Taking a closer look at the ACC opponents standing in the way of Clemson’s path to the ACC Tournament title game…
No. 3 Georgia Tech (11:00 a.m. on May 25)
Record: 39-17 (22-8 ACC, shared ACC regular season title with Virginia)
Against Clemson this season…: The Tigers got to Yellow Jackets ace Mark Pope with three runs on ten hits in six innings – giving the junior starter his second loss of the season on April 29th. Georgia Tech came back the next day with a complete game win for lefty junior Jed Bradley by a 5-1 score. But Clemson would take the series on Senior Day with a dominating effort from senior starter Justin Sarratt in a 3-1 win.
Against FSU, NC State: Swept NC State in Atlanta; Did not play FSU in the regular season.
Starting pitcher: Junior RHP Mark Pope (11-3, 1.54 ERA, 85 Ks, .210 opposing batting average)
Top bats: Freshman CF Kyle Wren (.370 average with 11 doubles, 6 triples and 14 stolen bases), junior 3B Matt Skole (.351 average with 8 HRs, 55 RBIs and 15 doubles) and junior 1B Jake Davies (.349 average, 13 doubles, 33 RBIs).
Top reliever: Sophomore RHP Luke Bard (8 saves, 3.32 ERA in 40.2 innings pitched)
ACC ranks: Batting – 2nd; Pitching – 2nd; Fielding – 9th;
Tournament history: Seven ACC titles, 67-50 record in tourney play, 9-15 against CU.
Misc. stats: Pope leads the ACC in shutouts and complete games with three shutouts and five complete games.
No. 2 Florida State (3:00 p.m. on May 26)
Record: 40-15 (19-11 ACC, Atlantic Division champs)
Against Clemson this season…: The Seminoles staved off a late Clemson comeback in the opener by striking out Brad Miller with the bases loaded in the 8th to eventually win 8-6. The Tigers jumped on FSU early in each of the next two games to win 7-4 and 8-5 respectively to take the series.
Against GT, NC State: Did not play Georgia Tech; Won two of three at NC State.
Starting pitcher: Junior LHP Sean Gilmartin (10-1, 1.35 ERA, 113 Ks, .187 opposing batting average)
Top bats: Junior RF James Ramsey (.349 average, 17 doubles, 9 HRs, 57 RBIs), sophomore 1B Jayce Boyd (.341 average, 5 HRs, 53 RBIs, 12 doubles) and CF Mike McGee (.338 average, 10 HRs, 50 RBIs and 12 doubles).
Top reliever: Senior RHP Daniel Bennett (3-1, 2.31 ERA, 12 saves, 46.2 innings pitched).
ACC ranks: Batting – 5th; Pitching – 6th; Fielding – 5th;
Tournament history: Five ACC titles, 61-30 record in tourney play, 10-8 against CU.
Misc. stats: FSU is 15-4 as a two seed in the ACC Tournament. They’re 8-6 overall with one ACC title since the tournament moved to a round-robin style in 2007.
Tigers are confident
No. 7 NC State (11:00 a.m. on May 28)
Record: 33-23 (15-15 ACC)
Against Clemson this season…: Back in late March, the Wolfpack shut out the Tigers 6-0 in game one and took game two 5-3 in Raliegh. Clemson salvaged the third game with a 7-3 win.
Against GT, FSU: Were swept by Georgia Tech on the road; Lost two of three to FSU at home.
Starting pitcher: Sophomore RHP Josh Easley (0-2, 5.97 ERA).
Top bats: Junior catcher Pratt Maynard (.335 average, 5 HRs, 40 RBIs and 19 doubles), junior 1B Harold Riggins (.311 average, 3 HRs, 10 doubles and 31 RBIs) and sophomore SS Chris Diaz (.328 average, 11 doubles, 32 RBIs, six stolen bases).
Top reliever: Sophomore RHP Chris Overman (6-2, 2.79 ERA, 6 saves).
ACC ranks: Batting – 7th; Pitching – 7th; Fielding – 4th;
Tournament history: Four ACC titles, 76-66 record in tourney play, 11-17 against CU.
Misc. stats: Going into his 15th year at NC State, Wolfpack coach Elliott Avent has never won an ACC title, but has made the championship game four times. NC State has won one ACC title in the last 34 years (they won the first three ever conference championships in 1973, ’74 and ’75).
Since the move to round-robin play in the ACC Tournament…
* A team seeded sixth or lower has the made the ACC championship game every time – won once with Virginia in 2009.
* A three seed hasn’t made the championship game yet.
* The one and two seeds haven’t survived pool play to meet in the championship.
* A one or a two seed have made it out of their divisions three of the four seasons and won it all twice.
More ACC Tournament notes on Division B:
* Florida State won the 2010 ACC Tournament as a five seed last year over seventh-seeded NC State, 8-3.
* Georgia Tech is 13-10 all-time with an ACC title with Durham as the site (Clemson 10-12, FSU 12-8 and NC State 9-10).
* The Yellow Jackets are 11-11 as a three seed, FSU is 15-4 as a two seed, and NC State is 6-6 as a seven seed all-time in the tournament.
Rules and tiebreakers
* There is a 10-run mercy rule in effect for every game until the ACC title game.
* The team with the best tournament record in each of the two brackets will compete for the Championship. If more than one team is tied at the completion of round-robin play in the brackets, the following tie-breaking procedure will be used:
(1) Two Teams Tied:
(a) The team that won the head-to-head competition in Championship games will advance.
(2) Three Teams Tied:
(a) The team with the best overall conference winning percentage in regular season play will advance.
(b) The team with the best head-to-head conference winning percentage among the tied teams in regular season play, provided that all teams were common opponents during the regular season, will advance.
(c) The team with the highest seed in the respective bracket will advance