ACC Tournament Preview

ACC Tournament Preview

Baseball

ACC Tournament Preview

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By Trey McCurry.

Clemson (39-17, 17-13 ACC), ranked as high as #14 in the nation, enters this week’s ACC Tournament at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park as the #6 seed. The Tigers will open the tournament with #3 seed Georgia Tech on Wednesday at 11:00AM. Clemson will then take on #2 seed Florida State on Thursday at 3:00PM. After an off day Friday, the Tigers will wrap up pool play with #7 seed NC State on Saturday at 11:00AM. Should Clemson win their pool, the championship game is Sunday at 1:00PM. 

The Series (Georgia Tech)

Clemson and Georgia Tech have met 205 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a slim 102-100-3 lead in the series. The Yellow Jackets are the Tigers third-most played opponent behind South Carolina and Georgia. The teams first met in 1902 and have met every season since 1974, including at least two games per season since 1978. Earlier this year in Clemson, the Tigers won two of three games. Last season, Georgia Tech swept three games in Atlanta before Clemson claimed a 9-3 win in the ACC Tournament. Clemson leads the series 45-23-1 in games at Clemson and 18-7 in games at neutral sites, while Georgia Tech leads 70-39-2 in games in Atlanta. The Tigers lead 46-41 in regular-season ACC games, 15-9 in ACC Tournament games, and 3-0 in NCAA Tournament games. 

The Series (Florida State)

Clemson and Florida State have met 120 times on the diamond, with the Seminoles holding a 64-55-1 lead in the series. The teams first met in 1958 and have met at least three times every season since Florida State joined the ACC in 1992. Just last week, the Tigers took two of three games in Tallahassee. Last season, Clemson swept three games at home to win the Atlantic Division. Clemson leads the series 28-18 in games at Clemson and 12-11 in games at neutral sites, while Florida State leads 35-15-1 in games in Tallahassee. The Tigers lead 31-29 in regular-season ACC games and 4-2 in NCAA Tournament games, while the Seminoles lead 10-8 in ACC Tournament games. 

The Series (NC State)

Clemson and NC State have met 180 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 108-71-1 lead in the series. The teams first met in 1921 and have met at least twice every season since 1954. Earlier this season, the Wolfpack won two of three games in Raleigh. Last season, the Tigers swept NC State in Clemson before the Wolfpack claimed a 13-8 win in the ACC Tournament. Clemson leads 55-22-1 in games at Clemson, 39-25 in games in Raleigh, and 13-12 in neutral site contests. The Tigers lead 86-56 in regular-season ACC games and 17-11 in ACC Tournament games. 

The Yellow Jackets

Georgia Tech, led by 18th-year Head Coach Danny Hall, is 39-17 (22-8 ACC) on the season including a 15-9 mark away from home (15-8 on opponents’ home fields and 0-1 at neutral sites). The Yellow Jackets are coming off a series win at Virginia Tech last weekend. Georgia Tech is ranked #8 by Collegiate Baseball, #11 by Baseball America, and #15 by USA Today/ESPN. The Yellow Jackets were picked to finish second in the ACC Coastal Division by ACC coaches. Georgia Tech is coming off a 47-15 (21-9 ACC) record, Atlanta Regional appearance, and a final season ranking of #17 in 2010. 

On the season, the Yellow Jackets are hitting .308 as a team with 119 doubles, 15 triples, 40 homers, 61 stolen bases, 39 hit-by-pitches, 239 walks and 402 strikeouts while averaging 6.7 runs per game. Freshman Kyle Wren leads Georgia Tech at the plate batting .370 with 11 doubles, one homer, 14 stolen bases, 54 runs, 32 RBI, and a team-high six triples. Junior Matt Skole is hitting .351 with 15 doubles and eight homers while leading the team in walks (39) and RBI (55) while junior Jake Davies is batting .439 with 13 doubles, one triples, four homers, and 33 RBI. Junior Jacob Esch is batting .329 with a team-high 21 doubles while freshman Daniel Palka has a team-leading 10 homers. 

The Georgia Tech pitching staff has a 2.86 ERA this season allowing 4333 hits (.231 opponents’ batting average) and 180 walks and 485 strikeouts in 501.0 innings. Junior Mark Pope (11-3) has a 1.54 ERA with five complete games in 14 starts and 85 strikeouts in a team-high 105.1 innings. Sophomore Buck Farmer (10-2) has a 2.89 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 93.1 innings while junior Jed Bradley (6-3) has a 3.71 ERA with a team-leading 94 strikeouts in 85.0 innings. Freshman Matt Grimes (6-3) has a 4.43 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 65.0 innings while sophomore Luke Bard (2-2) is the team’s closer with eight saves and 39 strikeouts in 40.2 innings in a team-high 23 appearances. 

The Seminoles

Florida State, led by 32nd-year Head Coach Mike Martin, is 40-15 (19-11 ACC) on the season including a 15-8 mark away from home (13-8 on opponents’ home fields and 2-0 at neutral sites). The Seminoles dropped a series at home last weekend to Clemson. Florida State is ranked #7 by Baseball America, #8 by USA Today/ESPN, and #12 by Collegiate Baseball. The Seminoles were picked to finish second in the ACC Atlantic Division by league coaches and are coming off a 48-20 (18-12 ACC) record, College World Series appearance, and final ranking of #6 in 2010. 

On the season, the Seminoles are hitting .292 as a team with 128 doubles, eight triples, 52 homers, 71 stolen bases, 71 hit-by-pitches, 331 walks, and 423 strikeouts while averaging 7.4 runs per game. Junior James Ramsey leads Florida State at the plate batting .349 with 17 doubles, three triples, nine homers, and leads the team in stolen bases (10) and RBI (57). Sophomore Jayce Boyd is hitting .341 with 12 doubles, five homers, 53 RBI, and a team-high four triples while senior Mike McGree is batting .338 with 12 doubles, 40 walks, and 50 RBI while leading the team in homers (10) and runs (54). Sophomore Devon Travis is batting .333 with a team-high 21 doubles while redshirt senior Rafael Lopez is hitting .314 with 15 doubles and seven homers. Sophomore Justin Gonzalez leads the team with 14 hit-by-pitches and junior Sherman Johnson has a team-high 51 walks. 

The Florida State pitching staff has a 3.52 ERA this season allowing 449 hits (.242 opponents’ batting average) and 204 walks against 418 strikeouts in 496.0 innings. Junior Sean Gilmartin is 10-1 with a 1.35 ERA in 15 appearances and leads the team in starts (14), innings (100.1), and strikeouts (113). Senior Daniel Bennett is 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA with 12 saves in 34 appearances and is the Seminoles’ closer. Junior Gary Merians is 6-2 in 10 appearances while junior Brian Busch has five wins. Senior Mike McGree has five saves in 15 appearances with 33 strikeouts in 30.0 innings. 

The Wolfpack

NC State, led by 15th-year Head Coach Elliott Avent, is 32-23 (15-15) on the season including a 9-12 mark away from home (8-11 on opponents’ home fields and 1-1 at neutral sites). The Wolfpack swept Boston College last weekend. NC State was picked to finish third in the Atlantic Division by the league coaches and are coming off a 38-24 (15-15 ACC) record and played in the Myrtle Beach Regional in 2010. 

On the season the Wolfpack are hitting .284 as a team with 108 doubles, 13 triples, 32 homers, 52 hit-by-pitches, 233 walks and 388 strikeouts while averaging 6.1 runs per game. Junior Pratt Maynard leads NC State at the plate batting .338 and leads the team in doubles (19), homers (5), runs (42), and RBI (40). Sophomore Chris Diaz is hitting .335 with 11 doubles, two triples, two homers, and 32 RBI while junior Harold Riggins has 10 doubles, two triples, three homers, and 31 RBI. Junior Andrew Ciencin has five homers, while junior Brett Williams also has five homers and a team-leading seven stolen bases. 

The NC State pitching staff has a 4.26 ERA this season allowing 479 hits (.259 opponents’ batting average) and 187 walks against 429 strikeouts in 484.1 innings. Sophomore Chris Overman (6-2 with six saves) has a 2.79 ERA and seven walks against 37 strikeouts in 42.0 innings over a team-high 25 appearances. Junior Cory Mazzoni (4-6) has a 3.61 ERA and leads the team in innings (99.2) and strikouts (116) while redshirt senior Rob Chamra (7-2) has pitched 55.0 innings over 14 appearances (seven starts). Redshirt junior Grant Sasser (1-3) has three saves in 15 appearances while freshman D.J. Thomas has made 21 appearances. 

The Tigers

Clemson, led by 18th-year Head Coach Jack Leggett, is 39-17 (17-13) on the season including a 13-10 mark away from home (11-8 on opponents’ home fields and 2-2 at neutral sites). The Tigers are coming off a series win at Florida State last weekend. Clemson is ranked #14 by Baseball America, #14 by USA Today/ESPN, and #18 by Collegiate Baseball. The Tigers were picked to win the Atlantic Division and as overall ACC Champion by league coaches and are coming 45-25 (18-12 ACC) record, College World Series appearance, and final ranking of #4 in 2010. 

The Tigers are hitting .320 as a team with 110 doubles, 16 triples, 39 homers, 98 stolen bases, 42 hit-by-pitches, 269 walks, and 346 strikeouts while averaging 7.2 runs per game. Junior Miller leads Clemson at the plate batting .431 with 11 doubles, three triples, four homers, 37 walks, 44 RBI, and is tied for the team lead with 21 stolen bases. Junior Will Lamb is hitting .344 with 11 doubles, three triples, two homers, and 11 stolen bases, while junior Phil Pohl is batting .328 with 17 doubles, four homers, and 31 RBI. Redshirt junior John Hinson is hitting .326 with 10 doubles, three triples, seven homers, and is tied for the team lead with 21 stolen bases while senior Jeff Schaus is batting .322 with 17 doubles, two triples, 37 walks, and 40 RBI. Sophomore Richie Shaffer is batting .316 with 13 doubles, two triples, and leads the team in homers (10), RBI (45), walks (40), and runs (58) while sophomore Spencer Kieboom is batting .301 with 20 walks, 21 runs, and 27 RBI. Senior Chris Epps has eight homers and nine stolen bases while junior Jason Stolz has a team-high 13 sacrifices and seven stolen bases. 

The Clemson pitching staff has a 3.12 ERA this season allowing 419 hits (.228 opponents’ batting average) and 164 walks against 441 strikeouts in 495.2 innings. Graduate Justin Sarratt (7-1 with a 2.06 ERA) leads the team in wins and has only 10 walks against 60 strikeouts in a team-high 70.0 innings while junior David Haselden (5-1 with two saves) has a 2.19 ERA in 65.2 innings over 21 appearances (four starts). Sophomore Jonathan Meyer (5-2 with a save) has 62 strikeouts and a 3.11 ERA in 22 appearances (six starts) while sophomore Dominic Leone (5-2 with a 3.67 ERA) leads the team with 63 strikeouts in 56.1 innings. Freshman Kevin Pohle (5-1) has a 1.19 ERA in 30.1 innings over 15 appearances (two starts) while junior Scott Weismann (3-4) is the team’s closer with six saves and 47 strikeouts in 52.2 innings. Redshirt senior Alex Frederick has three saves and has made 22 appearances while redshirt sophomore Joseph Moorefield has also made 22 appearances. 

Projected Starting Pitchers (Georgia Tech)

Clemson will start sophomore righthander Dominic Leone. The Norwich, CT native is 5-2 with a 3.67 ERA in 13 appearances (10 starts) in 2011. In 56.1 innings, he has allowed 42 hits (.207 opponents’ batting average) and 24 walks against 63 strikeouts. 

Georgia Tech will counter with junior righthander Mark Pope. The Marietta, GA native is 11-3 with a 1.54 ERA in 14 starts in 2011. In 105.1 innings, he has allowed 81 hits (.210 opponents’ batting average) and 21 walks against 85 strikeouts. 

Projected Starting Pitchers (Florida State)

Florida State will start junior lefthander Sean Gilmartin. The Moorpark, CA native is 10-1 with a 1.35 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts) in 2011. In 100.1 innings, he has allowed 67 hits (.187 opponents’ batting average)

Clemson’s starting pitcher against the Seminoles has yet to be determined. 

Projected Starting Pitchers (NC State)

Both team’s starting pitchers have yet to be determined. 

Worth Noting

  • Clemson will be the visiting team against both Georgia Tech and NC State while they will be the home team against Florida State.
  • The Tigers are 10-4 all-time on May 25, including a 4-4 mark at neutral sites. Clemson is 12-3 all-time on May 26, including a 6-3 mark at neutral sites. The Tigers are 7-7 all-time on May 28, including a 4-5 mark at neutral sites.
  • Clemson has won its last nine regular-season finales.
  • The Tigers have won seven series in a row, including six ACC series in a row while not losing more than one game in a week during that span.

 

Clemson in the ACC Tournament

  • The Tigers are 100-59 all-time in the ACC Tournament and have appeared in all 38 tournaments (including this year).
  • Clemson has nine titles in the ACC Tournament, the most all-time.
  • The Tigers and Virginia are the only two teams to appear in every single ACC Tournament.
  • Clemson is 8-12 in six previous tournaments in Durham and have yet to win a title. Two years ago, the Tigers went 1-2 with a win over North Carolina and losses to Virginia and Duke.
  • All-time in tournaments held in North Carolina, Clemson is 33-25 in 14 tournaments with two titles.

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