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Tigers drop series against Blue Devils 2-1: Clemson falls to 23-9, 8-7 in conference play

Ashley Stout, Asst. Photo Editor

Freshman right-handed pitcher Brooks Crawford (19) has a 2.59 BRA with 15 strikeouts and 11 walks on the season.

Clemson could not figure out the Duke pitchers over the weekend. All three games were low-scoring affairs,  with questions still looming over the Tiger’s hitting, all while far from the familiarity of Doug Kingsmore Stadium. 

Clate Schmidt suffered his first loss of the season, despite having an earned run average (ERA) above 4.50. He gave up 10 hits and a walk that led to four runs, all earned, and with five strikeouts in six innings pitched. Schmidt had some problems hitting the strike zone which got him behind in the count a lot of times. Instead of painting the corners, Schmidt had to throw strikes down the middle, where hitters could take advantage. The Blue Devils never had a big inning at the plate, but they just kept tacking on one run at a time until they had the lead. 

The Tigers’ bats started hot, but cooled considerably after the first two innings. Seth Beer led off the second with a single, but was forced out at second on Rohlman’s fielder’s choice. Rohlman got to second base on a wild pitch and then scored on Wilson’s triple off the right field wall. Robert Jolly hit a sacrifice fly to score Wilson, but that would be all the Tigers got that inning as White would ground out with the bases loaded.  The Tigers got another run in the fourth inning as Greene lined out to right field for a sacrifice, but again the Tigers couldn’t figure out a way to get more runners home with the bases loaded. 

     What really hurt Clemson on Friday were the double plays. The Tigers hit into three double plays, two of which ended innings with at least two men on base. The inability to put the ball in the outfield, or even getting productive outs, kept the Tigers from winning

this contest. 

Saturday’s game was a nail-biter as Clemson won it in the ninth inning off of a Chris Okey two-out, two-strike triple. 

“[I] got a pitch I could handle, and I did what I could with it. It fell and we got the [win] today,” Okey said after the game. 

“We’re never out of it, no matter the deficit. Whether we’re up by three or down by three, the energy is going to be the same.”

Clemson got an excellent performance from their starter, Charlie Barnes. Barnes threw a career-high eight innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Pat Krall came in in the ninth and did what he does best: get outs. Krall picked up his second save, pitching just one inning, a lot less than usual. 

“We had a lot of tough luck today. [We] hit some balls hard today that got caught and played from behind for most of the ballgame, but we never gave in. I thought Charlie Barnes was excellent today. He kept us in the ballgame. [He] threw the ball very, very well,” Head Coach Monte Lee said of the Tigers’ gritty performance. 

Seth Beer went 0-3 with two walks on Saturday, which ended his 26 game hitting streak. Beer’s streak is tied for fourth longest in school history.

Alex Eubanks pitched a wonderful game for the Tigers, but ultimately picked up the loss after allowing a two-run double in the sixth to put

the Blue Devils ahead for good. Eubanks threw 6.2 innings, giving up five hits, striking out six and walking just one. 

Once again, the double-play ball was the biggest culprit for killing Tiger rallies. Clemson hitters had three more of them on Sunday to bring their season total to 22, as opposed to their opponent’s having

just 13.

The Clemson Tigers’ next game will be hosting the Western Carolina Catamounts at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.  

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