Tiger Pitchers take the weekend off in Durham

via media.independentmail.com

Because they sure as hell didnt show up for any of the 3 games. Harman was solid last weekend while Weismann and Lamb struggled, but this weekend everyone was bad on the mound. Losing a series here when we are about to face GT is very bad.

On Friday, even Casey Harman was terrible. He had considerable trouble with the lower half of the Duke lineup and gave up 4 in the 3rd and another in the 7th before being lifted with the Tigers owning a seemingly comfortable lead. He finished after allowing 7 hits and 5 runs, all earned, while striking out 6.

Alex Frederick (L, 0-1) and David Haselden, two of our most solid in the pen, then had a total meltdown in the 8th, giving up 5 runs between them. Haselden never even got anyone out.

Clemson rallied in the ninth, scored a run, and had the potential tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with one out, but the next two Tigers struck out, and John Nester looked at strike 3 to end the game 10-9. Duke went 6-for-10 with RISP and scored 10 of 16 baserunners.

Hinson tallied a career-high four hits for the Tigers, who also had 12 hits. Nester went 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs, Parker went 1-for-3 with a homer, three RBIs, and three runs, and Schaus and Boyd added two hits apiece. Epps also went 1-for-3 with two walks. It was the sixth game in a row that Epps reached base three times by a hit or walk (combined).

On Saturday, it wasn't terribly better. Weismann went 7, giving up 4 hits and 4 runs while walking 3. All of Duke's runs were scored in the 6th inning off Scott via 2 walks and 2 passed balls, then a Grand Slam. Bad pitching, Bad Defense. Clemson scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the lead, only to see the Blue Devils tie the score on a two-out double by Marcus Stroman in the bottom of the ninth inning off of Tomas Cruz. The potential winning run was thrown out at the plate on the play to keep the Tigers alive.

Tomas pitched and worked himself in and out of jams in the 10th and 11th after Clemson put a 6 spot on the board, and got the win with 4 innings pitched in relief of Weismann.

In the top of the 11th inning, the Tigers scored six runs thanks to only two hits, four walks, one hit-by-pitch, and a costly Blue Devil error. Lamb led off with a walk and Boyd hit a comebacker to Knott for a potential 1-6-3 double play. But Knott's throw sailed into centerfield and Lamb moved to third on the error. After Miller walked on four pitches to load the bases with no outs, Nester also walked on four pitches to bring home Lamb. Johnson reached on a fielder's choice as Boyd was retired at the plate 3-2 for out #1, then Epps was hit-by-pitch on a 3-2 count to score Miller. Freeman hit into a fielder's choice as Nester was out of the plate 4-2 for out #2, but Schaus came through with a single through the right side to score Johnson and Epps. Hinson followed with a double up the middle to score Freeman and Schaus to put us ahead 11-5.

Schaus led Clemson by going 2-for-6 with a homer, four RBIs, and three runs, while Hinson went 3-for-7 with two doubles and three RBIs. Johnson added three hits and a double for Clemson, who had 12 hits. The Tigers overcame 16 runners left on base, including 12 left in scoring position. Pitiful clutch hitting.

Epps was also key to the Tiger victory, as he walked twice, was hit-by-pitch twice, and scored two runs. It was the seventh game in a row that Epps reached base at least three times.

Duke pitching walked 10 Tigers and hit 3 more total.

Brad Miller made his 17th error, which is terrible, but at least he is actually improving on the routine play.

On Sunday both the hitting and pitching took a dump as we fell in the rubber game 7-2. Clemson dropped to 23-10 overall and 10-5 in ACC play. Freshman starter Chase Bebout (4-0) earned the win, as he allowed six hits and five walks with five strikeouts in throwing 114 pitches over 7.1 innings pitched. Ben Grisz pitched the final 1.2 innings without allowing a run to close out the game.

The normally solid Will Lamb (L, 3-2) gave up 4 runs in just 3 innings pitched.

Duke won the series by taking advantage of its opportunities over the weekend. The Blue Devils scored 22 of their 44 baserunners thanks in part to hitting .440 with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, the Tigers put 60 runners on base in the series and also scored 22 runs. But Clemson left 31 runners on base against Duke's 14 in the series. This is the same problem we've had since the Elon losses. Our clutch hitting has disappeared, now the pitchers have slid off the deep end. If it was one or two guys it wouldn't be alarming, but the whole staff was iffy. Cruz worked himself into the jams that he worked out of on Saturday. Haselden never got anyone out Friday, and Sunday gave up 2 runs in 2.2 IP. Frederick gave up another run Sunday afternoon in relief after losing the game Friday.

In five games this week, John Hinson went 13-for-24 (.542) with two homers, three doubles, 12 RBIs, one walk, two steals, and no errors in 15 chances in the field. He and Epps were the bright spots of the weekend.

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