Posted: 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2013
We would write a full preview for this one like the other series, but the sheer amount of data to sift through is too much for me in a short timeframe. Its also rather pointless since we'll face everyone once, and the CU main page has a preview up. The games are on your RSN, which is usually Fox/SS, and are all streamed on ESPN3. Like previous years, whomever has the best records out of the pool goes to the ACC Championship game.
Pool A: #5 seed CU, #4 NC State, #1 UNC, and #8 Miami
Pool B: #2 Florida State, #3 Virginia, #6 Virginia Tech, and #7 Georgia Tech.
The ACCT will start tomorrow morning, but Clemson's starts Wednesday night at 7pm against NC State. Clemson is the visiting team. Clemson then faces UNC Friday night at 7pm as the home team. We face Miami on Saturday at 3pm, the home team is not decided yet.
Game 1: Clemson @ NC State
Clemson took 2 of 3 in Raleigh previously this season, mostly on the back of Garrett Boulware. State played poorly in the field, and despite getting plenty of men on base, they simply couldn't get enough of them across home plate. They beat up on Schmidt a little, but Firth and Gossett did well in the first series.
NC State will not start Carlos Rodon, so be thankful. We may have thumped him earlier this year but he's gotten consistently better over the last month and straightened his season out since we beat him. Instead the pitwolfies will start LHP Brad Stone (2-2, 6.23 ERA). Stone did not register a win in the 3rd game of the series, going 4.1 and allowing 1 run in the eventual NCSU win.
Clemson starts Daniel Gossett (9-3, 2.20 ERA), who bested Rodon earlier this year, but who didn't have a great curveball that day. He was shaky initially against the potent lineup but worked past it after the 4th inning or so. He has also improved since a dip to start ACC play.
State has won 24 of their last 27 contests, and is 11-2 in 1-run games. Their lineup is headed by Trea Turner, who is batting .383-6-38 with 24 SBs. Jake Fincher also caused us some problems earlier this year and is batting .326 with 14 SBs.
If Clemson can rough up Stone we can have a good day, as their pitching staff is average (except for the closers), but we'll need to control the damage this lineup will inflict.
Game 2: UNC @ Clemson
Clemson finally broke the losing streak to the Tarholes earlier but still lost the series 2-1. We did alright at the plate, considering the talented pitching we faced, but despite registering 27 hits we couldn't get many when we really needed them. We left 28 men on base for the whole series, and no starter went more than the 4 innings.
At the moment, I'm expecting Crownover to start, but I haven't heard official word on the elbow tightness he felt last weekend in Tallahassee. If they want to be cautious, it may be best to shut him down for the season. Otherwise, its difficult to predict who will start. Erwin needs more seasoning but is capable of starting it, as could Firth. Clate Schmidt fared well in relief of Crownover last week, but was beat around by UNC earlier this year in a rain-shortened stint.
UNC's Benton Moss (8-1, 3.21 ERA) started that 2nd game for the Holes against us, Hobbs Johnson (4-0, 2.18) is also possible, the official UNC starter is unannounced.
UNC's Colin Moran is hitting .376 with 13 homers, 83 RBIs, 66 runs, 52 walks against only 18 strikeouts, and a .504 on-base percentage. Landon Lassiter is batting .361 with a .514 on-base percentage, while Skye Bolt is hitting .359 with six homers and 44 RBIs. Cody Stubbs has added a .349 batting average, seven home runs, and 66 RBIs as well.
I don't think this one is a going to turn out well for Clemson, I'm just not confident in anyone but Crownover as a #2 guy right now.
Game 3: Miami vs. Clemson
Miami's pitching staff shut us down in Coral Gables earlier this spring, taking the series 2-1 by a combined score of 9-2. Their starting pitching and closer have carried them this far, as the lineup is still fairly weak. This team is still where I expected Clemson to be this season back in February.
Clemson pitching did well, as they should've, against the Canes, so I wouldn't be shocked if this is one of those 2-1 type of games where we have to get guys over and work to get them in. We're hitting well enough right now that I think this one is a win, but our 3rd starter is up in the air too. Goose and Crownover both did well against them, but Clate was rocked in game 3.
Clemson historically has dominated the ACCT, but rarely does well since it moved away from Greenville and changed formats, partly because Jack doesn't care for the format and doesn't hide it, and I don't see that changing this year. Hopefully we'll win 2 games and lock up the Regional hosting for next week. Use this as your open thread for the weekend's games.