They came into this series playing their best ball of the season and completely shit the bed at Wake, just like we did the last time we went. Either they did not take this series seriously, or Jack did a pisspoor job of preparing them for it. Our hitters could not hit, and our pitchers got their asses kicked. I'll be shocked if this team makes it out of a Regional and would almost welcome the defeat just to get this season over and done.
The Demon Deacons hit five singles in the third inning to score three runs, then a two-out double by Pat Blair plated another run in the fourth inning, while Blair also came around to score on the play thanks to a McGibbon error on a wild throw to 3rd. That was all they needed because the offense couldnt do shit against Tim Cooney.
The Tigers would hit a ball hard here or there but there was no energy from this team at the plate. Every chance at a rally would quickly fail. It looked like they didn't even care until the 6th inning. Only Richie Shaffer seemed to show up ready to play. If you wait til the game is half done to start playing, you dont have much chance of winning.
In the 6th, a blooper from Stolz fell in LF, but Wilkerson hit a pitch right at Cooney who started the double play. In the 7th, both Pohl and Shaffer singled, but a FC and a popout ended the inning. In the 8th, Stolz reached on a HBP, Wilkerson singled, and Shaffer finally doubled in our first scores of the game.
We continued our pisspoor hitting, but took it to the next level. We didnt do a damn thing until the very end. This game remained 0-0 until the 8th when Brett Armour hit a 2-run shot, and ended up with Daniel Gossett taking the loss (L, 6-3) despite a solid start (7.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7Ks).
The Tigers managed only 4 hits off Jack Fischer in 8 innings, and two of those were in the 8th. In the 9th, we started putting up a fight. We loaded the bases with no outs after a single, walk, and HBP....and managed to get just one of them home on a Sac Fly. When McGibbon followed Kieboom's flyout with a long fly ball to the wall in RF, Pohl tagged and scored, but the right fielder threw to second and beat Slaton by a country mile to end the game. A horrible job of baserunning.
This game was horrible to watch. Our guys clearly did not care if they lost. WF jumped out to a big lead, 6 runs all scored with 2 outs in the 5th, and Clemson never woke up from the weekend slumber. Clemson had scored at least one run against Wake Forest in 130 consecutive games. It was the Demon Deacons' first three-game sweep over the Tigers since 1999 as well.
Clemson got just 2 hits off starter Brian Holmes in 6 innings, then got only 2 more off the next 3 Deacons to finish the game.
Kevin Pohle, who is clearly the best starter we've got, lost all focus in the 5th after a couple long battles with 2 strikes on hitters. Pinch-hitter Kevin Jordan fouled off several two-strike pitches to draw a leadoff walk and moved to second on Brett Armour's sacrifice bunt. Two batters later with two outs, leadoff hitter Pat Blair was intentionally walked, a move I did not agree with. After fouling off several two-strike pitches, Conor Keniry blooped a 2-2 pitch to shallow right-center for a single to score Jordan, who became the first player in the game to reach third base. Mac Williamson loaded the bases with a hit-by-pitch, then Carlos Lopez laced a single up the middle to score Blair and Keniry. Charlie Morgan kept the inning alive with a triple down the right-field line to score Williamson and Lopez. Mark Rhine followed with a chopper to Wilkerson, who fumbled the ball for his 17th error, allowing Morgan to score.
The lone bright spot was the return of Kevin Brady in relief, he struck out 2 batters in his only inning of work.
Clemson finished in a tie for fifth place with Miami (FL) in the ACC overall standings with a 16-14 league mark. Since the Tigers won the season series against the Hurricanes, Clemson will be the #5 seed in the ACC Tournament at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, NC. The Tigers will play at least three games in the ACC Tournament, which starts on Wednesday. Clemson's tourney schedule will be announced on Sunday.
I'd be surprised if we won 2 games in the tournament.