Photo by Cade Crenshaw @ESPCade
The "Comeback Cats" have been nothing short of relentless in their first 13 games of this young 2018 baseball season. In their two midweek games against Wofford and Michigan State, the Tigers have had to erase deficits late in each one.
Against the Terriers, Clemson trailed 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning but were able to gain a run off a Justin Hawkins four-bagger over the left field wall at Doug Kingsmore Stadium to make it 3-2. Then, in the bottom of the seventh, Logan Davidson hit a dinger into the Cajun Cafe to tie the game up at three runs a piece.
Wofford pitchers would then go on to walk five of the next six batters they faced with a fielding error in between walk number three and four. The Tigers scored four runs to take a 6-3 lead off a fielding error, five walks and the Davidson home run and the score would remain the same from there.
In Wednesday's game against the Spartans of Michigan State, the final result would favor the Tigers, but the path to the victory was a strange one. Monte Lee's bunch were down 6-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning but reeled off NINE runs in the inning with no extra-base hits; just walks, singles and a sac fly.
The Tigers are now 12-1 on the season and they look ahead to their first ACC series of the year against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
GEORGIA TECH (9-3) vs CLEMSON (12-1) series Pitching Matchups:
GAME 1: RHP, Xzavion Curry (GT) vs LHP, Jacob Hennessy (Clemson)
Xzavion Curry is 3-0 on the season with an ERA of 1.00. He has thrown 18 innings, giving up just 12 hits, two earned runs, five walks and has struck out 17 batters.
Jacob Hennessy is 1-0 on the year with an ERA of 1.688 in 16 innings of work. He has allowed 12 hits, FOUR runs (THREE earned), FOUR walks and has struck out 16 batters. Against 65 total batters faced, Hennessy has thrown 230 pitches (152 strikes, 78 balls) and is averaging 14.375 pitches per inning. He has sat down 15 leadoff hitters and recorded SEVEN '1-2-3 Innings.' He has thrown 49 first-pitch strikes (75%) and has retired 74% of those batters who acquired that FPS. In 11 of his 16 innings pitched he has not walked any batters.
Clemson defeated Georgia Tech in game 1 by a score of 3-2.
GAME 2: LHP, Brant Hurter (GT) vs RHP, Brooks Crawford (Clemson)
Brant Hurter is getting his third start of the season but it will be his fourth appearance. He has thrown 6.2 innings and has a 5.40 ERA. He has given up NINE hits, FOUR earned runs, issued THREE walks and struck out SEVEN in 30 at-bats.
Brooks Crawford is making his fourth start of the season. He is 1-0 and has thrown 13.2 innings with a 1.98 ERA and a 1.024 WHIP. He has given up 11 hits, THREE earned runs, issued THREE walks and struck out 12 batters. He has faced 54 batters and thrown a total of 208 pitches (132 strikes, 76 balls). He is averaging 15.22 pitches per inning and 3.85 per batter faced. Crawford has also retired EIGHT leadoff hitters and thrown FIVE '1-2-3' innings and recorded SEVEN innings throwing 13 pitches or less. He has thrown 36 first-pitch strikes to 54 batters faced (67%) and gone on to retire 72% of those batters. He has also pitched 11 innings in which he gave up zero walks.
GAME 3: LHP, Connor Thomas (GT) vs LHP, Jake Higginbotham (Clemson)
Connor Thomas (2-0) will get his fourth start of the season in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader. He has thrown the most innings for the Yellow Jackets (19.0 IP) and has a 1.42 ERA. He has given up 11 hits, THREE earned runs, issued TWO walks and recorded 20 strikeouts in 66 at-bats.
Jake Higginbotham (2-0) has been a solid tail-end weekend starter for the Tigers this season. He's thrown 17.1 innings and faced 65 batters. He's given up 13 hits, FIVE runs (four earned), issued TWO walks and struck out 13 batters. He has thrown a total of 224 pitches (144 strikes, 80 balls), averaging 12.92 per inning and 3.45 per batter faced. He's retired 15 leadoff hitters and recorded 10 '1-2-3' innings and 11 innings where he did not surrender a walk. Higgy has thrown 42 first-pitch strikes versus the 65 batters he's encountered (65%) and has gone on to retire 83% of those batters. He has not thrown a wild pitch this season and has thrown 15 no-walk innings in just 17.1 innings pitched.