Clemson Baseball: Oppo Research – Charlotte 49ers travel to Doug Kingsmore Stadium

Clemson junior Ryan Ammons (21) pitches to Binghampton during the top of the second inning at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson Friday, February 17, 2023.Clemson Vs Binghampton Baseball Home Opener
Clemson junior Ryan Ammons (21) pitches to Binghampton during the top of the second inning at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson Friday, February 17, 2023.Clemson Vs Binghampton Baseball Home Opener /

The first weekend of Clemson baseball has come and gone and thus starts a baseball schedule that comes at us fast and furious.  Opening weekend for the Tigers was extremely positive, sweeping the Binghamton Bearcats in the three-game set.  A ton of positives coming out of the weekend for the Tigers.

Tuesday begins the start of mid-week games and the Tigers will welcome in the Charlotte 49ers into the Doug.  Let’s take a look, albeit small sample size, for how the 49ers stack up against the Tigers.

Opponent: Charlotte 49ers

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Enrollment: 30,500

Conference: Conference USA

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, commonly referred to as Charlotte, is part of the University of North Carolina system of colleges and universities.

Last season, the 49ers finished 36-22 and were ranked as high as #23 in the nation by Baseball America, however they missed the NCAA Tournament after a disappointing finish in the Conference USA Tournament.  The 49ers finished 7th in the Conference USA regular season in 2022.

Charlotte is led by Head Coach Robert Woodard, in his 3rd full season (4th overall) as the top guy.  Woodard is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, and had very successful stints at UNC-Wilmington, Virginia Tech and his alma mater as the pitching coach before accepting the job at Charlotte.  Woodard, a Charlotte native, is 89-51 overall, which includes a 40-win season in ‘21.

Charlotte dispatched Ball State over the weekend, taking the series 3 games to 1 and out scoring the Cardinals 38-16.  An eye-popping stat from the weekend set between the two squads was that Charlotte worked 50 base on balls and were hit by 8 Cardinals pitches.

Projected Starting Lineup* – (2023 statistics referenced below: Batting Average/HR/RBI)

Blake Jackson – CF – Soph – .250/0/2

Austin Knight – 3B – Senior – .467/1/8

Cam Fisher – RF – Soph – .182/0/1

Will Butcher – DH – Junior – .286/0/5

Kaden Hopson – C – Junior – .375/1/6

Jack Dragum – SS – Senior – .091/0/0

Josh Patrick – LF – Junior – .400/0/3

Brandon Stahlman – 1B – Junior – .167/0/3

JD Suarez – 2B – Soph – .000/0/1

(*lineup based on the 4-game set versus Ball State)

On the mound, the 49ers used 14 different pitchers this weekend against Ball State with not one going more than 5.0 innings, nor making more than 1 appearance across the weekend.  In fact, the starters went 5, 4, 2.1, and 0.2 innings respectively.  A true feeling of pitching by committee.  Coach Woodard will throw out Sophomore lefty Collin Kramer who started the third game of the series with Ball State last weekend.

Projected Starter, with 2023 stats

Sophomore LHP Collin Kramer – 0-0; 15.43 ERA; 2.1 IP, 5 Hits, 4 Runs, 4 ERs, 3 BBs, 3 Ks

Kramer will make his second appearance and second start of the season.  The Sophomore Lefty from Iowa started the second game of a double-header on Saturday (2/18), which resulted in 15 batters faced and 65 pitches across those 2 and a third innings.

The 49ers had a very successful weekend manufacturing a lot of runs through 4 games and obviously exuding patience at the plate.  Clemson will throw sophomore right-hander Casey Tallent on Tuesday night who will likely pound the strike zone, like the three starters did this weekend.  Tallent made one appearance over the weekend against Binghamton for an inning and gave up two hits across four batters.  The 49ers will likely have to figure out another way on base, as Tallent isn’t likely to issue too many free passes.

Clemson baseball faces it’s first mid-week test of the season in Charlotte

Jack Leggett made it a priority to maximize mid-week games.  Monte Lee had unbelievable success in his first season in Tiger Town during the mid-week slate.  While these games may look like laughers on paper, recent results would say quite the opposite.  (Looking at you USC Upstate!)

I don’t do well predicting the Tigers to lose, and generally do not do it, so here’s keeping with tradition.

Next. Sammy Brown will visit Clemson in June. dark