The Tigers traveled to south beach over the weekend and for the first time this season didn't come home with a series win. A couple of walk off hits gave the Hurricanes victories on Friday and Saturday, while on Sunday the Hurricanes jumped out to an 8-1 lead and never looked back. Errors and missed opportunities were the story for much of the weekend for the Tigers as they committed 10 errors in just 3 games. The Tigers are now 17-6(5-4 ACC) on the season as the Hurricanes improved to 20-4(7-2 ACC).
After an impressive outing last Friday against Boston College, Coach Lee decided to stick with senior Clate Schmidt as the Friday night starter against the #5 Hurricanes. The Tigers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the 1st from Chris Okey's 4th homerun of the season. Clemson added another run in the 3rd to bring the lead to 2-0. Schmidt started out strong holding Miami scoreless through the first three but was pulled in the 4th after giving up 5 runs on 5 hits, although only 3 were earned as the Tigers committed 2 errors in the inning. Miami added 2 more runs in the 6th to build a 7-2 lead over the Tigers. The Tigers never gave up and fought back in the top of 7th to add 3 runs of their own to cut the lead to 7-5. The Tigers continued to rally in the 8th by a Chase Pinder solo home run to left center. Trailing 7-6 going into the 9th, the Tigers scored 2 more runs on a single to the left by Wharton to make it 8-7 going into the bottom half of the inning. But Clemson was unable to hold off the Hurricanes as Willie Abreu hit a 2 run walk off homer to steal the victory away from the Tigers.
Saturday night was another nail biter for the Tigers as the game went to extra innings but once again the Hurricanes ultimately came out on top with a 6-5 victory. The Tigers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the 1st on a 2 run homer by none other than sensational freshman Seth Beer, his 10th of the season. Miami would respond by adding 1 run in each of the next 4 innings to take a 4-2 lead through 4. It was another tough outing for a Clemson starting pitcher as Charlie Barnes pitched just 3.2 innings giving up 4 runs (2 earned). The Tigers rallied to tie the game 4-4 in the 6th inning on a 2 run homer by first baseman Chris Williams. The bullpen had another strong outing for the Tigers on Saturday as they held the score tied at 4 until Miami ended the game on a walk off single by Michelangeli in the 11th inning. Another tough loss for the Tigers.
Sunday was a little different story than games 1 and 2 of the series. Although, the Tigers did jump out to another early lead courtesy of a solo homer in the 2nd by you guessed it Seth Beer, bringing his season total to 11. Miami added a run of their own in the 3rd to tie the game at 1-1. The Hurricanes piled on 2 more runs in the 4th as well as 5 runs in the 5th to take a commanding 8-1 lead through 5 innings. The Tigers tried to make a comeback courtesy of two Chase Pinder home runs and a Chris Okey home run, but the lead was too much for the Tigers to overcome with a final score of 10-5. Eubanks was given the loss after tossing 4 innings giving up 7 runs (5 earned) bringing his record on the season to 2-2.
Even though the Tigers were swept in Miami this weekend there were still some positives to come out of the series. It's impossible to talk about the Tigers offense and not mention Seth Beer. He continues to be the Tigers go to hitter adding two more homeruns this weekend. The offense in general continues to consistently produce for the Tigers. As a team Clemson hit eight homeruns in 3 games. Moving forward the Tigers will need clean up their defensive effort and get back to early season form, as seen this weekend it's hard to overcome errors against quality teams. Another area of concern is the consistency of the starting pitchers. All three have proved they can be dominate at times and win games but will need to be more consistent as we move further into the season. One thing I really like about this team is they will continue to fight and never give up in a game. Hopefully the Tigers learned from this series and continue to grow as a team because it still has a chance to be a special season.
The Tigers are back in action with mid-week games against Furman(Tuesday,7pm) and Western Carolina(Wednesday, 6pm) respectively before hosting Pittsburgh next weekend.