Clemson hits the road this weekend to face Georgia Tech with the Tigers looking for their first series win since opening weekend.
• Who – Clemson (14-8, 1-2 ACC) vs. Georgia Tech (14-7, 3-3 ACC)
• When – Friday (6 p.m.), Saturday (4 p.m.), Sunday (1 p.m.)
• Where – Atlanta, Ga. (Russ Chandler Stadium)
• Watch – ACC Network Extra
Clemson lost two out of three last weekend at home to Duke to open ACC play, leaving head coach Erik Bakich with more questions than answers.
“We’ve got the pieces, we’ve got to put them together,” Bakich said. “And when we don’t put them together and lose a series like this, and it’s the second time now at home we’ve either lost a series or been swept, it’s not OK. I guess that’s the reality of it.”
“This is Clemson. It means something to wear this uniform, and it’s about playing to a certain standard. You don’t lose at home. We’ve got to put the pieces together and figure it out.”
However, Bakich saw his team bounce-back in midweek action, beating Winthrop 8-5 at home on Tuesday and then using a late rally to get by Kennesaw State 6-2 on the road Wednesday.
Clemson got a strong start from Joe Allen in Wednesday’s victory, with the freshman going six innings and allowing just two runs. Reed Garris and Jackson Lindley would come out of the bullpen and combine to throw three scoreless innings in relief.
“Good team road win,” Bakich said. “We’re getting used to these nail biters. We love the close games and the theatrics. But great quality start from Joe Allen gave us six innings to runs and just did a fantastic job holding them down. As did read garrison and Jackson Lindley, a pitching staff to hold a team to two rounds on the road. That’s a big deal.”
With Ryan Ammons still out with a forearm injury, the Tigers will use the same rotation they have the past two weekends, with Austin Gordon getting the nod on Friday, freshman Tristan Smith going on Saturday and Caden Grice on Sunday.
• Friday – RHP Austin Gordon (CU) vs. RHP Dawson Brown (GAT)
• Saturday – LHP Tristan Smith (CU) vs. RHP Luke Schmolke (GAT)
• Sunday – LHP Caden Grice (CU) vs. RHP Jackson Finley (GAT)
• Clemson, who has a 1-1 road record, defeated Winthrop 8-5 at home on Tuesday and Kennesaw State 6-2 on the road on Wednesday.
• The Tigers are averaging 7.0 runs per game and hitting .297 with a .443 slugging percentage, .396 on-base percentage and 51 steals.
• The pitching staff has a 4.48 ERA, .258 opponents’ batting average and 2.77 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and Clemson is fielding .970.
GEORGIA TECH OVERVIEW
• Georgia Tech, who has an 11-3 home record and is averaging 9.0 runs per game, is led by 30th-year Head Coach Danny Hall.
• The Yellow Jackets lost at home 8-5 to Wofford on Tuesday. They are hitting .313 and have a 6.53 ERA and .974 fielding percentage.
• Jake DeLeo is hitting .427 with six homers, Jackson Finley is batting .359 with eight homers and 26 RBIs and Terry Busse has six saves.
• Of the 236 games of the series against Georgia Tech, 126 games have been played at Georgia Tech and 81 games have been played at Clemson.
• John Heisman was 1-1 as Clemson’s head coach (1901-03) versus Georgia Tech and 14-4-1 as Georgia Tech’s head coach (1904-17) versus Clemson.
• Eleven different Tigers have accounted for the team’s 14 wins and five different Tigers have accounted for the team’s six saves.
GARRIS GARNERING ATTENTION
• Sophomore Reed Garris was a catcher as a freshman in 2022, but has emerged as a dependable reliever in 2023.
• He is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA, .204 opponents’ batting average and 19 strikeouts against one walk in 13.1 innings pitched over 10 appearances.
• He has not allowed a homer.
• He is holding opponents to a .174 batting average with runners on base and .100 batting average with runners in scoring position.
• He has only allowed one of eight inherited baserunners to score.
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