First pitch will be at 6:30pm Saturday followed by 4 pm in Sunday. Both of these games can be heard or streamed live on Clemson's sports website as well as seen on ESPN3. First pitch for Monday’s game will be at 7pm and can be seen on ESPNU.
The Tigers are looking to regain momentum this weekend against #10 Florida State after dropping their last three ACC series, most recently to Georgia Tech last weekend. The Tigers come into the series with a 26-1 (9-12 ACC) record on the season. The most inconsistent part of this team all season has been the starting pitching and for Clemson to even have a chance to win this series starting pitching must show up this weekend against the Seminoles. A weekend starting pitcher has not won a game since Charlie Barnes was credited with the win against Duke in early April. Monte Lee has tried to change things up a few times this season by switching the weekend starters around on a couple different occasions but hasn't quite found the perfect formula yet. The rotation is still to be determined this weekend so we will see if Coach Lee can find the right combination. These two teams seem to be heading in opposite directions as the Florida State Seminoles come into the series on a 5 game winning streak after sweeping Notre Dame last weekend bringing their record to 28-11(14-3 ACC), good for tops in the ACC.
The Tigers offense continues to be the bright spot with team average of .275 and 38 home runs on the season. The offense is led by Seth Beer, who leads the team in all major categories, batting an impressive .413 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI’s. Beer has cooled a bit in recent weeks but is still one of the best players in the country. Protecting Beer is the lineup has been Chris Okey, who is having a nice season in his own right, batting .342 with 7 home runs and 40 RBI’s. Beer and Okey have combined to be one of the best 3-4 punches in the all country. Chase Pinder continues to be a reliable leadoff man with an OB% of .445 and an average of .316. Not to mention being second on the team with 9 home runs. Even while the pitching staff has seen it's up and downs, the offense has continued carried the load for the Tigers this season.
The pitching staff has been a different story as the season has progressed, with a team ERA of 4.32 on the season. Opponents are batting .264 and have hit 24 home runs against the Tigers thus far this season. The weekend starters seem to be wearing down late in the season with combined record of 10-10 on the season and all 3 have seen their ERA's move above 5.0 mark. As I have stated before, quality starts will be the key to this competing in this series. A bright spot of the pitching staff has been Pat Krall, with 0.79 ERA and 6-1 record with 19 appearances. Look for the Tigers to possibly switch up the pitching staff again this weekend.
The Seminoles come in with a high powered offense batting an impressive of .303 as a team. FSU’s offense is led by John Sansone batting .395 with a team leading 48 RBI’s on the season. Taylor Walls and Cal Raleigh are two others notable hitters for the Seminoles batting .366 and .322 respectively. Raleigh is the team leader with 9 home runs. Florida State also has a pretty strong pitching staff with a team ERA of 3.49. Mike Compton leads the weekend staff with 3.81 ERA and 5-2 record on 10 starts. The bullpen has been especially strong led by Jim Voyles who has an ERA of 1.19 and 5-0 record on 18 appearances.
It's getting to that point in the season where almost every game is make it or break for the Tigers postseason aspirations. Playing teams like Florida State gives the Tigers a great chance to boost their resume as we move towards the postseason. Hopefully the Tigers will be able to take full advantage of the opportunity this weekend.