Taking Care of Business

CLEMSON – Every day, at least one coach on the Clemson baseball team reminds the players exactly what it will take in order for the Tigers to host a regional. A week ago, it was thought they would need to win six of their last seven games to do so.

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"We constantly remind them about everything all the time," Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said. "Everyday you've got to remind them how important this ball game is, how important the ball game is on Thursday and Friday and Saturday and in the (ACC) Tournament and so forth. There's not a day that goes by that we don't talk to them about what they have to do."

The Tigers certainly have taken heed of late, sweeping all three games at Wake Forest over the weekend and by taking care of business against No. 20 College of Charleston 8-5 Tuesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium for their sixth straight win.

The Tigers are now within striking distance of achieving their goals of winning at least six their last seven games. All that stands in the way now of No. 24 Clemson is No. 4 Miami, which comes to Clemson Thursday for a three-game set.

"I don't know if it's going to take a sweep (over Miami) for us to host," said third baseman Herman Demmink. "If we win the weekend, I know we're going to be top two or three in the ACC. … The (coaches) have mentioned it, but they don't want to put too much pressure on us."

But pressure is exactly when the Tigers (34-19) seem to thrive. After starting out the season just barely above .500, they have bounced back and are 19-6 over their last 25 games.

"We had a good talk when we were 28 games into it, exactly the halfway point, and said we have a chance to turn this season around or we could just stay on the course that we are right now and we'll be frustrated and nobody's going to remember you," Leggett said. "I think we took it as a personal challenge to try and turn this thing around and try and play better baseball and the kids have been doing that. We're playing with some pretty good confidence right now."

That self-belief was evident against the Cougars (41-11) Tuesday night. Even though College of Charleston scored a run in the top of the first and three more in the third, Clemson never gave in.

The Tigers answered with a run of their own in the first, second and fourth innings, before hanging a three spot on the board in the fifth to grab a 6-4 lead. The Tigers added two more runs to close out their scoring.

David Kopp (4-3) took the win, while teammate Andy D'Alessio cranked his 14th home run of the year, to set up this weekend's showdown with the Hurricanes.

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