The decision by Monte Lee to insert two true freshman into the weekend rotation might have caught some by surprise considering it left last season's Friday starter Jacob Hennessy holding the short straw, sending him to the bullpen, at least for now. If the seasons opening weekend is any indication, it's a role Hennessy could possibly be in for awhile.
Davis Sharpe and Justin Wrobleski both looked the part in their first collegiate starts. Both guys have electric stuff and both showed why they won their spots in the rotation. Whether they can sustain that over the course of the season remains to be seen.
Game 1; Clemson 6 S Alabama 2
Brooks Crawford retired the first ten batters he faced before giving up back to back solo shots to Ethan Wilson and Wells Davis in the top of the 4th, giving the Jaguars a 2-0 lead.
After Sam Hall and Michael Green both drew one out walks in the bottom of the 5th, Logan Davidson launched a 3R HR to left. A long homerun that gave the Tigers a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.
Michael Green added a solo HR in the 7th, and Sam Hall ripped a two out single to left center that plated 2 more, giving the Tigers a 6-2 lead.
Mat Clark (1-0) got the win in relief, pitching 3 innings, allowing 3 hits and striking out 4. Carson Spiers picked up the four out save, his first of the season, striking out 2 of the 4 batters he faced. He came on and and induced a ground ball to get out of a bases loaded, two out jam in the bottom of the 8th, before striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced in the ninth.
Game 2; Clemson 7 S Alabama 2
Weather forced the school into playing a doubleheader Saturday and the story of the first game was Davis Sharpe. The freshman righty was dominant, striking out 8 over 5 innings, while allowing just 2 hits, to notch his first career win. His stuff was every bit electric as advertised, as he struck out 6 of the first 10 he faced, all swinging.
Clemson got on the board early with a Logan Davidson sac fly in the first that was set up by Sam Hall stealing second and third, after reaching on a single.
Bryce Teodosio hit a grand slam to center in the 5th, giving the Tigers a 5-0 lead. The Jaguars pushed across two runs in the sixth on a Wells Davis HR off of Jacob Hennessy to cut it to 5-2, but that's as close as they would get.
Sam Hall homered to lead off the Clemson 6th, and scored again in the 8th off a Kyle Wilkie sac fly for the Tigers final two runs.
The 6' 8" Holt Jones came on in the ninth, and was very impressive in striking out the side, touching 96 mph on the gun.
Game 3; S Alabama 4 Clemson 3
Freshman lefty Justin Wrobleski looked impressive in his first career start but one mistake proved costly after he left one a little up and Felix Aberouette took advantage by hitting a 3R homerun in the top of the 4th, giving the Jaguars a 3-0 lead.
Clemson got one back in the bottom of the 4th when Davis Sharpe, who was in the DH slot after his fantastic pitching debut earlier in the day, hit a solo shot to left. He then added a 2R homerun in the sixth to pull the Tigers to within one, at 4-3. Not a bad opening weekend for the freshman.
Clemson would put the tying run on third with one out in the bottom of the ninth when Teodosio doubled, then advanced to third on an error, but Chris Fairey and Sam Hall both struck out, leaving Teo stranded at third. It was the seventh runner left stranded in the game.
Wrobleski struck out 8, allowed 4 hits and walked one, in 5.2 IP. Travis Marr and Sam Weatherly both looked solid in relief, both pitching an inning and two thirds. Marr gave up a hit and struck out two while Weatherly allowed only a walk, while striking out five.
Kyle Wilkie's 29 game hit streak ended Friday and his consecutive games reaching base streak ended at 41 Saturday night, as he struck out pinch hitting to lead off the ninth.
The Tigers play two midweek games this week, with Charlotte visiting DKS Tuesday and Tennessee Tech coming to town Weds.