#7 Florida State (39-13, 18-9 ACC) hosts the #15 Clemson Tigers (37-16, 15-12 acc)
We're in the same situation as last year. FSU has taken care of business against their #14-rated SOS and Clemson has turned it up against our #5 ranked SOS, but the earlier losses are what hold us back. FSU needed to win 1 game out of 3 at Tiger Field last year and we swept them to win the Division. Clemson will most likely be the No.6 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament – unless it can sweep this to win the Atlantic Division. The Tigers have won six straight weekend series and 23 of their last 27 games, including nine of their last 10. The Seminoles, who are 15-3 in their last 18 games, are 24-5 at home in 2011. Florida State has lost only one series at home this year, dropping two of three to North Carolina last month.
FSU ranks #4 in RPI, behind both UVA and UNC. Clemson ranks #9, just behind GT. Because we have essentially 4 ACC hosts for Regionals, we would need a series win here (or sweep) combined with a strong showing (or title) in the ACC Tournament to host. In the Supers though, all bets are off. SEBaseball still has us a #2 in Hattiesburg.
Clemson AD Series Preview
Saturdays game will be televised regionally.
Clemson and Florida State have met 117 times on the diamond, with the Seminoles holding a 63-53-1 lead in the series dating back to 1958. The Seminoles hold a 34-13-1 lead in games played at Florida State, while the Tigers own a 29-28 advantage in ACC regular-season games.
Clemson defeated Davidson 19-0. Clemson won 2 at Blacksburg.
FSU won 2 of 3 vs NCSU in Raleigh.
In his last five starts, all as Clemson’s game-one starter on weekends, he has pitched 35.1 combined innings. He is 5-0 with a 1.78 ERA and has allowed just 18 hits (.149 opponents’ batting average) and 12 walks with 40 strikeouts. In 29.1 innings pitched over his last four starts, he is 4-0 with a 1.53 ERA, .131 opponents’ batting average, and 35 strikeouts against eight walks.
The Seminoles average 7.5 runs per game, best in the ACC, but Clemson is third at 7.1 per; the Tigers also lead the ACC with a .321 batting average, thanks in part to Brad Miller, who is the ACC’s top hitter at .429 and PoW (again).
You can see below this is another group of solid hitters, but this year they don't have that one guy that scares the shit out of you. They work their share of walks and I'll put money down that they don't use the same shitty Easton BBCOR bats we've been using (til last week that is).
Justin Gonzalez has been hit a whopping 14 times this year. James Ramsey and Rafael Lopez are hitting .358-4-28 and .329-3-14 in ACC play respectively.
In 23 AB vs FSU, Stolz is hitting .391 with 5 RBI. Miller sports a career .346 with 1 homer and 6 RBIs. Brad is also hitting .495 over his last 28 games. John Hinson has a 9 game hit streak with a .476 average during the streak while Lamb has hit safely in 38 of 41 games.
Clemson is hitting .342 with runners in scoring position. Fourteen Tigers have combined for a .336 batting average off the bench this season. Meanwhile, Clemson opponents have a .165 batting average off the bench.
John Hinson leads the team with 21 stolen bases, Brad Miller has 20 steals, and Will Lamb has swiped 11 bases. Eight of the nine regular starters in the field have totaled at least five stolen bases in 2011.
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I think the biggest change I see in their statistics is the (re)emergence of Gilmartin as a solid starter. He kinda sucked last year and their pitching never really got it together until the NCAA tournament. However, they still lead the ACC in fatass pitchers.
Hunter Scantling has had an OK year overall so one may expect him to start Game 2, but he's sporting a 5.74 ERA in ACC-only play. Scott Sitz is another that is underperforming with a 7.77 ERA in ACC play in 22IP (5 starts). I would expect Brian Busch to get the start though against our LH-dominated lineup. He has a 5-2 record with a 4.02 ERA in 47IP.
Daniel Bennett has emerged as the Noles' new closer with 6 ACC saves out of 11 and a 2.03 ERA in 44 1/3 IP with 38Ks. Overall I'd say they are stronger at the back end of the pen and short/spot relief, but the starting pitching still has room for improvement.
Wednesday, Kevin Brady returned and threw a perfect inning, his first work since being sidelined with a strained forearm in early March. He hit 92 MPH with his fastball and could factor out of the bullpen this weekend.
In the last 90.1 innings pitched by Tiger hurlers, Clemson has allowed just 11 earned runs (1.10 ERA). Clemson has allowed three runs or less in 10 straight games. Clemson relievers have combined for a 2.35 ERA and .215 opponents’ batting average in 2011.
I dont think its realistic to expect a sweep, but with their weak rotation it is possible should we beat Gilmartin. I feel good about winning 2 games of this one.