Can the Tigers stay Hot?
By Cole Bryson
How can Clemson continue to win games rallying from behind? Will South Carolina’s pitching staff slow down this Clemson lineup? Both of these are questions that have surfaced during the days leading up to the Clemson vs South Carolina matchup that resides in the Carolinas this weekend.
The three game series between these two schools always serves as some type of measuring stick on how this years team will perform. For Clemson, they are trying to keep their 8 game win streak alive under third year head coach, Monte Lee. Clemson has won games this season in multiple ways; scoring 33 runs in 3 games (Furman, Dallas Baptist) and also victorious when scoring 2 or 3 runs, holding teams to 1 & 2 (William & Mary & Dallas Baptist).
As the Tigers are red hot entering this rivalry series, they know the pitching they will face may be the biggest test of the young season. Senior, Robert Jolly averages .440 coming into this series with 11 hits and 7 RBI’s. Chris Williams is the current hit leader for the Tigers (12) but the Tigers have gotten a total team effort, one that really pleases Monte Lee.
“We are very confident, even when we are down, our guys are smiling and calm. This is a very even kill group and they know how to stay calm,” Monte Lee said after the come back win over Winthrop.
Lee is looking forward to the test the Gamecocks bring this weekend.
“I think we have to relax; it is a high energy situation and emotions are going to be running high,” Lee commenting on the rivalry series. “We have to understand that it is baseball and not try to do too much, that is a big key. We have to just play baseball.”
The Tigers on the mound have also been very consistent for Clemson in their eight game win streak. Jacob Hennessy, Brooks Crawford, & Jacob Higginbotham have all pitched well enough to keep the Tigers in the game thus far. Hennessy, the Dorman High School product has been the most impressive in this run for the Tigers for someone who wasn’t projected to be a Friday starter. Hennessy has allowed just 3 runs off of 9 hits in his two outings, holding a 2.45 era. Coming out of high school, Hennessy was known for his consistent ability to throw strikes. In his two games, he has done just that only pitching two walks.