Monte Lee’s Clemson baseball team has now dropped consecutive weekend series.
After sweeping Cincinnati to open the season, the Tigers dropped two straight to rival South Carolina last weekend, and then dropped two out of three this weekend to Notre Dame to open ACC play.
After scoring 13 runs and pounding out 14 hits in the win to open the series on Friday night, the Clemson bats went cold.
In both of the losses to the Fighting Irish, the Tigers struggled offensively. On Saturday, Clemson managed just four hits in a 3-1 loss.
“Give Notre Dame credit,” Lee said Saturday. “Their pitching staff, John Michael Bertrand and Will Mercer out of the bullpen, both guys threw very well for them. Offensively we just couldn’t get anything going.”
Make no mistake, Notre Dame got outstanding pitching in Saturday’s game. The left-handers struck out eight Clemson hitters and kept them off balance all game.
However, on Sunday it was more of the same in a 3-2 loss. Clemson hitters managed just five hits on the day, but they were able to draw five walks.
The Tigers never could make anything out of the free-passes. They hit into two double-plays, left eight men on base, were 0-fer with runners in scoring position, and struck out 10 times.
“Bottom line is we just got to do a better job of being able to hit with runners in scoring position,” Lee said. “We just didn’t do it this weekend in two of the three games and it came back to bite us against a good Notre Dame club.”
Nine games into the season and Clemson sits at just 5-4 overall and 1-2 in ACC play. While the pitching has been good enough, the Tigers have struggled when it comes to doing the little things it takes to win baseball games. Baserunning has been abysmal and the situational hitting hasn’t been much better.
Next up for the Tigers is a Tuesday matchup with USC-Upstate at home, before the team travels to Chapel Hill next weekend for a three game set with North Carolina.