First Pitch Invitational Preview

via media.orangeandwhite.com

Clemson Tigers (2-1) will face each of these opponents over the weekend: Cincinnati (1-2) on Friday at 4, Charleston Southern (2-2) on Saturday at 1pm, and Michigan State (3-0) at Fluor Field Sunday afternoon at 1.

Clemson and Cincinnati have met three times on the diamond, with the Bearcats holding a 2-1 lead in the series dating to 1936. Clemson has never lost to Charleston Southern, with a 14-0 record dating back to 1976. Clemson and Michigan State have met 16 times on the diamond, with the Spartans holding a 9-6-1 lead dating to the 1935 season.

Clemson downed Michigan State 10-2 at Fluor Field last year. In 2009, the Tigers won both games by scores of 15-2 and 6-1.

Clemson AD Series Preview

Last Week:

Clemson went 2-1 in their opening series of the season at home.

Cincinnati went 1-2 in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge last week, defeating Ohio State 11-5, while losing to Michigan State 8-4 and Illinois 7-3.

Charleston Southern beat Furman midweek, and won 1 of 3 against North Florida at home.

Michigan State won all 3 games in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge, against Notre Dame, Cinci, and Seton Hall. Their offense smacked them around pretty good.

Weekend Starters:

Friday, 4pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP Scott Weismann 1-0 5.40 5 5 3 3 1 4
LHP Brad Mergen 0-0 6.75 1.1 2 1 1 1 0

Saturday, 1pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP David Haselden 0-0 0.00 5 3 0 0 0 3
RHP Anthony Markham 1-0 4.91 7.1 5 4 4 1 8

Sunday, 1pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP Kevin Brady 1-0 1.69 5.1 2 1 1 1 10
RHP Andy Warzak 1-0 1.80 5 6 1 1 3 2

Hitting Comparison

Not much to compare this early in the season so no stat tables or lineups really mean anything yet. Michigan State has the best team and lineup of the 3 opponents this weekend, but given that Cincinnatti was also in the Challenge and hit around .300, I think its unfair to draw any strong conclusions without seeing them.

The Spartans are averaging 5.0 runs per game and hitting .343 with a .495 slugging percentage and .381 on-base percentage. The team has also totaled eight doubles, two triples, one home run, and two stolen bases.

Brandon Eckerle is hitting a team-high .667 (8-for-12) with two steals, while Torsten Boss is 5-for-11 (.455) with two doubles and a triple. Jeff Holm is 4-for-11 (.364) with a double, triple, homer, and a team-high five RBIs.

I just hope we don't let Chris Epps leadoff again.....forever. The lineup below is based on last weekend's. Hopefully Shaffer will get it going this weekend with Lamb and Schaus.

Prospective Lineup
Pos Player BA R H 2B HR RBI BB
RF Chris Epps .182 3 2 0 2 3 4
CF Will Lamb .231 1 3 0 0 1 1
LF Jeff Schaus .250 1 2 0 0 2 4
1B Richie Shaffer .091 2 1 0 0 0 0
SS Brad Miller .375 5 3 0 0 2 6
3B John Hinson .455 6 5 2 0 1 3
C Phil Pohl .375 1 3 0 0 3 0
DH Spencer Kieboom .556 1 5 0 0 8 2
2B Jason Stolz .500 3 3 0 0 1 3
x-CF Addison Johnson           .400 0 2 1 0 1 0

 

Team Pitching

Again, too early to say anything. I was a bit surprised Jack didn't throw out all the kids on the mound last weekend and instead went with all the experience, but I'm not complaining at all about that. Michigan State is the only one of the 3 that has enough to win a 3-game set, but anything can happen here, particularly this early in the season.

Clemson needs to sweep this series, less than 2-1 with the loss to Michigan State would be pretty weak.

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