I had hoped, and it was wishful thinking in the preseason, that the Atlantic title would come down to this series. Not that it really means much since we'll be going to a Tournament next and then Regionals, but it would be great for this team to continue overachieving and win this tough division crown. I know they aren't scared of Florida State because this Mike Martin team isn't as talented at the plate as some previous ones we've beaten. Under Leggett, the Tigers are 29-35 against a top-10 Seminole squad.
That said, its at FSU, and the home team usually wins this series.The Seminoles hold a 35-15-1 lead over the Tigers in games played at Florida State, while Clemson leads 33-30 in ACC regular-season games. The Seminoles are 39-0 when scoring at least four runs and have won 11 of their last 12 games, are 30-2 at home in 2013. The Tigers have won nine of the last 13 games in the series. We should be ecstatic if Clemson wins this series. I'd be OK with winning at least 1 of the 3, which would keep us in it for a regional hosting site.
Florida State will win the division if it wins at least two games. Clemson will win the division if it sweeps its series. The Tigers will also win the division if they win exactly two games and N.C. State loses at least one game. In that case, Clemson and Florida State will tie for the division title, but the Tigers will win the tiebreaker and be the #2 seed in the ACC Tournament. N.C. State will win the division if it sweeps its series and Clemson wins exactly two games.
SEBaseball projects both Clemson and FSU to host regionals.
Thursday's game will be available via webcast on ESPN3, while the games on Friday and Saturday will be televised by ESPNU.
Clemson and Florida State have met 125 times, with the Seminoles holding a 66-58-1 lead in the series dating to the 1958 season. The Tigers have won eight of the last 11 games in the series after Florida State won five of the previous six meetings.
FSU took 2 of 3 against NC State in Raleigh by scores of 12-3, 8-4, and 1-3. They did not have a midweek series this week.
Clemson swept the week of play with wins over Ga southern and Furman, after a DH against Maryland last Monday. Clemson took the NC State series earlier this year at home.
Gibson did well last week in his return to the starting role and leadoff spot. Unless Slaton has an injury I don't recall, he should still get Gibson's ABs. He's been too solid a hitter. I would then push Costigan back to DH'ing and Slaton/Gibson in LF. Mike Triller needed the ABs he got this week but its too little too late. I wouldn't be surprised if Jack rolls Baum out to 3rd base and lets Kennedy DH either.
Both bullpens have been pretty stout, as has the starting pitching. The closer is Robby Coles (1.20 ERA, 8 SV, in 30IP) and Winston, Gage Smith, Billy Strode and Bryant Holtmann have all been excellent in middle relief appearances. Only Holtmann has an ERA over 3.00 of the group. Smith is a go-to guy in middle innings.
I didn't believe we'd stretch the pen so well last week, but they all had good outings. Andrews' ERA has dropped to 2.25 in 28 IP, and only 1 has an ERA over 4.00, Clate Schmidt (5.26 in 49.2IP after demotion from the starting spot.
I don't see either team having an easy go in late innings, whomever builds the early lead will probably win the series.