Tigers, Hokies both looking for a turnaround in weekend series

Pitching, defense troublesome for Clemson in 6-5 start

Clemson's Jay Baum tags South Carolina's Grayson Greiner out at third in the fifth inning.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Clemson's Jay Baum tags South Carolina's Grayson Greiner out at third in the fifth inning.

Just into double-figures in games on the young season, the No. 15 Clemson Tigers and the visiting Virginia Tech Hokies are both eager for a reset.

Clemson (6-5) has lost four in a row, including a series sweep at the hands of the South Carolina over last weekend and a 18-10 drubbing at Western Carolina this week.

Virginia Tech (6-4) has played in a of couple tournaments – challenged at LSU in a 9-0 loss, and coming off a 7-0 defeat to instate William & Mary.

The Tigers have five losses in their first 11 games for the second time in three years, but just the third time since 2000.

Struggles in the field and on the mound have gone hand-in-hand so far.

A highly-touted pitching staff preseason was 12th in the ACC in team ERA after the weekend and that only ballooned after Tuesday's trip to Cullowhee, N.C.(4.78).

The Tigers were 11th in team fielding and added three more errors at Western, for a total of 20. Opponents have scored 15 unearned runs already this season (had 58 in 62 games last year).

Outside of one disastrous frame in Columbia, righty Friday Daniel Gossett (1-0) has put Clemson in a position to win in each of his three starts, with five earned runs over 16 2/3 innings. He has 19 strikeouts to four walks.

Sophomore left-handed starter Matthew Crownover (2-1) has had a decision in every effort, but in his last two starts, Crownover's suffered from five of his eight runs surrendered coming unearned.

After a shaky first effort, T.L. Hanna product Jake Long (1-0) has given up only three earned runs in his last 12 1/3 innings, with seven strikeouts to one walk.

Clemson's bats ranked second in the ACC in batting average and tied for third in RBIs after the weekend, but their two solo shots are tied for last.

Tyler Krieger paces the effort batting (.419), while freshman catcher Chris Okey has knocked in 12 RBIs.

The Hokies lost two of their top three weekend starters and three of their top-four hitters from a NCAAs hosting team last year.

The Tigers and Hokies play at 6:30 p.m. tonight and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.​

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Comments » 1

Sal#288333 writes:

How's your "road to Omaha " going so far Jack

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