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Tigers need to perform well against Fighting Irish

The Clemson Tigers faced off against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers on Tuesday night, which marked the final home game of the regular season for the Tigers. Now, Clemson will be fighting for the right to play in the friendly confines of Doug Kingsmore Stadium in the NCAA Baseball Tournament regionals.
Currently ranked No. 16 in the nation, Clemson is cutting close with regard to being a regional host, as there are 16 total in the tournament. Of course, the ACC Tournament could make or break the Tigers’ chances next week, but Clemson’s final road series of the year, versus the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this weekend, is highly important as well.
Clemson has not performed particularly well on the road during conference play this year, and that is a key component of the selection committee’s checklist in determining regional hosts. While typically a formidable opponent, Notre Dame is a less than stellar 27-24 overall and 11-14 in ACC action. Therefore, Clemson had the perfect opportunity in front of them to make that sub-par conference road record a little less conspicuous.
Ace pitcher Clate Schmidt started against CSU, but the Tigers’ pitching staff as a whole has been impressive as of late, clearly stepping up their game following the 20-9 shellacking put on them by the N.C. State Wolfpack a few weeks ago. Schmidt should also be available this weekend since his appearance against CSU was short.
            With one of the strongest offenses in the ACC, Clemson will be facing off against one of the weakest in Notre Dame. The Tigers should expect to fare well at the plate against the Irish this weekend. As a result, a sweep should be their goal.
As for what is at stake, the right to host a regional must be weighing heavily on the minds of the Clemson players and especially the Clemson coaches. Speaking recently on what it would mean for Clemson to host a regional this season, head coach Monte Lee said, “Obviously, we would love to host. There’s no question about it. That’s really beyond our control outside of the next game.” Typical “coach-speak,” Lee made it clear that the games that lay ahead are more important to his team than a decision made solely by an impartial committee. However, Lee assuredly wants the Tigers to receive a right to host a regional, but, in order to that, a solid performance against the Fighting Irish this weekend is a must.

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