The Clemson baseball team made the NCAA Tournament and will head to Oxford for regional play. Here’s a look at what to expect this weekend.
The Clemson baseball team picked up an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and will compete in the Oxford Regional this weekend.
The Tigers were considered on the bubble coming into selection day and were awarded a bid. Clemson will play in a regional that includes Ole Miss (No. 1 seed), Illinois (No. 2 seed) and Jacksonville State (No. 4 seed).
Here’s a look at the schedule, analysis and what to expect in the Oxford Regional this weekend.
Oxford Regional Friday Schedule:
- No. 2 Illinois vs. No. 3 Clemson, 4 p.m. (ESPN U)
- No. 1 Ole Miss vs. No. 4 Jacksonville State, 8 p.m. (ESPN 3)
Following the first round games on Friday, the two winners will matchup on Saturday and the two losers will play in an elimination game.
The loser of the game in the winner’s bracket will play the winner of the elimination game on Sunday in yet another elimination game before the championship round on Monday. Game times and the broadcast schedule for the remainder of the weekend have yet to be announced.
What to Expect:
As of right now, it’s expected that Clemson will start Davis Sharpe, Mat Clark and Jacob Hennessy. Monte Lee said the coaching staff will look at matchups and determine who starts when later this week.
As far as other teams are concerned, Illinois has played really good baseball, but they certainly haven’t played a tough schedule. The Tigers will likely face Illinois Ace Andy Fisher (2.57 ERA, 7-1 record) on Friday.
Ole Miss is one of the top-15 teams in the nation, and for good reason. The Rebels have a solid bullpen and a good offensive lineup. They don’t have the starting pitching that Clemson has seen from Vanderbilt in the past couple of seasons, which is a good thing for the Tigers.
Jacksonville State is one of the hottest teams in baseball right now, so they could also spell some potential danger.
If I were predicting right now, I would take Clemson and Ole Miss in the first rounds. Then, most likely, would take the Rebels in the second round. All bets are off with the Tigers once they get into an elimination game, likely with Illinois- a team that they would’ve beaten just a couple of days earlier.
This is certainly a manageable regional, though, and the Tigers have a chance to advance to the Super Regionals if they can put some of that bad play from late in the season behind them and prepare as if it’s a new season this weekend.