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NC State baseball weekend preview: Homestand continues

3 min read
NC State baseball weekend preview: Homestand continues

NC State baseball began the second half of its ACC slate with a clean sweep of Florida State, and the Pack looks to build on that momentum. The Wolfpack is hosting Clemson. The series is part of a stretch of 12 of 13 games played at NC State’s home Doak Field.

First pitch Friday is 6 p.m., Saturday (weather permitting) at 4 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. All games can be seen online via ACC Network Extra.

Here is a preview of the NC State baseball series vs. Clemson.

NC State Baseball Weekend Rotation

NC State baseball coach Elliott Avent has switched up his rotation for the second straight weekend.

Redshirt junior righty Logan Whitaker returns to his normal Friday, game one role after pitching in game two vs. Florida State. Whitaker has thrown 49.1 innings in nine starts, surrendering 42 hits and 21 earned runs with just 9 walks and fanning 46. He has a 3.83 earned run average (ERA).

Freshman lefty Dominic Fritton will go Saturday. Fritton had been primarily a Sunday, game three starter, but last week took the mound in the series opener. He has tossed 43.1 innings over 9 games, including 8 starts, allowing 30 hits and 10 earned runs for a 2.08 ERA. He’s walked 13 and fanned 50.

Avent has not announced a Sunday starter, but history suggests, if healthy, it will be junior righthander Matt Willadsen. He has also had 9 starts, typically on game twos but last weekend in game three. Willadsen has given up just 37 hits and 17 walks over a team-high 52.1 innings while allowing 11 earned runs (1.89 ERA) and striking out a staff-best 51.

Scouting Clemson

Avent meets Clemson head coach Erik Bakich for the first time since Bakich took the Tigers’ job in June after 10 years as the head coach at Michigan.

However, Avent coached against Bakich when the latter was the head coach at Maryland from 2010-12.

Bakich leads the Tigers to NC State with a 6-9 conference record that is more competitive than first glance. Clemson is 0-4 in one-run games in league play, with two of those defeats coming at home against No. 2 Wake Forest, leading to a Demon Deacons sweep.

One-run losses to Duke (home) and Georgia Tech in 11 innings (road) was also the difference between winning and losing those respective series for Clemson. The Tigers have won their last two ACC series though, taking 2 of 3 at Florida State and then winning the last two this past weekend at home vs. Notre Dame.

Overall, Clemson is 22-16 with a solid RPI of No. 45 nationally (NC State is at No. 9). The Tigers are middle-of-the-pack in the ACC in both batting (eighth of 14 teams in batting average) and pitching (eighth in ERA).

The Tigers are last in the ACC in homers, but also first in the conference in stolen bases.

ACC Standings And Weekend Schedule

Atlantic Division

TeamOverall RecordConference RecordWake Forest32-514-3Louisville26-108-7Boston College24-129-9NC State25-118-9Notre Dame20-158-10Clemson22-166-9Florida State13-234-14

Coastal Division

TeamOverall RecordConference RecordVirginia32-612-6North Carolina25-129-7Miami23-1410-8Duke24-129-8Virginia Tech21-138-9Pittsburgh16-197-9Georgia Tech21-167-11

Weekend Series Schedule:

Clemson at NC State

Boston College at North Carolina

Louisville at Duke

Virginia at Notre Dame

Wake Forest at Pittsburgh

Virginia Tech at Florida State

Georgia Tech at Miami

NC State Baseball In The Polls

USA Today Sports baseball coaches: Receiving votes (previously unranked)

NCBWA: Receiving votes (previously unranked)

Collegiate Baseball: Unranked (previously unranked)

Perfect Game: Unranked (previously unranked)

D1Baseball.com: Unranked (previously unranked)

Baseball America: Unranked (previously unranked)

Midweek Recap

The first three innings saw Davidson score a run each frame and jump out to a 5-0 lead when the Pack came to the plate in the bottom half of a neutral site game in Charlotte.

That’s when the Wolfpack scored 4 runs to set up a decisive fourth inning. NC State brought home 10 more runs to take command in what would be a 22-7 win.

NC State scored 22 runs despite having just 10 hits. Davidson pitchers issued 12 walks, hit 4 batters and threw 4 wild pitches. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack bullpen threw 6.1 innings and allowed just 3 hits and 1 earned run, walking three while striking out 13.

The post NC State baseball weekend preview: Homestand continues appeared first on On3.

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