Their five-game non-conference winning streak behind them, the Clemson baseball team resumed its ACC free-fall with a 2-1 loss Saturday night to last-place, No. 200+ RPI Notre Dame at Frank Eck Field in South Bend.
It was the fifth straight conference loss for the Tigers, who dipped to 12-12 in the ACC and 30-21 overall. Clemson has now dropped nine of its last 12 conference contests, and has scored more than three runs in just three of those games: four runs in losses to Pittsburgh and NC State, and seven in a victory over Virginia.
The Tigers scratched out just four hits Friday night against Notre Dame, which had lost six straight coming into the series.
Trailing 2-0 since giving up a pair of runs in the third, the Tigers had good scoring chances in both the eighth and ninth innings, but failed to deliver with runners in scoring position.
In the eighth, Notre Dame walked the first two Tigers batters, who when advanced on a wild pitches, putting runners on second and third with no outs. After Tyler Krieger was retired on a line-out, Garrett Boulware brought in the Tigers' lone run with a sacrifice fly.
The Tigers put runners on first and third with one out in the ninth, but back-to-back strikeouts by Tyler Slaton and Steve Duggar ended the game.
While Clemson was losing to Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami, Virginia, Maryland and NC State grabbed victories in their weekend openers.
Miami (36-14, 20-5) beat Duke (30-19, 15-10) by a 6-1 score to stay atop the overall ACC standings. Virginia (39-9, 19-6) was a 4-3 winner over Georgia Tech (29-21, 14-14), while FSU (38-11, 18-7) shut out UNC (29-20, 13-12) by a 7-0 margin.
Maryland (31-19, 13-14) routed Pittsburgh (22-25, 11-14) by a score of 21-1. It was the fourth straight ACC win for the Terps. NC State (28-20, 10-15) was a 9-1 winner over Wake Forest (26-23, 12-13).
Duke continues to hold fourth place in the overall ACC standings, followed by UNC, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Wake Forest, and Pittsburgh. Less than two games separate the Tar Heels and the Deacons.
Virginia has the nation's top RPI, with FSU third, Miami 14th, Georgia Tech 31st, Maryland 32nd, Clemson 42nd, UNC 47th, NC State 69th, Duke 72nd, Wake Forest 86th, Pitt 106th, Virginia Tech 121st, BC 149th and Notre Dame 201st.
Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc