SILVEY- Clemson is coming off of a sweep of William & Mary. This is the first time Monte Lee has swept an opening series at Clemson and the first time he won an opening day game with the Tigers. All three games were won by only 1 run. Pitching and defense were key to all three victories and in Monte Lee’s postgame press conference on Sunday after the sweep, he said, “Pitching and defense have been the most consistent things we’ve done.” In the opening series, Clemson pitchers threw a combined total of 36 strikeouts and only walked two batters all weekend.
Seth Beer is obviously the Tigers most dependable returning offensive player. Three games into the season, Beer is batting .375 with one HR, one RBI and four runs. He has also been hit by two pitches, walked four times with only one strikeout. His OBP is .643 to go along with a SLG of 1.000, which means he is averaging one base per at bat right now, which is really good. Patrick Cromwell & Robert Jolly are also batting .375 with five RBI’s, four walks and only three strikeouts between the both of them.
The Tigers will look to get the bats going a little bit more on Tuesday, as they get ready to face the Paladins of Furman University; Furman is also 3-0 after sweeping their opening series vs Marist.
PROJECTION: Clemson wins by 3+ runs; close game through about 6 or 7 innings but Tigers get bats going late to pull away
CADE- Entering the season with over 400 innings of pitching no longer with the team, it appeared that Monte Lee and his pitching staff would have their work cut out for them this season for Clemson. After three days of solid starts from Hennessey, Crawford, and Higginbotham, Lee was able to turn to his bullpen, which showed their talented depth. Over the course of the weekend sweep of William and Mary, the Tigers collectively struck out 36 batters while only walking two. While Clemson’s pitching has displayed their strength, the offense still needs time to knock off the winter rust, and the defense has multiple position battles still up for grabs. Furman played very well this past weekend in a sweep of Marist, who was the preseason No. 1 pick in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Jason Costa had two homers, which included one to win in walk-off fashion on Sunday. Former Belton Honea-Path standout Jake Crawford, was named the Southern Conference Player of the Week this week after hitting a combined .778, going 7-9 with a double, home run, 3 RBIs, and 5 runs scored for the Paladins. PROJECTION: Clemson wins a close two run game