Tigers Set for ACC Tourney
The Clemson Tigers are gearing up for a competitive ACC Baseball Tournament. After finishing the regular season with 12 straight wins, these Tigers are as hot as any team with championship aspirations.
In fact, Clemson’s recent success is perhaps even more impressive than Tiger fans realize. In their last 20 games, Clemson has gone 18-2, implying that their potential may be far higher than an appearance in the conference championship game.
However, the road to the ACC championship will not be an easy one, and while Clemson certainly has the capability to advance in the tournament, it will not be an easy undertaking.
The ACC tournament opens with three-team round robin pool play, organized by seeding. The winners of the four pools will advance to a semifinal match, with the winners facing off for the championship.
Clemson enters the tournament as the no. 3 seed, and will face off against no. 6 seeded Boston College and no. 10 seeded Virginia Tech.
While Clemson owns the season record against both of these clubs–the Tigers took 2 of 3 against the Eagles in Massachusetts at the end of April, and swept the Hokies on the road in mid-May–advancing in the tournament will not be as simple as winning in the regular season.
Baseball is a game of inches, and when advancing comes down to just two games, anything can happen. Though the Tigers are objectively the best team in their pool, they are matched up against two very competent teams. Ultimately, results may just come to timely hitting.
If the Tigers do advance, they will face the winner of Pool B, which includes Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech. Virginia was one of the few ACC teams Clemson did not see during the 2023 regular season. They closed the regular season out with a three game sweep over what was a red-hot UNC team, but dropped two of three against the Yellowjackets prior to their mid-season turnaround.
However, since that turnaround, Clemson has been viewed as the hottest team in the country, and a club with the potential to do some real damage in the postseason.
Expectations for the Tournament
There’s no debate over who the favorite coming into the tournament is. Wake Forest is the number one team in the country. Between their lethal pitching, and a dangerous lineup, it seems the Deacons are one of the few programs that would be a safe bet to reach Omaha.
Behind them, however, it seems the Tigers are probably the second-best contenders for the title. The Tigers have not lost back to back games since their series against the Deacons in late May. The Clemson Tigers have looked superior to all other opponents since.
With this in mind, it seems anything short of advancing from pool play would be a disappointment for Clemson fans. In fact, given their recent success, Tiger fans would feel cheated by anything short of a championship game appearance.
These are high aspirations for a ball club that began just 2-7 in conference play. But, having gone 18-3 in their final 7 ACC series, it feels as though this team has elevated themselves as legitimate conference championship contenders.
But in order to reach such heights, Clemson must first take care of business in their pool.
Clemson will open tournament play Wednesday, May 24th, at 7:00 PM against Virginia Tech, and will continue against the Eagles on Friday, May 26th at 11:00 AM. Both matches will be broadcast on ACC Network.