|Monday, April 24, 2017, 10:03 AM- -|
Clemson has an incredible baseball season so far this year with a 33-8 record and a 16-5 ACC record. The Tigers are in line for some big things as the regular season winds down. This team has a chance to be a national seed in the NCAA tournament. They have a chance to win the regular season in the ACC and make a bunch of noise in the ACC tournament.
The two major issues facing this team in the final month of the regular season are the schedule and the bullpen.
The remaining regular season schedule is a bear due to two huge weekend series, North Carolina and Louisville.
The rest of the schedule is manageable. This week the Tigers get the College of Charleston at home. The Cougars are 20-20, and their current RPI is 146th.
Exam week begins in one week and ends with Clemson hosting Nevada next Saturday-Monday. The Wolf Pack are struggling to a 13-27 mark and a 228th spot in the RPI.
A midweek game with Furman at Flour Field, The Paladins are currently 18-20 and 138th in the RPI.
The final midweek game of the season is with Coastal Carolina. The defending national champions are 24-15-1 and ranked 68th in the RPI.
The final regular season series is in Raleigh against NC State who is currently 20-20 and the 63rd ranked team in the RPI.
But the crucial series this weekend happens the Tigers travel to Chapel Hill to face UNC. The Tar Heels are 31-9 overall and ranked third in the RPI.
The Atlantic Division showdown is when Louisville visits Clemson. The Cardinals are 33-6 overall and ranked sixth in the RPI. Their 17-4 conference mark puts them one game ahead of Clemson in the division.
The Tigers have 15 regular season games remaining. Nonconference wins against Charleston, three against Nevada, Furman, and Coastal could give the Tigers 39 wins. The nine conference games remaining at North Carolina, Louisville, and at NC State could give the Tigers great opportunities to win the division and become a national seed.
The second biggest concern now is the bullpen. The first two months of the season, the bullpen was lights out. However, the last two weekends the bullpen has shown some concerns.
Give FSU and Wake Forest credit for being good hitting clubs, but they have feasted on Clemson's bullpen. Ryley Gilliam, Brooks Crawford, Jacob Hennessy, and Patrick Andrews have not looked the same the last two weekends and Clemson cannot reach its goals without improvement from the relievers coming down the stretch.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
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