Clemson Baseball hosts NC State following stumble against USC Upstate

The Tigers lost their fourth game of the season to the Spartans, but will look to rebound against the Wolfpack, who are on a five-game slide.

Clemson Baseball looks to shake off the USC Upstate loss by hosting a weekend series against the NC State Wolfpack at Doug Kingsmore Stadium starting Friday.

The Tigers swept their opponent last weekend, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, in South Bend, Indiana. Clemson was in typical form for the season on Friday and Saturday, rallying to overcome an early deficit.

Down 3-0 after two innings on Friday, the Tigers scored four runs in the eighth inning to propel them to a 7-3 win. Clemson followed that with a 3-2 victory fueled by a 7-inning outing from Ethan Darden.

Aidan Knaak continued his outstanding freshman season with his own 7-inning game on Sunday, not allowing a hit until the 7th. The bullpen was hit hard by the Irish, who tied the game and sent it to extra innings before the Tigers plated runs in the 11th to win 13-12.

Their six-game winning streak came to an end on Tuesday against Upstate. Clemson appeared to be on the comeback trail once again, tying the game 5-5 in the 7th inning before the Spartans cranked a grand slam to win the game 9-5.

Baseball seasons are long, even at the college level, and there will be ebbs and flows. The Tigers have seen solid production from their bullpen this season, so there isn’t reason to panic about two outings where their opponent has tied or taken the lead in the game.

Clemson is not immune to the injury bug, and it has bitten them lately, but there is good news incoming. Starting pitcher Tristan Smith is recovering and will return soon, per head coach Erik Bakich. Bakich says he won’t pitch against the Wolfpack but should be available soon after. That will help boost the pitching staff.

The Tigers will play evening contests against State on Friday and Saturday before an early afternoon game on Sunday. The Wolfpack are 18-12 this season but are on a five-game losing streak, having been swept in their weekend series against Louisville and dropping two mid-week games to East Carolina and UNC Wilmington.

The first pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:00 PM at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.