Clemson (17-13, 2-7) @ Florida State (12-16, 3-9)
Thursday 8:00 PM ACCN
Friday 6:00 PM ACCNX
Saturday 2:00 PM ACCNX
Erik Bakich said he feels like Clemson is ready to turn the corner and I think he has a point. Despite being swept by #2 Wake Forest, Clemson was competitive in the series and probably steals that Friday night game with better bullpen pitching. There was also that non-balk call on the Wake pitcher, but blaming the umps is loser talk and we don’t engage in that here. So, how does Clemson follow that up? The Tigers beat #17 Coastal Carolina at home in a 16-6 win that was called in the 7th because of the new mercy rules for midweek non conference games. Yes, this is the same Coastal team that beat the Wake team that just swept the Tigers.
So now the Tigers head to Tallahassee to face FSU. The Clemson-FSU series historically has been a high stakes rivalry, and in many seasons it was the deciding series for the Atlantic division. But, much like FSU football, Seminoles baseball has fallen on hard times. Last weekend Florida State was swept by their rival Miami, in a series in which they were outscored by the Canes 27-6. The Noles followed that up with a one run loss on Tuesday to Jacksonville. When you factor that in along with a 9-5 loss to #3 Florida, losing a series to FGCU, and being swept by UCF in two games, FSU may not even be a top 5 team in their own state. They did beat Jacksonville earlier in the season, and knocked off instate foes Bethune Cookman and USF.
Regardless of the status of these two teams, this series is still big for each club. Clemson needs to start finding some series wins in conference play if it wants to find a way into the NCAA tournament, and getting a downtrodden Noles team is a great way to start. But, winning at Dick Howser stadium is never an easy task, and I know the Animals of Section B will be riled up to great their old friends from South Carolina. Adding this into the Clemson-FSU softball series in Tiger Town, this will be a huge weekend in the history of the Clemson-FSU rivalry.
Tonight and Friday look like beautiful baseball weather, but Saturday has rain in store, so we’ll see if that game gets moved.