Tigers find answers in sweep of Eagles
CLEMSON - After falling out of the Baseball America top 25 rankings following losing back-to-back, competitive series against top 10 teams in South Carolina and North Carolina, perhaps Clemson began to settle and find answers against Boston College completing a sweep of the Eagles with a 5-1 win Sunday.
“Our pitching was pretty good all weekend long,” Leggett said. “We played pretty well defensively. We had some spurts offensively where we looked pretty good and some other times where we have to keep improving.”
Leggett might have identified a critical offensive sparkplug by elevating second baseman Steve Wilkerson to the leadoff spot. In four games batting first, Wilkerson has gone 10 for 22.
“He’s a tough out,” Leggett said. “He can run a little bit. He’s a switch hitter so it’s tough to pitch to him and he runs the bases well. He has a little grit to him.”
Clemson (9-8, 3-3 ACC) also showcased more power over the weekend against Boston College (6-11, 0-3)
The Tigers combined for seven extra-base hits and star slugger Richie Shaffer only accounted for one of them, a far cry from the South Carolina series when Shaffer’s OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) was 2.356 and the rest of the Clemson team combined for a .476 OPS.
Brad Felder, a transfer from The Citadel, homered on Saturday and Sunday and added the go-ahead RBI in the third inning Sunday. He also stole a base showcasing his intriguing power- and-speed combination.
Still, this is a team with little margin for error meaning its starting pitchers and defense must be effective.
Kevin Brady struck out nine in picking up his first win of the season Friday. No. 2 starter Dominic Leone allowed just one hit and over 5 2/3 innings Saturday, showing improved command (two walks), and Kevin Pohle (3-0) made a second straight quality start as a the No. 3 allowing just one run over 6 2/3 innings, showing good command of a live fastball against the Eagles.
“He’s just throwing the ball downhill and throwing the ball with some good sink,” Leggett said.
It was the sinkerballer’s second straight quality start after allowing just two runs over six innings against North Carolina.