After suffering their first midweek loss of the season to College of Charleston on Wednesday, Clemson rebounded to take 2 of 3 from Georgia Southern over the weekend. The Clemson offense roared out to a fantastic start, winning game 1 handily 12-1. Game 2 was a close affair the Tigers lost 7-6, but Clemson was able to win the rubber match emphatically 17-4
Friday night Clemson not only established some great pitching, but some excellent hitting as well. Clemson's offense has certainly been a strength of the team this year, but this was an exceptional game by their standards. Chris Okey, K.J. Bryant, and Chris Williams all hit home runs, and Charlie Barnes had an excellent outing on the mound. Barnes went 7 innings and allowed only 1 run. He also retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced and gave the Clemson bullpen some rest. More importantly Barnes looked comfortable all night and by building more confidence he should be a key component to Clemson's postseason run this year.
Saturday was an example of what happens when things go wrong for Clemson. The offense was certainly good, they did score 6 runs, but defense and pitching were a bit of a let down. Clemson gave up 5 earned runs and didn't look extremely comfortable. A few times it appeared like the Tigers were a bad hit or two away from losing control of the game.
Then in the 9th inning Clemson's defense came out and decided to disappear. A passed ball coupled with a few timely hits gave Georgia Southern a walk-off win. It was an unfortunate way to lose a game, especially given how good Clemson has been in close game situations this year.
Thankfully Clemson stepped up on Sunday and continued their offensive performance. The Tigers jumped out to a 10-3 lead early and then coasted from there. Chris Okey got his 11th homer run of the season and Seth Beer continued to cement his case for a few awards when the season ends. Ryley Gilliam got the win for Clemson and improved to 3-2 after pitching 5.2 innings and only allowing 3 runs.
Clemson now has one final home game against Charleston Southern at midweek before traveling to South Bend, IN, for a season finale against Notre Dame. The Tigers can secure a berth in the ACC Tournament with a series win against the Fighting Irish. A sweep could put them in position to host a Regional with a few wins in the ACC Tournament as well.