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Tiger’s offensive struggles suprising


The Clemson Tigers have struggled with sporadic, nebulous pitching off and on throughout the season, but this past weekend’s series against Duke that saw the Tigers drop two out of three on the road featured sparse hitting. Failing to exceed eight hits in any of the three games, Clemson was shockingly impotent from the plate in Durham.

The biggest downfall for the Tigers over the weekend was the lack of heavy    production from sluggers Seth Beer and  Chase Pinder. Note the word “heavy.” For the first time all season, the two catalysts were not spectacular in the hitting department, leaving the Tigers’ primary problem fully exposed.

There has been too much reliance on Beer and Pinder producing from the plate on a consistent basis. In baseball, that is too much to ask. Slumps, especially short-term ones, are to be expected, and Beer cannot be expected to crush a 450-foot home run game in and game out. Coming into the series ranked number No. 12 nationally, the Tigers were being carried by   Beer and   Pinder, but other reliable  sources of plate  production must come into being if the Tigers are to compete for the national title.

After getting Beer to ground out late in the rubber match of the series, Duke  pitcher Brian McAfee  considered  himself lucky,  telling the media following  the game, “It was a little bit of luck there. The guy’s probably the best hitter I’ve ever faced there — one of the best, if not the best, hitters in the country and incredible for a freshman.” True as that may be, even the best hitters  ground out in crucial situations sometimes. It happens.

Clemson’s lackluster offensive showing can be partially chalked up to the team’s propensity to struggle on the road. Clemson had yet to sweep a three-game road series upon its visit to Durham and had only taken two out of three in one such series. Now, the Tigers will have to rebound quickly, as they take on the ninth-ranked Louisville Cardinals  in  Kentucky this  weekend. A far cry from  the bottom feeder Blue Devils, the Cardinals were recently  ranked as high as No. 4 in the country and will be looking to put together a quality performance against a good Clemson team to better solidify their chances of being named a  national seed for the NCAA Tournament.

Unlike Duke, Louisville’s pitching staff is heralded and widely considered to be formidable. That being     said, the Tigers need a test like this to spark an offensive overhaul because the ACC Tournament is a little over a month away, and manufacturing from the plate will not get any easier.  

The Duke series was a bit of a disappointment

 for  the Tigers, but  there is  still plenty of  time left to develop into more of a rhythm offensively and become a valiant national championship contender.

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