FSU baseball: 3 keys to defeating No. 3 Clemson on the road

Florida State v Florida
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No. 7 FSU baseball (19-0, 3-0 ACC) looks to remain unbeaten when they travel to No. 3 Clemson (19-2, 2-1 ACC) for a three-game series. Inclement weather pushed Friday's game to Saturday, and the teams will play a doubleheader, with the series finale on Sunday. It's a huge series early in conference play, with FSU looking to continue solidifying themselves as the real deal among media outlets. Clemson began the season highly ranked and has played the tougher schedule so far. The Tigers bring big power in their lineup and some high-powered arms on the mound. If there's been a weakness thus far in any phase, it's their defense, with a .965 fielding percentage.

3 Keys To Winning The Series

FSU starting pitchers must limit walks, especially with Clemson's propensity to draw walks and hit a ton of home runs. They also need to get into the fifth inning or deeper to shorten the game for the FSU bullpen. I think FSU has the edge overall in starting pitching, but they'll need Cam Leiter to set the tone.

Offensively, FSU has regressed to the mean, as predicted, once the pitching they faced got better. They have struggled with getting key hits with runners in scoring position, and this is an area they can't afford to not execute against top competition. FSU needs to show more patience at the plate, stay disciplined, and avoid swinging at balls out of the zone. Clemson pitchers strike out a lot of batters, but they will walk some guys. They've kicked the ball around more than usual, so putting pressure on them by putting the ball in play no matter what is an area FSU can capitalize on.

Clemson has excellent home attendance, and the crowd will be up for all three games. They're vocal, similar to the Animals of Section B at FSU, and will talk all game. Several FSU players play with emotion, but the key will be to avoid allowing the crowd to get under their skin. That's when guys begin to make mental mistakes, which can be the difference in high-leverage situations.

Saturday's game will begin at 1 p.m. and air on the ACC Network. The second game will begin shortly after the first game finishes.

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