Who- FSU(31-14, 13-10 ACC) vs Clemson(34-11, 17-7 ACC)
RPI Rankings- FSU #11, Clemson #10
Where- Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Clemson SC
When- Sat 630pm, Sun 4pm, Mon 7pm
TV/Stream- WatchESPN(ACC Network Extra), ESPN2(Monday only)
Commentators- Pete Yanity, Kyle Parker(Sat & Sun), Dari Nowkhah, Kyle Peterson(Monday)
Radio Broadcast- Clemson Tigers Radio Network, TigerCast, TuneIn Radio
Mike Martin, now in his 39th season as head coach, brings his Seminoles to town this weekend for a huge ACC series against the red hot Clemson Tigers. The Noles are coming off a home series win over Miami last weekend, taking 2 of 3 from the Canes, and have won 5 of their last 7. The Tigers have not lost in over 2 weeks, and are on an 8 game winning streak. This series figures to have major implications as both teams enter the home stretch jockeying for postseason positioning, while eyeing one of the 8 national seeds.
This is a really good FSU team, but it is not one of the great Seminole baseball teams. Picked by the coaches to win the ACC in the preseason, they currently sit at 3rd in the Atlantic. They are 3 games back of Clemson for the top spot in the division, and 1.5 behind NCST(1 in the loss column) for 2nd place. They will host the Pack for a 3 game set on the final weekend of the regular season.
Neither of these teams light it up at the plate, generally speaking. We have watched Clemson struggle with hitting the ball consistently all season, as they are batting .253 as a team. The Noles come in not much better, as they are only hitting .259 as a team. However, if you just look at the numbers from the regulars, I think FSU may be a little better than their team batting average would suggest.
Nothing really eye popping but at the very least, they are a little better than what we have seen from the regulars for Clemson. Not much better, but a little better.
Clemson has seen the bats start to come to life over their 8 game winning streak tho. During that span the Tigers are hitting a sizzling .301 as a team and have an OBP of .416. They have hit 17 doubles and 18 HRs, and have stolen 14 bases, while scoring 60 runs during the streak. And although they are still hitting plenty of long balls, they have not been completely reliant on them over these past 2 plus weeks, like they had been so often before in the season.
Speaking of long balls, the Tigers have hit 68 as a team, which leads the ACC. Chris Williams and Seth Beer have led that charge, with Williams having hit 13, and Beer having hit 12. Logan Davidson, whose bat has finally started coming around, has 8. FSU has hit 46 as a team, with Jackson Leuck leading the team with 10.
Clemson will need those bats to stay hot, as they will see a couple of really good starting pitchers in the first 2 games. Saturday night they will see Drew Parrish. The lefty will be making his 12th start and is 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA. He has 78 Ks in 68.1 IP, but has walked 30 batters. Andrew Karp will start for the Noles Sunday afternoon, also his 12th of the season. The RHP is 7-3 with a 2.83 ERA. He has 74 Ks in 60.1 IP, while walking only 13. Monday they will see Cole Sands, who will be making his 10th start. The RHP is 6-2, but does have an ERA of 4.80. In 50.2 IP. he has 58 Ks, while walking only 19.
Clemson is gonna have to play good baseball to win this series, and winning this series is an absolute must as far as national seed goes. Lose it, and there very likely will not be one. They will see very good starting pitching, particularly in the first 2 games. Once you get into that FSU bullpen tho, there is a bit of a drop off. As a team the Noles have an ERA of 4.14. The Tigers starters need to be sharp, sharper than they have been in the last 2 or 3 weekend series. They have been walking guys a little more frequently of late, and they can not afford to be issuing a lot of free passes to this team. They need to keep FSU from getting out to any early leads that would put the offense in a hole. Throw strikes and trust the guys behind you to make the plays.
The Tigers have been playing very good baseball during this winning streak. I think they keep that up. I think we do see the starters sharper than what they have been lately, and I think the bats stay warm. We probably do not see a third straight ACC sweep but I do think Clemson wins the series. I think this could be one of those really good, well played, intense series that makes college baseball so great. The stadium should be full for all 3 games, making for an electric atmosphere, and I think we see Clemson feed off of that and put themselves in the drivers seat for one of those 8 national seeds.