The ACC Tournament really couldn't have gone much worse for Clemson, who failed to win a game in the Tourney for the first time in a decade. The lack of any wins, and probably the way we lost to UNC, has knocked Clemson out of what I felt was an almost-assured hosting spot to none at all, and that means the chances of hosting the Supers is basically nil. This was a promising season of over-achievement compared to expectations going in, but that was a disaster in Durham that may have brought the season to a close much sooner than it should've ended. Winning a Regional on the road is very difficult, and if we don't have Crownover back for it, then I'm not very confident we can even get to the Supers.
What bothers me more is the way we lost in Durham. We had the game against UNC and completely imploded. We held NC State in check and Goose just couldn't handle them in the 7th, and Miami? We shouldn't get down 5 runs so quickly to Miami's offense this year and then not even be able to score. This year I can't point it all to one or two decisions by Jack, but the overall performance in Durham can be laid on his feet along with the overachievement for the season. 39-20 is better than I expected, but our standard is still high at Clemson and this Tournament is not to our standard for sure. I hope we can win one Regional game to get to 40 again.
Goose pitched a wonderful game for 6 innings, and in the 7th they got him. With the game tied 2-2, State scored 4 runs in the 7th and we couldn't catch up. I don't fault Jack for leaving him in there, because he gave no real indication of having issues, and he's gone longer than 6 several times this year. His pitches just started getting too much plate. Perhaps you could argue Jack left him in one or two batters longer, but if its your ace starter, you really can't fault Leggett for leaving him in there.
And Clemson couldn't do much with State's southpaw starter as one would've expected given our track record.
Clemson held a huge lead in the 9th and completely blew it. This was the worst loss of the Tournament, and I think the team's hangover from this game caused them to give up against Miami.
The Tigers took a 7-2 lead into the top of the 9th inning, but a walk and three singles set up Holberton's three-run homer to tie the score at 7-7. Clemson had the winning run in scoring position in the bottom of the 9th, 11th, 12th, and 13th innings, but the Tigers choked every time, leaving two runners on in each. North Carolina capitalized with five runs on four hits in the 14th inning.
Benton Moss started the game for UNC, and though the started off really well, basically cutting us to shreds, we got him well enough in the 5th-6th to chase him from the game with a 5-2 lead.
Zach Erwin started and did well against the UNC lineup, going 5.2, with 5 hits, 2 runs, and 2 walks allowed. It was Matt Campbell and Scott Firth who lost the game in late/extra innings. To be fair, Firth gave up all his runs at the very end and did well for the first 4 innings of relief work.
Bryan Radziewski and closer Eric Nedeljkovic shut us out, pitching a 4 hitter. It looked almost like Clemson had given up in this game. We couldn't do anything at all. Radziewski (9-2) pitched 8.0 innings. He allowed just four hits, no runs, and two walks with five strikeouts in throwing 92 pitches. Radziewski also retired 11 Tigers in a row from the third inning through the sixth inning. Nedeljkovic pitched a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout. The two Hurricane hurlers combined to face just three batters over the minimum and were aided by three double plays with no outs in the second, third, and seventh innings.
Clate started and got beat around, and I think I'd have him slated for long relief only unless Crownover is out. In 1.1 innings he gave up 3 runs and 2 walks.
The 64-team NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Monday at 12:00 PM on ESPNU. I thought we had enough in the RPI and SOS to get the hosting, but I guess not. We'll see where we end up tomorrow.