DURHAM, N.C. — After a 7-1 win over No. 7 seed Miami Thursday night, No. 2 seed Clemson is moving on to the semifinals of the 2018 ACC Championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, where the Tigers will play the winner of tonight’s N.C. State-Florida State game on Saturday.
Junior righty Brooks Crawford started on the mound for the Tigers and went five complete innings, only allowing three hits, one run, three walks with three strike outs.
“I was just trying to execute pitches as best I could,” Crawford said after the win. I was throwing a little off to the outside to the righties, so I kind of made an adjustment.
“I dropped down my arm side just a little bit so I wasn’t as high and getting a little more run on my fastball, so that kind of helped me a good bit.”
In his last few outings, Crawford’s command has been near perfect and prior to Thursday, he walked one batter in his previous five starts combined. Although he was not as sharp on Thursday night, Crawford still did a good job of keeping Miami at bay as he held the Hurricanes to just one run.
“Miami is a tough team to pitch to,” he said. “They are young, a lot of young guys on that team. I think they are going to be good as the years go by. It was a great game.
“I was kind of a little off at the beginning of the game, but then I started getting in a groove. I don’t think I had a 1-2-3 inning so that was pretty tough. I did kind of run my pitch count up which kind of sucked a little bit but it is what it is.”
The Tigers’ offense is known to have one huge inning in games and Crawford said seeing how contagious their hitting has been recently helps him feel better on mound. In Thursday’s game, Clemson’s six-run sixth inning happened to come right after Crawford left the game.
“One inning I was hoping they would explode just when I was pitching,” Crawford said, “but right when I came out they exploded in the sixth inning.
“With Ryan Miller then on the mound I felt like we had a good chance of winning this game. So it was really exciting to see how our offense has been hitting the ball lately.”