Clemson started the game doing things that get you beat by an underdog. We loaded the bases and came away with nothing. We let the Catamounts build confidence, and then we had a total collapse of a third inning. The Tigers were looking absolutly wretched in the field, making grade school mistakes, burning up our starting pitcher, and giving up runs.
The only bright spot was Clemson making Western's pitcher work. He was living on the edge, and it finally caught up with him in the bottom of the 3rd. Clemson began the game doing things that get you beat, but starting in the bottom of the third, they started doing things that get you to the C.W.S. Patience paid off as Western's starting pitcher, Bryan Sammons, started to labor on the mound. He gave way to a new pitcher Kory Anderson with the bases loaded. Anderson was immediately touched up by Chris Williams for a two run single. Anderson continued to struggle, walking or hitting 3 of the next 4 Tiger batters and loading the bases for Seth Beer. In a move rarely seen, Anderson was replaced mid Beer at bat by Colton Davis. Seth Beer then did one of the most Seth Beer things ever, and absolutely destroyed the baseball, sending a no doubter to straight away center. Chris Okey, not to be outdone, stepped up next and belted another home run and the route was on.
Clemson put up another 5 spot in the 5th with a Chris Williams sentencing another baseball to the stands. The 6th saw Clemson add another 3 spot with another Okey 3 run blast. The 7th saw another 3 runs, with Mike Triller hitting a 2 run bomb and a 1 run dinger by Eli White. The 8th saw the Tigers put up another 3 spot, with super nova hot Mike Triller blasting yet another ball into the Clemson night. If you're keeping track at home, that's 24 runs. That's almost as impressive as the 4 hour and 20 minute game time.
Clemson once again struggled in the field committing 3 official errors, and making several other questionable plays. The 4 spot in the 3rd inning was due, in most part, to incompetent fielding and loose pitching. Charlie Barnes looked like he was on his way to an early shower, but Clemson putting up 10 in the bottom of the 3rd was just the medicine Barnes needed, as he grinded out 6 and 1/3 tough innings before giving way to Brooks Crawford for an inning and 1/3 and Paul Campbell for the final inning. It wasn't a great performance by the Clemson pitchers and defense, and they will need to improve going forward, but hopefully that game worked some of the kinks out.
Western did put up some resistance putting up 3 runs in the 7th and chasing Charlie Barnes, and putting up another run in the 8th, but they never really challenged after Clemson crushed them in the 5th inning. Finishing the game with a robust, but inconsequential 10 runs.
This was an excellent warm up game for the Tigers. Western showed Clemson what can happen if they lose focus, and then Clemson steamrolled them in epic fashion. The Tigers take the diamond again tomorrow (7 p.m.est) against an Oklahoma St. team with a few more answers on the mound than the Catamount could march out.
Drive home safe and see you tomorrow night.