Overall Season Record: 18-8
ACC Regular-Season Record: 6-6
Last Week: 4-1
Tue. W home vs. Elon, 5-4
Wed. W home vs. Elon, 2-1
Fri. W away vs. Maryland, 2-1
Sat. L away vs. Maryland, 5-3
Sun. W away vs. Maryland, 6-2
Tue. Away vs. Georgia, 7:00 PM
Wed. Home vs. Georgia, 7:15 PM
Fri. Away vs. Miami (FL), 7:00 PM
Sat. Away vs. Miami (FL), 7:00 PM
Sun. Away vs. Miami (FL), 1:00 PM
Clemson won two one-run games against Elon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on March 25,26. The Tigers outscored the Phoenix 7-5 and outhit Elon .228 to .148. Mike Freeman went 4-for-6 with three runs scored and two walks in the two games. The Tiger pitching staff had a 2.50 ERA and allowed just nine hits and three walks with 20 strikeouts. Clemson did not commit an error in the two-game series as well.
In game-one on March 25, Ben Paulsen's solo home run in the fifth inning proved to be the difference in Clemson's 5-4 victory over Elon. The Tigers scored three runs in the fourth inning, as the last two runs came on a dropped flyball with two outs. Elon put its leadoff batter on base in both the eighth and ninth innings, but Casey Harman and Matt Vaughn closed the door in each frame to preserve the win. Matt Zoltak earned the victory in relief, while Vaughn pitched a hitless and scoreless ninth inning to pick up the save. Freeman had a game-high three hits and two runs scored, while Paulsen added a double, homer, and two runs scored for the Tigers, who outhit the Phoenix 8-5.
In game-two on March 26, Craig Gullickson, Justin Sarratt, and Ryan Hinson combined to retire the last 18 batters of the game in Clemson's 2-1 win over Elon. In the fifth inning, Doug Hogan's run-scoring single and Kyle Parker's bases-loaded walk gave the Tigers the lead for good. Meanwhile, Clemson's trio of pitchers combined to allow just four hits, one run, and no walks with 13 strikeouts. Gullickson earned the win in 5.0 innings of work, while Hinson pitched 2.0 perfect innings with three strikeouts to record the save. Sarratt also pitched 2.0 perfect innings in relief with two strikeouts. Hogan had two hits and one RBI for the Tigers, who drew eight walks.
Clemson then won two of three games at Maryland from March 28-30. The Tigers, who outscored the Terrapins 11-8 in the series, outhit Maryland .272 to .189, while Clemson's pitching staff had a 1.38 ERA. Freeman led the Tigers at the plate by going 5-for-11 (.455), while Jeff Schaus was 5-for-12 (.417) with three doubles. The Tiger pitching staff allowed just 17 hits, four earned runs, and six walks with 19 strikeouts as well.
In game-one on March 28, Clemson held on to defeat Maryland 2-1. The Tigers built a 2-0 lead thanks in part to Parker's two-out, run-scoring single in the sixth inning. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Maryland had runners on first and second with no outs. Nick Jowers' bunt was thrown away by D.J. Mitchell, allowing a run to score, the tying run to move to third base, and the winning run advance to second base with no outs. More runs could have scored on the play if not for the ball being ruled "dead" after bouncing into a Maryland player's jacket in its bullpen area. But Harman and Vaughn combined to retire the next three batters without allowing a run to preserve the win. Mitchell allowed just five hits and no earned runs in 8.0 innings pitched to earn the win, while Vaughn picked up the save. Freeman had a game-high three hits.
In game-two on March 29, Maryland took advantage of two key Tiger errors to defeat Clemson 5-3. Clemson built a 3-0 lead after three innings, highlighted by Stan Widmann's run-scoring double in the second inning. But the Terrapins put their leadoff batter on base in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, as they took a 4-3 lead. Maryland's two runs in the fourth inning and one run in the fifth inning all came after costly Clemson errors. The Tigers left 11 runners on base, including eight in scoring position, while Maryland left just three runners on base and totaled six hits. Schaus had two of Clemson's four doubles. The Tigers' 33-inning streak of not allowing an earned run in an ACC game came to an end in the sixth inning.
In game-three on March 30, Clemson scored four runs in the final two innings to top Maryland 6-2. The Tigers scored two runs in the first inning, only to see the Terrapins tie the score with two runs in the fourth inning. In the eighth inning, Widmann, making his first career appearance off the bench, hit a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to score the go-ahead run. The Tigers added three insurance runs in the ninth inning, highlighted by Hogan's two-run single. Hinson pitched 7.0 strong innings, allowing six hits, two runs, and one walk with eight strikeouts to earn the win. Paulsen totaled three hits, including two doubles, to lead the Tigers' 13-hit attack.
During the week, the Tigers hit .256 with a .351 on-base percentage, while the pitching staff had a 1.84 ERA and .172 opponents' batting average.
Freeman led the Tigers with a .529 batting average (9-for-17) on the week. He also walked four times and had a .619 on-base percentage. Paulsen went 8-for-20 (.400) with three doubles and a homer.
Hinson earned a save and win in two outings this past week. In 9.0 innings pitched, he allowed just six hits (five singles, one double), two runs, and one walk with 11 strikeouts. He also faced just 33 batters (six over the minimum). Vaughn also earned two saves in three relief appearances.
The Tigers have an 18-8 overall record and 6-6 ACC mark. The team is hitting .308 with a .389 on-base percentage and 90 extra-base hits in 26 games. The Tigers also sport a .964 fielding percentage.
Freeman leads the team with a .381 batting average and .451 on-base percentage. Parker is hitting .360 with six homers and 17 RBIs, while Paulsen is hitting .344 with seven homers and 19 RBIs. Hogan has added 10 doubles, seven homers, and 30 RBIs as well.
The pitching staff has a 3.83 ERA and .255 opponents' batting average. In the last nine games, Clemson has a 1.69 ERA and .196 opponents' batting average. During that time, Tiger pitchers have also struck out 72 against only 17 walks in 80.0 innings pitched. In the last two ACC series (against N.C. State and Maryland), Tiger pitchers have held lefthanded batters to just seven hits in 75 at-bats (.093) as well.
The Tigers have gotten outstanding starting efforts of late, including its weekend rotation of Mitchell, Graham Stoneburner, and Hinson. Stoneburner has a 4-0 record and 2.31 ERA, Mitchell has a 3-2 record and 2.61 ERA, and Hinson has his ERA down to 4.75. In 20.0 innings pitched, Harman has allowed just one walk with 21 strikeouts, while Vaughn has eight saves.
Clemson will continue its stretch of road games on Tuesday when it plays at Georgia. After Georgia returns the trip to Clemson on Wednesday, the Tigers will travel to Coral Gables, FL to play at Miami (FL) in a three-game series over the weekend.
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