The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

New Tigers off to hot start

The talk of Clemson baseball coming into the year was the veteran players like Seth Beer and Pat Krall, who were expected to lead the way to another successful season for

the team. 

Through the first series of play, this has been accurate. Beer hit his first homerun of the season on Saturday night against Wright State and Krall pitched six innings while only giving up one unearned run. Veterans Chase Pinder and Chris Williams did not have much of an impact due to illness and injury. Pinder did not play on Friday, but did on Saturday and Sunday as the designated hitter, providing another element to the

Clemson offense. 

“I think it has probably been one of the most stressful things … wondering if we are going to have one of our best players in the lineup,” Head Coach Monte Lee said of Pinder’s availability. He has been sick and unable to play at full performance. 

Williams is out four to six weeks with a hand injury he suffered during an intrasquad scrimmage.

The surprise so far is how well the new Tigers have played early on in the year. With having to replace almost the entire infield, it would be understandable to have some miscues. However, players like Logan Davidson at shortstop and Grayson Byrd at second base have been assets

early on. 

Defensively, Davidson has two errors but has been impressive at the plate. He is 4-for-11 with four RBIs and a homerun. 

“One word that stands out about Logan [Davidson] is, a lot like Seth [Beer] as a true freshman, is poise,” Lee said. “You can see the same type of traits in Logan this year as you did Seth last year.” 

Davidson said he enjoyed his first series as a Tiger. “It was a pretty special opening day, coming out here to play with a solid group of guys … it was an awesome feeling.”

Byrd has also had an impact on the Clemson Tigers team. He is a transfer from LSU who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, and who is excited to play again. “It’s my first college game in about two years so just to get back out there … it was awesome,” he said.

So far, Byrd is 5-for-12 on the season with two RBIs. He is also error free defensively and showed some impressive skills on Saturday night in turning a difficult double play late in the game, taking out one of Wright State’s final

scoring opportunities. 

Freshman Kyle Wilkie has been filling in for the injured Williams behind the plate and, though he has two errors to his name, has stepped into the

role nicely. 

“Wilkie is being aggressive just like we want him to be … he caught well back there,” Lee said. 

He also earned his first hit as a Tiger on Saturday night in the sixth inning. 

Patrick Cromwell is yet another new Tiger who is playing well. He is a transfer and is playing third base for the Tigers, a position that they struggled to fill last season. He has been impressive defensively so far, though has struggled a bit at the plate. He is only 2-for-10 through the first three games. 

Another transfer, Weston Jackson, has shown some versatility early on. In the spring, it appeared to be a battle between Jackson and Reed Rohlman for the left field spot. However, Jackson has started both games so far in center, partially due to Pinder’s absence. His average isn’t great, but he has provided a couple key hits for Clemson so far. 

Three new pitchers made their debut on Friday night against the raiders as well. Tyler Jackson, Jacob Hennessy and Jeremy Beasley all came out of the bullpen in relief.

Jackson came in in relief of starter Charlie Barnes and gave up two runs, both earned. Hennessy came in for an inning and gave up one unearned run with two strikeouts. Beasley gave up a homerun but closed out the game for the Tigers. All of these guys are new to the program and despite their rough starts, Lee said the bullpen is going to be a strength for his team

this season. 

Two more pitchers made their debut on Sunday, Ryan Miller and Mitchel Miller. They came in in relief of Eubanks in the 9-2 loss. 

“I am pleased with our pitching staff, we pounded the strike zone. I think overall our bullpen did a really good job,” Lee said. 

With this mixture of talented veterans and promising rookies, the Tigers could be a dangerous team. Their next game is Wednesday Feb. 22 against Western Carolina at 4 p.m.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *