Clemson to Face Hokies in Key ACC Series

via media.orangeandwhite.com

#16 Clemson Tigers (34-15, 13-11) @ Virginia Tech Hokies (28-21, 9-15 ACC)

To tell you the truth, I expected VT to be considerably better this year than they've turned out. They do play in the tougher Coastal division, so winning the division was not what I was thinking, but I did believe they'd be over .500 in ACC play at this point like ourselves. They were swept by Miami, UNC, UVA, lost 2 to BC and 2 to FSU. Most of those were at home too. They handled the rest of their competition pretty well but those sweeps are what you see in the 9-15 record. Unfortunately they've stumbled with their starting pitching this year, which seems to be the biggest culprit in their W-L record.

SEBaseball projects Clemson to Hattiesburg with Southern Miss as a #2 seed in their latest projections. Clemson has won 20 of 23 games. If we can sweep here and sweep FSU we're assured of hosting the 1st round. If we go 4-2 then possibly, but this and GT are the toughest stretches of the 2nd half of our schedule. We have #8 RPI and a Top 10 SOS at the moment. Just by going off of that, you would think we should be a lock, but there are 4 other ACC hosts that are pretty definite. FSU leads the Atlantic by 3 games and faces NC ST this weekend.

"Hopefully this weekend we can take all three," said junior third baseman John Hinson. "We’re looking to win as much as we can, especially if we’re looking to get a chance to host. We really need to do as much damage as we can and take this momentum and keep rolling."

Clemson AD Series Preview

Clemson and Virginia Tech have met 58 times, with the Tigers holding a 34-22-2 lead in the series dating back to 1902. The Hokies hold a 13-8-1 lead in games played at Virginia Tech, while the Tigers own a 15-3 advantage in ACC regular-season games.

Jeff Schaus, Addison Johnson, and Alex Frederick will all miss commencement ceremonies to play Friday night in Blacksburg.

Last week:

Clemson slapped Gardner-Webb around by a combined score of 30-2.

VT split a 2-game set with James Madison and defeated USC-Spartanburg last week.

Weekend Starters:

Friday, 530pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP Dominic Leone 4-1 3.06 47.0 30 17 16 19 53
LHP Joe Mantiply 5-6 4.06 73.1 78 38 33 26 58

Saturday, 2pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP Jonathan Meyer 5-1 2.82 54.1 40 18 17 15 49
RHP Mark Zecchino 5-4 4.57 69.0 69 40 35 27 83

Sunday, 1pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP Justin Sarratt 6-1 1.70 58.1 47 17 11 7 47
RHP Joe Parsons 6-2 2.91 65 62 24 21 19 44

Hitting Comparison

Team Batting Statistics
BA R/9 H R 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SB-ATT
Clemson .314 7.0 523 344 105 14 29 307 230 36 91/115
VT .296 7.1 511 347 119 24 57 314 158 53 46/65

VT's lineup leads the ACC in HRs despite the BBCOR bats and a normal sized ballpark. VTs 57 home runs lead the ACC; FSU is second with 45, and Clemson is seventh with 29.  Andrew Rash has 17 home runs and 50 RBI, and leads the ACC in home runs, slugging percentage and total bases.

Who wants to bet they dont use Easton bats?

VT Prospective Lineup
Pos Player BA R H 2B HR RBI BB
DH Jake Atwell .311 28 33 5 2 17 16
2B Michael Seaborn .306 50 60 18 3 28 20
1B Ronnie Shaban .306 31 60 15 5 50 20
SS Tim Smalling .322 36 64 13 9 40 12
LF Andrew Rash .351 46 59 16 17 50 18
CF Tony Balisteri .325 43 64 12 5 26 15
RF Gabe Ortiz .279 16 24 8 3 13 6
C Chad Morgan .221 18 27 6 2 22 15
3B Johnny Morales .244 26 39 8 0 18 13
Prospective Lineup
Pos Player BA R H 2B HR RBI BB
3B John Hinson .306 47 56 10 5 28 19
DH Phil Pohl .351 36 60 17 4 29 12
LF Jeff Schaus .309 32 55 16 0 34 31
1B Richie Shaffer .333 51 57 13 7 40 34
SS Brad Miller .437 43 62 10 2 38 33
C Spencer Kieboom .292 18 38 8 1 24 17
CF Will Lamb .324 28 55 9 1 29 13
RF Chris Epps .257 31 38 6 6 26 28
2B Jason Stolz .280 23 42 7 1 23 11

 

Shaffer is 10-for-18 in his last 5 games with 8 RBI while Brad Miller is hitting .517 in the last 24, pacing the ACC with a .437 BA. John Hinson isn't the fastest guy on the team but is tied in steals with 20 with Miller. Will Lamb has 11 and is riding a 24 game hit streak, tied for the longest by an ACC player in 2011 and tied for the fifth-longest in school history. During the 24-game hitting streak, he is 33-for-90 (.367).

Clemson is hitting .343 with RISP, and they've done good damage with 2 outs this week.

Clemson finished the 2010 season third in the nation in walks (375), and the team has picked right up where it left off. Clemson has totaled 230 walks in 49 games this season, good for 4.7 walks per game. Epps is among the best in school history in drawing "free passes," as he has 129 in 549 at-bats over 199 career games (146 starts). He has one walk every 4.26 at-bats in his career, the fourth-best mark in Clemson history. I wonder where his strikeout rate ranks?

Team Pitching

Team Pitching Statistics
ACC Rank ERA W-L SHO/CBO Saves IP H R ER BB Ks
Clemson 3.09 34-15 5/5 11 434.2 366 184 149 144 377
Virginia Tech 4.46 28-21 4/3 8 436.0 435 251 216 217 389

 

Tech has a few guys in the Pen, but for the most part they have little for us to fear out there. They seem to have been hunting the right starting rotation in midweek games, but the main 3 are the 3 we are facing this weekend. They have not deviated much from that.

Jake Joyce leads the team with 3 Saves but has a 6.34 ERA in 32.2 IP. Only 4 VT pitchers have ERAs below 4.00: Parsons, Jake Atwell (2.29 in 19.2IP), Manny Martir (2-1, 3.00 in 45IP), and Patrick Scoggin (4-1, 3.66 in 39.1 IP). The last 3 are the only ones I'd be worried about facing. All of them have good K numbers but have piled up quite a few walks.

In the last 55.1 innings pitched by Tiger hurlers, Clemson has allowed just three earned runs.In Weismann's nine relief appearances this season, he has four saves in 10.1 innings pitched. He also has a 1.74 ERA and .162 opponents’ batting average along with 17 strikeouts against only two walks out of the bullpen. In his last eight relief outings, he has pitched 8.2 innings, allowing just three singles (.103 opponents’ batting average), no runs, and no walks with 15 strikeouts. Looks like he's found a spot where his mechanics arent becoming a problem.

Both teams field about the same. I think Clemson wins 2 of 3, but with this lineup and being on the road, some of our stellar pitching stats will end.

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