out for them.
Their pitching staff, however, is an antithesis of the lineup, particulary after the top 2 starters. Its a Spahn and Sain and pray for rain type of staff. Danny Healey has started 3 games and has only 7 innings and a 7+ ERA. Ethan Ogburn and Mike Russo have been similarly weak. They've given up tons of runs to that subpar competition and haven't found a good 3rd starter so far, but they do have a few solid guys in the bullpen in Vance Williams, Rob Chamra, and Grant Sasser. They may try to start one of those guys this Sunday.
Good pitching beats good hitting, especially when theres this much of a gap between the two pitching staffs. One stat really jumps out at me....Look at the amount of walks given up by their staff, thats an outrageous amount for 110 innings pitched, and thats why theyre giving up so many runs. Notice the similarity with our own ER-BB stat columns as well. Only if the Woofers can throw strikes and the starters go deep into the game should we be in trouble this weekend against their staff.
Given the firepower of this lineup and the occasional shakyness of the Clemson pen, I could see them winning at least one game this weekend, but I doubt it will be Sunday with their problems finding a 3rd guy. I think Clemson takes the series at home 2-1. This series would really do alot for the confidence of our staff if we can hammer down that .392 batting average. Either way it turns out, we will know just what we have in our pitching staff this weekend.
The College Baseball Blog previews the entire weekend in the ACC here.