On a cold night that kept most of the seats at Fluor Field empty, Clemson was able to get back in the win column, topping Furman 3-1. It might not have been pretty, but a win is a win any way you can get them.
Jackson Lindley made his first career start and after some minor issues with his command early, he settled in and gave Monte Lee 4.2 innings of solid work, allowing just a run on five hits. He walked three and struck out three. Generally, you would like to see your starter go a little deeper into the game, but after the short stints last weekend, and taking into account this was a freshman in his first start, it's hard to be displeased.
Jacob Hennessy was called on to relieve Lindley with two outs and a runner on first in the fifth, and Clemson up 2-1. After promptly walking the first batter he saw on four straight, he'd retire the next hitter and go onto have a very solid showing in 2.1 innings of hitless relief. He struck out two and picked up his first win (1-0) of the season.
Hennessy had been roughed up in his only two appearances so far this season, and tonight's effort will hopefully get him back on track, along with giving him a small confidence boost. With Mat Clark moved out of the pen and into the rotation for this weekend, this team will need Hennessy as a reliable left handed option in that bullpen.
Carson Spiers came on to pitch the final two innings, picking up the six out save, his fourth of the season. He allowed just one hit while striking out two, with no walks.
Furman took an early 1-0 lead in the first before Clemson got an RBI single from Briar Hawkins and a sac fly from Adam Hackenberg in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers would add one more in the eighth to give themselves a little bit of a cushion. Sam Hall led off the inning with a double off the left centerfield wall, advanced to second when Logan Davidson was hit by a pitch, then scored on a throwing error by the catcher as he was attempting to steal third.
With the win, Clemson improves to 9-3 on the season as Furman now drops to 2-8, having now lost five straight.
For those hoping tonight would be the night the bats got going, that would not be the case. Clemson was able to muster just four hits on the night, striking out a dozen times, with six of those once again coming on called third strikes. Furman actually out hit the Tigers on the night 6-4.
With their twelve strikeouts tonight, Clemson hitters have now struck out 108 times in just twelve games. That's nine times per game on average and that's not going to get it done with this lineup and ACC play about to start up.
With the third ranked Tarheels paying a visit to Doug Kingsmore this weekend, the Tigers will need to get those bats dialed in, and dialed in quick. UNC will bring to town some of the best pitching Clemson will see all season, with the series scheduled to get started Friday at 6pm.