Baseball to Wrap Regular Season @ FSU

A three game set at Florida State is all that remains in the regular season for the Wolfpack Nine (36-16 Overall, 17-9 ACC). This should be an interesting measurement of where the squad currently stands. As some may recall, we played the bulk of the ACC’s top squads early in the season, which was BEFORE the bats heated up. Now we get a chance to see how the revamped offense fares against one of the top teams in the country, let alone the league. I would guess these games could turn into slugfests, although everytime I prognosticate that the game ends up being a 2-1 pitchers duel (fine by me, as an ex-pitching coach I love ’em). As of this post, Eric Surkamp will take the ball in game 1 tonight, facing FSU’s Matt Fairel (9-1, 2.84). For those in the Florida area, you can catch these games on Sunsports; I’ll try to post observations periodically provided there is interest.

Series Impact
As far as conference tourney seeding goes, this series isn’t particularly important. A cursory glance at the standings would seem to indicate we are locked into the 4th seed. Because of the cancelled game against UNC, we are 4 games up in the loss column against both UVa and Georgia Tech (who meet one another in their respective final series). From a purely fun standpoint, another series to pay attention to is UNC versus Miami. If the unlikeliest of scenarios occur, NC State and Miami sweeps, we would tie UNC in the conference standings with 20-9 marks (no head to head tiebreaker, since we split two games). I’m sure the seed would go to UNC because of overall record (I looked for tiebreakers and gave up) but, at any rate, it would sure be nice to say we can “compete” with our Chapel Hill neighbors (that’s sarcasm folks!).

What is very important is to pick up a win to enhance our chances of hosting a regional. I would say 1 win puts in very good shape; at the very least we could host as a #2. Two wins on the road at FSU puts us in position to probably host as a #1, although I’m sure there’s always a chance things could go awry based on what other teams do. An unlikely sweep of FSU is virtual lock status for a regional #1 host, and if things break the right way (let’s say an ACC tourney win), we would be on the cusp of attaining an upper-half national seed. But, I’m getting way ahead here. Focus on FSU, and keep hitting the ball Pack!

Pregame: Rain delay in Tallahassee, should get to baseball around 7:30- or so they say on the Devil Rays postgame report. It will be interesting to see what the field conditions look like, and whether it will impact the pitchers. FSU announcers mention there is a strong case to be made for the ‘Pack to host a regional– let’s hope they are right.

Top 1: Good Guys get on the board first as Marcus Jones picks up an RBI single. Pond missed extra bases by an eyelash in the inning, and ended up flying out. 1-0 Wolfpack after half an inning.

Bottom 1: Surkamp allows a lead-off double, throws a bouncer and walks the 2 hitter to bring up Buster Posey– arguably the best hitter in the country– with runners at the corners and no outs. Surkamp picks the runner of first, gets an RBI groundout and then a flyout. FSU ties it up, but it could have been worse. 1-1 going into the second.

Top 2: The ‘Pack juices the bases with 2 out, and Matt Payne comes through with a 2-run single up the middle. The Wolfpack take a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the second.

Bottom 2: Surkamp gives up a 2 out walk, then comes back with a strikeout to set down the Seminoles. Heading to the Top of inning 3, it’s 3-1 Wolfpack. Now it’s time to build on that lead.

3rd Inning: Both pitchers have settled in, 6 up and 6 down. Still 3-1 headed to the 4th inning.

5th Inning: Did I say slugfest before? Both pitchers are very sharp now. Headed to the 6th inning, it’s still 3-1 Wolfpack.

Top 7: FSU plated a run in the 6th to cut the lead to 3-2. The ‘Pack bats woke up in the top of the 7th, 2 runs have crossed the plate and FSU goes to the bullpen. Fairel came out after taking an absolute missle off his thigh; the ball ended up in short right field. After missing on a double down the first baseline in the first, Pond fond the third baseline more to his liking. It’s 5-2 State, 1 on and 1 out.

Stretch Time!: State plates 4 runs in the Top of the 7th,, capped off by a 2-run pinch-hit single by Dallas Poulk. Headed into the last half of the frame, the Wolfpack has a 7-2 lead.

Headed to the 9th: Brown does his job, and the ‘Pack has a 7-2 lead as we move into the ninth inning. So far the Wolfpack has outhit the Seminoles 12-3. I never would have seen that one coming. Keep it up!!

BALLGAME!: The ‘Pack looks strong with a 12-2 drubbing of Florida State. Surkamp was sensational on the mound and Marcus Jones was amongst the offensive stars. Great way to start the series, knowing 1 win was a must to keep regional hosting a possibility. The pressure should be off in the next two games. Not that I’m superstitious or anything, but maybe I should do this tomorrow?

About Dr. BadgerPack

NCSU Class of 99 and PhD University of Wisconsin, 2006... Which should adequately explain the screen name I chose at 2am one Saturday...

Baseball General Non-Revenue

21 Responses to Baseball to Wrap Regular Season @ FSU

  1. packbackr04 05/15/2008 at 10:09 AM #

    see. now that lee finally has the facilities in place for the baseball team, they can compete. give him another 8 years and we might get back to the NCAA tourney in basketball.

  2. Trout 05/15/2008 at 10:25 AM #

    IF (huge IF, not going to happen), NC State swept FSU and Miami swept UNC, NC State would be the #3 seed. First tiebreaker is head to head, which is even, second tiebreaker would be records againt the top teams. NC State would be 4-2 against FSU and Miami, while UNC would be 2-4.

    NC State will not be a #2 seed in Raleigh. If we host, we will host as a #1.

    I think if we win one, we will host. Our RPI will increase no matter what just by playing FSU, who is currently #3 RPI.

    DBP: Trout, those are pretty much my instincts on hosting. However I love publishing “worst case scenarios” because crazy things can happen. Thanks for clearing up the tiebreaker scenario. The unlikely scenario (the two sweeps) would then be huge, as we could avoid UVa and GT (the likely 4/5 seeds in the opening game). Haven’t had the chance to watch GT, but UVa has scary-good starting pitching.

  3. blackdom 05/15/2008 at 10:26 AM #

    nice job by the baseball team good luck and finish up strong…..Now if lee needs 8 to fix basketball does the mean Sid needs 12?

  4. statemech 05/15/2008 at 10:42 AM #

    I’ve been hearing talk about us going to ECU as a one seed if we don’t get a hosting spot here in Raleigh, the logic being the NCAA wouldn’t want 4 regionals within the same conference much less 2 within the same county. who knows if that’s right, but if we can’t win our series at FSU and prove without a doubt that we deserve our own hosting bid, I’d be perfectly fine driving to Greenville to watch my pack play as a #1.

    here’s to hoping we remember to bring our bats with us to Tallahassee

    go Pack!

    DBP: The 4 teams from the same conference probably doesn’t hold much water, especially given the ACC’s strength. In 2007 the SEC hosted 4 regionals. In 2006, the ACC hosted 4 regionals and the SEC 5 regionals (with Arkansas hosting as a #2 seed) so precedent is there, and quite recent. I have no clue about 2 regionals in the same county– I couldn’t find precedent for that

  5. packbackr04 05/15/2008 at 11:14 AM #

    the new rivals 2009 top 150 is out and Scott Wood made it at #145. John Wall is now the top player in that class which should effectively put an end to any speculation that he will ever play basketball at NC State. Lorenzo Brown is pretty high on NCSU right now too. Favors is prob headed elsewhere as well.

  6. statemech 05/15/2008 at 11:46 AM #

    DBP – not saying it’s never happened, I think the whole deal was if we are on the bubble for being a host they’d be more likely to hand the bid over to another school just for geographical reasons, the point being we have to really prove to the committee that we deserve to host with a strong performance at florida state

    DBP: Agreed 100%. Let’s just beat the snot out of ’em and seal the deal.

  7. Ed89 05/15/2008 at 3:12 PM #

    Continuing the thread jack. I’m not so sure I’d say Favors is headed elsewhere. Larry Harris is a BIG-TIME recruiter in the Atlanta area. I still put pretty good odds (50/50) that we land Favors. Favors and Wall would be down-right awesome. I think Brown would be a great pick-up also (with or without Wall).

  8. RabidWolf 05/15/2008 at 5:27 PM #

    Not only have the ‘Pack’s bats been lively as of late, but the pitching has been fairly dominant..let’s just hope this trend continues in Trailerhassee.

  9. Dr. BadgerPack 05/15/2008 at 5:53 PM #

    We’re creeping up on opening pitch… I’ll try to update the main post periodically as the game goes on. This is my first real foray into this, so 1000 pardons if I s*@# at it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. vtpackfan 05/15/2008 at 7:55 PM #

    Tony Hahn on sunday (rubber match w/ UMd) said to play close attention to the entire Florida Road trip over the couse of the next few weeks. With 6 games (3 @ FSU and three gauranteed at ACC tourney) left, if we come out 3-3 total we should stand very well in terms f hosting a regional.

    I imagine Shunick starts game two, but who Avent gives the ball to for game three is an interesting topic. McConnel has not ever settled in this year as a starter after being in the bullpen all last year.

    No one has pitched better lately then true frosh Jake Buchannon, but you have to wonder if he is mature enough and ready for games of this magnitude coming up. As a set up man or the RHP closer may be the best option.

    The wild card is OSU transfer Alex Sogard, who’s able to mow down the opposition when he can locate his curveball.

    At the beggining of the season I never could have imagined having a borderline “powerful” offense w/o Dallas Poulk being in the mix. It goes to show you never know, he has certainly been in a sophmore slump. Go Pack!

    DBP: Poulk heard you loud and clear. 7-2 Pack after Dallas’ 2-run single.

  11. RabidWolf 05/15/2008 at 8:27 PM #

    Great game thus far, Surkamp did a great job, and the bats have been hot again tonight. If the ‘Pack can take 2 of 3 in Trailerhassee, it would be an insult if NCSU did NOT get to host a regional. Anybody think that State could crack the top 10 with a series win this weekend?

    State made the FSU ace look like a freshman.


  12. statemech 05/15/2008 at 9:01 PM #

    dang, glad to see we did remember to bring those bats, that 7th inning really blew it open, we just need to hold on now. a series win would secure a hosting bid for sure, though i doubt, even with a sweep, that we crack the top 10.

    i dont think rankings mean much of anything at this point anyway, as long as we get our hosting bid i’m happy, and then we set our sights on Omaha

  13. Dr. BadgerPack 05/15/2008 at 9:20 PM #

    Score of note: Miami clubs UNC 12-2. But, nah- let’s not even think it, OK? ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. PackerInRussia 05/15/2008 at 9:32 PM #

    Wow, I certainly didn’t think they would be able to beat up on FSU the same way they did against MD last weekend (other than the first game of course). There are still 3 outs to go, but I don’t foresee FSU scoring 10 runs (if that does happen please delete this post and remind me to never post again before a game ends). Way to go Pack! Keep it up.

    DBP: You’re in the clear.

  15. tulsapack 05/15/2008 at 9:55 PM #

    Best performance of the year by some margin, and probably the best result for the program since the doubleheader sweep of Texas. Great job Pack!

  16. statemech 05/15/2008 at 10:07 PM #

    incredible game, probably our best performance overall of the year, and we’re closer to getting that hosting bid. keep it up pack!

    “Not that Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm superstitious or anything, but maybe I should do this tomorrow?”

    neither am I… but yes.

  17. 48wolfpacker 05/16/2008 at 12:12 AM #

    DBP, you seem a lot more confident about hosting than I do, but I hope you’re right. I just think that the NCAA does not want two regionals in Wake County, so we’ll get the shaft. I guess I’m just a pessimist.

    Great win tonight! Go Pack, sweep the Noles!

    DBP: If the Pack doesn’t host simply because the NCAA doesn’t want 2 regionals in Wake County, Lee Fowler should throw an absolute fit (he won’t). It should go like this: tell UNC to find another temporary home, we built our facility and won the necessary games. Take a glance back at 4th place ACC finishers who have hosted. I still think 1 more win is needed to solidify, and a sweep makes it a virtual lock.

  18. graywolf 05/16/2008 at 6:59 AM #

    Absoulte great start to the series. I hope this continues all the way into the tournament.

    Way to go pack!

  19. Classof89 05/16/2008 at 8:36 AM #

    Was the guy last night FSU’s best weekend starter? Or do we still have to face their ace?

  20. tulsapack 05/16/2008 at 9:34 AM #

    He’s their “ace,” yeah, though I think Villanueva may be the better pitcher on the whole. Really though the function of their starting pitchers is to keep the score down while the offense goes to work, so it doesn’t come down to the bullpen to preserve the lead.

  21. statemech 05/16/2008 at 10:50 AM #

    he was their ace and from the 3rd until the beginning of the 7th he was untouchable. what did him in was our first 2 innings where we made him throw so many pitches, so by the time we got to the 7th he was done and we started to take advantage. it was still a great performance by Fairel, we just had an outstanding performance at the plate to start to game. if we keep our bats hot, and if Ferguson, winner of the acclaimed golden sombrero last night, wakes up his, I don’t see what’s stopping us from taking the series.

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