With its bullpen getting thin, Clemson will need another big outing from its offense in Game 3
Clemson knew if it had any chance to win its series with 15th-ranked Florida State, it had to start swinging the bats in Game 2.
In the sixth-ranked Tigers’ 3-2 loss to the Seminoles on Saturday, they totaled just six hits in 13 innings. They struck out 15 times and were baffled by pitchers Drew Parrish and C.J. Van Eyk. Because their pitching was spent, they had to get something going at the plate in Game 2 if they hoped to get back in the series.
Clemson’s offense responded in Sunday’s 12-7 victory at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson. The Tigers got 13 hits, scoring at least one run in each of the first five innings, while everyone in the lineup recorded a hit and scored at least one run.
“One of our main goals is to always score at least seven runs. That’s what we try to do,” first baseman Chris Williams said. “When we jumped out early, we wanted to keep our foot on the gas pedal and tried to score more runs.
“Twelve runs is a lot. At the end of the day we are just trying to score as many runs as we can so we will try to do the same thing (today).”
The Tigers (35-12, 18-8 ACC) will host the Seminoles in the rubber match of the three-game series today at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN 2.
Clemson will need a similar offensive performance today if it hopes to win the series against the Seminoles. The Tigers again used four pitchers to beat FSU (32-15, 14-11 ACC) in Game 2.
They burned up closer Ryley Gilliam’s arm in Game 1 as well as Ryan Miller’s after he pitched 3 1/3 innings in the first game. On Sunday, Alex Schnell, Spencer Strider and Carson Spiers pitched an inning and a third in Game 2.
“We have to try and figure out what we are going to do out of the bullpen,” head coach Monte Lee said. “Obviously, we have used a lot of our pen over the first two ballgames and hopefully (Jake Higginbotham) can give us a deep start and we get to strike one. I think that is a big key for us. We have to get to strike one and we have to limit the free pass.
“The free pass is a killer when you are playing a team like Florida State, who leads the country in walks as an offense. They do such a good job of forcing you to throw the ball over the plate and working the count and getting into the bullpen so because of that so we have to get to strike one.”
Lee did say there was a chance Miller could be available for today’s game, but it will be a game-time decision based on how well he has bounced back after throwing on Saturday. Spiers will be available, according to Lee, while Strider is right at 30 pitches, so he is not sure if he will be available or not.
“We will just have to piece it together,” Lee said. “We have Owen Griffith available. We have some left-handed options out of the bullpen available and Spiers available so we will do what we have to do and hopefully, we can score runs. That is going to be a key for us tomorrow. We have to swing the bats like we did today. Hopefully, we can score some runs and give our pitching staff some support.”