After two exciting games against Yale, Clemson has an opportunity to really test themselves against one of the premier teams in the ACC, Virginia. The Cavaliers arrive in Clemson ranked 11th in the country and have a lot of firepower on offense. Virginia beat Monmouth midweek, but lost of 2 of 3 against UNC the previous weekend.
When - Friday (6:30 p.m.), Saturday (1 p.m.), Sunday (1 p.m.)•
Where - Clemson, S.C. (Doug Kingsmore Stadium)
Watch - ACC Network Extra, RSN (Saturday)
Listen - TigerCast, Clemson Tiger Sports Network
Friday - LHP Daniel Lynch (UVA) vs. LHP Charlie Barnes (CU)
Saturday - RHP Evan Sperling (UVA) vs. RHP Alex Eubanks (CU)
Sunday - LHP Adam Haseley (UVA) vs. LHP Pat Krall (CU)
For Clemson this will be an excellent ACC test. Though Clemson did well against a highly ranked South Carolina team, everyone can admit that we got some luck that the team’s defensive mistakes.
Virginia is unlikely to let Clemson get away with those mistakes. They are hitting .322 as a team, good for 18th in the country and have a team OBP of .411. This is a team that doesn’t need any help hitting the ball and every error Clemson makes in the field is just giving them another opportunity. An opportunity they are almost certainly going to take advantage of.
Speaking of defense, Clemson’s fielding percentage is .961. That’s good for being near the bottom third of nation. But everyone can take heart! It is .001 better than last year. That’s some real progress.
Pitching wise Virginia does have some talent, but they haven’t performed extremely well. The team has an ERA of 3.87, good enough for 80th in the country. In contrast Clemson is 20th in team ERA at 2.89. It is possible that we see a bit of shootout this weekend, especially on Sunday with Pat Krall getting moved to from his normal Saturday spot. He has a 5.14 ERA which isn’t pretty.
Ultimately this series could play out a lot like South Carolina. Clemson may have the best pitching staff Virginia has seen this year, depending on how you rate UNC’s staff, possibly enough to slow down Virginia’s offense. But it is hard to see Clemson stopping Virginia’s offense in all 3 games. This one will come down to mental errors, especially when fielding and that’s where Clemson will have to make some real improvements this weekend.