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Opponent Preview: Clemson

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Meet the Tigers... A team that’s won 7 of their last 9

NCAA BASEBALL: JUN 03 St. John’s v Clemson

Who’s the Pack playing?

Opponent: Clemson

Mascot: Carole Baskin accomplices | School Location: Clemson, SC | Conference: ACC

2021 Record: 12-10 (6-6, 4th Atlantic) | 2021 RPI Rank: 46

2020 Record: 14-3 (3-0, T-1st Atlantic) | 2020 RPI Rank: 8

2019 Record: 35-26 (15-15, 4th Atlantic) | 2019 RPI Rank: 41


When? Where? How do I watch?

Location: Doak Field at Dail Park (Raleigh, NC)

Game Time(s): Friday, Apr 2 @ 7:00pm | Saturday, Apr 3 @ 7:00pm | Sunday, Apr 4 @ 1:00pm

TV: ACC Network (Friday | Saturday | Sunday)

Radio: TuneIn App, GoPack (Friday | Saturday | Sunday)

Live Stats: Sidearm Stats


Tell me about this team

There are a lot of similarities over the last two years for the Clemson and NC State baseball programs. 2020 was a season where both teams looked to be their strongest in years, only to see the season abruptly end before knowing just how good the teams were.

Expectations were reasonably high for both programs coming into the 2021 season, but both teams fell flat out of the gates. Clemson started off 5-8 (1-5) and NC State 5-9 (1-8). Both teams have since caught fire, with the Tigers rattling off 7 wins in their last 9 games, including a road sweep of Boston College last weekend and a series victory over Virginia Tech the weekend prior.

This Clemson squad has some holes, though. Like the Wolfpack, the starting pitching hasn’t been great overall this year, but showed tremendous promise last weekend, including a complete game from a guy making his first start of the season. This hitting has been (no pun intended) hit-or-miss. A few guys are tearing the cover off the ball, but top to bottom, the lineup hasn’t been producing to a level that would lead you to believe they could be a regional level team.

The one stark difference between NC State and Clemson is that the Tigers bullpen has been pretty fantastic on the year. If the starting pitching can start producing, the offense might not have to put up many runs to tick up the tally in the win column.


Who’s on the mound for these guys?

Friday: RHP Nick Hoffmann (FR)

Saturday: LHP Keyshawn Askew (SO)

Sunday: TBD


Key Players:

Offense

1B/DH Caden Grice (FR) - .338/.465/.691, 4 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 18 R, 25 RBI, 13 BB, 25 K. One of the top freshmen in the country. Massive 6’6, 240 lbs frame that just mashes baseballs.

SS James Parker (SO) - .378/.446/.622, 4 2B, 6 HR, 15 R, 19 RBI, 10 BB, 20 K, 0-2 SB. Has made a huge jump in production this year after being a pretty weak bat his first two years on campus.

CF Bryce Teodosio (JR) - .262/.400/.443, 2 2B, 3 HR, 13 R, 6 RBI, 10 BB, 22 K, 4-6 SB. Known as a glove-first guy who would only produce when he put the ball over the fence, this year has been a different story. He’s shown a better approach at the plate, helping pop is OBP.

C Jonathan French (FR) - .250/.333/.453, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 R, 13 RBI, 7 BB, 24 K. Stocky right-handed hitter with some pop in the bat. Not the greatest defensively.

Pitching

LHP Geoffrey Gilbert (FR) - 1-1, 2 SV, 0.93 ERA, 19.1 IP, 16 H, 4 BB, 29 K. Low 90’s lefty who is quickly moving up 2022 draft boards. Great stuff out of the bullpen.

LHP Mat Clark (JR) - 1-0, 1 SV, 2.37 ERA, 19.0 IP, 15 H, 0 BB, 20 K. I’m completely confused why Clark is not in the starting rotation. His stuff plays up out of the bullpen, but for a team still looking for three dependable weekend starters, it’s weird that they’re limiting a guy who went 9-3 with a 3.21 ERA as a starter in 2019.

RHP Nick Hoffmann (FR) - 3-0, 2.70 ERA, 16.2 IP, 13 H, 0 BB, 12 K. 2nd year freshman has been impressive with his command of the zone. Has yet to issue a walk over 27.2 career innings. Made his first start on Sunday at Boston College pitching a complete game, allowing just two runs on six hits with 7 K’s.

RHP Mack Anglin (FR) - 0-1, 3.07 ERA, 14.2 IP, 15 H, 4 BB, 23 K. Big 6’4, 220 lbs righty with phenomenal stuff. Had control issues last year, but that hasn’t been a problem this year. A future starter with big upside if the control sticks.

LHP Keyshawn Askew (SO) - 0-0, 1.35 ERA, 13.1 IP, 14 H, 1 BB, 18 K. Made just his second start of the year last Saturday at BC, going 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on nine hits with 0 BB and 8 Ks. Doesn’t have anything overpowering, but just pitches incredibly well.

RHP Davis Sharpe (SO) - 2-1, 5.95 ERA, 19.2 IP, 19 H, 12 BB, 27 K. Was one of the team’s best hitters a year ago, but has not been able to recapture that magic at the plate. Don’t let the ERA fool you - this kid can pitch despite not possessing a power arm.

RHP Nick Clayton (FR) - 3-0, 2.45 ERA, 14.2 IP, 8 H, 4 BB, 20 K. A 6’5, 215 lbs 2nd year freshman with big potential. Has the frame to continue to add velo.


Quick! Fun Facts!

NC State has won the last three series against Clemson, including sweeping the Tigers on the road in 2018.

Clemson has five players on their rosters from the state of North Carolina. NC State has zero players from the state of South Carolina.

The Tigers have two active players at the MLB level: Brad Miller (INF, Phillies) and Eli White (OF, Rangers).


Prediction

Clemson and State are both coming into this series having found some recent success. I believe Clemson’s midweek loss to Georgia dents their confidence just enough to allow State to take the series.

Outcome: State takes two out of three to keep the feel-good train going.