It must feel like another lifetime for the Clemson baseball team since the Tigers were 14-0, ranked 18th nationally, and off to their best start since 1992. Since, the wheels have certainly come off for Monte Lee’s club, especially against ACC competition. On Sunday, Notre Dame completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers with a 9-3 victory, handing Clemson its 7th straight ACC series loss dating back to last season. Clemson is now 19-12 overall and 2-9 in conference play, while the Irish improved to 20-5 overall and 8-4 in the ACC. The Tigers have tumbled into last place in the Atlantic Division as the conference schedule approaches the midway point.
Sunday’s game followed a similar script as the previous two in the series with Notre Dame striking first. The Irish got on the board in the bottom of the first inning on a two-out, RBI single from Carter Putz. The Tigers responded with a solo home run from Max Wagner to lead off the top of the fourth inning and knot the game at a run a piece. However, the Irish broke the game open in the bottom half as Putz drove in a pair to highlight a four-run attack, giving the home team a 5-1 advantage.
After Notre Dame plated a run in the fifth inning, Wagner belted his second home run of the game and 10th of the year to get Clemson back on the board in the sixth. Tyler Corbitt followed suit with his fifth long ball of the season to cut the Irish lead to 6-3 heading into the final few at bats. But any hopes of a Tigers comeback were squashed as Notre Dame scored a run in the seventh and a pair in the eighth to provide the final margin.
Notre Dame reliever Roman Kimball (3-0) earned the win despite giving up three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings pitched. Alex Rao worked three and two-thirds to record his first save of the year. Clemson reliever Geoffrey Gilbert (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on four hits in just two-thirds of an inning.
Clemson is back in action on Tuesday as the Tigers travel to Greenville to meet USC-Upstate. First pitch from Fluor Field is set for 6pm.