Duke Weekend Preview


And so we come to the end of the regular season.  Wolfpack Baseball needs to bounce back from “the humbling” given them at the hands of Florida State last weekend and get back down to brass tacks.  And fast.

So yeah, FSU came to town and took care of business taking 2 of 3 on the Pack’s home turf, and likely snatching away both the ACC’s Atlantic Division title and a national seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament in the process.

That’s the bad news.

The good news (yes, there is some…lots actually) is that Wolfpack Baseball (39-13, 16-10 ACC) is coming off only its first series loss since way back in Charlottesville nearly two months ago.  It’s also the first time during that span that the Pack has lost two consecutive games despite going thru the relative meat grinder that is ACC baseball.

Because of this high level of success against a rather tough line up of opponents over the course of the entire season, State is still ranked in the top ten and still has a top ten RPI (currently #9 against the #7 schedule).  They’re pretty much locked in as a regional host for the NCAA tournament barring a complete collapse against Duke and in the ACC Tourney, and probably even with a collapse.

And with a strong showing in Durham over the next two weeks, first against Duke and then in the ACC Tourney, who knows what might happen as far as titles and national seeds?

The current situation atop the Atlantic Division is pretty simple at this point.  The standings are as follows:

  • 1. Florida State 18-9 (vs Clemson x3)
  • 2. Clemson 17-10, 1gb (@FSU x3)
  • 3. NC State 16-10, 1.5gb (@Duke x3)

Scenarios, going in reverse order of the standings (and likelihood, unfortunately)…

The Pack wins the division if: They sweep Duke AND Clemson wins two (and ONLY two) in Tallahassee.

Clemson wins the division if: They win at least two in Tallahassee and the Pack loses at least once to Duke, OR; they sweep FSU in Tallahassee (technically, the first scenario leaves the Tiggs and the ‘Noles tied and co-winners, but Clemson would take the higher seed for the ACC Tourney based on the head to head tiebreaker).

FSU wins the division if: They win at least two at home vs Clemson.

So as much as I hate it (Clemson is in my handful of most despised), most of us probably go into this weekend being Tigger fans to a degree I suppose.  Well, except for our good friend highstick probably.  I don’t think he’d pull for Clemson if his hair was on fire and the only way to get water was a Tiggs win.  That aside however, hopefully Clemson can find a way to barely take two and then get slaughtered for the third.

And in the meantime, as mentioned above, the Wolfpack needs to take care of business against the Blue Devils regardless.

blue-devilsDuke Blue Devils

26-26 (9-18 ACC, 6th Coastal)
2012: 21-34 (9-21 ACC, 6th Coastal)

This part is gonna be short and sweet this week because I already have a headache from going thru scenarios, matchups, tiebreakers and such.  Plus I wanna go out and play so…you get what you pay for.

Duke is currently mired in last place in the ACC Coastal division and there they will finish barring a weekend sweep of the Pack.  And while such a scenario isn’t particularly likely to happen, trust me on this folks, it’s not impossible.  Despite their record Duke is not a terrible team.  They’ve gotten beaten up pretty good in a tough ACC, but they don’t suck.

At The Plate

With a team batting average of .280, Duke hits better than both Wake and Miami and only slightly worse than Maryland, Clemson and yes….US!!  The Pack is currently down to .282 for the season after going cold(er) vs FSU over the weekend.

As a team, they’re middle of the pack in the conference in HRs (though they do have a couple of guys that have a lot of power), slg% and onbase%, and they aren’t much worse than we are in those categories either quite frankly.

A few guys to keep an eye on…

Jordan Betts (#41, JR, 3B) – .283 avg. – Leads the team in RBIs (45) and doubles (17), and is 2nd in HRs (7) and slg% (.478).  Strikes out a LOT (41 on the season) and is not a base stealing threat.

Chris Marconcini (#21, Soph, 1B) – .291 avg. – His 8 HRs leads the team.  He also has 16 doubles (2nd) and 4 triples (2nd) on the year, which not coincidentally also makes him the team leader in slg% at .559.  8 steals in 10 attempts, which makes him their 2nd leading threat to swipe and extra one.  Walks a fair amount (27, t1st), also strikes out a lot (38)

Jeff Kremer (#32, Sr, RF/C) – .306 avg. – Leads in runs scored (42), tied for lead in walks (27), 2nd in onbase%(.412).  Can steal a base when necessary (4/8).

Andy Perez (#13, Soph, 2B/1B/SS) – .313 avg. – 2nd in avg., tied for second in runs scored (38),  occasional power with 4 HRs (3rd), by far Duke’s biggest base stealing threat (16/21).

Mark Lumpa (#4, Jr, LF/Inf/RHP) – .317 avg. – Leads team in avg. and onbase% (.432).

In The Field

Pitching is probably where the difference between Duke and State will rise to the surface.  As a team, the Devil’s staff carries an ERA of 4.42 (9th) and opposing batters are hitting .267 against them (9th).  By comparison, Wolfpack pitching, even with their recent woes at the hands of FSU, are still at and ERA of 3.49 (6th) and an against avg. of .221 (2nd).

Duke is in the middle of the pack for strikeouts (354, 7th), while State still leads the conference by a significant margin with 458 (Carolina 2nd with 422).  As a team, their WHIP is a tad on the high side at 1.43 (Pack = 1.22, 4th ACC, 29th NCAA), but they are pretty good at keeping the ball in the ballpark having given up only 15 HRs on the season (t2nd).

Likely Blue Devil starters for the weekend (probably in this order, but who the hell knows?)….

Robert Huber (#16, Jr, RHP) – 5-6, 4.52 ERA, 65.2 IP, 3 HRs, .254 against avg, 53 Ks, 29 BBs.

Trent Swart (#20, Soph, LHP) – 4-4, 2.43 ERA, 77.2 IP, 0 HR, .240 against avg, 67 Ks, 24 BBs.

Mike Matuella (#30, Frosh, RHP) – 4-3, 3.72 ERA, 55.2 IP, 0 HR, .280 against avg, 26 Ks, 12 BBs.

Duke is pretty solid defensively with a .971 fldpct (4th ACC) and no particular guys as glaring weak links.


No. 5 NC State Travels to Duke (GoPack.com)

Duke Baseball Home (GoDuke.com)

Weekend Notes

College Stock Report: Week 13 (BaseballAmerica.com)

National Seeds

SECURE TEAMS: Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Louisiana State,Virginia

ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Cal State Fullerton, Oregon State, Oregon, Florida State

ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): North Carolina State, Indiana, Clemson, South Carolina

One change from last week: Florida State replaces North Carolina State as a national seed after taking two of three from the Wolfpack in Raleigh. We’ve been writing for weeks that whichever team won that series had the inside track at a national seed, and Florida State made a particularly loud statement since it was on the road.

FSU now leads the ACC’s Atlantic Division by a game over Clemson, which is suddenly surging into the national seed discussion as well. If the Tigers win their series in Tallahassee this weekend, they’ll have a real chance to edge both FSU and NCSU in the national seed race. But we expect the Seminoles to win that series at home and lock up a national seed. FSU also has an advantage in the RPI (No. 4 vs. No. 12) and a better record against the top 100 (22-10 vs. 19-13), so the ‘Noles have a chance to beat out the Tigers for a national seed even if they lose that final series. The ACC tournament could wind up playing a decisive role if the Tigers have a good weekend in Tallahassee


Regional Hosts

SECURE TEAMS: The eight national seeds listed above; Indiana, North Carolina State, UCLA, Clemson

2013 NCAA Regional Projections (May 15th) (CollegeBaseballDaily.com)

Raleigh Regional

1. NC State
2. *UNC Wilmington
3. Auburn
4. *Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Damn you Ginger Poulson!!! (shakes fist)  Hot AND smart?  What’s a fella to do?

Games Schedule – Pitching Probables

  • 5/16 Thursday – 6pm – Ethan Ogburn vs Robert Huber
  • 5/17 Friday – 6pm – Carlos Rodon vs Trent Swart
  • 5/18 Saturday – 1pm – Logan Jernigan* vs Mike Matuella

*Yep, I’m sticking with Jernigan this weekend.  Still think he was the right call last week too, but hindsight is 20/20, etc., etc.  I’m probably wrong again too though.  Don’t sleep on either Tzamtzis or Wilkins.  Or Keglovits.  Can you tell I haven’t a clue?

[Update] * Jernigan is/was my guess/choice.  When the official pitching matchups were announced, the Pack is officially still “TBD” for Saturday’s game 3.

No TV, no ESPN3.  Gametracker or bust (arrrrghhh)

ACC Standings

(As Of May 15)
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Florida State 18-9 .667 42-10-0 .808
Clemson 17-10 .630 38-15-0 .717
NC State 16-10 .615 39-13-0 .750
Maryland 9-18 .333 28-24-0 .538
Wake Forest 9-18 .333 28-25-0 .528
Boston College 3-23 .115 11-38-0 .224
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
North Carolina 20-5 .800 46-6-0 .885
Virginia 20-7 .741 43-8-0 .843
Georgia Tech 14-13 .519 32-21-0 .604
Virginia Tech 13-14 .481 33-19-0 .635
Miami 12-15 .444 33-20-0 .623
Duke 9-18 .333 26-26-0 .500

Elsewhere This Weekend:

  • Clemson @ FSU
  • Wake @ VT
  • GT @ Miami
  • Maryland @ BC
  • UVa @ UNC-CH

If the season ended today:

The Pack would take the 5th seed in the ACC Baseball Tournament.  The Pack could still jump as high as the #2 seed if they happen to take the Atlantic Division flag (see scenarios above) and could fall to #6 if they get swept by Duke and GT sweeps Miami.

GT (current #6) and VT (current #7) are assured of being in, but could flip flop some depending upon the final weekend’s results.

Miami is currently in at #8 and will likely remain the last team in the field.  Any of the three of Duke, Maryland or Wake could catch the ‘Canes as far as records, but only Wake or Duke has a shot to bump the ‘Canes due to tiebreakers.  For the Deacs to tie the ‘Canes and take the #8 slot on the tiebreaker however, they would have to sweep VT on the road and hope for a GT sweep in Coral Gables.  Duke must sweep the Pack to have any hope.

And of course UVa hits the road this weekend to try to wrestle the top seed away from “those effing guys” in Chapel Hill.  So of course….Go ‘Hoos!!!!

Softball Update

The 2013 ACC CHAMPION NC State Softball team opens up NCAA Tourney play in the Knoxville regional on Friday as the #2 seed .  The ladies will face off against #3 seed James Madison at 3:30pm.

NC State Softball Heads to NCAA Knoxville Regional (GoPack.com)

Game Notes

NCAA Softball Knoxville Regional Central (UTSports.com)

Good Luck Ladies!!!


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 ACC Teams Baseball

46 Responses to Duke Weekend Preview

  1. Gowolves 05/15/2013 at 8:58 PM #

    Once again you have done a great job! I think if they sweep Duke and get to the finals of the tourney then they could possibly get a national seed.

  2. Wufpacker 05/16/2013 at 12:26 AM #

    Thanks for the kind words.

    And I agree, we’re not out of the picture just yet. But gotta take care of business first and foremost.

  3. Semper_WolfPack 05/16/2013 at 9:39 AM #

    Great work, as usual, Wuf! Hopefully the cards will fall in our favor this weekend. A national seed would be outstanding. Good luck to the ladies this weekend as well. BTW, I had to look up Ginger Poulson…my goodness, she is a gorgeous woman! GO PACK!!

  4. blpack 05/16/2013 at 1:05 PM #

    That would be a great Raleigh Regional. Got to take care of Duke first.

  5. Pack78 05/16/2013 at 9:22 PM #

    Pack whips Dook 5-2 in game one…Clemmons beats FSU 8-2 in their first game.

  6. Wufpacker 05/16/2013 at 10:38 PM #

    ^ Yep. Good start. Pack now a half game back of co-leading Clemson/FSU.

  7. mak4dpak 05/16/2013 at 10:42 PM #

    Agreed good start and new hope for the Pack division title, and to make things even better the invincible holes got a wahoo whipping. Go Pack!

  8. Wufpacker 05/16/2013 at 11:02 PM #

    Indeed…Go ‘Hoos.

    Miami also topped GT thus the field for the ACC Tourney is now set, final seedings TBD depending on results of the last two days of regular season play.

  9. vtpackfan 05/17/2013 at 8:42 AM #

    The Ogburn-Wilkens-Stone by committee looks intriguing. No matter how the Atlantic shakes out, it could give us our best chance in next weeks tourney run. Win game one and you’re practically guaranteed to face either UVa or the Holes on day 2. Only Carlos could give us the opportunity to advance w/o a loss beyond that point.

    Looking ahead to Saturday and hoping Jernigan has been hiding out in the weeds all season and is fully capable and prepared to turn into a starter that gives the team a chance to scratch out a W.

  10. Dr. BadgerPack 05/17/2013 at 10:44 AM #

    ^ The day 2 opponent is determined by seeding- we slot anywhere from 2-5 at the moment (3 being the only impossibility).

    As the 2 seed, we would face the 3 in the third game; as the 4 seed we would face the 1 seed in the third game and as the 5 seed we would face the 1 in the second game. UVA and UNC have clinched 1&3 (who gets which one is the question) while State, Clemson, and FSU have (2,4,5) to divvy up.

    This is assuming previous years’ scheduling patterns hold true.

  11. vtpackfan 05/17/2013 at 12:05 PM #

    Right. Nice concise way of putting it. I knew that with a first round win, the only path through the winners bracket w/o facing UVa or UNC is if they get tripped up day one.

    We can and should be able to beat anyone with Carlos pitching the second contest. Throwing him game 1 would be a bad move in my judgement. Getting over the hurdle of the first game is HUGE and if the Ogburn-Wilkens-Stone contingent can outduel the opposition than I really like our chances this year.

  12. Dr. BadgerPack 05/17/2013 at 12:26 PM #

    In case there is confusion, the ACC tournament format is round-robin pod play.

    1, 4, 5 and 8 in one pod and 2, 3, 6 and 7 in the other. The team with the best record in each pod advances. Two-way ties are broken head-to-head; 3-way ties are broken by highest seed.

    You are still correct in the first game being huge, of course. Lose the first and you must have help to advance- there are no scenarios that avoid needing help with that loss.

  13. Wufpacker 05/17/2013 at 1:57 PM #

    Ha! DBP, you just saved me a bunch of work for an ACC Tourney preview. Which frankly I was already considering not even doing anyway.

  14. Dr. BadgerPack 05/17/2013 at 2:01 PM #

    Ha! If you do decide to do it, cut and paste at will- no citation necessary 🙂

  15. Wufpacker 05/17/2013 at 2:08 PM #

    I was gonna go with “It’s pod play…win three and you’re assured of a champs game appearance.”

    Kinda the Winston Wolf approach…no? 😉

  16. Wufpacker 05/17/2013 at 5:26 PM #

    Softball wins their opening round game in Knoxville, 2-0 over James Madision.

    Emily Weiman with yet another complete game shutout, giving up only three hits along the way.

    Pack Ladies square off against today’s game two winner (Tennessee vs Longwood) tomorrow at 1:30pm.

  17. Wufpacker 05/17/2013 at 8:49 PM #

    Going to extra frames tied 6-6 in Durham. Rodon has gone 9.0 and K’d 15 thus far. He MIGHT have one more inning in him, but I’d hope not with the ACC Tourney around the corner.

    If not for a few timely hits by Duke (and a few errors and walks too, quite frankly) in the 3rd, this one would be in the books.

    Oh, and I really frigging hate Duke’s live stats.

  18. Wufpacker 05/17/2013 at 9:14 PM #

    Adametz scores on a wild pitch in the top 10th.

    Overman and Sasser combine to close out the 10th (despite Overman making it more interesting than I would have cared for) and Pack survives a sketchy one by a final of 7-6.

    FSU up on Clemson 2-0 in the 4th

  19. Dr. BadgerPack 05/17/2013 at 9:14 PM #

    Nobody can say our games aren’t exciting… Nice win.

  20. Wufpacker 05/17/2013 at 9:19 PM #

    Got that right DBP…on both counts.

    FSU/Clemson on ESPNU btw for those interested.

  21. ncst8zr1 05/17/2013 at 9:34 PM #

    State fans outnumbered Duke fans about 10 to 1. GO PACK!

  22. Wufpacker 05/17/2013 at 10:34 PM #

    ‘Noles down the Tiggs 2-1.

    Pack needs a W tomorrow coupled with a Clemson win.

  23. Wufpacker 05/18/2013 at 3:15 PM #

    Pack up big early 6-0 on the Devils. Clemson up early 1-0 on FSU.

  24. BJD95 05/18/2013 at 3:35 PM #

    Woohoo, cats and evil plans!!

  25. Wufpacker 05/18/2013 at 3:46 PM #

    LOL, I haven’t given ya any good cat memes lately…figured I owed ya.

    And sorry ’bout the “LOL” 😉 (and the winky too I guess…hahaha)

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