After a disastrous trip to Pittsburgh, the Clemson Tigers return to the Palmetto state to take on a familiar foe Tuesday evening.
French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr wrote “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” or in English, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
The Tigers started the season as one of the last three undefeated teams in the country, but that, seemingly, is a lifetime ago. The Tigers limp into the mid-week game with a familiar foe, Winthrop Eagles, on the heels of consecutive losses to Pitt.
As Tiger fans, we hope that a “get right” game is at hand when they take the trek up I-85 to Rock Hill to play the Winthrop Eagles at The Winthrop Ballpark. The Tigers were victors a week ago versus the Eagles to the tune of 10-2.
But this little preview is not to give my .02 on the baseball program, it is to give a preview of the game at hand.
Winthrop dropped their weekend series to High Point by the tune of 2 games to 1 and have now fallen to 6-16 on the season.
Winthrop is 5-8 at The Winthrop Ballpark.
I am also not afraid to tell you where I am wrong in these previews. In looking at the season statistics and the trend of the Eagles from their season I predicted that Carter Sutton would get the nod for Skipper Tom Riginos, but it was Josh Bookbinder who had his season debut against the Tigers. That debut lasted an inning. Grad Student Macklin Ohs relieved Bookbinder and took the loss, giving up 5 runs over an innings work.
Sutton was slotted in as the Saturday starter this past weekend, so that would likely leave him off of the list of projected starters. I am going to project one of the following pitchers as the probable starters for Tuesday nights game:
Sophomore RH – Reese Lumpkin – 7.30 ERA across 12.1 Innings (10 Ks 6 BBs)
Sophomore RH – Parker Whittle – 5.32 ERA across 22 Innings (28 Ks 17BBs)
Graduate RH – Josh Bookbinder – 0.00 ERA across 1 Inning (1K 2BBs)
If it’s not one of those three I apologize, however, it will not stop me from projecting.
This next part may seem redundant but the Eagles are led offensively by Freshman Joseph Szvetitz, hitting .310 across 20 games, leads the team with 13 runs batted in with a .774 OPS
Sophomore Centerfielder Khyree Miller leads the team with 3 homeruns.
The rest of the regulars:
Freshman Catcher/DH – Jack Spyke (.299 BA; .782 OPS)
Junior RF Hunter Christopher (.280 avg., .628 OPS)
Sophomore Catcher/DH Ty Hooks (.259, .729)
Sophomore Shortstop Robby Taul (.224, .639)
Senior Second Baseman Joey Tepper (.264, .687)
Senior Outfielder CJ Conrad (.219, .590)
Junior DH Jonathan Strauss (.250, .627)
Again, the Eagles just do not match up well with the Tigers. They do have two of my projected starters that both have more strikeouts than innings pitched and the Tigers have a lot of guys that strikeout. Something to keep an eye on.
However, as much as the Tigers have struggled when we least expected it, I do believe they will bounce back from a disappointing trip to the cold in Pittsburgh, PA and win at Winthrop.
Prediction: Clemson 10 – Winthrop 2 (yep, using last weeks result as this week’s prediction)