May 25, 2013; Durham, NC, USA; Clemson Tigers infielder Steve Wilkerson (17) fields a ball in the infield against the Miami Hurricanes during the ACC baseball tournament at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Miami won 7-0. Mandatory Credit: Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson Tigers Baseball: A 2014 Season Review

There is no denying the 2014 baseball season was a disappointing one for the Clemson Tigers. Clemson entered the year coming off a 40 win season in 2013, but were only able to manage a 36-25 record in 2014. The season culminated with a three seed in the Nashville Regional of the NCAA Baseball Tournament where the Tigers went 0-2. With the season fresh in our minds, let’s take a look back at the 2014 season.

High Points

  • The Tigers had a season high six game winning streak two different times in 2014.
  • Sophomore IF/DH Tyler Krieger led the team with a .338 batting average and 49 runs scored.
  • Freshman C Chris Okey was second on the team in RBI with 41. Senior 2B Steve Wilkerson was first with 42.
  • Wilkerson also led the team with 103 total bases, 6 HR, and a .502 slugging percentage.
  • Sophomore OF Steven Duggar led the team in stolen bases with 25 in 28 attempts.
  • As a team, Clemson hit .274 and stole 89 bases in 120 attempts. the 89 steals were tied for 18th best in college baseball.
  • Clemson completed their largest comeback of the year in the final regular season game against Boston College, winning 10-9 in extra innings.
  • Junior RHP Daniel Gossett was named a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist. The Golden Spike Award is given annually to the best player in college baseball.
  • Gossett went 7-2 with a 1.93 ERA in 2014. He amassed 107 strikeouts over 107.1 innings pitched, holding opponents to a .202 batting average against.
  • Sophomore LHP Matthew Crownover was the Tigers’ second best starting pitcher on the year behind Gossett, going 8-6 with a 2.90 ERA while striking out 90 over 99.1 innings pitched. Opponents hit .251 against Crownover in 2014.
  • Senior RHP and closer Matt Campbell was stellar all year long, posting a 4-0 record while recording 8 saves. Campbell sported a 0.84 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched. Opponents hit a mere .144 against him this season.
  • The pitching staff totaled an ERA of 3.94 while opponents hit .243 against the Tigers.
  • Clemson was 31-1 this season when leading after 8 innings.
  • The Tigers made the NCAA Tournament for the 20th time in the past 21 seasons in 2014.

Low Points

  • Clemson went 0-2 in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1981.
  • The Tigers were 1-23 in 2014 when trailing after 8 innings.
  • Clemson was swept by rival South Carolina in 2014, losing the final game at home with 2 outs in the ninth inning.
  • The Tigers had a season long 4 game losing streak on two separate occasions.
  • The Tigers were pummeled by Oregon 18-1 in their first game of the NCAA Tournament, by far the worst loss of the year for Clemson.
  • Krieger moved to DH after starting the year as the team’s shortstop and posting just a .873 fielding percentage.
  • Clemson as a team had a .962 fielding percentage, ranking 214th in the nation.

There are clearly some good things here to build on for 2015. Krieger, Duggar, Okey, and Crownover alone make for an exciting core for next year’s team. Add to that some of the upperclassmen who may return to school even after being drafted, and Clemson could be looking at a very talented squad. Having said that, 2014 was a disaster. While a 36-25 record may not look so bad on the surface, it certainly fell below the standards and expectations that Clemson fans have come to expect from their baseball team.

The big question now is whether head coach Jack Leggett will be back in the dugout next year. While I think he deserves to be and will be, that still remains to be seen.

The 2014 season was one of ups and downs for Clemson. It was disappointing to say the least. 2015 will hopefully bring with it a new year of opportunity and success as the Tigers look to get back to Omaha.

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