CLEMSON - As long as Clemson gets starting pitching like this, the Tigers have a chance.
Suddenly-scorching right-hander Daniel Gossett was named ACC pitcher of the week for his seven-strikeout, three-hit shutout Saturday at Pittsburgh, lifting the Tigers (24-15, 12-8 ACC) to their fourth win in five games at the time.
Gossett is 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA on the year, with 57 strikeouts against just 19 walks in 60 innings pitched over nine starts. Opponents are hitting .183 against the junior, who missed a start April 5 in the N.C. State series due to shoulder soreness but has gone at least seven innings in his last four outings (all victories.)
Gossett's 1.80 ERA is third among ACC starters; ranking eighth is Clemson lefty Matthew Crownover (6-3, 2.28), who's been touched up for more than two earned runs just once in 10 starts.
Clemson is 13-6 when either Gossett or Crownover starts, and 11-9 otherwise. Even No. 3 weekend starter Jake Long (2-2, 4.65) has turned things around. In his past three starts, he'd allowed just two earned runs in 15 innings before getting torched for a six-run fifth at Pittsburgh in Sunday's 13-4 defeat.
The Tigers host Liberty Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. followed by Western Carolina's Wednesday 6:30 visit to Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Miami (27-13, 15-5) travels to Clemson for a three-game series this weekend.
After that, the Tigers host James Madison, UNLV and High Point in the next two weeks. Nine of Clemson's next 10 games are home, and the other is against UNLV at Greenville's Fluor Field.