Sometimes all it takes is one freshman. For Clemson baseball that freshman is Seth Beer. Behind an outstanding offensive output from Beer, Clemson swept the weekend series against Boston College, finishing it off in emphatic fashion when Beer hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the 10th to give Clemson the sweep.
Clemson has struggled on Friday night's this year. It has been a perplexing problem that has seen them win only 1 of their 4 Friday night games before this weekend's series. The Tigers didn't have that problem on this weekend as they jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead behind singles from Adam Cox and Andrew Renwick. Boston College scored twice to tie it up in the top of the 3rd, but at the bottom of the frame Clemson scored another 2 runs to take the lead permanently. Another 2 runs in the bottom of the 5th sealed the lead for Clemson.
Seth Beer was fantastic going 2 for 2 with a walk and getting hit by a pitch in the second. The freshman was responsible for 5 of Clemson's 6 runs. He had 2 RBIs and scored 3 times himself. New Friday starter Clate Schmidt went 7 innings while surrendering 2 runs on 6 hits. Schmidt also had an excellent 11 strikeouts and seems to have cemented himself as the Friday starter going forward.
Saturday saw much of the same for Clemson. The final score was 6-1 in favor of the Tigers, though Boston College took the lead first. Clemson roared back with 4 runs in the bottom of the inning and then they were relatively untroubled by BC for the rest of the afternoon. The Tigers tacked on a run in the bottom of the 4th and 8th to help secure the win, but it didn't really matter.
Charlie Barnes did well as the starter going 7.1 innings and only allowing 1 run on 4 hits. He struck out 4 and only walked 1 batter, really about as perfect of a performance as you can want from a starter.
It appears Sunday was destined to be Clemson's struggle game. The Tigers went behind early with BC scoring in the first and second to take a 2-0 lead. The score stayed the same until the bottom of the 7th when Clemson was able to score off a home run from Eli White. Clemson then went into the bottom of the 9th needing to score to just tie. Singles by Robert Jolly, Eli White, and Chris Williams led to Clemson tying it up. To make matters even more exciting Clemson had a chance to win it, but White was thrown out at home on a hit to right field.
Thankfully it didn't matter after Seth Beer came up in the bottom of the 10th and smacked a home run that some claim is sinking into the depths of Lake Hartwell right now. Once again Clemson was able to eke out a win in a one run game, something we didn't see much of last year for the Tigers.
Thoughts and Observations
The big news this weekend is Seth Beer, and it really is hard to state how important he is to this team. Every team needs that one go to hitter, and Clemson seems to have found their guy here. We didn't really seem to have that last year. We had plenty of talented guys, but not the guy you believe is going to get that critical hit.
Clemson also seems to have a pitching staff. We were worried about two things going into this season, errors and starting pitchers. So far, even though the competition hasn't been amazing, Clemson's starters have looked extremely good. Even in the losses guys have been pitching pretty well, they've just made a couple of mistakes. All 3 weekend starters have the ability to dominate the strike zone and keep the opposing team off the scoreboard. If that continues this could be a very special season for Clemson. Maybe even 2010 type special.