The Wolfpack Nine travel to Coral Gables to take on the Hurricanes in the conference opening series for each team. Miami has climbed to #15 in Baseball America’s (BA) latest rankings after destroying Florida in Gainesville. BA also highlights this series in Aaron Fitt’s Weekend Preview. Both teams sit at 7-2, and a series win would be a nice start to the conference season for both squads, while at the same time losing wouldn’t be a complete disaster. There are 10 conference series, and once again State avoids Georgia Tech. Miami is also the lone “top” team that State goes on the road to play; UNC, Clemson and Florida State all come to Raleigh. Of course, some of the other conference teams could improve, but at first glance the conference schedule appears to be very favorable.
The pitching rotation for the weekend has a veteran flavor, with Gilheeney, Buchanan and Sogard slated to take the hill. As BA notes in their preview–and I have mentioned in previous posts–, the contributions of the freshmen for the Wolfpack have been pretty nice so far. Pratt Maynard, John Gianis, Cameron Conner, Andrew Ciencin and Harold Riggins have all cracked the starting lineup at various times in the young season. As the freshmen gain some experience, expect the offense to become more consistent; this has been a problem (offensive consistency, that is) that has plagued the Pack in past seasons.
Friday and Saturday game times are 7pm, with Sunday’s action set for 1pm. Feel free to use this thread to discuss the series.
DBP Note: I’ve given up on the notion of a full blown preview as time is becoming more and more scant and quite frankly, the basketball team deserves some focus this year. I am working various components of it into this and other posts; for example, the conference schedule analysis appears here. The non-conference schedule will be analyzed later, as some decent RPI data becomes available.