Bumblebees Come to Tiger Field

#18 Georgia Tech (27-14, 11-10 ACC) vs. Clemson Tigers (28-13, 13-8 ACC)

From Baseball America:

Georgia Tech travels to Clemson in a series that could make or break both teams’ hosting hopes. The Tigers are in better shape in the RPI (No. 12 vs. No. 22) and in the conference standings (13-8 vs. 11-10), and they have the advantage of being at home against the Yellow Jackets, who are in a funk. Tech averaged 10 runs per game through the first five weeks of the season, but they have scored just 3.6 runs per game over their last 12 games. Take out a 14-1 midweek win against Savannah State, and that average drops to 2.8 runs per game in the other 11 games. They hit .351 through the first six weeks of the season, but they have hit just .261 since. Incidentally, the Jackets have lost two of their three series, dropping a road set at Duke and getting swept by North Carolina State. They might have hit rock bottom Tuesday against 16-26 Georgia, which blew them out 17-0 at Turner Field. Tech heads into this weekend riding its first four-game losing streak since 2009.

"We’re not doing things we need to do—whether it’s on the mound, at the plate, in the field—to play good, sound baseball," Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the UGa. loss. "So we’ve got to start doing that, or there’ll be more games like this because we’re not playing anybody easy the rest of the year on our schedule."

Clemson AD Series Preview -- GT AD series preview

Clemson and Georgia Tech have met 210 times, with the Tigers holding a 105-102-3 lead in the series dating to the 1902 season. The two teams have faced each other at least one time every year since 1974. The Tigers hold a 45-23-1 lead over the Yellow Jackets in games played at Clemson and a 35-16 advantage at Tiger Field. Jack is 40-33 against GT.

Friday night's game will be televised by CSS and will be available via webcast on ESPN3. Saturday will be on TigerCast.

Last Week:

GT was swept at home by NC State and were crushed by UGA 17-0 at Turner Field on Tuesday night.

Clemson defeated WCU 12-0 at home, but lost the series to Miami 2-1 in Coral Gables.

Weekend Starters:

Friday, 2:30pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP Buck Farmer 7-2 2.22 69.0 58 16 79
RHP Daniel Gossett 6-2 2.56 63.1 52 26 18 22 61

Friday, 7pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP Dusty Isaacs 4-4 4.31 54.1 50 17 46
LHP Matthew Crownover 5-1 2.28 43.1 41 13 11 11 23

Saturday, 6:30pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP Cole Pitts 5-3 3.91 53.0 46 20 34
RHP Clate Schmidt 3-2 4.53 45.2 65 25 23 20 22

Hitting Comparison

Not very favorable to us at all. As is the norm from a Danny Hall team, the offense is fantastic. They tend to just score all over people and don't need to steal bases to do it. They're better than Clemson in every category except that one.

Its just a shame they always completely choke on offense in the NCAA tournament isnt it?

Team Batting Statistics
Clemson .275 .346 .360 5.1 60 10 13 181 146 16 62/91 .972
Georgia Tech .314 .398 .467 7.1 78 13 38 270 185 27 53/74 ,975

As you can see our group hits OK for the most part, but the power numbers still aren't picking up with the weather. This has to be one of the weakest power teams Clemson has ever had, BBCOR notwithstanding. We also don't get in front of pitches and don't work walks very well.

Clemson Prospective Lineup
Pos Player BA R H 2B HR RBI BB
LF Tyler Slaton .333 14 37 3 0 9 13
CF Thomas Brittle .253 29 38 4 1 13 17
C Garrett Boulware .315 28 47 6 7 35 12
DH Shane Kennedy .314 27 44 5 2 22 24
2B Steve Wilkerson .295 21 41 11 1 21 13
RF Steven Duggar .296 28 47 6 2 22 15
SS Tyler Krieger .261 15 37 6 0 15 13
1B Jon McGibbon .237 21 36 4 0 23 12
3B Jay Baum .220 14 28 4 0 6 16
x- Joe Costigan .345 4 10 5 0 6 4
GT Prospective Lineup
Pos Player BA R H 2B HR RBI BB
LF Kyle Wren .388 33 66 6 2 21 20
CF Brandon Thomas .395 35 51 13 1 21 16
C Zane Evans .336 33 50 6 11 46 26
RF Daniel Palka .358 40 54 10 11 43 22
2B/3B Matt Gonzalez .329 27 53 6 3 33 10
3B Sam Dove .267 36 40 11 2 21 24
1B A.J. Murray .282 32 42 7 4 28 21
SS Mott Hyde .259 19 36 10 1 19 18
DH Dylan Dore .297 7 11 3 0 4 3

I'm quite worried about Clate against this lineup. I think he's going to get killed unless he's back to SC form. The top of the lineup will get on, will steal bases, and the middle guys are too good for GT not to score a bunch of runs against us. If we're to have much chance we have to keep the leadoff men off.

Team Pitching

Team Pitching Statistics
Clemson 3.03 28-13 7/6 12 371.0 361 159 125 126 257
GT 4.22 27-14 3/3 5 360.0 349 187 169 141 303

GT has annually had very strong starters, one or two great guys in the pen, and a great lineup. The reason why they've lost 14 games is the former. Only Buck Farmer is a dominant starter. They're missing the dominant lefty from the rotation as well.

Their pen is pretty bad over the season. I could've taken what we said about Miami last week and reinserted it. Only Closer Zane Evans (also the Catcher) and Jonathan Roberts have ERAs below 4.50. It looks as though they have tried several guys in the midweek rotation to get them innings, and they have flipped back into long relief. Four pitchers have 20+ IP with not much to show for it besides very high strikeout numbers. Expect to see Alex Cruz (4.76 ERA in 39.2IP) and Jonathan King (4.79 in 35.2IP) a lot.

I expect GT is another year away from a great pitching staff though.

Clemson's pen has been very solid, and they did fine last weekend. It was our offense that stunk at Miami. Zach Erwin got his start against WCU so I don't expect him in until after Clate gets shelled Saturday night.

The home team almost always does well in this series as far back as I can remember. I think Schmidt gets shelled, but that Clemson will handle their pitching well enough to win 2 games at home and put us in a good position to possibly host a Regional, but a 2-1 series loss would not surprise me either.

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