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Tigers Tackle Terriers: Clemson defeated Wofford 7-0

Clemson sophomore outfielder Reed Rohlman (26) has a .417 batting average so far this season.
Ashley Stout, Asst. Photo Editor

Clemson sophomore outfielder Reed Rohlman (26) has a .417 batting average so far this season.

While many Clemson students were studying for midterms, the Tiger baseball team had a test of their own to take. An in-state opponent — one that Clemson has grown more than familiar with over the years — was coming to town, riding a red-hot streak to open the season. Spartanburg’s own Wofford Terriers arrived to take on the Tigers. The Terriers’ blistering offense seemed more than ready to put the still-maturing Tiger team under scrutiny.

It was by no means a marquee game, but it was important for Monte Lee’s squad early in the season. Last year’s team had a tendency to drop midweek games similar to this after some facet of the team — offense, defense or pitching — failed to carry through all nine innings. This was not the case Tuesday night, as the Tigers once again performed admirably in each position en route to victory.

Sophomore lefty Alex Schnell took the mound for the Tigers in his first career start and quickly found himself in a jam as the first two Terriers to bat each reached base. However, a flyout, strikeout and baserunner caught stealing would end the threat. 

The Tiger batters responded with an advance of their own in the bottom half of the first, as Chase Pinder and Eli White reached on singles, and Reed Rohlman hit a sacrifice fly to right that allowed Pinder to reach third base. The next play, Pinder was brought home by Chris Okey on a hit-and-run play, giving the Tigers the first run of the game.

The next two innings were largely uneventful while the pitchers settled into a groove. The fourth inning put an end to that.

With two on base and one out in the top of the inning, Coach Lee went to his bullpen, sending Alex Eubanks to the mound to get the Tigers out of the pickle. As he has frequently done early in the season, Eubanks got Clemson out of the inning unscathed, retiring the next two Wofford batters.

In the bottom of the fourth, Rohlman led off with a single up the middle and took second on a pitch lost by Wofford catcher Carson Waln. A Seth Beer single put runners at the corners for Weston Wilson, who promptly singled through the left side of the infield to plate the Tigers’ second run. A fielding error during the next at-bat scored Beer from second, and an Adam Renwick sac fly thereafter sent Wilson home, giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead and bouncing Wofford starting pitcher John Caskey from the game.

The Tigers continued adding to their lead over the next two innings. In the fifth, White and Rohlman reached on a walk and a single, respectively, allowing Okey to drive them both home with a double up the middle. The Tigers would add one more run in the sixth as Rohlman brought home Pinder with the bases loaded via a flyout, but the bats would be silent thereafter.

Fortunately, they didn’t need any more runs. Eubanks combined with Pat Krall and Alex Bostic to hold the Terriers to only one hit over the final 6.2 innings, continuing the good work that the bullpen had done early on in the season and sealing a 7-0 victory for the Tigers.

After a win in which nearly everything went right, this Tiger team knows how well they’re playing. 

“I don’t see how we could [be any more confident]. I think we’re going to be very confident going into the weekend,” Coach Lee told the press. “We’ve pitched well. We’ve played good defensively. We’ve hit well. The bullpen has done a nice job. There’s just a lot of positives going into this weekend.”

The Tigers have to hope that these positives will carry over into this weekend, as the long-anticipated series against the Gamecocks rolls around. Clemson travels to Columbia Friday night to begin the series, with game two set for Saturday afternoon in Greenville and game three on Sunday in Doug Kingsmore.

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