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The Tiger

The Tiger

Countdown to Opening Day

Ashley Stout, Asst. Photo Editor
Junior shortstop Eli White (4) celebrates with his teammate after scoring a run.

For those of you who live life in accordance with the baseball season, spring is finally here! The Tigers have had Friday, Feb. 19, circled since the fall, and have worked tirelessly in preparation for the 2016 campaign. The Tigers are slated to take on Maine this Friday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, with first pitch set for 4 p.m. Early weather reports are promising, showing a high of 64 degrees and plenty of sunshine.

It will be Coach Monte Lee’s first season at the helm for the Tigers, and he has really outdone himself so far in giving the fans a glimpse of the team and facilities with scrimmages open to the public and the first ever Clemson baseball fan fest. and the ACC Coaches’ Poll have both projected Clemson to finish sixth in the Atlantic Division. The Clemson football team seemed to benefit from the role of underdog, and the baseball team will try to do the same. 

A year ago, the Tigers were able to sweep the series when they met Maine. Returning starters Eli White and Chase Pinder led the offensive attack, combining for 12 hits over the three-game series. 

There is no question that the 2016 Tiger team has enough offensive power to compete with any team in the league, with big bats like Chris Okey, Reed Rohlman and Seth Beer expected to lead the charge. 

However, there is a major question mark when it comes to the pitching staff. 

The team lost big arms Zack Erwin and Matthew Crownover, and will be attempting to replace them with some very talented, yet young and inexperienced arms such as Brooks Crawford, Jake Higginbotham and

Paul Campbell.

The Maine Black Bears are projected to finish fourth in the American East Conference this year, following a 24-28 2015 campaign. The Black Bears are coming back to South Carolina with a purpose, however, with key returners such as Justin Courtney, Logan Fulmer and Brett Chappell looking to avenge the series sweep in their last meeting. 

Courtney and Fulmer both pitched in the Clemson series last year, and each earned American East second team honors for their contributions in 2015. Chappell lead the team in runs batted in last season, and will look to wreak havoc on the inexperienced Tiger pitching staff.

Student admittance to Friday’s game is free; just show up at the student gate by the centerfield scoreboard with your CUID dressed in orange and ready to cheer on the Tigers.

As an opening day promotion, and to kick off the 2016 season, fans will be able to “Pick up posters, schedule cards, and a Monte Lee baseball card!” according to the official Clemson baseball Twitter page. The Tigers will also host Maine on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

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