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Clemson baseball looks to have best start since 2018

Caleb Browder, Photo Editor

Clemson sophomore Caden Grice hits against the College of Charleston in 2021 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

After sweeping Indiana in a three-game series and defeating College of Charleston, Clemson baseball now sits at (4-0) and can move to (8-0) on Tuesday for the first time since the 2018 season. 

In order to do so, the Tigers will first have to defeat the Hartford Hawks in all three games of this weekend’s three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Hartford, whose season has not started, finished (18-20) last season.  

Clemson and Hartford will battle it out at 4 p.m. on Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Tigers then host USC Upstate on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

If the 2018 season is any indication of the importance of starting out (8-0), this weekend’s series is critical. In that 2018 season, Clemson finished 47-16, intensifying the significance of this weekend’s matchup. 

Clemson comes into the series with heavy momentum as the team’s pitching in the series versus Indiana was a highlight of this year’s season so far.  

“The one thing that you saw [Sunday and Saturday] was our ability to use our bullpen,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said of the sweep on Sunday. “We have several guys that are built to start.” 

Lee could use a similar pitching rotation this weekend as he did against Indiana, with sophomore Mack Anglin starting on Friday, sophomore Nick Clayton on Saturday and sophomore Nick Hoffmann on Sunday.  

Anglin, who started in four games last season, started his year off with a bang against Indiana. In his five innings pitched last Friday, he gave up zero runs and hits, impressing Lee.  

“You couldn’t ask for a better start than [what Anglin] had today,” Lee said on Friday. “We needed that kind of start in game one, and he certainly delivered. And again, I thought our bullpen was just phenomenal.” 

The right-handed pitcher played a crucial role in last Friday’s 9-0 victory over Indiana and will likely be relied on to start the series versus Hartford with a victory. 

Meanwhile, Clemson’s hitting has had its bright spots. Clemson has outscored its opponents 35-9 in four games and can extend that margin further this weekend.  

In Tuesday’s victory over College of Charleston, sophomore first baseman Caden Grice hit a home run that brought in the team’s lone two runs and ultimately secured the win. In the team’s four games played, Grice has scored five runs and has a .500 batting average, solidifying him as the team’s power hitter.  

The Tigers will need Grice and the team’s other batters to perform this weekend, and with Harford fully rested, the three-game series is by no means an easy sweep. 

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