Freshman Tristan Smith to Make First Start for Clemson

Blake Wright (Jason Priester All Clemson)

Clemson hits the road for the first time this season as the Tigers will travel to Fluor Field in Greenville to face USC-Upstate in a neutral site game.

After starting the season winners of four straight, Erik Bakich’s team has now lost three consecutive games after being swept by UCF over the weekend.

“Really disappointing weekend overall,” Bakich said. “Mostly in just the way we played. I mean it was one of those weekends where things statistically, if you look at the runs scored in the first six innings of the game it was pretty even, and we just let each game slip away, all three of them, late.

Who – Clemson (4-3) vs. USC Upstate (6-2)
When – Tuesday (4 p.m.)
Where – Greenville, S.C. (Fluor Field)
Watch – ESPN+

Overall Record – Clemson leads 6-1 (2009-22)
Record at Neutral – Clemson leads 1-0 (2022)

USC-Upstate comes in having lost two out of three after playing in the OneSpartanburg Inc. Classic last weekend. After losing 13-6 to Michigan State on Friday and 11-3 to Towson on Saturday, the Spartans rebounded to knock off Northwestern 9-0 on Sunday.

Lefty Tristan Smith will get the nod for Clemson, as the freshman will make his first career start. In two relief appearances, Smith has struck out three hitters in 1.1 innings of work, while recording one save.

• LHP Tristan Smith (CU) vs. LHP Al Holguin (SCU)

While the weekend sweep was not the result anyone had hoped for, Bakich is hoping his team will learn and grow from the experience.

“This will be a very good team to learn and grow from as this season goes on,” Bakich said. “Getting some adversity early, we’re going to get the positive out of it. That’s the only thing I know how to do. That’s the only thing that we’re going to do.”

• Clemson, who has yet to play a neutral game this season, was swept by UCF at Doug Kingsmore Stadium last weekend.
• The Tigers are averaging 8.1 runs per game and hitting .309 with a .490 slugging percentage, .411 on-base percentage and 26 steals.
• The pitching staff has a 4.00 ERA, .272 opponents’ batting average and 2.84 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and Clemson is fielding .965.

• USC Upstate, who has yet to play a neutral game and is averaging 8.5 runs per game, is led by fourth-year Head Coach Mike McGuire.
• The Spartans won one of three games at home last weekend. They are hitting .281 and have a 4.38 ERA and .957 fielding percentage.
• Daniel Gernon is batting .500 with a .607 on-base percentage, while Grant Sherrod is hitting .455 with two homers and 11 RBIs.

• Clemson is the designated visiting team against USC Upstate at Fluor Field and occupies the third-base dugout.
• Clemson has outscored its opponents 16-0 in the fourth inning in 2023.
• Tiger batters have only struck out 41 times in seven games (5.9 per game).

• Clemson has a 29-7 all-time record in 36 games at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C.
• The Tigers have outscored the opposition 285-143 at Fluor Field, an average score of 7.9-4.0.
• The only teams to defeat Clemson at Fluor Field are South Carolina (2010,11,14,15,21), Presbyterian (2011) and Michigan State (2015).
• Clemson has won 13 of its last 14 games at Fluor Field dating to 2015. The only loss came against South Carolina on Feb. 27, 2021.
• Clemson defeated USC Upstate 11-2 in the only previous meeting at Fluor Field on April 12, 2022.
• Clemson is 0-0 under Head Coach Erik Bakich at Fluor Field.

**Clemson Athletics Communications contributed to this story

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