Just Another Top Ten Matchup in Raleigh – FSU Weekend Preview

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For the second time in three weeks, the eyes of college baseball will be focused on Doak Field.  No need to get cute with this one (but that doesn’t mean I won’t eventually at some point…but business first) as this is just as big of a series as the UNC-CH series was two weeks ago.

FSU (40-9, 16-8 ACC) comes to town this weekend nursing a half game lead over the Pack (38-11, 15-8 ACC) for the Atlantic Division lead.  The winner of this series will not only have a big time inside track on the ACC’s Atlantic Division flag (and the implications which that will have as far as ACC Tourney seeding), but will also have a big time inside track on getting a national seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Currently, UNC-CH (1), UVa (3), FSU (5) and NCSU (7) are all ranked in the top 8 in RPI, as well as the top ten of all the college baseball polls (in varying orders, so we won’t muddy up the waters with that right now…plus it saves me from having to repeatedly say Carolina is #1).

The general consensus is that the ACC will receive 3 national seeds, with UNC-CH and UVa being pretty much locked in barring catasrophes.  And while UNC-CH and UVa face off next weekend to end the regular season, neither is likely to do enough damage to the other’s RPI numbers to bump either from national seed status.

So, assuming UVa handles Duke at home and UNC-CH does their impersonation of General Sherman in Atlanta when they visit the Jackets this weekend (hehe…get it?), it’s pretty much a two team race for the last national seed out of the ACC.

FSU is obviously a stiff opponent, but there is one stat that might figure into play big time with this series so I wanted to point it out before we get to the “other” numbers:  While the Seminoles have lost only nine times this season, seven of those losses have come on the road where they have been only average at 9-7.  Conversely, the Pack holds a home record of 24-6 and have lost at home only twice since Trea Turner’s return from injury.

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And we mustn’t forget about Clemson (34-15, 17-10 ACC) either, currently tied with the Pack a half game back of FSU.  Though the Tiggs play Ga. Southern out of conference this weekend and are thus unlikely to be able to up their RPI numbers enough to garner a national seed all things considered, they do still close out the season next week @FSU and could sneak past both the Pack and FSU for the Atlantic Division flag if things fall correctly.

So, the Atlantic Division currently looks like this….

  • 1. FSU (16-8) – ACC Games Remaining: @NCSU (x3), vs Clemson (x3)
  • t2. NCSU (15-8) – ACC Games Remaining: vs FSU (x3), @Duke (x3)
  • t2. Clemson (17-10) – ACC Games Remaining: @FSU (x3)

With a 2 game deficit in the loss column and a trip to Tallahassee (where FSU is 30-2), Clemson has their work cut out for them no matter how you slice it and is highly unlikely to be able to jump past both FSU and NCSU, but it COULD happen.

On the other hand, if the Pack can handle FSU this weekend then only a trip to Durham will stand between them and a division crown and a likely national seed.  Incidentally, those games will be played at the DBAP, where Duke is 9-7.  That being said, 3 of their wins there came against BC, while five others came against Towson, NC Central, Quinnipiac, Charlotte and Davidson.  Duke is 1-5 in “non-BC” conference games played at the DBAP (0-3 vs VT, 1-2 vs UMd).

Bottom line: Take 2 of 3 from FSU this weekend and I like our chances (Plus the three games at the DBAP will be a nice little warmup for the ACC Tourney there the following week).

Now, as if you weren’t already confused enough, let’s look at some boring stats…

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fsuFlorida State Seminoles

40-9 (16-8 ACC, 1st Atlantic, Rank #9, RPI #5)
2012: 50-17 (24-6 ACC, 1st Atlantic, CWS Semis – Lost (x2) to eventual Nat’l Champ Arizona)

At The Plate

As a team, FSU bats a solid .290, good enough for 4th best in the ACC (Pack = .285, 6th).  They’re 3rd in the league in runs scored (345, 7.0 per game; Pack = 325, 6.6, 6th).

The ‘Noles are tops in the league with 115 doubles on the season, and like the Pack they have just enough power to be dangerous if not overpowering (Both teams have 25 HR on the season, t6th ACC).

With very disciplined hitters, the ‘Noles lead the league in drawing walks (281; Pack = 205, 7th) and are third best at avoiding the strikeout (273; Pack = 291, 5th best).  Their impressive team onbase% of .415 is good enough for 2nd best in the ACC (UNC-CH, .426) and 4th best nationally.

They don’t run well however, having stolen only 35 bags on 59 attempts on the season (11th, only BC is worse), while the Pack still leads the league in steals (95) and attempts (117, t1st).

Jose Brizuela (#53, Soph, 3B) leads the team with a .331 avg.  He also has 3 HR on the season, has knocked in 37, and has scored 31 times.  He’s 2nd best on the team at drawing walks and his on base% is 2nd best as well.

With 7 HRs apiece, Stephen McGee (#9, Jr, C) and Marcus Davis (#24, Jr, DH/OF/1B) co-lead the ‘Noles’ team in round trippers.

McGee, who does a little bit of everything at the plate, also has 40 RBI (3rd), 40 runs scored (2nd) and 14 doubles (3rd).  His .529 slgpct. leads the team, and he is far and away the best on the team at drawing walks (41).

Davis leads the team in runs scored with 49, is 2nd best with 43 RBIs, and is also 2nd on the team in both doubles (17)  and slgpcts (.517).  His 5 steals on the season (7 attempts) co-leads.

DJ Stewart (#8, Frosh, LF/CF) is more than capable at the plate.  His 46 RBIs leads the ‘Noles and he’s hitting .317 on the season (2nd) with 4 HRs (3rd) and a slgpct of .509 (3rd).  He also leads the team with 18 doubles and co-leads with Davis with 5 steals on 8 attempts.

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In The Field

FSU’s pitching staff is very good to say the least.  Their team ERA (2.63) is 2nd in the ACC (UNC-CH, 2.32) and 12th in the nation.  They’ve given up the third fewest runs on the season (175, 3.57/game; Pack = 4th, 196, 4.0) and have only given up 11 HRs on the season, tops in the league.

They have a solid WHIP of 1.22 (5th ACC, 31st NCAA; Pack = 1.19, 3rd, 18th).

While the exact order may shuffle as FSU tries to line up their rotation for post-season and with the odd Saturday thru Monday series, these are the three guys I expect the Pack will be facing this weekend:

Luke Weaver (#7, Soph, RHP) – 5-1, 1.98 ERA, 63.2 IP, 4 HRs, .204 against avg, 74 Ks, 13 BBs

Brandon Leibrandt (#37, Soph, LHP) – 7-4, 3.68 ERA, 66.0 IP, 5 HRs, .259 against avg, 62 Ks, 25 BBs

Scott Sitz (#26, Sr, RHP) – 8-1, 1.41 ERA, 70.1 IP, 1 HR, .250 against avg, 57 Ks, 17 BBs

The ‘Noles are solid defensively with a team fldpct of .964, though third baseman Brizuela can be a liability at times with 20 errors in 132 chances (.848).  With the Pack’s right-handed dominant batting order and speed, this could become pertinent.

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Links

Pack Hosts FSU for Top 10 Showdown This Weekend (GoPack.com)

FSU Baseball Home (Seminoles.com)

Weekend Notes

Weekend Preview: May 10-12 (BaseballAmerica.com)

Around The Nation

• The marquee series of the weekend features a pair of top 10 teams battling for the ACC Atlantic Division title and national seed position. No. 9 Florida State visits No. 5 North Carolina State, and both teams are red-hot. The Seminoles have won nine straight games, while the Wolfpack has won five straight and 20 of its last 21. The Seminoles (16-8) hold a half-game lead over the ‘Pack (15-8) in the standings, but N.C. State has the advantage of being at home, where it is 24-6 this season. The Seminoles are just 9-7 on the road this year, with series losses at Virginia Tech and Virginia. The team that wins this series has the inside track on a second or third national seed out of the ACC.

College Stock Report: Week 12 (BaseballAmerica.com)

National Seeds

SECURE TEAMS: North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Louisiana State

ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Virginia, Cal State Fullerton, Oregon State, North Carolina State, Oregon

ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Florida State, Indiana

No change from last week. We’ll continue to give N.C. State the edge over Florida State based on the assumption that the Wolfpack wins its home series against the Seminoles this weekend. If Florida State wins that series in Raleigh, move the ‘Noles into the national seed column, and move the ‘Pack out.

2013 NCAA Regional Projections (May 8th) (CollegeBaseballDaily.com)

Raleigh Regional

  • 1. NC State (8)
  • 2. Coastal Carolina
  • 3. *Western Carolina
  • 4. *Charlotte

Ginger Poulson giving us at least a little bit of respect this week so I guess now she’s cute and smart(er) :D

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Games Schedule – TV Coverage

  • 5/11 Saturday, Noon – RSN/FSN, ESPN3
  • 5/12 Sunday, 3pm – ESPN3
  • 5/12 Monday, 7pm – ESPNU, ESPN3

Those of you who have read these previews before (all 2 of you :D ) know that I usually take a guess at the pitching matchups in this section as well, and am usually pretty good at it if I do say so myself.  Therefore, in order to not screw up my at least slightly better than decent track record thus far I’m not even going to try to take a guess this time around.  Both teams will be trying to get things set for post-season and the odd weekend schedule kinda fouls things up as well.

My best guess is that Rodon will go on Sunday (and admit it, that’s all 99% of State fans care about anyway) but even that I’m not willing to stake a bet to.

OK, fine.  Ogburn vs Weaver, Rodon vs Leibrandt and Jernigan vs Sitz are my guesses.

I’ll update the post with the actual matchups when they’re announced officially.

***UPDATE:  OK, I won’t be a pu**y and delete my incorrect predictions.  I’ve been wrong before…occasionally.  At least I got FSU’s rotation correct, though I kinda missed ours badly.

FWIW, here are the weekend’s official pitching matchups:

  • Sat – Rodon vs Weaver
  • Sun – Obgurn vs Leibrandt
  • Mon – Stone vs Sitz

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ACC Standings

(As Of May 9)
ATLANTIC DIVISION
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Florida State 16-8 .667 40-9-0 .816
NC State 15-8 .652 38-11-0 .776
Clemson 17-10 .630 34-15-0 .694
Maryland 9-18 .333 28-24-0 .538
Wake Forest 7-17 .292 26-23-0 .531
Boston College 3-23 .115 11-37-0 .229
COASTAL DIVISION
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
North Carolina 19-3 .864 44-4-0 .917
Virginia 17-7 .708 39-8-0 .830
Georgia Tech 12-12 .500 30-19-0 .612
Virginia Tech 13-14 .481 31-19-0 .620
Miami 11-13 .458 32-18-0 .640
Duke 9-15 .375 25-23-0 .521

Elsewhere this weekend:

Duke @ UVa
Miami @ Wake
UNC-CH @ GT

Marist @ VT
Ga. Southern @ Clemson

Off: Maryland and BC

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And a quick shout out to the Wolfpack Softball team.  Seeded #2 in the ACC Tourney, the Pack’s ladies pounded #7 seed UVa yesterday by a final score of 7-0 in their opening round game.

ACC Pitcher of the Year Emily Weiman went the distance, giving up only 3 hits for her 29th win of the season, her 7th shutout.

Renada Davis went 3 for 3 on the day with 2 HRs to reach 26 on the season.  She had 5 RBIs total, scored 3 times and stole a base for good measure.

The ladies face #6 seed VT, who got by #3 seed UMd on Thursday, at 1pm on Friday.  The game is televised on the RSN/FSN and is available on ESPN3 as well.

And you’d already know all of that if you had “liked” us on facebook like I’ve been asking you to.

Just Sayin’

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About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

ACC Teams Baseball

42 Responses to Just Another Top Ten Matchup in Raleigh – FSU Weekend Preview

  1. Gowolves 05/10/2013 at 8:25 AM #

    Rain could cause havoc for Saturday’s game. The forecast doesn’t look good. May end up being a twin bill on Sunday.

  2. GAWolf 05/10/2013 at 8:46 AM #

    Nice work putting this together.

    The numbers “since Trea’s return” cannot be denied. If we do slightly better than we did without Trea in the lineup, we’re solidly a lock for a national seed. That has to play into the minds of the selection committee, right?

    He’s just an All-American shortstop who leads off and creates all sorts of havoc on the bases. Simply put, we couldn’t have lost a more important member of the team for a long stretch.

    If our pitching remains solid, we should be fine.

    Another interesting tidbit for the series against FSU is that Coach Hart played at FSU and went down home to pick Trea Turner out of FSU’s backyard. This series should be a fun one.

    Go Pack… seize this rare opportunity, please.

  3. VaWolf82 05/10/2013 at 9:39 AM #

    Thanks for this most comprehensive preview.
    Go Pack!

  4. MP 05/10/2013 at 12:26 PM #

    “We’ll continue to give N.C. State the edge over Florida State based on the assumption that the Wolfpack wins its home series against the Seminoles this weekend.”

    I wish they wouldn’t say that… But I’ll trust their assumption!

  5. Wufpacker 05/10/2013 at 3:34 PM #

    Softball wins again today, btw (3-1 over VT).

    Will face FSU/UNC-CH winner for the ACC Championship tomorrow at 6pm (ESPN2).

  6. Wufpacker 05/10/2013 at 3:41 PM #

    Well, I got FSU’s rotation correct, but missed ours badly.

    The weekend pitching matchups:

    Sat – Rodon vs Weaver
    Sun – Obgurn vs Leibrandt
    Mon – Stone vs Sitz

  7. elvislives 05/10/2013 at 6:34 PM #

    Great preview as always. Your review of FSU pitching got me a bit nervous so I looked up the history of FSU’s losses to see which of the starting pitchers might be vulnerable.

    ERA’s don’t lie, Leibrandt has been roughed up the most, pitching less than 5 innings against GaTech, VaTech, and Miami. Weaver and Stitz have impressive numbers but both were roughed up by UVA. Keep an eye out for Miller out of FSU’s bullpen if any of their starters get knocked around. Overall I really like the Pack’s SP match ups for the series.

    Also of note, I see on FSU’s schedule that they have a game against UNC in Chapel Hill on 5/20, the last game of the regular season. Is that a make-up game or the First Annual AFAM Scholar Athlete Series? Could help State’s chances for the Division, pretty tough finish for the Semenholes.

  8. Wufpacker 05/10/2013 at 6:43 PM #

    Thanks for bringing that up elvis, I meant to mention it and forgot.

    The FSU/UNC game that was just announced is not a make up and will not count as a conference game (thus will be of no help to us one way or another…Carolina comes up useless as tits on a bull as usual :D ).

    Here’s more about it…..

    http://www.seminoles.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/050913aaa.html

  9. elvislives 05/10/2013 at 6:54 PM #

    This is actually a lose-lose for State then. If FSU loses to UNC, no negative impact to their conference record. If FSU beats UNC in Chapel Hill, they possibly gain votes to become a national seed. This actually makes this weekend’s series even more important (if that is possible).

    From the unwritten section of the ACC rulebook:
    “When is a conference game NOT a conference game? Only when the outcome could possibly benefit the NC State Wolfpack.”

  10. Wufpacker 05/10/2013 at 7:08 PM #

    “This is actually a lose-lose for State then.”

    Isn’t it always when Carolina is involved?

    Hate those farging bastages. I spit in their general direction.

  11. GAWolf 05/10/2013 at 10:26 PM #

    I’m absolutely befuddled as to why we would start Rodon in Game 1. Our second half of the season run has been made while Rodon has not been throwing Game 1. What is this and why change now?

    Can anyone make sense of this for me? Because while I absolutely love our staff, if this goes wrong I’m going to likely be off the bandwagon. Seems absolutely crazy to me.

  12. GAWolf 05/10/2013 at 10:29 PM #

    Quite frankly, we should also play an OOC game against the Heels. Win or lose our RPI would go up, and if we lose it would have no adverse effect on our conference standing. It seems silly to me that we didn’t try to do this.

  13. Wufpacker 05/11/2013 at 4:03 AM #

    I was surprised about Rodon as well. Only thing I can figure is that since Stone is getting the third start instead of Jernigan, they went with this order to go lefty-righty-lefty.

    The Duke series being a weird schedule in the opposite direction (which I also meant to mention and forgot…it’s Thurs/Friday/Sat next weekend) probably figures in as well I suppose.

    But even still, when I was guessing (incorrectly) what our weekend starters/matchups would be I took all that into consideration and still figured Rodon would go Sunday.

    Oh well, shows what I know. Hopefully they get the game in before weather has a chance to affect it bcuz that hasn’t been a good omen for him this year either.

  14. GAWolf 05/11/2013 at 6:05 AM #

    Again, with the weather an issue today only why rish a chance to “waste” him? This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I woke up this morning and this was the first thing on my mind. Surely our staff knows best, but if Carlos pitches today and we either get rained out or we lose, it will be a huge issue for the Monday moring coaches out there. I’m just not sure why a guy would take such a risk. Unless, of course, it works and then he’s a genius!

  15. Wufpacker 05/11/2013 at 6:22 AM #

    You heading out there today GA?

  16. GAWolf 05/11/2013 at 6:49 AM #

    Not today. Will watch the first few innings on TV then heading to Durham Bulls game with family. Will be there Sunday and Monday. Should be an exciting atmosphere! Looking forward to it.

  17. Gowolves 05/11/2013 at 7:59 AM #

    I think Avent is banking the rain will stay away. It looks like it will now. Since this series is so important go with your ace to get the first win. That way you only have to win one of two remaining to win the series. Winning the series gets us that national seed. Of course they probably lose two of three at Duke next week.

    I am heading out there. Taking my son. Should be a good day.

  18. Dr. BadgerPack 05/11/2013 at 9:03 AM #

    “I’m absolutely befuddled as to why we would start Rodon in Game 1. Our second half of the season run has been made while Rodon has not been throwing Game 1. What is this and why change now? ”

    Strictly setting up for the postseason. If you give Rodon 5 days-ish, he can pitch Sat/Thurs/Wed (Wed being ACC tourney) and possibly be available for the championship. Jerningan won’t start unless it’s (a) Duke or (b) championship game and no one else can.

    Wufpacker is also correct in the L-R-L rotation.

  19. Wufpacker 05/11/2013 at 1:47 PM #

    Oh lord, please tell me I heard that wrong and Mike Martin didn’t just say they gotta keep chopping wood.

    I like him actually, but he’s gotta remove that little Herb-ism from his repertoire.

  20. GAWolf 05/11/2013 at 2:48 PM #

    GENIUS!!! Sorry I questioned the call. Carlos looked really sharp. The announcers were calling his outing “not a masterpiece” but I would disagree. He just kept a top 10 team to 1 run in 8. That’s pretty amazing.

    Nice work, Pack 9. Keep it up!!!

  21. Wufpacker 05/11/2013 at 2:48 PM #

    3-1 final.

    Rodon goes 8 innings with 8Ks. Overman gets his 6th save with a 1-2-3 9th.

    Bryan Adametz is the man of the day with 2 RBIs and a beauty of a throw from LF to gun down a would-be FSU score at the plate.

  22. Wufpacker 05/11/2013 at 2:57 PM #

    Agreed GA. The boy threw 130+ pitches and just seemed to get stronger as the game went on.

    Was glad to see Overman get the nod in the 9th though. No need to send Rodon to Dr. Andrews. Let the left arm get the rest it needs now.

  23. Pack78 05/11/2013 at 3:09 PM #

    Good win…strong finish by Carlos with an Overman assist…on to Sunday!

  24. Gowolves 05/11/2013 at 3:26 PM #

    Rodon did his job today. He started off with a little control issues but settled down. He went through a stretch where he used his breaking stuff to set up everything else. He got ahead in the account with that slow stuff. Good job of mixing his pitches. Also helped with some nice defensive plays. If I had to grade him it would be B plus. A few times he would get ahead in the count and walk the guy. That’s why I would give him that grade.

  25. BJD95 05/11/2013 at 5:48 PM #

    Sounding like a broken record – but I am still so very enthused at the rarest of occurrences – an NC State team with high expectations that is living up to them. Badass.

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