And so we come to the end of the regular season.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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).Â 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.Â 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.Â Well, except for our good friend highstick probably.Â 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.Â 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.
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.Â 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.Â And while such a scenario isn’t particularly likely to happen, trust me on this folks, it’s not impossible.Â Despite their record Duke is not a terrible team.Â 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!!Â 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).Â 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.Â 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.Â 8 steals in 10 attempts, which makes him their 2nd leading threat to swipe and extra one.Â 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).Â 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),Â 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.Â As a team, the Devil’s staff carries an ERA of 4.42 (9th) and opposing batters are hitting .267 against them (9th).Â 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).Â 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)
College Stock Report: Week 13 (BaseballAmerica.com)
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. Weâ€™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 ACCâ€™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, theyâ€™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 â€˜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
SECURE TEAMS: The eight national seeds listed above; Indiana, North Carolina State, UCLA, Clemson
2013 NCAA Regional Projections (May 15th) (CollegeBaseballDaily.com)
1. NC State
2. *UNC Wilmington
Damn you Ginger Poulson!!! (shakes fist)Â Hot AND smart?Â 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.Â Still think he was the right call last week too, but hindsight is 20/20, etc., etc.Â I’m probably wrong again too though.Â Don’t sleep on either Tzamtzis or Wilkins.Â Or Keglovits.Â Can you tell I haven’t a clue?
[Update] * Jernigan is/was my guess/choice.Â When the official pitching matchups were announced, the Pack is officially still “TBD” for Saturday’s game 3.
No TV, no ESPN3.Â Gametracker or bust (arrrrghhh)
|(As Of May 15)|
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.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â So of course….Go ‘Hoos!!!!
The 2013 ACC CHAMPION NC State Softball team opens up NCAA Tourney play in the Knoxville regional on Friday as the #2 seed .Â The ladies will face off against #3 seed James Madison at 3:30pm.
NC State Softball Heads to NCAA Knoxville Regional (GoPack.com)
NCAA Softball Knoxville Regional Central (UTSports.com)
Good Luck Ladies!!!