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Tigers Look to Bounce Back Against Paladins

Ashley Stout, Asst. Photo Editor

Freshman right fielder Seth Beer (28) has hit 11 home runs so far this season.

After being swept away by the Miami Hurricanes over the weekend, the Clemson baseball team looks to face off against the Paladins of Furman on Tuesday at Fluor Field in Greenville. Despite the weekend loss, Clemson has had an outstanding start to the season, attaining a 17-6 record overall. 

The Tigers exceeded expectations early and they went into this weekend ranked No. 12 in the nation after starting the season unranked. The losses to Miami will hurt the Tigers in the polls, but falling to the No. 4 team on the road should not strike a devastating blow to what has been a great season so far. A victory in a non-conference game, such as the one against Furman, would be a big momentum builder for Clemson, and a loss wouldn’t hurt their conference record. 

Furman is coming off of a 5-3 loss against Samford on Saturday, and they now hold a 10-13 record for the season. The Furman pitching staff has been a big part of their losing record as they have an earned run average (ERA) of 5.66 while allowing a .269 batting average to opponents. On the other hand, the Paladins’ hitting is a primary reason for their ten wins on the season. Furman averages 5.5 runs per game, a .288 batting average and a .353 on base percentage. Look for Jabari Richards and Jordan Simpson to do much of the damage, if any, against Clemson’s pitching staff. These two hitters combine for a third of Furman’s RBIs and have .395 and .372 batting

averages, respectively. 

Clemson should have no trouble with the Paladins if they can go back to playing like they have so far all season. The Tigers’ pitching staff has been phenomenal, holding a 3.06 ERA and an opponent batting average of .230. The bullpen did struggle this weekend against the Hurricanes but their numbers remain impressive.

 Meanwhile, Clemson’s hitting has also been stellar with a .288 batting average, .392 on base percentage and a little above seven runs per game. Freshman phenome Seth Beer is leading the Clemson hitters by a landslide. He has a .423 batting average and a .523 on base percentage. The Clemson hitters also struggled a bit against Miami, but they were still able to score 18 runs against the Canes, including seven home runs. Look for this Clemson lineup to explode against Furman’s struggling pitching staff. 

The one area of concern for the Tigers was frequently on display in the series against Miami. The Tigers have been plagued early in the season by costly errors. So far on the season they have had 33 in only 23 games. Errors are going to happen, but the real problem is that they seem to come in bunches and they always hurt Clemson. Against Miami on Saturday evening, the Tigers committed three errors, two of which led to runs being scored, which ultimately cost them the game. It hurts even more that Clemson has a young pitching staff that is going to rely heavily on the defense stepping up behind them. If the Tigers want to make a serious run this season, they have to clean up their defense. 

After a series loss against the Hurricanes, a win against the Paladins will give the Tigers some momentum heading into their game the very next day against Western Carolina. Following their trip to North Carolina, Clemson will travel back home to play an ACC series against Pittsburgh starting Friday, April 1. 

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