PITTSBURGH, Pa.– Fourth-ranked Clemson finished the regular season with a sweep of Pittsburgh after winning Saturday afternoon 5-0. The win also clinched a share of the ACC Regular Season Championship.
It was the Tigers’ 11th straight road win which set a school record, and sixth straight overall. Clemson finished the regular season 43-17 overall and 22-8 in the ACC, the program’s second best win total for a season in ACC play.
Outfielder Seth Beer had a great weekend in Pittsburgh and was 2-for-3 on Saturday with two runs batted in, including his 19th home run of the season, which is also a new career high.
“This weekend I was just trying to do two simple things,” Beer said after Saturday’s game. “Just trying to stay relaxed in the box and see the ball. Those were really just the two simple things I was trying to work on.
“Thankfully it kept me locked in and I was seeing pitches sometimes I had been chasing in the past and it just kept me in the game.”
Jake Higginbotham started on the mound for the Tigers and pitched 4 1/3 innings giving up four hits, no runs, two walks with five strikeouts. Ryan Miller earned the win in relief as he gave up one hit and no runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched.
“I thought I pounded the zone pretty well,” Higginbotham said. “I didn’t get some calls to go my way but I worked out of some jams and gave my team a chance.”
Head coach Monte Lee was pleased with the performances of his team both defensively and at the plate.
“Great pitching performance again today between Higginbotham, Ryan Miller, Gilliam and Spiers,” Lee said. “Anytime you can get a shutout in game three after you’ve used some of your bullpen, that’s a great day in my book.
“We hit it just enough. We scored a couple of runs early in the ballgame and then Chris Williams came up with a big two-strike hit that scored two more runs. We played pretty good baseball today and got the sweep here in Pittsburgh.”
With regular season in the books, Clemson is ACC co-champions with North Carolina, marking for the first time since 2006 the Tigers have had at least a share of the regular season title.
“It was a great regular season for our guys,” Lee said, “to be able to finish the way that we have. I’m just proud of our guys and hopefully we can carry some good momentum into the ACC tournament.”
Clemson will be the No. 2 seed in the tournament and are in a pool with No. 7 seed Miami and No. 11 seed Notre Dame. Beer said the Tigers are confident going into Durham this week and plan on going far.
“I think our team has a lot of confidence,” Beer said. “We’ve showed all of the tools that you need to be a great program and go far in the tournament with the pitching and the hitting. I think with that we are just really excited to go into postseason.”