I don't think this is a supremely talented FSU squad, but they are playing ball really really well and rolling through their opponents (aside from Kevin O's UF team) so they deserve their #1 ranking. They swept UVA at home, GT in Atlanta, Miami, Duke and Virginia Tech. They have not lost an ACC series, but were defeated by Florida in all games played.
FSU isn't statistically dominant, per se. The lineup isn't particularly intimidating, except for two .400 hitters: James Ramsey and Jayce Boyd. They are hitting very well against ACC pitching overall however. Where I think they've made some strides this year is with the starting pitching and some key stoppers in the pen, but overall they are just doing what it takes to win. At this point last year, the team ERA was 3.38, and its 3.27 coming in this weekend. However the conference play team ERA is a Run lower this year. The team average is actually down (.294 vs .286) compared to this time last year, and that team lost a few more games.
Both teams field about the same (.970 FSU vs .972 for CU) this season.
Historically, the home team does really well in this series, like with Georgia Tech. Strangely enough, I do feel like we can win here if the bats show up, even without Kevin Brady.
Monday's game is live on ESPNU, but all are on ESPN3.
Clemson and Florida State have met 121 times on the diamond, with the Seminoles holding a 65-55-1 lead in the series dating back to the 1958 season. The Tigers have won five of the last seven games in the series after Florida State won five of the previous six meetings. The Tigers hold a 28-18 lead over the Seminoles in games played at Clemson and a a 31-29 advantage in ACC regular-season games. Jack has a 31-38 record against Florida State
Clemson defeated Tennessee Tech 9-8, coming from an 8-2 deficit. We took 2 of 3 against CofC at home barely, losing our first game EVER against Charleston in the final after nearly losing the first.
FSU took 2 of 3 against Maryland at home, and split the midweek games with Stetson.
Compton is one of the best freshmen in the ACC, with a 1.99 ERA in conference play.
Officially neither team has picked starters here.
Obviously Clemson's problem all year has been with the bottom of the order getting hits to knock in the top that are all getting on. FSU hasn't had that sort of problem, as most of the lineup hits very well (team .283 BA) in conference play. As you can see below, the top is potent and they get a ton of walks.
Brittle is riding a 22-game hitting streak, tied for the eighth-longest hitting streak in Clemson history. He is 40-for-105 (.381) with four doubles, six triples, two homers, 27 RBIs, 23 runs, four steals, and only eight strikeouts during his current 22-game hitting streak. It is the 20th hitting streak of 20 games or more in Clemson history.
Shaffer has reached base via a hit or walk in 27 consecutive games.
FSU brings a much better, and less pudgy, bullpen to Clemson this time around. Robert Benincasa is the best closer in the ACC, striking out 41 batters in 29.1 IP. He sports a 4-0 record with 12 Saves and a tiny 0.61 ERA. His ACC-only stats are just as impressive.
The rest of the main guys in the pen are also having good years. Hunter Scantling leads in with 39IP and a 5-0 record with a 3.00 ERA. Gage Smith, Mack Waugh, and Bryant Holtmann all have sub-3.00 ERAs with over 21IP+.
Clemson has been riding the backs of Firth (4-0, 2.03), Campbell (1-2 2.49), Haselden (3-1, 3.23) and Kent (1-1, 3.34) all year and that won't change. Unfortunately Campbell is gone now with the arm injury and all we can do is pray when JoMo or Andrews go in.