DURHAM, N.C. — Before the season began, ACC opponents feared the potential Clemson had returning in its lineup.
Seth Beer is one of the best hitters in the country. Chris Williams was finally healthy and Logan Davidson was one of the most talented freshmen nationally in 2017.
With a pitching staff that was suspect heading into the new season after losing all four of its starting pitchers, the Tigers’ Big Three was supposed to carry the program until the pitching got going. However, the big three in the lineup never got going at the same time this season until Wednesday’s 21-4 victory over Notre Dame in the 2018 ACC Baseball Championship at Durham Bulls Park in Durham, N.C.
Clemson’s Big Three finished the day a combined 9-for-13 with 13 RBIs and four home runs. Davidson was 3-for-5 at the plate with 2 home runs, 7 RBIs and including a double. Beer was 3-for-5 as well with a double, home run and 2 RBIs, while Williams was 3-for-3 with a home run and 4 RBIs.
“It is not just us three, but everyone seems to be swinging the bats well,” Beer said. “It is just about taking your best swing. I think guys are going up there with fearless mindset trying to do everything they can in their power to move the guys on the bases or get them in. I think that attest to everything.
“But seeing Chris hit that one home run and Logan hit those two in that one inning was pretty cool.”
That one inning was in the top of the fourth inning, an inning in which Clemson scored an ACC Tournament record 17 runs.
The onslaught included, but was not limited to:
- A grand slam and a three-run shot by switch-hitting lead-off hitter Davidson, who connected from both sides of the plate for the second time in six days. Davidson made school history the first time he performed the feat, and Wednesday’s twice-in-the-same inning trick may be hard for anyone to duplicate.
- A two-run homer by Beer allowed the junior to become the first Clemson player since Kyle Parker in 2010 to hit 20 home runs in a season and now has 54 for his career. He was his fourth straight game with a long ball.
- A three-run homer by Chris Williams that hit the famed Durham Bull atop the left field wall and capped the 17-run blitz. Williams scored three runs in the inning for the Tigers, who sent 21 batters to the plate before Notre Dame’s sixth pitcher of the frame recorded the final out.
“I mean, I don’t really know how to describe it because I know — I honestly like — when Logan hit his home run, I was like, ‘oh, my God, I’m two batters away from coming up to the plate for the third time.’ I was like — I didn’t know what to think about,” Williams said. “I was like, ‘how do I prepare for this at-bat honestly.’ I was just kind of mind blown that we sent 21 batters up to the plate.
“I literally had to try my hardest to stay focused, to stay locked in for that third at-bat, and I mean I’m glad it kind of paid off. You know, like that doesn’t happen, and I’m really proud of our guys to do that.”
But it was the big three in the inning that shined the brightest in the Tigers’ decisive fourth inning. Davidson had the two home runs and drove in six of his Clemson record 7 RBIs in an ACC Tournament game, while Beer had his two-run shot, as well as a double in the inning. Williams drew a walk, got a hit, scored three times and of course hit his three-run bomb while being credited with four RBIs in the fourth.
“I would say for all of us, going on all cylinders, I think that was a big deal,” Beer said. “Every at-bat throughout that whole ballgame, no matter what the score, everybody was competing and that preaches a lot to a ballclub, that we’re not giving away at-bats. It’s something you look for in a great ballclub.”
–Photo graphic courtesy of The Atlantic Coast Conference