Clemson baseball controls division, regional host destiny

Clemson's Maleeke Gibson beats the throw to Georgia Southern's Tyler Avera to steal second base in the sixth inning at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday. Gibson added a pair of hits, runs and RBI's to the stolen base.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson's Maleeke Gibson beats the throw to Georgia Southern's Tyler Avera to steal second base in the sixth inning at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday. Gibson added a pair of hits, runs and RBI's to the stolen base.

Everybody’s on the Clemson regional host train now, after a 21-4 run since April 1, but the Tigers still must walk a fine line in these last two weeks before the NCAA Tournament.

Of the teams on the host “bubble,” seven of the top-nine in Baseball America’s most recent list also come off winning weeks.

The Tigers jumped two spots to No. 12 in the RPI – Mississippi State is the only fringe team that can claim a better ranking (10).

ACC RPI Leaders (Top 25)

UNC – T-1, Virginia – 3, Florida State – 4, N.C. State – 7, Clemson – 12, Virginia Tech – 13, Georgia Tech – 18, Miami – 19.

How Baseball America's NCAA Regional host bubble teams fared last week...

ON THE BUBBLE (IN): UCLA (3-1, swept Arizona), Arkansas (2-1 vs. Tennessee), South Carolina (4-0, swept Georgia), Mississippi State (1-2 on the road at Ole Miss), Clemson (7-0, swept Ga. Southern), Louisville (5-0, swept UConn).

ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Arizona State (2-1 at Cal), South Alabama (3-1, took 2-of-3 at UL-Lafayette), Kansas State (Swept Kansas), Louisiana-Lafayette (1-2 vs. South Alabama at home), Troy (2-2, took 2-of-3 from Arkansas State), Oklahoma (Lost 2-of-3 at Oklahoma State), Rice (2-2, lost 2-of-3 to Memphis).

ACC Roundup/Atlantic Division Race Scenarios

No. 9 Florida State stayed atop the Atlantic Division – and also opened the door for Clemson – by taking 2-of-3 at No. 5 N.C. State.

With a No. 2 seed in the ACC Tourney on the line, the Seminoles host Clemson this weekend, while N.C. State heads to Duke.

Here are the likely scenarios assuming a Clemson series win (the only way they can win the division)…

No. 1: Clemson takes 2-of-3 at FSU and N.C. State loses one (or more) at Duke – the Tigers win the Atlantic.

No. 2: Clemson wins 2-of-3 at FSU and State sweeps Duke – the Wolfpack win the Atlantic.

No. 3: Clemson sweeps FSU – the Tigers win the Atlantic.

This is how next week’s ACC Tourney field would look if the current standings hold:

Pool A: 1) UNC 4) Clemson 5) N.C. State 8) Miami

Pool B: 2) Florida State 3) Virginia 6) Georgia Tech 7) Virginia Tech

On the outside-looking in: Wake Forest (3 GB).

Team Conf. Pct. Overall
Atlantic: 1) Florida State 18-9 .667 42-10
2) Clemson 17-10 .630 37-15
3) N.C. State 16-10 .615 39-13
4) Wake Forest 9-18 .333 28-24
5) Maryland 9-18 .333 28-24
6) Boston College 3-23 .115 11-37
Coastal: 1) UNC 20-5 .800 45-6
2) Virginia 20-7 .741 42-8
3) Georgia Tech 14-13 .519 32-20
4) Virginia Tech 13-14 .481 33-19
5) Miami 12-15 .444 33-20
6) Duke 9-18 .333 25-26

Miami has played its way onto the NCAA Tourney bubble, dropping a second-straight conference series – 2-of-3 at Wake Forest.

No. 3 UNC lost its first ACC series of the season, and also its top-ranking, dropping 2-of-3 at Georgia Tech. Jackets shortstop Mott Hyde hit a walkoff shot off from Heels ace lefty Kent Emanuel in game one, while catcher Zane Evans finished off the key series win Sunday with an 11th-inning walkoff RBI single.

Seventh-ranked Virginia swept Duke after taking over a week break for exams, rallying in game one from down 5-3 in the ninth with three runs after a rain delay.

In Chapel Hill this weekend, the Wahoos and Tar Heels fight for the Coastal and the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tourney. Virginia needs a sweep to topple UNC.

No. 22 Virginia Tech swept a two-game series Marist by dual 7-6 scores.

Top-5 ACC Batting Leaders Individual

1. UNC 3B Colin Moran – .385 BA/13 HR/78 RBI/65 R

2. UNC 1B Cody Stubbs – .364 BA/65 RBI/7 HR/21 2B

3. Georgia Tech C Zane Evans – .365 BA/14 HR/58 RBI

4. NCSU SS Trea Turner – .400 BA/36 RBI/6 HR/56 R/23 SB

5. Georgia Tech RF Daniel Palka – .351 BA/15 HR/59 RBI

Top-5 ACC Starting Pitching Leaders Individual

1. Miami LHP Bryan Radziewski – 8-1/1.26 ERA/91 K/23 BB

2. FSU RHP Scott Sitz – 9-1/1.66 ERA/61 K/19 BB

3. Miami LHP Chris Diaz – 5-4/1.41 ERA/62 K/17 BB

4. UNC LHP Kent Emanuel – 9-2/2.03 ERA/73 K/3 CG SO

5. GT RHP Buck Farmer – 8-3/2.49 ERA/25 ER/98 K/27 BB/2 CG

Top-5 ACC Team Batting Leaders

1. UNC – .313 BA/33 HR/437 R/295 BB

2. Virginia – .314 BA/33 HR/407 R/295 BB/28 3B

3. Georgia Tech .310 BA/97 2B/352 R/219 BB/48 HR

4. Florida State – .291 BA/366 R/29 HR/300 BB

5. Virginia Tech – .289 BA/345 R/45 HR

(Clemson – .283 BA/15 HR/298 R)

Top-5 ACC Team Pitching Leaders

1. UNC – 2.44 ERA/412 K/177 BB/124 ER

2. Florida State – 2.66 ERA/410 K/156 BB/136 ER/11 saves

3. Virginia – 2.99 ERA/413 K/116 BB/148 ER/14 saves

4. Clemson – 2.88 ERA/151 ER/340 K/165 BB/14 saves

5. Miami – 3.17 ERA/167 ER/383 K/15 saves

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