Baseball Is Just About Toast
Florida State outscored the Wolfpack 25-7 over the weekend en route to a three-game sweep that dropped the Pack to 7-14 in conference play. With just nine to play, they're a full three games behind 8th place Duke, so their ACC tournament odds are pretty dismal. They probably need to finish 7-2 or 8-1, and they'll have to do it against Virginia, UNC, and Clemson. Yeah, that's not happening.
A brief summary of what's gone wrong:
Hitting: NC State hit .301/.389/.483 in conference play last season, averaging seven runs per game. They're hitting .255/.363/.367 so far this year, averaging six runs per game. That's a 140-point drop in OPS. They've done a better job drawing walks in 2009, but they're striking out more frequently and hitting for considerably less power (2.5 fewer extra base hits per 100 plate appearances).
Pitching: The number of extra base hits allowed by the Pack is comparable to last season, but that's about the extent of the good news. The staff's K/9IP has declined from 8.3 to 7.8, while its walk rate has soared from 3.3 BB/9 to 4.7. A bad combination, that. Making matters worse, opponents are batting .337 on balls hit in play, compared to .309 last season.