Clemson puts up 8 in the 8th to take series against Boston College

via media.independentmail.com

This weekend's outcome was a little worse than I expected since we are the better team, but we did get the hits with runners on base when it counted this afternoon and took the lead 14-8 in the 8th inning and defeated BC 14-9 and win the series 2-1.  Clemson still stranded 14 runners this afternoon and could've blown this game completely open far earlier, so I'm not as thrilled as some would be with an 8-run 8th inning. Clemson improved to 20-8 (9-3 ACC) and BC fell to 12-15 (4-8 ACC) after the weekend.

In Sunday's game, Clemson responded to a solo HR in the 2nd to tie it up with an Epps RBI single in the bottom of the inning.

In the 4th, a colossal brain fart occured. BC's Mickey Wiswall homered to make it 2-1, then John Spatola singled and stole 2nd. With 2 outs, Sudol drove him in with a single up the middle, then Melchionda bounced one off Weismann's leg, Hinson charged but couldnt throw him out. Unfortunately Nester was out of position and never got up the 3rd base line, nor did Weismann get to 3rd, so Sudol got to 3rd uncontested, then Nester couldnt get back to home and Sudol went home, causing me a small stroke. Its credited to him as a stolen base but its a huge fuck up by the Catcher and Pitcher.

The correct play on a grounder to 3rd baseman charging with a runner on 1st is for the pitcher to run to 3rd base to cover the bag. With the ball coming off him he didnt get there, Miller should be getting over as well since the 1B was not charging.

With Clemson ahead 5-4 in the 7th, Jonathan Meyer came in and got crushed. 4 hits and only 1 out, giving up 4 runs because of a hit by Sudol later off Haselden that scored the 4th run. BC walked in a run in the bottom of the 7th to make it 8-5 BC, then Clemson batted around in the 8th and crushed Kevin Moran (L, 2-4) and Matt Brazis.

BC scored one more off Haselden (W, 3-2) in the 9th to make it 14-9 final.

Weismann was shaky all afternoon and his control was far worse than normal, but he battled through it well. He went 6, giving up 6 hits and 4 runs, with 3 walks and 6 Ks.

The offense benefitted from 13 walks by BC pitching, and 14 hits were all singles. 10 Runners were left in scoring position. Every Tiger starter scored at least one run, eight starters had at least one RBI, and eight starters had at least one hit.

Hinson led the Tigers by going 3-for-5 with three RBIs, two runs, one walk, and three stolen bases. Miller went 3-for-6 with one RBI and two runs, while Lamb went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, three runs, and two walks.

Friday's game was never in doubt. It went pretty much as expected with the awful Mike Dennhardt on the mound for BC against Casey Harman. He didnt make it out of the 2nd inning when we put a 6 spot on him, then BC middle relievers gave up 6 more runs and didnt hold Clemson scoreless in any inning except the 7th. Clemson finished it 15-2.

Harman (W, 5-0) went just 6 innings, giving up 4 hits and 1 run, together with 3 walks and very high (for him) strikeout total of 10. Tomas Cruz was brought in with the huge lead and worked the last 3 innings for his first save of the year. He was shaky but battled through it, and he needed the innings to figure out whats wrong with his release point. 

2B Mike Freeman went 3-for-4 with 1 HR, 2 2Bs, 4 RBI and 3 Runs scored Friday. Brad Miller went 2 for 3 with 1 homer and a triple, 3 runs and 2 walks. The Tigers also totaled 15 hits in the offensive explosion, including at least one by 10 different players, and 9 extra base hits.

On Saturday afternoon without Kyle Parker (back tightness) Clemson faced BC's best pitcher, Pat Dean (W, 5-0) and he worked out of enough jams despite giving up 5 runs to hold us down after his offense put up 7 in the 2nd off Will Lamb (L 3-1). Alex Frederick held us in it with 4 scoreless innings but the hitters couldnt help him out. BC won the game 11-5.

Clemson jumped out with 4 runs in the 1st but Will Lamb fell apart in the 2nd. He walked the first batter on 4 pitches, who moved to 2nd on a WP and then scored on a single to RF. After he walked the next batter, another single to LF plated a run. Anston hit a double to left-center to score another, then Hamlet had a 2-run single. Wiswall came in and hit a 2-R Homer to CF off Frederick before he got out of the inning.

With Boston College ahead 7-5 and the Tiger leadoff batter on first base in both the fourth and sixth innings, third-baseman Anthony Melchionda and first-baseman Mickey Wiswall (respectively) made outstanding defensive plays on would-be doubles with no outs. In fact, the Tigers had the leadoff batter on base in four of the last six innings, but they failed to score after the second inning. We stranded 7 runners.

 

I am quite happy that the defense was improved this weekend: 0 errors. BC's defense is outstanding in comparison, helping them strand all these Clemson runners this weekend, despite committing 3 errors.

The starting pitching aside from Harman was unexpectedly poor. Weismann had problems all day and Lamb had a bad day, only going 1.1 innings.

Chris Epps was left in the lineup to lead off all weekend and went 4-for-9 with 6 runs scored and 2 RBIs, and Freeman followed him at the 2 spot with a 5-for-12 performance with 4 runs, a homer, and 6 RBIs. As i pointed out in the preview it was the top of the order that hurt us the last couple weeks, and they got things going a little better this weekend. Jeff Schaus went 4-for-16 with 3 runs scored and 4 RBI, and Brad Miller 7-for-13 with 6 runs scored and 3 RBI and one homer.

With 31 runners left on base this weekend, we have plenty left to work on. Clemson is starting to play tight again...at least thats how it looks to me. Its always what kills Leggett's teams. We don't blow games open when we have the opportunity.

We face Georgia in two midweek home & home games this week, then on the road at a scrappy Duke squad at Durham Bulls Park next weekend.

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