The Tigers got solid pitching from starter Robert Rohrbaugh and the key hits from Kris Harvey and Andy D'Alessio to beat No. 9 North Carolina 7-3 Sunday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium and take the best-of-three series 2-1.
"I was proud of the way our kids bounced back after a tough loss Friday night," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. "You never know how that can leak into the next day or how it can bother you a day or two later."
The outing by Rohrbaugh (1-1), who went 6-1/3 innings and allowed six hits and two earned runs, was just the latest in good pitching by the Tigers.
For the series, Clemson's three starters in Josh Cribb, Harvey and Rohrbaugh combined to pitch 21 innings, allow 15 hits and just four earned runs, while striking out 19.
"We wanted to prove a point that we have one of the best staffs in the ACC," Rohrbaugh said. "Everybody stepped up this weekend and did their job."
Why this series was so important to Clemson (8-8, 2-1 ACC) was because it had lost six of its previous eight games heading into Saturday. Moreover, the Tigers took the series against a quality team, not against the likes of Maryland or Duke.
"It was real important to get off to a good start here because it helps our confidence," Rohrbaugh said. "Hopefully we can build on that because we're a young team. We're learning right now how to win."
Of course it's nice to get the type of pitching Clemson got, but there also needs to be offense as proved by the Tigers' 2-1 loss Friday night.
Harvey single-handedly made sure the offense was going to produce plenty of runs. After hitting two home runs Saturday, he went 2-for-4 Sunday, with a double and four RBIs.
In his last four games, Harvey, a junior, is 6-for-13 with three homers, a double, five runs scored and 10 RBIs.
"I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable in the box," he said. "I'm seeing some better pitches to hit. …
"I made a few adjustments this week and I'm just so much more comfortable in the box. My hands feel stronger and quicker and my head is staying still and I'm seeing the ball a lot better."
Another factor for Clemson's win Sunday was the three-run home run hit by D'Allesio in fourth inning, which came after the Tar Heels (15-5, 2-2 ACC) had taken a 1-0 lead in the top half of the inning.
"What we did today was we got rebound runs," Leggett said. "They got one, we got three. They got two in another inning and we got two. We answered them every time they scored."
Not to be overlooked is the Clemson defense, which committed only two errors in the entire series. North Carolina committed eight, including four on Sunday, which led to two unearned runs.
For a weekend, it all came together for the Tigers. But to a man, the team feels like this is going to be the norm rather than the exception.
"We're going to grow as we go along," Leggett said. "We've got a lot of young players and it does take a while for them to figure things out."
Tigers Take Series 2-1
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