Last weekend was not good for Clemson baseball, but this weekend provides an excellent opportunity to get above .500 in ACC play and continue to solidify the case for an NCAA Tournament berth. Clemson plays host to Georgia Tech this weekend as they continue a 13-game home stand. Georgia Tech arrives in Clemson boasting an identical 25-12 record and they are 8-10 in ACC play.
Friday - 6:30pm EST LHP Charlie Barnes vs. RHP Brandon Gold
Saturday - 6:30pm EST RHP Alex Eubanks vs. RHP Cole Pitt
Sunday - 1:00pm EST Starting pitchers TBA
All three games will be available on Tiger Cast through the Clemson Athletics website or you can listen to them on Tiger Cast or the Clemson Tigers Sports Network
Last weekend was probably the worst of the season for Clemson. The Tigers were manhandled even when they weren't committing errors, and it is clear they aren't at the same level as Louisville. Thankfully a 12-0 whipping of Georgia helps take the sting out, but the pressure is on Clemson to get something positive out of a series with a similar team.
This weekend there are two things I'm looking for. I want to see the starting pitchers get back on track and I want to see a reduction in errors. Against Louisville the Tigers gave up 31 runs over 3 games. That is decidedly not good. Doesn't matter how good your offense is, it just isn't going to cut it. The pitching staff has to be better and Coach Lee isn't afraid to change his weekend starters based on what he's doing this weekend. Maybe this will give the Tigers a jump after they have been slumping a bit over the past few weeks. Clate Schmidt was dropped from his normal weekend start, though it would seem likely he will get the ball on Sunday.
As for the errors, at this point it may just be a matter of recruiting better fielders going forward. Errors seemed to drop off earlier in the season, but now they are back. We've detailed the problems Clemson had last year, and this year poor fielding is hurting us once again. Hopefully Clemson can sort the problem out as we get closer to the postseason.
Georgia Tech presents a unique opportunity. The Yellow Jackets have been hitting well as a team, just over .300, but their pitching staff has also been giving up some runs. They have a team ERA of 4.31 and the Tigers should be able to take advantage of it. The midweek win over Georgia shows Clemson can still hit, it is just a matter of continuing to produce against talented opposition.