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A new era in Clemson Baseball: Tigers off to good start under Head Coach Monte Lee

Ashley Stout, Asst. Photo Editor

While the 2016 college baseball season is still young, it is not completely unreasonable to begin envisioning the Clemson Tigers taking the field at TD Ameritrade Park in June for the College World Series. 

The Tigers are already making waves due to their stellar early season play, and they definitely made a major statement by winning two out of three matches against the No. 13 South Carolina Gamecocks this past weekend.

Though the Tigers are now No. 22 in the nation, they squared off against the Gamecocks while unranked and were able to claim two convincing victories after dropping the opening game of the series. 

The poise shown by this young Tiger roster thus far has been remarkable. Braced by a talented middle portion of the batting order, Clemson is one of the hottest offensive teams in the ACC right now. 

Of course, claiming the Palmetto Series crown for the second straight year is a grand feat worthy of high praise, but the pitching excellence the Tigers displayed in holding the Gamecocks to a measly one run in the second and third games of the series combined is what truly deserves all of the praise.

The Tigers have already exceeded expectations for this season, as they were expected to make a slow transition from the Jack Leggett-era to the Monte Lee-era. However, the transition appears to be complete ahead of schedule, as the Tigers show major improvement at the plate this season.

A former assistant coach at USC, Lee was excited to take part in the Palmetto State rivalry once again, using it as a recruiting pitch of sorts by telling the media, “I think any kid would be interested in a program that plays in the biggest rivalry in the country.” Taking two out of three as an underdog should spark some interest, too.

The Tigers have impressed in all facets of the game through the first three weeks of the 2016 slate and appear to be serious contenders for the ACC title. 

Shockingly, the general consensus coming into the season was that Clemson would struggle to earn a berth into the NCAA Tournament; now, it looks as though the Tigers will be in the running for the right to host a regional. 

Yes, the Monte Lee-era is already in full swing, and it just might take the Clemson program to new heights a lot sooner than expected.

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