Load Up The Muskets, It’s Baseball Season
By: Jeff Vickers (@BGSGameday_Jeff)
College baseball season is upon us, and what better way of starting a college baseball season than taking on a perennial powerhouse, Clemson.
Clemson is led by Head Coach Jack Leggett, who has been at Clemson since 1992, and Head Coach of the Tigers since 1994. Leggett has been a Head Coach in total of 37 seasons, 35 of those seasons his team has produced a winning record, and has produced 27 NCAA Tournament teams. Leggett enters Friday’s match up with the Mountaineers with a 1300-741-1 record as a Head Coach, he is 923-451-1 at Clemson University. Of those 923 wins at Clemson, 236 have come against top-25 ranked opponents, and 128 against top-10 opponents. Jack Leggett is currently the 5th most winningest, active head coach in college baseball. During his time at Clemson, Leggett has seen 116 of his players move on to sign professional baseball contract.
Clemson is currently one of only 14 teams that have played in the NCAA tournament each of the last 6 seasons. Since 1994, when Leggett took over, the Tigers are the 7th winningest program in NCAA baseball.
But with success comes a higher standard, Leggett will enter the 2015 baseball season on the “Hot Seat”, as his Tigers have been dismissed 4 straight seasons in the NCAA Regionals.
Doug Kingsmore Stadium is where the Clemson baseball team has called home since 1970. Clemson was #9 in attendance in 2014, the 21st straight season being in the top 20 in attendance in the NCAA, and the 13th Straight season being in the top-10 in attendance in the NCAA. Listed as having a maximum capacity of 4,500, Doug Kingsmore stadium can hold up to 6,272 thanks to the hill area down the left field line. The Tigers have recorded a 362-107 record against ACC opponents at Doug Kingsmore stadium, and the Tigers have a record of 589-167 at home under Jack Leggett. Doug Kings more Stadium has under gone many renovations throughout the years, the latest have added a 3 story building behind the 1st base dugout, that includes a state of the art club house, and added premium seating behind home plate.
The #24 Preseason rated Tigers will enter the 2015 campaign returning 23 of 32 lettermen from 2014. Those departed have left big holes to fill.
Players lost from 2014:
- Catcher/ Outfielder Garrett Boulware, 16th round draft pick by the Cincinnati Reds
- Short stop Jay Baum, 21st round draft pick by the Seattle Mariners
- 2nd baseman Steve Wilkerson
- 1st baseman Shane Kennedy
- All-American Starting Pitcher Daniel Gossett, 2nd round draft pick that was the team’s Ace in 2014
- Closer Matt Campbell, recorded 8 saves and had an ERA of 0.84 in 2014
The Tigers only lost 2 pitchers from 2014. Returning for the Tigers Pitching staff are:
- LHP Matthew Crownover – 32 appearances, 30 starts in 2 season, has a career 2.60 ERA. Crownover’s career 1.97 walks per 9 innings and 3.65 strike out to walk ratio are both in the top 4 all time at Clemson. In 2014 Crownover had a 2.90 ERA with 90 strikeouts and only 20 base on balls in 99.1 innings, he was drafted in the 21st round by the San Francisco Giants but chose to return to school for his Junior season.
- RHP Clate Schmidt – The junior has previously seen time as a weekend starter, and will be in contention for that role in 2015, had a 3.68 ERA in 20 appearances in 2014, 8 of which were starts.
- RHP Patrick Andrews – Co-Captain – The Junior missed all of 2014 after Tommy John surgery, but looks to rebound in 2015. Andrews served as one of the 3 ACC athletes in this years Division I Autonomy Process
- RHP Drew Moyer – Sophomore was 5-1 with a 3.46 ERA and 2 saves as a reliever in 2014.
Chris Okey returns as the starting catcher for Clemson. Okey started 41 of the 61 games the Tigers played last season, as a freshman. in 2014 Okey hit 4 home runs and had 41 runs batted in.
Junior Tyler Krieger will be looking to make a return from a shoulder injury that prevented him from playing in fall league. Kreiger lead the Tigers, and was 5th in the ACC with a .338 batting average in 2014. The switch hitting Kreiger can play both 2nd base and short stop.
Sophomore Eli White will be a contender for the starting short stop position
Sophomore co-captain Andrew Cox will be in the mix for the starting 1st baseman role, and can also play some outfield.
Senior Co-Captain Tyler Slaton played every game in center field for the Tigers in 2014, and will look to do so in 2015.
Junior Co-Captain Steven Duggar has started all 123 games in his college career. In 2014 the right fielder was 2nd in the ACC with 25 stolen bases.
- Friday 2/13/15 4:00 PM
- Saturday 2/14/15 2:00 PM
- Sunday 2/15/15 1:00 PM