Even with spring football over, there is still plenty going on at Clemson. Senior writer Matt Connolly is ready to answer whatever questions you might have. You can submit your question for the “Question of the Day” here. Today’s question is about Clemson’s baseball program.
Is the problem with our baseball team just youth or inexperience? It seems like they are extremely inconsistent. I love Monte and know he is getting the players and confident he can turn it around. Just curious to hear your perspective.
— CU Tiger Bruce (@CUTigerBruce) April 18, 2021
This has without a doubt been a disappointing season for Clemson baseball.
The Tigers have dropped six consecutive games entering Tuesday night’s matchup at Georgia and have fallen to 15-17 (9-12). Clemson has 18 games remaining in the regular season to try to turn things around.
There are several problems that have consistently shown up for the Tigers this year, most notably being unable to win close games.
Clemson is 1-5 in games decided by one run this season and 2-9 in games decided by two runs or less.
Winning close games has been a staple of Monte Lee’s program prior to this year. During Lee’s first five seasons the Tigers were 51-24 in one-run games.
The close losses have also come at inopportune times. Two of the one-run losses were to rival South Carolina. The other four were in ACC games. Clemson is 0-6 in one-run games against Power 5 teams.
Of course the problems don’t stop there.
This goes hand-in-hand with the struggles in close games, but the Tigers have also been unable to get clutch hits consistently. Clemson is hitting just .244 with runners in scoring position and .252 with two outs.
The Tigers certainly haven’t had much luck with injuries, either.
Preseason All-American and two-way player Davis Sharpe has pitched in only four games all year with an injury. He was expected to be Clemson’s ace.
Other important pieces of the pitching rotation — Mack Anglin, Keyshawn Askew and Mat Clark — have also missed time. As have hitters Sam Hall, Kier Meredith and Adam Hackenberg.
When you add it all together you have a program that is in danger of suffering its first losing season since 1957.
The expectation at Clemson is to compete for championships and not only make the postseason, but have success once you get there.
The Tigers have a lot of work to do to even get in the conversation for an NCAA Tournament berth at this point. If Clemson misses out there will of course be a thorough review of the program by Clemson’s administration and changes to the staff could be made.
There is still time for Clemson to get its season turned around, but it needs to start this week.