Clemson heads to FSU to decide Atlantic

#9 FSU (42-10, 18-9 ACC) vs. #19 Clemson Tigers (38-15, 17-10 ACC)

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.

Clemson AD Series Preview -- FSU AD series preview

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.

Last Week:

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.

Weekend Starters:

Thursday, 6pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP Peter Miller 6-1 3.04 53.1 51 22 18 18 43
RHP Daniel Gossett 8-3 2.36 80.0 65 32 21 28 80

Friday, 8pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
RHP Luke Weaver 5-2 2.17 70.2 55 18 17 14 83
LHP Matt Crownover 7-1 1.90 61.2 54 15 13 16 39

Saturday, 3pm:

Throws Player Rec ERA IP H R ER BB Ks
LHP Brandon Leibrandt 8-4 3.41 74.0 66 34 28 25 69
LHP Zack Erwin 5-0 2.88 50.0 38 19 16 17 26

Hitting Comparison

Team Batting Statistics
BA SLG OBP R/9 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SB-ATT FLD.
Clemson .282 .365 .366 5.8 74 14 16 270 229 26 94/129 .971
FSU .291 .431 .417 7.0 121 14 29 328 300 83 37/62 .965

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.

Clemson Prospective Lineup
Pos Player BA R H 2B HR RBI BB
DH Maleeke Gibson .238 16 19 2 0 14 4
2B Steve Wilkerson .310 31 57 16 1 31 27
RF Steven Duggar .287 35 60 7 2 25 23
C Garrett Boulware .311 40 60 7 7 43 18
3B Shane Kennedy .326 41 59 5 4 30 34
1B Jon McGibbon .270 30 50 5 0 37 20
SS Tyler Krieger .280 27 52 9 0 25 23
CF Thomas Brittle .287 38 50 5 1 24 24
LF Mike Triller .350 3 7 3 0 5 2
FSU Prospective Lineup
Pos Player BA R H 2B HR RBI BB
CF Brett Knief .304 11 21 4 0 8 12
LF DJ Stewart .328 38 58 20 4 49 30
C Stephen McGee .299 43 50 15 8 45 45
DH Marcus Davis .314 52 60 17 9 49 23
1B John Nogowski .289 30 37 9 0 27 21
RF Jameis Winston .293 21 27 7 0 9 19
3B Jose Brizuela .328 31 58 12 3 39 31
2B John Sansone .252 31 39 8 2 30 29
SS Giovany Alfonzo .236 24 38 4 0 22 24

Team Pitching

Team Pitching Statistics
ERA W-L SHO/CBO Saves IP H R ER BB Ks
Clemson 2.94 38-15 8/7 14 481.0 472 211 157 168 348
FSU 2.66 42-10 5/5 11 460.0 402 186 136 156 410

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.

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