Clemson (26-11, 11-7) vs. Wake Forest (18-20, 10-8)
Time: Friday 6pm, Saturday 4pm, Sunday 1pm
Video: ACC Network Extra (Stan Cotton, Larry Sorensen)
Pitchers: Friday - Jacob Hennessy(3-2 2.70) vs. Griffin Roberts (4-3 2.67), Saturday - Brooks Crawford (3-2 3.48) vs. Morgan Mcsweeney (2-4 3.72), Sunday - Jake Higginbotham (5-1 3.80) vs. Colin Peluse (6-0 2.88).
Wake Forest is led by 9th year head coach Tom Walters. The Demon Deacons are coming off a very successful 2017 season that saw them get a top 8 national seed, 43 wins, and advance to a Super Regional. Wake Forest had 8 players drafted in the MLB Draft last June and started this year as a young squad.
Much like their record indicates, Wake Forest has been inconsistent losing midweek games to teams like Charlotte 13-1 and being crushed twice by Coastal Carolina 19-3 and 9-4. The bad news for Clemson is Wake seems to turn it on during the weekends, winning series against Duke, Louisville, and Florida St. They swept BC last weekend and proceeded to come back from a 9-1 deficit to beat UNCG on Tuesday. Basically they’ve had the exact opposite week that Clemson has had.
Wake and Clemson are fairly similar teams. They have a very solid starting rotation, lead by Friday starter Griffin Roberts who has 90K’s in only 64IP. Offensively they’re hitting .260 as a team led by Bobby Seymour (.328) and Jake Mueller (.327). The difference between the teams is Clemson can hit the long ball and has a deeper bullpen. After Wake’s starting pitchers they only have two respectable bullpen arms Tyler Witt (3.00 ERA) and Rayne Supple (1.20 ERA). There’s a reason this team struggles in midweek games, the pitching runs out, so getting to the bullpen this weekend is a must
This is a huge weekend for Clemson. Wake Forest is hot and is right behind the Tigers in the ACC Atlantic Standings. Clemson needs to win this series against Wake Forest if they want to maintain the inside track to hosting a Regional. A series loss would give Clemson no margin for error with a month to play. This team is incredibly talented and just needs to get hot at the right time. Hopefully that begins this weekend.
Prediction: The weather heats up and so do the bats. Clemson finds a way to take 2 out of 3.