Tigers Sweep Hokies

CLEMSON – In many ways, it's a shame the Clemson baseball team doesn't play another game for exactly a week, because it is without question playing the best it has all season.

For the fourth straight game, the offense, pitching and defense have all been very good at the exact same time, which is something that has happened very little this year.

Once again, the Tigers committed no errors and pounded out 10 hits as they went on to the 7-3 victory over Virginia Tech (17-27, 3-21 ACC) Sunday afternoon to sweep the three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

But all the momentum is coming to a halt, as No. 9 Clemson (33-13, 15-6 ACC) won't take the field until it suits up at Duke next Sunday.

"You really never know (if the break for exams is a good thing)," Tigers coach Jack Leggett said. "Everybody's got this. It might be a good thing because we've got some guys that are banged up."

The biggest issue at hand is trying to keep the offense hot. Over the last four games, it has pounded out 39 runs on 46 hits.

"We won't see live pitching for a week, so that makes it a little different," Leggett said. "We just want to try to keep our rhythm going coming out of exams."

While most of the Tigers agree that the extended time off could alter their level of play, they also feel it comes at a perfect time because of some nagging injuries to key guys, such as a bad ankle for shortstop Stan Widmann and a bad wrist and finger for center fielder Brad Chalk. There are others, but those are the most serious.

"I think in a way, it could hurt us," pitcher Josh Cribb said. "But in the long run, it could help us."

One aspect that shouldn't be affected is the team's defense, which has been outstanding. In Clemson's last five games, it's committed only one error.

"Every team goes through phases where they don't play well," Leggett said. "We hit a lull there when we were pressing offensively and defensively. We just had to ride out that storm a little bit."

As far as pitching is concerned, the Tigers have never had a problem there, as evident by David Kopp, who earned his first-career ACC start against the Hokies Sunday.

He did all that he was asked to do as he allowed just two runs over six innings of work to improve to 3-1 on the season.

"If everything is clicking like it has been, there might be a team that's as good as us, but there isn't one better," right fielder Travis Storrer said. "We'll be the same team when we come back."

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