I know this space is generally reserved for football, but today it is time to give the Clemson baseball team a little credit. Though the Tigers’ nine-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday evening in Atlanta, they bounced back in a big way on Sunday afternoon to take the series from Georgia Tech.
Fifth-ranked Clemson scored 13 runs in the first three innings and cruised to a 13-6 victory over the Yellow Jackets. In those first three innings, the Tigers hit four home runs, a home-run cycle if you will, as they recorded a grand-slam, a three-run homer, a two-run shot and a solo home run.
Clemson hit three home runs in the second inning alone, the first time that has been done in one inning in seven years. Reed Rohlman hit a grand slam, followed by a two-run shot from Chris Williams, while freshman Logan Davidson had a solo home run, and it was all done with no outs as the first seven batters that came to the plate scored.
In the third inning, Rohlman connected on a three-run home run, giving him seven RBIs for the day. If you are a Tiger fan, the best part about Sunday’s win, is they did it without home-run king Seth Beer having to go yard. Though Beer did have a double and scored twice.
The win improved the Tigers to 24-5 overall and 10-2 in the ACC. Their 24-5 record is their best start to a season since the 2002 team started 27-2. The 10-2 mark through the first 12 ACC games is the best start for a Clemson team in conference play since the 2002 team did the same.
If you have not been paying attention, Monte Lee’s second team has been doing all of this in all kinds of ways. The pitching staff has recorded six shutouts already this season, including three straight at one point. That’s the first time that has happened since 1992.
Last week, when the offense had trouble scoring in the cold Rhode Island weather against Boston College, the pitching staff held the Eagles to two runs in three games. At one point, Clemson pitching did not allow a run for 29 straight innings.
For the year, Clemson pitching has a 2.85 ERA with Charlie Barnes’ 1.57 ERA as a starter leading the way. Pat Krall is 5-0 on the season, which leads the ACC in victories.
But it is just not pitching, Clemson has five players who have hit at least three home runs this year—Beer (8), Williams (7), Davidson (4), Weston Jackson (4) and Andrew Cox (3). This past week, when the pitching staff had its worst week of the season collectively, allowing 22 runs in five games, the offense picked them up with 39 runs.
Clemson has also found different ways to win as well. In one-run games, it is 6-0 so far this season. Seven times this season, the Tigers have rallied from behind to earn a victory, including four occasions when they were down by three runs or more.
The Tigers still have basically another whole half of the season to go, which includes weekend series at Florida State, vs. Wake Forest, at North Carolina, vs. Louisville and at NC State. However, with 24 wins already, and the way they are playing as a team, it’s time to pay attention to what this Clemson baseball team is doing. They have a chance to be pretty special.