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Clemson baseball looking for bounce back year in 2022

Caleb Browder, Photo Editor

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

Clemson baseball will enter the 2022 season looking to build on an unprecedented year, as Clemson finished 25-27 and had a 16-20 record in ACC play last season. The Tigers’ final record marked the first time that Clemson finished under the .500 mark since 1958, but there is still hope for a bounce back season.

Specifically, there were some bright spots for head coach Monte Lee and the Tigers that they can build upon – the first being sophomore first baseman Caden Grice. 

Grice capped off his freshman year with a .317 batting average, 15 home runs, 53 runs batted in and an on-base plus slugging (OPS) of 1.045. He was awarded All-ACC second team and freshman team honors. 

This season, which kicks off in Clemson on Feb. 18 at 4 p.m., Grice will need to further cement his role of being Clemson’s top power hitter and run producer. 

Meanwhile, on the pitching side, left-handed pitcher Geoffrey Gilbert, right-handed pitcher Mack Anglin and RHP Nick Hoffman all turned in quality seasons. 

Gilbert posted a 2.23 earned run average (ERA) in 28 appearances across 44.1 innings with 52 strikeouts. 

Anglin held a 3.99 ERA in only 13 appearances with 56.1 innings and 75 strikeouts. Anglin was also a member of the All-Freshman team in the ACC. 

Hoffman had a 3.83 ERA in 17 appearances with 49.1 innings and 40 strikeouts.

Gilbert, Anglin and Hoffman will all be returning to the 2022 roster and will be joined by an impressive group of recruits.

This year’s recruiting class is one of the best Clemson has had in years. Perfect Game USA ranked Clemson’s class for the upcoming season as the eighth best in the country. 

Headlined by outfielder Will Taylor, this is the first top-10 recruiting class Clemson has had since 2012. 

Taylor is recovering from a torn ACL suffered back in October in the Clemson football game against Boston College. 

“I would say by opening weekend, we’ll have a better idea of what his timeline is going to look like,” Lee said on Jan. 18. 

Clemson also added two transfers this season: infielders Benjamin Blackwell and Tyler Corbitt from Dayton and The Citadel, respectively. 

Blackwell batted .349 with six home runs, 31 runs batted in and stole 10 bases in the 2021 season.

Corbitt held a .376 average with five home runs, 16 runs batted in and a 1.024 OPS in 2021.
Both players will add leadership and a veteran presence to the team.
Coach Lee’s lineup and pitching rotation for the 2022 season are not exactly set in stone yet, but he has many weapons at his disposal.
When speaking on the potential pitching rotation behind Anglin and Hoffman, however, Lee was optimistic on his players, but non-committal.
“I would be hard-pressed to say right now that anybody could beat out an Anglin and a Hoffman,” Lee told The Clemson Insider. “We need Nick Clayton to be a guy that can be in the mix on the weekends. Ricky Williams is another guy. Ricky’s got electric stuff.”
As for the positional players, the lineup card may differ from game to game due to the deep roster this team has, but a few players should see a significant amount of action.
Grice is the only returning player that played and started in all 52 games a season ago, so look for him to resume his everyday role along with outfielder/first baseman Dylan Brewer, who played in 49 games last season, starting in 48 of them.
There are many new faces on this year’s team, but Clemson possess a very deep and talented roster that aims to have success in a tough ACC conference, as well as find its way back into the postseason.
An earlier version of this article misspelled coach Monte Lee’s name as Monty. The Tiger regrets this error and has since corrected it.

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