Clemson baseball: On deck – Florida State Seminoles

Clemson sophomore Ryan Ammons (42) pitches during the top of the ninth inning at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson Sunday, March 6,2022.Ncaa Baseball South Carolina At Clemson
Clemson sophomore Ryan Ammons (42) pitches during the top of the ninth inning at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson Sunday, March 6,2022.Ncaa Baseball South Carolina At Clemson /

Back in my day, this weekend’s match-up between Clemson baseball and Florida State would be must-watch television.  Stop what you’re doing and watch two great teams with rosters full of future major leaguers battle it out on the diamond.  Over the past few seasons, it’s kind of lost its luster.  Maybe just a coincidence that the two schools have lost legendary coaches over the past few years, and both teams have seemingly come back to the pack in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

With that being said, this series is a HUGE one in the conference and for the Tigers.

Florida State comes to town with a familiar name leading the team.  Mike Martin…Jr.  The son of the legendary coach who may or may not have had the help of his last name rather than merit to get the head coaching gig after his father retired three seasons ago.  But that is just one person’s opinion, and not that of those (probably) in the know.

Martin Jr. brings a squad, which on paper, looks menacing.  However, when you look at their 23-13 record, it kind of makes them look very beatable.  10 games over .500 is nothing to sneeze at, heck Clemson is 24-13 after a sweep of the mid-week games versus Georgia and East Tennessee State.  The big difference in records of the two teams is their conference records.  FSU is 10-8, while Clemson is 4-10.

Florida State, as stated earlier, is 23-13 on the season.  Their 23 wins are against: James Madison (x3), Samford (x2), Cal (x2), Florida Gulf Coast, Wake Forest (x2), Bethune-Cookman, NC State (x2), UCF, Duke (x2), Stetson, Georgia Tech, Florida, Louisville (x3) and Georgia Southern.

13 losses came by way of: Jacksonville, Samford, Mercer, Cal, Wake Forest, NC State, Duke, Florida, Notre Dame (x3), and Georgia Tech (x2).

They did not lose any series until recently before sweeping a very good Louisville team last weekend.  A Louisville team who is upcoming on the Tigers schedule next weekend in Kentucky.

This is usually the space in which I wax poetic about the age of the team.  But Florida State seems to be well-balanced, as far as their position players with all four traditional grade levels are accounted for.  Their pitchers that will tote the hill this weekend are all Sophomores, but otherwise a very balanced team of experience and some newcomers.  Something we really haven’t seen much of this season.

In doing these previews of the opponents, there is usually a theme with the lineups for the weekend.  Starting catchers getting a day off one of the games or an occasional mix of the DH and position players.  Martin seems to continually be tinkering with the lineup in a constant want to find the correct combination of 9.

Florida State offensively is led by Redshirt Senior 1st Baseman, Alex Toral.  His batting average isn’t much above the Mendoza-Line (.200 for those wondering what that means) at .216 (OPS of .863), but he is the leader on the team in home runs as well as RBIs with 11 and 34 respectively.  A boom or bust guy for the Seminoles, but I think Clemson can relate to that type of player, at least earlier in the season.

Redshirt Senior Center Fielder Reese Albert leads the team in batting average with a .324 clip but not a ton of pop in the bat as he is still looking for his first home run of the season, however adds 12 doubles to his stat-line.

The rest of the probable offensive starters are as follows: Batting Average/OPS (notable stats in parentheses):

Freshman – Right Fielder – Jaime Ferrer – .314 BA/.978 OPS (11 2Bs, 1 3b, 6 HRs, 30 RBIs)

Redshirt Sophomore – DH – Tyler Martin – .282/795 (2 2bs)

Redshirt Sophomore – 2nd Baseman – Brett Roberts – .265/.770 (10 2bs, 1 3b, 3 HRs)

Freshman – Left Fielder – Treyton Rank – .268/.744 (2 2bs, 2 3bs, 4-4 SBs)

Redshirt Senior – 3rd Baseman – Jackson Greene – .292/.980 (2 2bs, 4 HRs)

Redshirt Junior – Catcher – Colton Vincent – .202/.538 (5 2bs)

Sophomore – Shortstop – Jordan Carrion – .277/.729 (5 2bs, 1 HR, 4-7 SBs)

Not entirely too impressive on the offensive side of the game.  However, the pitching staff has eye-popping good numbers, notably their starters.

Unlike Clemson, Florida State has posted their entire weekend rotation, and it’s daunting.

Friday night will be Redshirt Sophomore Left-hander Parker Messick versus Mack Anglin for the Tigers.  If the Tigers get a performance from Anglin like a week ago, they’ve got a really good shot.  Messick is a big-bodied lefty at 6’0” 225lbs, and the kid throws strikes.  A very big swing and miss pitcher, and one that the Tigers have not fared particularly well against over the course of the season.

Messick comes into the state at 5-2 over 9 starts and 55.1 innings, with an ERA of 2.93.  He has 94 strikeouts to only 12 walks and opponents are hitting .203 against the lefty.

Saturday afternoon is TBA for the Tigers and I would normally venture a guess, but will not in this week’s installment as I have gotten zero information about possibilities.  For the Seminoles, another Redshirt Sophomore left-hander in Bryce Hubbart.  Hubbart is 6-1 on the season with a 2.81 ERA across 9 starts and 51.0 innings pitched.  66 strikeouts to only 13 walks and opponents are hitting .222 against him.

Sunday is another TBA for the Tigers, and for the Seminoles, 6’3” Sophomore Right-hander Carson Montgomery.  Montgomery is 4-1 on the season over 7 starts and 38 innings pitched with an ERA of 3.79.  44 strikeouts to 15 walks and opponents are hitting a paltry .190 against the Sophomore.

The Tigers have a real shot to win this series.  I truly believe that.  I am absolutely a homer, but had been soured by the effort earlier in the season.  That effort has been contagious these last few weeks and dare I say, the Tigers are a really good baseball team when they get good pitching and the bats are starting to come alive at the right time.

This weekend I am going to predict all three games, and likely be really wrong for all of them, but I am going to do it anyway.



Saturday – 

Sunday –