I think its too early yet to tell whether offensive numbers are going to be cut too severely by the new bats, but this weekend's series showed me that the batted ball speed was only slightly cut down from before. Projecting 20-30 point average drops might be too much at this stage. Once the weather warms up more and the ball starts jumping, we'll know for sure.
Chris Epps led off the game Friday with a solo HR and the Tigers finished the opening game with a 14-3 victory thanks to 10 walks and 16 hits. Every Clemson starter had a hit in the game.
We jumped out early with a 4-0 lead in the 1st thanks to 2 Sac Flies and a walked-in run after Epps' homer, and Weismann really made only one mistake. A leadoff walk in the 2nd was followed by a single and a 3-run homer to left-center to account for all of EMU's scoring. Weismann went 5IP with the single walk and 4Ks, yielding 5 hits. A solid performance.
Miller went 2-for-3 with three runs, two RBIs, two walks, and a steal, and of course an error. The error was questionable this time. Spencer Kieboom went 1-for-2 with 4 RBI and 2 sac flies. Two young freshmen started their careers with 2-for-2 peformances: LF Dominic Attanasio and 1B Jon McGibbon.
The Saturday game ended with a 7-6 Tiger loss after Alex Frederick came in with a runner at 3rd with 2 outs in the 8th and tossed a wild pitch that bounced to the Clemson dugout.
Dominic Leone was shaky from the start in this one. He just wasn't able to locate and didn't fool the middle of the Eastern Michigan lineup. I may have left him in a little longer to work things out but can't fault Jack for pulling him, I'm sure the pitch count was a factor as well. He gave up a leadoff walk in the 2nd, and a 2-run shot to the next batter. The next guy singled and advanced to 3rd on a double, and scored on a Sac Fly to make it 3-0 EMU. Scott Firth relieved him in the 4th and was worse off, he gave up another 3 hits and 2 walks to make it 6-0 EMU.
Clemson fought back to tie it up over the next 3 innings, but got into trouble again on the mound in the 8th. True Freshman Kevin Pohle pitched pretty well in his opening performance but gave up a leadoff single in the 8th. He got the next 2 outs but Jack called in Frederick to stop the Eagles with a runner at 3rd, and he bounced a 1-2 pitch up there to make it 7-6. Clemson just couldn't string enough hits together against the EMU pen to get it back.
DH Spencer Kieboom went 3-for-4 with a double and RBI, while Schaus went 1-for-2 with two RBIs, two walks, and a hit-by-pitch. Catcher Phil Pohl went 2-for-5 with another RBI.Clemson put 19 batters on base thanks in part to nine hits and eight walks, but the Tigers stranded 11 runners on base compared to seven by the Eagles.
Clemson finished off the series with a 5-1 victory today. Kevin Brady showed why I thought he was so good last year by striking out 10 batters in 5 1/3 innings, allowing just 2 hits. His command was very good today and I believe he's going to be Clemson's next great starting pitcher. Perhaps not this year, but down the road he's going to be good. David Haselden got the rare 3 inning Save after Jon Meyer finished the 6th, despite faceplanting on a grounder to 1st.
John Hinson went 3-for-4 with a 2B and 2 runs scored with 2 steals. He finished the weekend 5-for-11 with 2 doubles. Epps hit another 2-run Homer Sunday, his only 2 hits of the weekend in 11 appearances were homers. Spencer Kieboom continued to light up the Eagles with 2 more RBI, giving him 8 in the series and 5-for-9 overall this weekend. Brad Miller finished the series with 6 walks, 3 hits and 4 steals.
Clemson pitching struck out 26 and allowed 6 walks. David Haselden pitched 5 solid innings and gave up no runs to the Eagles.
Today's win was Jack's 1148th as a HC, 20th on the all-time Div 1 list.
Clemson will host Cincinnati next Friday, Charleston Southern on Saturday and travels to Fluor Field Sunday to face Michigan State.