With all of the ACC Basketball Tourney and NCAA Bubble talk going on, it could easily be missed that Wolfpack Baseball hits the road this weekend to Tallahassee to face the 2nd ranked Seminoles of Florida State in what could end up being the most important conference showdown of the season in the ACC’s Atlantic Division, and one of the most important nationally as well.
Week in Review
The Pack9 got off on the right foot in conference play last weekend, sweeping the 3 game home series vs ACC newcomer Notre Dame and moving back into the top 5 nationally.
They then hit the road to the sunshine state for a non-conference matchup vs Stetson Hatters…
No. 5 Pack Wins Sixth-Straight (GoPack.com)
Brett Austin led off and played second base, leading the Pack with a 2-for-4 performance including a run scored. Jake Fincher drove in a pair of RBIs during State’s third inning, his only hit in a 1-for-3 game with a run scored, two RBIs, a stolen base, and a walk.
Jake Armstrong contributed two RBIs as well in a 1-for-4 effort with a double. Bubby Riley drew three walks in a 1-for-1 game. John Mangum drew the start at catcher and went 1-for-2 with a double, two runs, and two walks. Trea Turner drove in the Pack’s first run in a 1-for-4 outing with a walk.
Andrew Woeck (3-0) claimed the win in 3 2/3 innings of relief, striking out six of 12 batters faced, holding the Hatters hitless with a walk. Patrick Peterson started and worked four innings, allowing one earned on four hits and three walks with six punchouts. Will Gilbert and Joe O’Donnell combined to pitch the final 1 1/3, limiting Stetson to one hit between them.
With a staff ERA of 1.95 (#14 nationally, #1 ACC), and a WHIP of 1.01 (#16, #2), pitching continues to be a strength for the Pack. Logan Jernigan and Brad Stone both added scoreless outings vs ND last weekend to their ’14 resumes, dropping their respective ERAs to 0.73 and 1.61. For the weekend, the bullpen also held ND scoreless , btw.
In spite of giving up 3 runs and raising his ERA to 2.40 for the season, Carlos Rodon had enough in the tank to go the distance vs the Irish and get the win to even his record at 2-2.
14-2 (2-1 ACC), Last 10: 8-2, Streak: Won 3
2013: 47-17 (20-10 ACC)
The ‘Noles can hit (team avg of .304) and the ‘Noles can score, averaging more than 9 runs per game.
DJ Stewart (#8,SO,LF) – .393 avg, 3HR, 16RBI, 21 runs scored, 7 doubles, .679 slgpct, 8K/19BB
Jose Brizuela (#53,JR,3B) – .352 avg, 15RBI, 15 runs scored, 4 doubles, .463 slgpct, 7k/7BB
John Sansone (#12,So,2B) – .333 avg, 1HR, 14RBI, 16 runs scored, 5 doubles, .500 slgpct, 10K/13BB
Brett Knief (#25,SR,RF) – .320 avg, 1HR, 13RBI, 15 runs scored, 5 doubles, .480 slgpct, 8K/5BB
Ben DeLuzio (#21,FR,CF) – .293 avg, 15RBI, 10 runs scored, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 16K/6BB, 6/6 SB.
OK, I’m getting depressed looking at the FSU offense so I’m gonna stop there. Even their guys who don’t necessarily hit for average or power can still hit plenty good enough in the clutch and push runs across. Pack pitching could get exposed this weekend to say the least.
FSU’s pitching is very solid with a staff ERA of 2.70. Moreover, the ‘Noles generally don’t hurt themselves by giving up unearned runs. On the year, they are averaging giving up only 3 runs per game total.
The Pack is likely to face these three starters this weekend:
Luke Weaver (#7,JR,RHP) – 3-1, ERA 2.25, against avg .209, 24K/6BB
Brandon Leibrandt (#37,JR,LHP) – 2-1, ERA 2.52, against avg .231, 21K/4BB
Mike Compton (#17,SO,RHP) – 2-0, ERA 1.42, against avg .138, 17K/4BB
Famous Jameis, part deux….
Let us not forget that Heisman Trophy winner and National Champion quarterback Jameis Winston (#44,SO,RHP) also knows how to throw a baseball now and again. He’s been used mostly as the ‘Noles closer thus far in ’14 (ERA 1.17 in 7.2 IP, 3 saves, against avg .111, 6K/1BB), but gets the nod in right field some too, and here’s why….
Defensively the ‘Noles are solid, though Brizeula (3B) and Sansone (2B) can be counted on for a boot now and again.
Elsewhere in the ACC this Weekend:
- Pitt @ VT
- BC @ UVa
- ND @ Duke
- Clemson @ Wake
- Carolina @ UMd
- Miami @ GT
Games Schedule – Probable Starters – TV
[UPDATE] – Schedule change – Saturday doubleheader due to expected weather for Sunday.
- Friday, 3/14 6pm – Carlos Rodon vs Luke Weaver – ESPN3
- Saturday, 3/15 – Game One (1pm) -Logan Jernigan vs Brandon Leibrandt – ESPN3
- Saturday, 3/15 – Game Two (approx 30 min after Game One) – Brad Stone vs Mike Compton – ESPN3