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The Tiger

The Road to Omaha

Ashley Stout, Asst. Photo Editor

As freshman phenom Seth Beer crushed a game-winning home run on Sunday afternoon, one thing was made very clear: the Clemson Tigers are national championship contenders. 

The Tigers swept the Boston College Eagles over the weekend to open up home conference play, thus solidifying themselves as one of the premier teams in the nation. The unranked Eagles entered the series as one of the dark horses competing for the ACC title, still garnering more respect than the No. 19 ranked Tigers. 

However, Clemson’s decisive victories in the first two games of the series quickly indicated which team was more likely to win the conference title.

With aces Charlie Barnes and Clate Schmidt pitching lights out to start the season, and Beer, who won National Player of the Week two weeks ago, hitting as well as any player in the country, the Tigers are one of the most dangerous teams in the nation. 

Coming into the 2016 campaign with little hype surrounding them, the Tigers have already exceeded expectations. At 16-3 overall and 5-1 in conference play, Clemson continues to gain more and more traction, garnering more and more respect for the Tigers. Clemson is currently tied with two other teams for first in the ACC and, based on the Tigers’ recent play, should be expected to compete for the title up until the very end of the regular season.

There is no denying that the primary reason for Clemson’s surprisingly excellent start to the season has been freshman power hitter Seth Beer’s outstanding play. 

The young man who was once considered an Olympic swimmer in the making is quickly making a name for himself on the baseball field. Through 19 games, Beer is batting a remarkable .453 and has already launched nine home runs. Even more remarkable is the fact that he leads Clemson’s roster in both categories. 

First-year coach Monte Lee has already successfully transplanted the hot-hitting style of his Charleston Cougars into the Tigers, making them one of the most dangerous offensive units in the country through the first month of the season. 

Rest assured, the Tigers are here to stay. With a fairly youthful roster and a promising coach, the future is definitely bright at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. A mere month ago, aspirations of Clemson advancing to the College World Series in June would have been considered an absolute pipe dream, but now is a definite possibility. 

The season is still young, but the Clemson Tigers appear primed for the long haul to Omaha. 

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