CLEMSON—This season was supposed to be a rebuilding project for the Clemson baseball team—especially after losing the likes of two of the most prolific home run hitters in school history in Seth Beer and Chris Williams.
But apparently the Tigers did not get the message that they were supposed to take this season off.
In fact, the Tigers are currently in second-place overall in the ACC standings—only one game behind first-place N.C. State—with an 11-4 conference record and a 24-8 overall record.
However even with the success the Tigers are having this season, head coach Monte Lee is having to balance the expectations with his young team.
“I think that the hardest thing for a head coach, at a place like Clemson, when you have some young guys playing, is patience and expectations,” Lee said. “They know the expectations of how we have to compete if we want to be one of the best teams in the league—one of the best teams in the country.
“So expectations are one thing, and then making sure that we’re patient—I’m patient with our younger guys and try not to put too much pressure on them as they continue to develop. That’s the balancing act right now.”
Even with a young and, somewhat, inexperienced team, Lee believes that the positives with his squad are outweighing the negatives.
“A lot of positives on the pitching side. I feel like we’re getting better defensively—i don’t think we made an error (in the Louisville series)…offensively, I feel like we’re in a good place and we’ve been swinging the bats very well,” Lee said. “For us to take that next step as a team, we’ve got to be able to compete in the back-half of games a little bit better when we face better relievers.
“We’re sitting at the halfway point at 11-4, we’ve got two freshmen starting on the mound on weekends, we’ve got a lot of young guys playing and we’ve got some young guys and some older guys that are playing pretty well.”
Tiger soaring in rankings:
Following a week that saw the Tigers take two games from the No. 8 team in the nation (Louisville), the Tigers were rewarded in the rankings.
The Tigers climbed four spots to No. 17 in Baseball America’s rankings, five spots to No. 19 according to Perfect Game, seven spots to No. 16 in D1Baseball.com's ranking, three spots in the NCBWA poll to No. 17 and remained at No.13 according to Collegiate Baseball.
Tigers and Charleston Southern Cancelled:
The Tigers first of two midweek games this week against Charleston Southern was canceled due to inclement weather, however tThe Tigers are now scheduled to play Presbyterian College at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Tuesday, May 7 at 6 p.m. on ACC Network Extra. Tickets for the originally-scheduled game against Charleston Southern on Tuesday are valid for the game against against Presbyterian College on May 7. Fans who purchased single-game tickets for Tuesday’s game against Charleston Southern can receive a refund by calling 1-800-CLEMSON.
Up Next: The Tigers’ next game is Wednesday at 6 p.m., against Furman at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.