Maryland Terrapins (25-14, 7-11 ACC, #29 RPI) vs. Clemson Tigers (21-17, 9-9 ACC, #34 RPI)
UMD has been historically bad in baseball for quite some time. Their coach started throwing out youngsters into starting roles a few years ago and it has paid off for them this season a bit. For the first time in my memory, we might actually be worse than Maryland baseball. They've defeated NC State and Duke 2-1, but also lost 2 to BC and were swept by Wake Forest, which mimics our up & down year. Their problem, like ours, is that they cant score runs.
Maryland entered the week ranked eighth nationally with a 2.72 ERA, and saw that mark drop to an ACC-best 2.64 after Tuesday's 3-0 win over James Madison. That marked the ninth shutout this season for the Terps, which is a school record and is nearly twice as many as the next closest conference team (Florida State with five).
Clemson AD Series Preview -- Maryland AD series preview
Clemson and Maryland have met 156 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 116-40 lead in the series dating back to the 1923 season. The two teams have faced each other at least one time every year since the 1954 season.The Tigers hold a 40-28 lead in games played at Maryland and a 103-36 advantage in ACC regular-season games. Jack has a 47-9 record against Maryland.
The Terps took two of three from Duke last weekend, winning Friday's game 4-2 on a walkoff before pounding out a season-high 21 runs in Saturday's 21-2 win. They beat JMU 3-0 midweek.
Clemson lost 2 to NC State, one because we can't move the bat off our shoulders with RISP and 2 strikes. We beat Chas. Southern 3-2 midweek.
Reed is not the normal Friday starter, he's actually the closer (7 Sv). It appears that he's been slid in and Brady Kirkpatrick (3-4, 3.26) moved out.
The Terps have also seen a jump in their team batting average over the last 10 games, with Maryland registering a .283 mark over that span. Shortstop Alfredo Rodridguez hit .432 during that stretch to raise his season batting average to .288. KJ Hockaday has a .319 batting average that ranks third among all ACC freshmen. Tomo Delp leads the offense with a .531 slugging percentage and .462 on-base percentage.
You can see above that the stats show them as being very similar to ourselves. They don't walk much and the poor bottom of the order can't generate enough runs when the top gets on base. Looking over the last few weekends, they tend to play with the lineup there a good bit, so the one shown below is representative of last weekend vs Duke. They do steal a good share of bases though, with Wacker leading the team at 13. Rodridguez and Hagel both have over 10 steals as well.
Wilkerson has gone from on-fire to lukewarm but Brittle has picked his bat up to make up the difference, and he was always getting on base due to his plate discipline. So long as that plate discipline doesnt resemble Chris Epps', we're fine.
Richie Shaffer is back to lacing the ball, with a .390 average and .520 OBP. He has totaled multiple hits in 10 of the last 11 games. He talks about his success in college with Perfect Game here.
Perfect Game National Director of Scouting David Rawnsley came out with his first Mock Draft on April 17 and projects Shaffer to be selected by the Oakland A’s with the 11th overall pick of the first round. No. 39-ranked Clemson stood 21-17 (9-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) heading into a three game weekend at series at No. 45 Maryland April 21-22, and Shaffer was much more concerned with what the Tigers need to do to finish the season strong than he was with the upcoming draft.
"It’s hard to completely ignore because it’s something that’s coming up here in the near future, but I’m trying to stay focused as much as I can on the present right now," he said. "I want to play each game as hard as I can and not worry about things out of my control, and ultimately (the draft) is out of my control. I can’t convince anyone to pick me any higher or any lower … and all I’m trying to do is be the best teammate I can possibly be for the guys on our team and hopefully get some wins. The rest will take care of itself."
Shaffer’s first two years at Clemson were nothing short of terrific. He entered this season as a career .318 hitter (.555 slugging percentage, .426 on-base percentage) in 111 games, with 26 doubles, 20 home runs, 91 RBI and 107 runs scored. As a sophomore, he hit .315 in a team-high 63 games, and also posted team-highs in home runs (13), RBI (55), runs (62) and stolen bases (8).
Kieboom has pinch hit and played C against Charleston Southern part of the game, but I'm not sure if they'll throw him out for all 3 this weekend. He would normally hit 5-6th. Otherwise the CU lineup is indicative of last weekend.
Over the last two weekends, the MD starting trio has combined for a 2.25 ERA in 44 innings pitched, with 28 strikeouts to just seven walks. Maryland has gotten an average of 7 1/3 innings per start from its rotation over that span, led by Reed's 8.5 IP/start. Reed has made a successful transition from closer to starter and will make his third consecutive Friday-night start this weekend. The junior lefty has allowed just three runs in 35 2/3 innings this year.
This staff is flat out getting it done, maybe they didn't hire a D3 head coach to be their pitching coach like we did. Only 3 guys on the whole MD team have an ERA over 3.00, and two of those have pitched less than 10 innings. The other one, Haslup, sits at 3.04 with 31 Ks in 26.2 IP. He's got the highest of the regular pen guys.
As mentioned above, Reed has been the closer, but Wacker comes in from the field to close as well, with 2 saves and a sparkling 1.69 ERA in 21 IP.
Clemson's pen has been improving as the ACC season has gone on, but we don't score enough runs and screw things up in the field so bad that it won't show in the wins column. Its a crime that Brady has a 1-2 record with his abilities. Kent, Firth, and Campbell have all been solid with ERAs under 3.00. Haselden has sucked less and Andrews has been good & bad.
I dont think we score much up here, and it should be 3 pitching duels. I think Maryland wins 2-1.