Tigers head to College Park, hoping to turn season around.

via media.independentmail.com

Maryland Terrapins (16-34, 4-20 ACC) vs. Clemson Tigers (28-17, 11-10 ACC)

This is the time when we have to turn this around. Maryland is an awful baseball team. They can't hit well, and they pitch just as bad. If they do anything well its steal bases, but they don't get on base enough for it to make a difference against good pitching.

There is no excuse for anything but a Clemson sweep, even if it is Maryland's last home series.

Current Regional Projections from SEBaseball have Clemson in, playing at Sakerlina's Regional.

Clemson AD Series Preview -- Maryland AD series preview

Clemson and Maryland have met 150 times, with the Tigers holding a 111-39 lead in the series dating back to the 1923 season. The two teams have faced each other at least one time every year since 1954. The Tigers hold a 37-28 lead all-time in games played at Maryland and a 98-36 advantage in ACC regular-season games. Jack Leggett is 42-8 against Maryland as Clemson's head coach, including 16-7 at Bob Smith Stadium.

Maryland head coach Erik Bakich is a former Clemson assistant.

Last Week: Maryland was thumped soundly by Miami in Coral Gables in a 3-game set by scores of 5-1, 6-4, and 9-1. They split two games in midweek action, beating Towson 10-5 and losing to Liberty 11-1.

Clemson took 3 of 4 against Florida Gulf Coast. The same problems were displayed despite the wins: we dont hit well with RISP and the bullpen still needs substantial improvement.

Weekend Starters:

Friday, 6pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
LHP Casey Harman 5-1 3.31 70.2 61 28 26 18 60
RHP Brett Harman 4-7 4.38 76.0 80 41 37 20 80

Brett Harman has a 3.12 ERA in ACC play, he just gets no run support from this pitiful Maryland offense. He's not that bad a pitcher. In five of his eight starts against ACC competition, Brett Harman has gone at least seven innings, totaling 42 strikeouts and allowing just eight earned runs in those games. The junior is third in the league with 80 total strikeouts this season, or 9.47 per game, including 10 against Miami last weekend. 60 of Harman's strikeouts have come against ACC teams, which ranks second behind Danny Hultzen of No. 1 Virginia.

Casey's ERA has gone up with his increased strikeout totals over the last month, curiously.

Saturday, 1pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP Scott Weismann 4-2 4.60 62.2 64 40 32 19 54
LHP Eric Potter 2-9 8.39 53.2 73 60 50 32 54

Sunday, 1pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP D. Leone ? 2-0 3.79 38.0 40 20 16 11 28
RHP Sander Beck 2-9 8.39 53.0 67 49 45 36 48

Clemson has not announced the Game 3 starter. I'm guessing that Lamb has removed himself from the weekend rotation permanently for this season, so it wont be him. It could be Leone or Frederick, likely Leone.

Hitting Comparison

Team Batting Statistics
BA H R 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SB-ATT .
Clemson .304 478 384 95 9 59 356 264 40 79-99
Maryland .257 422 221 83 2 26 180 160 53 113-159

As you can see, theres nothing impressive about this lineup. Its pretty young overall and worst in the conference...nearly 15 points behind the next worst team Wake Forest. Padula is really the only threat, and Schneider's average is good but he's only had 35 ABs in 7 games started. Schneider has five straight multiple-hit games, including a 7-for-12 effort in the three games against Miami. The rest of the guys play small ball: both Rodriguez and Cleary have 10 or more Sacrifices, Rozak and Poutier have 7 apiece, and they steal a ton of basees. Murakami is 14/16 on SBs, Rodriguez 23/30, and Marquis 11/15....and many more quality runners elsewhere in the lineup.

Maryland is averaging 4.5 runs per game and hitting a .360 slugging percentage and .341 on-base percentage.  The Terrapins are tied for eighth in the nation in steals and are sixth in sacrifice bunts (52). They will squeeze and double-steal and try hit-and-runs quite often.

Marquis hits a more respectable .273 in ACC play, and Padula posts a team-leading .287 number in ACC play.

Maryland Prospective Lineup
Pos Player BA R H 2B HR RBI BB
SS Rodriguez .289 36 55 10 5 29 18
C Cleary .271 12 42 7 0 16 6
CF Marquis .260 23 45 10 5 23 15
LF Padula .343 22 59 11 4 30 19
1B Gentzler .243 15 28 3 2 9 12
2B Poutier .232 25 38 10 2 14 29
3B Murakami .201 20 30 6 3 14 14
RF Rozak .262 14 33 8 1 9 9
DH Schneider .486 6 17 4 1 9 0

 

Mike Freeman is riding a current 13-game hitting streak to raise his batting average to .314 on the season. He also is tied (with Kyle Parker) for the team-lead with 23 extra-base hits (15 doubles, one triple, seven homers) and has eight stolen bases.

During his 13-game hitting streak, he is 19-for-56 (.339) with four homers, six doubles, 16 RBIs, 19 runs, and three steals. The 13-game hitting streak is his longest in his three seasons at Clemson.

I'm guessing that the lineup changes made for FGC will stick through the weekend, so Epps will (hopefully) no longer be the leadoff strikeout machine.

Tigers' Prospective Lineup
Pos Player BA R H 2B HR RBI BB
DH/1B Will Lamb .290 26 29 4 2 24 18
2B Mike Freeman .314 48 58 15 7 42 25
LF Jeff Schaus .313 43 57 10 8 57 18
RF Kyle Parker .377 53 58 7 16 45 38
3B John Hinson .364 32 52 8 9 50 17
SS Brad Miller .327 43 51 13 3 23 37
1B Richie Shaffer .351 21 26 3 3 14 10
C Phil Pohl .287 15 31 8 2 20 14
CF Addison Johnson .281 13 18 1 2 13 11
C x-Phil Pohl .231 10 12 1 1 14 4
OF/DH x-Wilson Boyd .280 31 44 7 3 28 26

Team Pitching

Team Pitching Statistics
ACC Rank ERA W-L SHO/CBO Saves IP H R ER BB Ks
7th Clemson 4.56 28-17 2/2 9 405.0 431 245 205 149 315
12th Maryland 6.98 16-34 1/1 9 437.0 544 392 339 218 417

Maryland's pitching might be worse than their lineup. 6.98. Wow. Worst in the ACC. Only 3 guys on the staff have an ERA below 4.00: Harman, Dischett (4.45 in 30.1 IP), and Schwalenberg (4-3, 4.69 in 48.0IP). Gentzler appears to be a closer, with 7 saves and a 1-2 record and 5.22 ERA in 29.1 IP.

So they're pretty bad all the way through.

Clemson looks like gold in comparison. Tomas Cruz stays kinda shaky when he's out there but he's not giving up runs lately, and has brought his stratospheric ERA down to 5.88. Will Lamb has seen his once-miniscule ERA balloon to 5.45. Go-to-guy David Haselden has posted a 4-4 record with a 4.35 ERA. I think they are leaving Haselden in too long at times, because he's lights out for about an inning or so and then falls apart in longer stints.

Leone has dropped his ERA to 3.79 with his successful midweek starts and Frederick made his first midweek start this week against FGC. He has a 3-1 record with a 3.32 ERA in 38.0IP. Kevin Brady is still someone I want to see thrown out there more often. He has 27 Ks in 23.2 IP, with a 3.04 ERA.

Even though our clutch hitting is suspect and our bullpen consistently shaky over the last month, there is no reason Clemson should not sweep this series.

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