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Clemson takes series against Florida Gulf Coast

Tiger 2B Mike Freeman tore up FGC this week.
Tiger 2B Mike Freeman tore up FGC this week.

FGC would probably be a mid-lower ACC squad given how they've fared against ACC opponents that litter their schedule this year, so I wouldn't call them your usual midweek opponent. The team hit pretty well coming into this series and though I expected to win all 4, it would be game 1 against future 1st rounder Chris Sale that was in the most doubt.

Turns out that this would be the only one we lost of the set, but Mike Freeman destroyed all FGC pitching. Sale struck out 10 batters in 8 innings, giving up 2 runs to get his 7th win without a loss this year. Sale's start showcased the same issues that have plagued us against our ACC schedule lately: not getting leadoff hitters on, and leaving too many in scoring position.

Clemson left 6 RISP and 9 runners on base overall, including the tying runs in the 9th in the 4-2 loss. Casey Harman went 7 strong innings but David Haselden blew it in the 8th by giving up a 2-run homer.

Mike Freeman went 2-for-5 with an RBI, and Brad Miller hit a solo homer to account for our scoring.

The next two games were played in a doubleheader, and Clemson took both. We scored in 6 of 8 innings to win 9-3 in the first of two on Sunday, giving Jack his 750th win. The game was pretty well in hand and Scott Weismann (W, 4-2) was pulled out after 5 IP (5H, 3R, 3BB, 5K), and Tomas Cruz pitched the last 4 innings scoreless to get the long save.

Mike Freeman went 2-for-4 with a homer, double, two RBIs, two runs, and a walk to lead Clemson's 12-hit attack. Lamb also tallied two hits and two runs. Richie Shaffer homered. Nester and Schaus also went 2-for-4. 

Somehow, Kyle Parker missed all the action, taking a collar.

The 2nd game was more of a struggle towards the end of the game. Dominic Leone was chased in the 4th inning after surrendering 9 hits and 2 walks, trailing 3-1. FGC put up another run quickly thanks to an error by Brad Miller (his 19th). In the 7th Clemson put up 3 runs but Meyer/Lamb blew that in the top of the 8th, aided by errors by Phil Pohl and Freeman. 

Ugh, shitty defense.

Jeff Schaus singled in the bottom of the 8th to drive in the go-ahead run and Frederick shut down FGC to end the game 7-6. It was Clemson's first victory by two runs or less since March 14, when the Tigers defeated N.C. State 7-6. It snapped Clemson's 12-game losing streak in games decided by two runs or less.

Every Tiger starter had at least one hit. Freeman went 3-for-3 with an RBI, two runs, a walk, and two stolen bases to lead Clemson's 15-hit attack. Schaus went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Miller and Johnson added two hits apiece. The Tigers also tied their season high with six stolen bases.

Clemson still stranded 11 runners, 8 in scoring position, and committed 3 errors overall that helped FGC score at least 2 of their 6 runs.

In Today's finale, Clemson put up 7 runs in the 2nd inning, with a Grand Slam by Freeman leading the way.

In the second inning, the Tigers took advantage of three walks and five two-out hits to score seven runs, all with two outs. Nester drew a one-out walk and Richie Shaffer lined a two-out single to left field. After Will Lamb walked to load the bases, Mike Freeman hit a hanging breaking ball over the fence in right field for a grand slam, his seventh long ball of the season. It was Clemson's seventh grand slam of the season, all by different players, and Freeman's second career grand slam to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Jeff Schaus followed with a walk and scored on Kyle Parker's double to right-center. John Hinson grounded a single up the middle to bring home Parker. Brad Miller completed the team cycle in the frame by lacing a triple to right-center to score Hinson.

After Frederick gave up a homer in the next frame, we put up 3 more runs on 5 hits in the 5th. 14-2 final tally. Frederick was making his first start and went 5 innings, giving up 4 hits and 1 earned run (2 errors in the 1st by Nester and Miller (20)), while walking 2 and striking out 6. The lesser-used guys in the bullpen finished it off.

Clemson outhit Florida Gulf Coast 15-6 and totaled three doubles, two triples, and a homer. Parker went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs, two runs, and a walk. Miller went 3-for-5 with a triple and RBI.

Over the series, Freeman went 8-for-17 with 2 HR, 8 RBI, and 6 Runs scored. Killer.

Miller went a solid 7-for-18 with 1HR, 2RBI, 3 Runs and 2 errors for 20 this year. Kyle Parker went 0'fer in two games and 1-for-10 before his 3-for-4 day today.

Thankfully Jack jumped on the anti-Chris Epps wagon with me this week...Addison Johnson played CF in 3 of the games and both of them were at the bottom of the lineup. Lamb played mostly 1B and Shaffer spotted him.

Clemson heads to College Park to face the meager Turtles this weekend.