Clemson Baseball – Big Pressure, No Problem

Jun 13, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; General view of logo before the 2015 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; General view of logo before the 2015 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the better quotes that’s surfaced recently came from Monte Lee head coach of the Clemson baseball team, when he said, “They eat pressure like candy.” Who can argue that? Time and time again this season the Tigers have found a way to scratch out a run when they needed it, or mustered a strikeout, or turned a double play when their backs were against the wall. This season has a storybook feel to it and the pressure facing this team is just, well, nonexistent.

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Tonight at 7pm the Tigers will take on FSU in the rubber match, in Tallahassee and it will be shown on ESPNU. The country can see, in primetime, the pressure eating Tigers trying to secure their 15th ACC win of the season, and their 31st win overall. Let’s talk about that record for a moment. You must realize of the 6 total losses on the season, they lost two of their first three games versus Wright State way back in February. So over the course of the last three months they’ve lost two games to Wright State, one to South Carolina, one to Virginia, one to Georgia Tech and one to FSU. A win tonight and they will have won every series of the season, with exception to opening weekend.

So what is the catalyst to the Tigers run of baseball brilliance? Hitting, pitching, cohesiveness? Yes, yes and most definitely yes. The Tiger pitching staff collectively sports a 3.04 era which ranks 13th nationally. The Tigers have a couple aces on the staff, Pat Krall (6-0) and Charlie Barnes (4-2) are steady and reliable. Barnes has a team best 71 strikeouts from the mound and opponents are hitting a measly .227 against the freshman southpaw. Krall will get the start tonight and try to keep his undefeated record in tact.

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The Tiger bats are streaky, but it seems like they come alive as needed. Reed Rohlman leads the pack with a .364 batting average while Seth “The Goat” Beer leads the team in home runs (11), and is 2nd on team in RBI’s (32). Chris Williams is the team RBI leader with 36. It’s not really about the numbers with this team though. They just get hits when they need them. Through 36 games this season, they’ve won eleven games by two runs or less. They’ve shut out seven of their opponents this season and at one point this year held their opponents to a 29 inning scoreless streak. You could say the Tigers are hot at the right time, but this has been an all-year thing. They got hot in February and they haven’t let up since.

Some really big series are still ahead for the Tigers. Conference and national implications weigh heavily on the series at home versus the 18th ranked Demon Deacons from Wake Forest (28-10). Then the Tigers hit the road and take on #4 North Carolina (29-7) in Chapel Hill, on April 28th – 30th. And a huge series is still a month away when the Tigers travel to take on #2 Louisville (31-4) May 12th-14th. This regular season only has about four weeks left, so I’m going to soak up all of the magical, pressure eating innings that these diamond dandies can muster.

Next: Clemson Football Recruiting: Top 10 Big Board

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