Who- Miami(28-25) vs Clemson(44-13)
When- Thursday 7pm
Where- Durham Bulls Park, Durham NC
RPI Rankings- Clemson #11, Miami #63
TV/Stream- RSN, WatchESPN(subject to blackout)
Announcers- Wes Durham, Nick Green
Listen- Clemson Tigers Radio Network, TuneIn Radio App
Miami comes into today red hot, winners of 11 straight. A lot of youth on their team, with much of it having gotten better as the season has progressed. The Canes came to Clemson back in April and took 2 of 3 from the Tigers, including a Friday night win in which the Tigers blew an 8 run, 9th inning lead. It was one of those stinging losses, evidenced by the Tigers lifeless performance in the Game 2 loss the next day. The way that series went, it is easy to assume that Clemson will use revenge as a motivating factor, as well as advancing out of the pool play round, and securing one of those coveted national seeds.
The Canes come in hitting .257 as a team, almost identical to the Tigers .259 team average. The difference however, lies in the power numbers. Miami´s top HR hitter is Daniel Reyes with 5. Clemson has 7 players that have at least that many, including Seth Beer, who has 20 himself. Miami has speed in their lineup though, with 2 players having stolen 20+ bases.
The Miami pitching staff has been solid, sporting a team ERA of 3.70. By comparison, the Tiger pitching staff has combined for a 3.37 ERA. Starting pitchers haven’t been announced as of this publication, but one would think Jacob Hennessey would get the nod for Clemson. He was given last weekend off after a couple of shaky outings down the stretch, mostly due to not having the same command of his pitches that he did over the first 2⁄3 of the season. Hopefully the extra rest was all he needed. The sophomore is 4-3, with an 3.65 ERA and opponents are hitting .255 off of the lefty.
As mentioned, the Canes come in to the tourney hot, but so do the Tigers. Clemson has won 18 of 20, capped off by Wednesday afternoons 21-4 dismantling of Notre Dame. Not only is a spot in the semifinal round of the ACC Tournament on the line, but this Clemson team knows they are playing for one of those top 8 national seeds. Hopefully, we see some carry over from the Notre Dame game as far as the bats go. The holiday weekend will not feel complete without the Tigers still alive in Durham.