Clemson baseball is back, and back in style to say the least. The Tigers kicked off their 2022 season this past weekend with an opening series sweep over the Indiana Hoosiers, the third consecutive opening series sweep for Clemson dating back to 2020.
The Tigers dominated all weekend, racking up 33 runs on 29 hits during the series. Clemson pitching was also strong throughout the weekend, only allowing eight runs on 19 hits.
Friday’s season opener went about as well as a game can go in Clemson’s favor. The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the first inning and never looked back. Clemson added one in the second, two in the fourth, and three insurance runs in the final three frames to runaway with a 9-0 victory.
Mack Anglin was brilliant on the mound for the Tigers, going 5.0 innings of no-hit pitching with eight strikeouts. The bullpen looked strong as well, only giving up three hits over the final four frames.
As solid as the offense looked on Friday, Clemson doubled its offensive output in Saturday’s game. The Tigers found themselves trailing 4-0 in the third inning when the bats came alive, scoring four runs in the third and fourth to tie at the game at 4-all. Clemson was not finished, however, and the Tigers added 15 more runs, including a 7-run sixth inning, and Clemson cruised to the 19-4 victory.
Despite a tough outing from Nick Clayton, the Tiger bullpen once again shined, allowing zero runs and only two hits in 7.1 innings of work.
The brooms were out on Sunday as Clemson looked to cap the series with a sweep, and again the Tigers fell behind 1-0 in the first inning before tying it in the bottom half of the first. Down 4-3 in the seventh, Clemson tied the game on a bases-loaded walk, but left the bases loaded to end the inning.
Neither team could scratch another run in nine innings, so the game headed to extras knotted at 4-all. The Tigers came to bat in the bottom half of the 10th. With one out, first baseman Bryar Hawkins lined a shot to right field, just deep enough to bring shortstop Benjamin Blackwell home on a sacrifice fly to give Clemson the 5-4 victory.
All in all, that was about as well of an opening weekend as Monte Lee could ask for. The offense over-delivered on Friday and Saturday, and came through in the clutch when it mattered on Sunday. Pitching was phenomenal and the bullpen looked lights out. There is a lot of excitement around this bunch in 2022, and a great start was exactly what the doctor ordered as the Tigers look to return to the NCAA tournament and hopefully the College World Series in June.
Next up, Clemson looks forward to hosting College of Charleston on Tuesday night at Doug Kingsmore. First pitch is scheduled for 4pm.