Clemson baseball, welcome back to the bubble.
After taking a five-game winning streak on the road this weekend, Notre Dame – which had four wins in its first 24 conference games – battered Tiger pitching in a 11-3 win to take the series.
The Irish ranked No. 205 in the latest official RPI, winning only their second series of the season.
With four games left before the ACC Tournament, the Tigers sit at 31-21 overall and 13-13 in ACC play and need every win they can get to keep playing: Furman at Fluor Field on Tuesday and the final conference series at home against Boston College to go.
The Clemson pitching that had held Notre Dame to two runs in 10 hits over the series split Friday and Saturday never found its finale footing.
The Tiger lineup provided some early hope with run-producing hits from left fielder Garrett Boulware (RBI double) and second baseman Steve Wilkerson (2-RBI single) for a 3-0 lead in the 1st.
The Irish answered, however, with their first three batters reaching on sophomore left-hander Zack Erwin (4-3), matching the score.
Erwin earned the weekend third-starter role after posting 19 strikeouts and only five earned runs over his previous 18 innings. He didn’t have that caliber of “stuff” in South Bend.
The southpaw gave up his fourth run after giving up his fourth hit and was pulled two outs into the second frame. Notre Dame was far from done.
Facing former Tigers’ third-starter Jake Long in relief, the Irish lineup sent home runs to left field, right field and then right field again to take a 10-3 lead in the fifth. Last in the ACC in runs, Notre Dame (19-31, 6-21) had homered seven times all season previously.
Part of the power surge, first baseman Phil Mosey knocked out his first home run of the season, bringing in four runs on the game. Also contributing, right fielder Robert Youngdahl went 4-for-5 with three extra-base hits (two 2B/HR) and three RBI.
It was an embarrassment of riches in run support for Notre Dame junior right-hander Scott Kerrigan (3-1), who cruised along after the first.
In fact, Kerrigan didn’t allow a hit over his final seven innings of work, retiring 15 in a row at one point.
Clemson has lost six of its last seven conference games.