The Clemson baseball team will look to rebound this weekend in a series against in-state rival South Carolina. Can the offense come alive?
The Clemson baseball team suffered its first loss of the season Tuesday night in a 5-3 game against East Tennessee State.
Though the Tigers got off to one of their best starts in several years- winning their first seven- there were concerns about the lack of offensive production in each of those games. Through the first eight, Clemson has yet to score more than six runs in a ballgame (a 6-2 win over Liberty) and the Tigers haven’t scored more than three runs against any opponent not named Liberty to begin the season.
Now, Clemson will face its toughest test of the season in the form of in-state rival South Carolina.
As always, the two teams will play a three-game set with one game being played in Clemson, one at South Carolina, and one neutral-site game. This year, the Tigers and Gamecocks will play in Columbia Friday night, followed by a neutral-site match-up at Segra Park in Columbia (talk about a fake neutral-site venue) and then finish the series Sunday at Clemson.
As we head into this series, there are two main questions:
- Can the bats come to life?
- Can this pitching dominance continue?
South Carolina has three solid starters that they’ll put on the mound this weekend. As a matter of fact, Carmen Mlodzinski (Friday night starter) has a chance to be one of the top picks in the upcoming MLB Draft with a solid spring.
It will be interesting to see how a Clemson offense- which has come out cold, for the most part- responds to hot pitching.
The Tigers will also rely on those starting pitchers -Sam Weatherly, Davis Sharpe, Spencer Strider and Mat Clarke (who will piggyback with Strider)- to get deep into games and then turn the game over to that deep bullpen.
As we look at this match-up, it’s clear that Clemson has the pitching depth and talent to compete with the Gamecocks, but the Tigers have to come alive offensively to have a chance at winning the series.