It was another rough weekend for Clemson baseball as the Tigers were swept by the second ranked Louisville Cardinals. Despite leading or having a chance to lead in each game, Clemson gave up enough runs late to lose 2 of the 3 games. The Tigers also left a lot of guys on base this weekend, averaging 10 per game.
Friday: Louisville 4 - Clemson 2
The one game where Louisville got out to a quick start, Clemson let numerous opportunities go by to lose the opener. The Tigers left 16 on base Friday night, it became a bit of a trend for the series, and squandered an excellent outing by Charlie Barnes. 3 of Louisville’s 4 runs were unearned Friday night, all because of Logan Davidson at shortstop. He had 2 throwing errors that accounted for those 3 runs.
Going back to runners left on base, Clemson had at least 1 runner on base at the end of every inning except 1. Most innings it was 2 or more. The good news is it means Clemson is one or two hits away from scoring each inning. The bad news is it is definitely a trend, and a rather problematic one at that.
Saturday: Louisville 6 - Clemson 4
It wouldn’t be Clemson baseball in May if there weren’t some bullpen issues right? Saturday was the return of the bullpen collapse that even the Detroit Tigers think is excessive. Clemson jumped out to a 4-0 lead through 5 innings, and then Alex Eubanks allowed 3 runs in the 6th. He settled down to finish out the 7th, but Jeremy Beasley and Ryley Gilliam both blew the game allowing a combined 3 runs.
Clemson was much more efficient on offense in this one. They only left 4 guys on base and going into the latter half of the game had real command of the game. Unfortunately 2 bad innings including a bullpen collapse killed Clemson’s chances of getting the win.
Sunday: Louisville 6 - Clemson 4
This was probably the only game where Louisville was the better team the entire day. But even then Clemson had plenty of opportunities to score after the Cardinals committed 5 errors. Once again the late innings were a problem for Clemson when Pat Krall went funny in the 7th inning to give the Cardinals the lead. Even though Clemson clawed back a run, a controversial balk by Alex Schnell gave Louisville the extra cushion they needed.
The frustrating part of Sunday was that Clemson had several opportunities in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings to tie or take the lead. Yet they couldn’t pull the trigger and left 10 men on base. That’s a big problem, even worse than some of the bullpen struggles we’ve seen over the last two weeks.
Clemson will host Costal Carolina tonight before finishing up the regular season against NC State.