Atlantic tight, Coastal turning into a two-team race at ACC baseball midpoint

Baseball - Mike Kent

Photo by Mark Crammer

Baseball - Mike Kent

At the midpoint of ACC play, the Atlantic is tightening up and the Coastal is becoming a two-team race.

No. 7 Florida State got back on track after dropping the series at Virginia Tech last week – taking 2-of-3 down at rival Miami. ‘Noles righty Scott Sitz improved to 6-0 with no earned runs in eight innings to clinch the series Sunday.

Like Clemson, N.C. State reentered the top-25 (No. 19) and also sent Virginia Tech back out with a series sweep in Raliegh.

The Tigers are a game back and the Wolfpack, two, with five series to go. Clemson closes the season in Tallahassee after taking 2-of-3 from NC State earlier this season. The ‘Noles head to Raliegh the week before the series finale.

Team Conf. Pct. Overall
Atlantic: 1) Florida State 10-5 .667 27-5
2) Clemson 9-6 .600 21-11
3) N.C. State 8-7 .533 24-10
4) Maryland 4-11 .267 16-15
5) Wake Forest 4-11 .267 17-17
6) Boston College 0-14 .000 5-25
Coastal: 1) UNC 12-2 .857 29-2
2) Virginia 12-3 .800 29-3
3) Georgia Tech 9-6 .600 23-9
4) Duke 8-7 .533 19-14
5) Virginia Tech 7-8 .467 21-12
6) Miami 6-9 .400 21-14

Back to weekend conference action, Duke continued its impressive run, winning a second conference series in a row and a ninth game in their last 11 (starting in the series finale at Clemson).

They held the ACC’s most potent bats, No. 20 Georgia Tech, to two runs, pitching a pair of shutouts. Blue Devil starters Trent Swart and Robert Huber combined for 17 scoreless innings of work. Duke tagged Georgia Tech ace Buck Farmer with his first loss of the season (6-1).

No. 5 Virginia brought out the brooms at Wake Forest, scoring 24 runs but with just a 5-run differential on the series. No. 1 UNC did the same against Maryland to move to 29-2.

Advanced Clemson Baseball Stats

Seldom Used Reserve has compiled some interesting notes on the 2013 campaign so far:

* T.L. Hanna product and sophomore catcher Garrett Boulware has converted a team-leading 25 percent of runners on base into runs on the scoreboard. Juco signee Shane Kennedy is next best at 18.89 percent. Kennedy continues to lead the Tigers in both walks (18) and strikeouts (31).

* Left fielder Tyler Slaton has improved his batting average by 226 points in the last 16 games, from .125 to .351 – hitting .517 against lefties on the year.

* Emerging last week, utility hitter Joe Costigan is batting .375 with an OPS of 1.132 in 18 plate appearances, with five RBIs. On the opposite end, third baseman Jay Baum is now hitting .216 in 130 plate appearances and is last in RBIs per runners on base (6.67%; six out of 90).

* Lefty freshman Matthew Crownover is working on solidifying his weekend rotation spot – holding a 1.07 WHIP with seven walks in 134 batters faced. He also boasts the top ERA among starters currently (2.94).

* Junior righty Mike Kent has joined sidearmer Kyle Schnell and lefty Zack Erwin as one of the emerging arms out of the bullpen. In his last four appearances, Kent has struck out six – walked one and allowed two runs with a win in nine innings pitched. Over the last two seasons, he has only walked 12 batters in 50.1 innings (2.15 walks per 9 innings).

ACC RPI Leaders (Top 25) - Boyd’s World/Warren Nolan

UNC – 4/4

Virginia – 5/5

FSU – 6/6

Virginia Tech – 9/9

N.C. State – 12/11

Miami – 17/17

Georgia Tech – 19/19

Clemson – 21/21

Top-5 ACC Batting Leaders Individual

1. UNC 1B Cody Stubbs – .402 BA/42 RBI/3 HR/12 2B

2. UNC 3B Colin Moran – .381 BA/7 HR/40 RBI

3. Georgia Tech RF Daniel Palka – .376 BA/8 HR/36 RBI

4. Georgia Tech C Zane Evans – .345 BA/10 HR/38 RBI

5. UNC RF Skye Bolt – .389 BA/36 RBI/31 R

Top-5 ACC Starting Pitching Leaders Individual

1. FSU RHP Scott Sitz – 6-0/3 ER/0.57 ERA/38 K/13 BB

2. GT RHP Buck Farmer – 6-1/1.47 ERA/9 ER/64 K/13 BB

3. UNC LHP Kent Emanuel – 6-1/1.30 ERA/46 K/2 CG SO

4. UNC RHP Benton Moss – 6-0/2.18 ERA/54 K/19 BB

5. Duke LHP Trent Swart – 4-1/1.40 ERA/46 K/14 BB

Top-5 ACC Team Batting Leaders

1. UNC – .316 BA/24 HR/271 R/182 BB

2. Virginia – .311 BA/19 HR/269 R/182 BB/22 3B

3. Georgia Tech .328 BA/62 2B/249 R/148 BB/29 HR

4. N.C. State – .288 BA/235 R/20 HR/139 BB

5. Virginia Tech – .286 BA/224 R/27 HR

(Clemson – .272 BA/10 HR/163 R)

Top-5 ACC Team Pitching Leaders

1. UNC – 1.86 ERA/197 H/255 K/100 BB/58 ER

2. Virginia – 2.56 ERA/289 K/67 BB/85 ER/10 saves

3. Florida State – 2.63 ERA/242 K/105 BB/83 ER/10 saves

4. Clemson – 3.32 ERA/107 ER/201 K/100 BB

5. N.C. State – 3.57 ERA/123 ER/311 K

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