Tigers Host 17th-ranked Cavaliers

Brandon Waddell

#17 Virginia Cavaliers (15-1, 2-1 ACC) vs. Clemson Tigers (10-5, 2-1 ACC)

UVA comes back to Tigertown, and hopefully it'll pan out better than the last half dozen years when we've faced them. Brian O'Connor has developed this into a scrappy team that gets hits when they need them, pitches outstanding, and doesn't really beat itself. They can work walks, get on base, steal bases, and get runners home in the clutch. They don't do it with big power hitters every year in Charlottesville, they just recruit better players and much better pitchers. Don't be amazed by their record, they havent played anybody. Their best wins are over ECU and Maryland, but they currently rank just behind us in RPI. I think this Clemson pitching staff can handle them, but I don't know if we're going to get any hits. We cannot make mistakes, or they'll make us pay like SC does.

Clemson AD Series Preview -- Virginia AD series preview

Clemson and Virginia have met 150 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 102-48 lead in the series dating to the 1955 season. Last year at UVa Baseball Stadium, the Cavaliers swept the Tigers by a combined score of 16-7. The last meeting at Tiger Field was also a UVA sweep.

UVA is 15-2 against Clemson since 2006, and 21 of 25 since they hired this coaching staff, including 8 straight. They tend to get a ton of LHP and with us being more lefty batters, they can manhandle us. Basically since they've completely revamped their program and sunk money into it, they've kicked our ass. They were almost ready to drop it entirely before that decision was made about 10 years ago. Pay attention DRad. Jack is only 31-28 against UVA.

All 3 games are on ESPN3.

Last Week:

Clemson took 2 of 3 in Raleigh from #9 NC State, and defeated Charleston Southern 3-1 Wednesday. Freshman LHP Matt Crownover went 6 innings with 3 hits and 2 Ks.

UVA took 2 of 3 from Maryland, then defeated Liberty 7-2.

Weekend Starters:

Friday, 6:30pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
LHP Brandon Waddell 2-0 1.59 22.2 22 7 4 6

33

RHP Daniel Gossett 2-1 1.46 24.2 18 9 4 11 25

Saturday, 6:30:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
LHP Scott Silverstein 3-0 1.85 24.1 22 8 5 7 14
RHP Clate Schmidt 2-0 1.56 17.1 21 4 3 6 13

Sunday, 1pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP Nick Howard 2-1 0.81 22.1 20 5 2 1 22
RHP Scott Firth 2-2 0.98 27.2 23 9 3 5 15


Hitting Comparison

Team Batting Statistics
BA AB H R 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SB-ATT Fielding
Clemson .248 491 122 72 24 1 5 66 46 11 24-33 .969
Virginia .313 534 167 140 28 16 11 134 97 27 22-29 .962

I do not expect Clemson to try stealing much, but I hope we test them. The staff is LH heavy and they've allowed 6 of 8 attempts.

The lineup was changed last weekend for the Sunday game, which you see below, after Garrett Boulware heated up. He went 5 for 14 with 2 HRs for the week. Shane Kennedy went 5 for 12, and Jay Baum went 7 for 16 with 4 SBs. Mostly against NC State's pitching staff and porous defense, we raised our hitting clip a little as a team, but it went back down with the poor performance against Charleston Southern. The Wolfpack outhit the Tigers .294 to .257, but Clemson had a .366 on-base percentage to N.C. State's .358 on-base percentage. Boulware led the Tigers by going 5-for-11 (.455) with two homers, one double, five RBIs, four runs, and three walks.

McGibbon has been starting to hit again, but he still must produce more than he is. I'm confused as to why Jackson Campana isn't getting some of his ABs. I'm still confused on why other guys like Costigan aren't getting ABs either.

Clemson Prospective Lineup
Pos Player BA R H 2B HR RBI BB
CF Thomas Brittle .250 12 13 1 1 5 7
3B Jay Baum .286 6 16 3 0 3 3
2B Steve Wilkerson .293 9 17 3 1 11 4
C Garrett Boulware .333 8 14 4 2 11 4
RF Steven Duggar .278 11 15 4 0 8 4
DH Shane Kennedy .250 10 12 0 1 12 8
1B Jon McGibbon .185 5 10 1 0 6 6
SS Tyler Krieger .184 4 9 2 0 3 5
LF Maleeke Gibson .206 4 7 1 0 2 2
UVA Prospective Lineup
Pos Player BA R H 2B HR RBI BB
SS Branden Cogswell .392 24 20 2 0 7 20
1B Jared King .245 9 13 2 0 8 11
3B Kenny Towns .286 14 16 5 3 22 6
LF Derek Fisher .333 16 17 3 2 19 11
CF Brandon Downes .338 19 22 4 3 18 9
DH Nick Howard .354 12 17 5 0 12 7
RF Joe McCarthy .333 15 18 1 1 13 18
2B Reed Gragnani .300 9 15 2 0 10 7
C Nate Irving .288 8 15 2 0 14 2

Not many weaknesses, we just have to keep the leadoff hitter off base.

Of UVa's 140 runs, 108 have come after the third inning (77 percent). The Cavaliers' most dominant innings: the fifth (outscored 26-3), seventh (23-6) and eighth (24-3). UVa averages 8.8 runs per game, outscoring its opponents 133-39, and has trailed after the sixth inning in just two games.They are also chock full of freshmen just like us, having played 11 so far (Clemson plays 13).

Team Pitching

Team Pitching Statistics

ERA W-L SHO/CBO Saves IP H R ER BB Ks
Clemson 2.20 10-5 3/3 5 135.0 120 52 33 45 104
Virginia 1.88 15-1 5/5 3 144.0 123 41 30 36 139

Virginia's starting pitchers have been great over the first four weeks of the season. UVa's starters own a 10-1 record and 1.53 ERA this year, while batters have hit just .229 against them, including only 11 extra-base hits. The Cavaliers racked up a streak of 42 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings which ran from Feb. 16-March 2. Freshmen have accounted for 48.4 percent of the innings pitched this year (69 2/3 of 144 total). Freshman righthander Josh Sborz has two of the team's three saves and has 13 strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched.

UVa's pen is stout otherwise. Only 2 pitchers have ERA over 2.45. Whit Mayberry returns in long relief/setup and has a 2-0 record with a 0.73 ERA in 11 1/3 with 9 Ks. Runs will be hard to come by even against the pen.

It appears that Kevin Pohle may end up taking the medical RS this season, he simply isn't responding to treatments. If he comes back and we bring back this staff next year, barring injury we should be really special on the mound.

Schell has been Clemson's best long reliever this season. He is 1-0 and has surrendered only one run and seven hits in 11.0 innings pitched, good for an 0.82 ERA and a .175 opponents' batting average. Campbell has four of the team's saves along with a 1.59 ERA in six relief appearances.

JoMo has managed to not give up any runs charged to himself, miraculously. He only lets the previous pitcher's runners score. Jon Meyer has been up/down as usual, and Mike Kent disappeared after UVA last year and I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up disappearing this season too. Otherwise our pen has been pretty solid.

I do have a good feeling about winning 1, but I'm still not sold on this team. We get owned by Virginia in this sport of late, and I want to see us outfundamental and outpitch a good team like this one.

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