Here are a few random thoughts on Clemson baseball one series and three games into a 56-game schedule.
Overall, I thought the Tigers played well in the three-game set with Binghamton last weekend, with a good mix of veterans and younger players starting, along with a transfer or two.
There’s only so much you can take away from a series such as this, against an apparently not very good mid-major type team. You hope for three wins and 0 injuries and I believe that’s what the Tigers got.
The starting pitching was fine, walking only two and giving up 2 runs in 14.2 innings across the three games.
In past years I’d already be worrying about going deeper into the games and maybe that’s a concern later in the season, but for now, I like the way the starters were managed and the moves to the bullpen appeared to be timed pretty well.
As for the bullpen, you can quibble and say maybe Nick Hoffman was left in a bit too long, but on the other hand, it was 10-1 and in the first game of the series you don’t want to burn too many pitchers in a lopsided game.
Willie Weiss was unable to close the second game out, but he threw the ball well and Bakich showed no fear in going to true freshman Tristan Smith, who looked electric in closing it out.
The bats struggled in game two, notching only 6 hits, but they were clutch when needed in the bottom of the eighth, which was a great example of vets and youth combining for the win.
The defense was solid for the most part, with an error on Benjamin Blackwell and a questionable one on Cooper Ingle the only real blemishes and a Tyler Corbitt throw from left to nail a runner at the plate a highlight.
In two of three games the baserunning was adequate and the Tigers stole 17 bases in 19 attempts, including 11 for 11 on opening day.
In game two, the old baserunning issues cropped up with two runners picked off and another running from second on routine fly ball to center field with less than two outs.
While it’s nice to win all three games, the outs on the bases could have been very costly and a 3-2 win over a team that committed 10 errors in 3 games, should not be ignored, even this early in the season.
It was very likely a one run game because of the mistakes on the bases.
Moving forward, the hope is the Tigers have learned from those mistakes and they won’t be repeated like they have been in previous seasons. Two of those mistakes were made by the same player, so it’s not a team-wide thing, alteast at this point.
It’s early and there are bound to be ups and downs, slumps and streaks, but freshman Cam Cannarella looks like he can play and Tristan Smith is going to be a stud before his time at Clemson is done.
Clemson baseball swept away Binghamton over the weekend, but better teams are ahead on the schedule
Three wins to open the season is a great start, on the other hand the competition wasn’t great and last year’s 14-0 start and 21-23 finish is still on my mind.
I think it was Bakich himself that said teams are judged on how they finish, not how they start.
Week 2 is already here with Charlotte on tap on Tuesday, before UCF visits Doug Kingsmore this coming weekend.