Tigers Look To Bounce Back
After a week of final exams, you always hold your breath for that first game regardless of the opponent. On Sunday, Clemson handed Virginia Tech its first ACC home win 11-7. Four of the Hokies runs came unearned on two errors.
Stephen Faris made the start for the Tigers and continued to slide. Faris, who was unhittable up until he started against Georgia Tech, has given up 13 runs in his last two starts. It appears that Faris has not been able to find the same comfort level he had in the mid-week games. With the schdule Clemson has faced, it is not necessarily an increase in quality of opponent. Faris needs to regroup for the Tigers to be successful in post-season play.
Josh Cribb, who did not start versus Georgia Tech, returns as a starter tonight. Cribb will look to bounce back with a purpose. He has pitched very well this year, but more often than not has failed to get very good run support in his starts. Cribb brings into the game a 4.48 ERA in 13 appearances. He will be looking to pick up his fourth win of the year.
One person who was not affected by the time off was Andy D'Alessio. D'Alessio had struggled mightily all season with his batting average dropping down to .233. Since being benched against Wofford, D'Alessio has gone on a tear. He hit a grand slam off the bench against Wofford, and he has hit four more home runs in last four games. He has raised his average up to .263. On Sunday, he did everything he could try and keep the Tigers in the game hitting two home runs with four RBIs. D'Alessio is now second on the team with 12 home runs.
The top of line-up must perform better for the Tigers to win tonight. The first three batters did not record a hit yesterday, which ended Herman Demmink's 11-game hitting streak. Along with Demmink, Brad Chalk and Taylor Harbin went 0-13. Travis Storrer did extend his hitting streak to 11-games in the top of the second inning with a home run.
It is clear where the Tiger's production must improve. The pitching staff needs to return to the form it had early season, and the top of the line-up must produce. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 pm tonight.