The Seminoles Are Coming!
|Thursday, March 20, 2014, 9:18 AM- -|
The Seminoles are Coming!
Clemson hosts Florida State this weekend in a three game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Friday and Saturday's games begin at 6:30 pm, while Sunday is set for a 1:00 pm first pitch.
There are few times where you can point to a mid-March series as being a key series but that is the case this weekend.
Clemson, Florida State and NC State were the three pre-season favorites in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Atlantic Division. Last week Florida State sweep NC State. Clemson hosts the Wolfpack next month.
Florida State and NC State have been in the top ten in the country for most of the season while Clemson has worked its way back into the top 15 in last week's poll. The Seminoles are ranked number one in one poll and number two in the other two major polls.
Clemson and FSU are tied atop the Atlantic Division at 5-1 heading into the series but this it feels like these two teams have had completely different seasons to this point. FSU has been dominating with a 17-3 overall. Clemson is currently 13-7. The Seminoles have swept Georgia, beat Miami two out of three in a non-conference matchup and have swept NC State.
Clemson has lost games to Eastern Michigan, Western Carolina, Wake Forest, Georgia Southern and were swept by South Carolina.
The Tigers have had major issues on defense and in the bullpen. The fan base is upset with the South Carolina series and blowout losses to Western Carolina and Georgia Southern.
However, Clemson can turn its season around with a great series this weekend against the Seminoles. This series could be the catalyst to turn the season around.
It is important to tun the season around soon because the schedule is about to get very difficult. The Tigers are 5-1 in the league, partly because they have played two of the weaker opponents in the ACC in Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. A tougher road is in store as the Tigers still have to face NC State, Virginia and Miami.
The magic number to host a regional has been 40 wins, but if the Tigers want to get to that number, they must improve play and that starts this weekend. At 13-7, the Tigers have to win 27 of their last 36 games to get to 40 wins. That means Clemson can afford only nine more losses this season if 40 wins is the goal. Nine losses in a schedule that includes three games against FSU, three against NC State, three at Virginia and three against Miami.
Those series are against some of the nation's best programs but it also means Clemson cannot afford to drop many games against the rest of the schedule. Clemson should be favored against teams like Pittsburgh, Boston College, Notre Dame, James Madison and UNLV but the Tigers have to play well in almost every one of those type of games.
In Major League Baseball they play 162 games but some believe it takes about 50 games to determine what type of ball club you have. The one-third of a season mark is a good time to judge according to some. In college baseball you play about 56 regular season games. Clemson is 20 games into its season which is a little more than one third of the regular season.
If we are to judge this baseball team through the first third of the season, it has been a mixed bag. Expectations were very high after some highly rated recruiting classes have rebuilt the talent level. Also last year some freshmen and sophomores set the table for what appeared to be a very good future for the program. However, through 20 games this team has underachieved. The starting pitching has been inconsistent. The bullpen has been a mess. The defense has been just as bad if not worse. My fear is that confidence might soon become an issue if it has not already. This team has blown big leads at times and has been blown out at others.
Still they are ranked in the top 15 in the country and are tied for the division lead. The season is still young and there are signs that they may be able to play their way out of this funk.
My point is that needs to happen soon. The Seminoles are coming to town.
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