After a bit of a rough stretch, the twelfth ranked Clemson Tigers got a much needed win over defending champion Coastal Carolina on Tuesday Night to hopefully regain some momentum as the regular season comes to an end. The Tigers faced some similar late game pitching problems as they blew a 7-1 fifth inning lead, but things turned around in the eight inning when Reed Rohlman was intentionally walked to load the bases for Seth Beer. Beer crushed a grand slam to put the Tigers up for good, giving Clemson the 11-8 win in the final regular season home game of 2017 in Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Tigers head up to Raleigh to face the NC State Wolfpack in Doak Stadium. The Pack sit at 31-21 with a 14-13 ACC record to put them fourth in the ACC Atlantic, one spot behind Clemson. The Pack are on a four game win streak and swept conference foe Pitt on the road last weekend.
This series will be a Thursday-Friday-Sunday series as opposed to the typical Friday-Saturday-Sunday set up. Thursday night will feature Clemson lefty Charlie Barnes on the hill against State right hander Johnny Piedmont. Piedmond is a senior from Davidson, NC who brings in a 1.66 ERA and a 6-0 record. Barnes is 5-4 and holds a 2.83 ERA and a team high 94 strikeouts. Friday will feature Alex Eubanks facing off against Pack lefty Brian Brown. Brown is 3-1 with a 3.29 ERA. Eubanks is 6-4 with a 3.76 ERA. Neither team has made an announcement on who will start in the series finale on Sunday.
Clemson will be looking to break a six game ACC losing streak this weekend. Clemson looks to be firmly in position to be a top sixteen seed in the NCAA tournament, which would guarantee Clemson is a regional host. Recent struggles have led to Clemson sliding out of position to be a top eight national seed, which would guarantee hosting a super regional if the Tigers win their regional. While Clemson is not projected to be top eight at the moment, a big series win in Raleigh and some good work in the ACC Tournament could put Clemson back in that National Seed conversation.
Thursday’s game is a 6:00 PM first pitch, Friday’s game will get underway at 6:30 PM, and Saturday’s finale will begin at 1:00 PM. All three games can be seen online via ACC Network Extra.