NCAA: Top Ten Showdown: The Tigers Are Set to Take on The Cavs

Kevin Thomas@K_Mart10Contributor IIMarch 25, 2010

The Clemson Tigers travel to Charlottesville to take on the Virginia Cavaliers this weekend in a matchup of top-ten teams. The Tigers are ranked 5th in the latest Baseball Coaches’ Poll, while the Cavaliers are ranked 2nd. The Cavs play host to the Tigers at Davenport Field Friday night at 6 pm, Saturday 4 pm, and Sunday afternoon at 1 pm.

Last season, Clemson and Virginia met on the diamond only once, with the Cavs prevailing 6-5 in the ACC Tournament. Clemson jumped out to an early 4-0 before Virginia rallied to sneak out a 6-5 victory.

The Cavaliers

Virginia, ranked No. 1 in some polls, enters the weekend series with a record of 17-3, and is coming off a sweep of Boston College last weekend. The Cavaliers took all three games against the Eagles by the scores of 7-1, 4-3, and 11-1.

The Wahoos are off to a hot start behind the hitting of junior Phil Gosselin, junior Dan Grovatt, and senior Tyler Cannon.

Gosselin reached base in 19 of his 23 plate appearances last week, which was good for a .826 on base percentage. Grovatt went 7-17 last week with 3 extra base hits and 9 RBI. Cannon is coming into the series with a career high 12 game-hitting streak.

The Tigers

Clemson enters the weekend series with a record of 17-2, and is coming off a sweep of Virginia Tech last weekend. The Tigers took all three games against the Hokies by the scores of 3-0, 5-2, and 13-8.

The Tigers are averaging 9.7 runs per game, and are being led offensively by junior two sport star Kyle Parker, junior Jeff Schaus, sophomore Brad Miller, and senior Wilson Boyd.

Parker is raising his draft stock every game, and is hitting a team high .414, with 9 homers, 21 RBIs, 28 runs, a .829 slugging percentage, and a .534 on base percentage. Schaus is hitting .342, with 6 homers, 6 doubles, and a team high 29 RBIs.

Miller is hitting .359 with 7 doubles. Boyd is riding a team best 10 game hitting streak after this past weekend's series.

Clemson’s pitching staff has a 3.47 ERA and a .241 opponent batting average so far this season. Junior Casey Harman is expected to get the ball for the first game of the series on Friday.

Harman is 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA over five starts this season.

Sophomores Scott Weismann and Will Lamb are expected to take the hill in the final two games of the series. Weismann is off to a 3-0 start with a 2.96 ERA this season, while, Lamb, who also splits time at first base, has a 2-0 record with a 2.08 ERA.

Bottom Line

This series will be one the whole country is paying attention to. Along with having two top ten teams squaring off, the series also pits the Atlantic and Coastal Division leaders in the ACC against one another.

This weekend will be a huge test for the Tigers. They will need the bats to keep rolling and the somewhat inexperienced pitching staff to earn their stripes.

Clemson will need Parker, who was named ACC Player of the Week, to keep up his torrid start and Harman, who was named one of the four National Players of the Week by Collegiate Baseball, to shut down the Wahoos and get the series started off right on Friday.


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