It might not be football season but there is a real story going down in Tiger town and it’s worthy of attention. What is going on with the Clemson Baseball program?
With a conference record of 6-14, a conference winning percentage of .300 and having been swept by Louisville, there’s a real possibility Monte Lee’s team might miss the ACC Tournament. a tournament Clemson has never missed.
If the tournament were held today, Clemson would come up a percentage point short and therefore, the Tigers would be on the outside looking in. With nine conference games remaining, and the team two games back of Duke and North Carolina, this team must go on a run.
Yes, baseball is a completely different animal than football and even basketball. With a larger number of games, there is a wider margin for error but at this point, that margin is disappearing, rapidly. There was immense hope after a 14-0 start but somewhere buried in the Tigers 28-17 record, something went terribly wrong. There were the three lost ACC series, poor pitching and except for a few strong bats, sporadic hitting and huge momentum swings, mostly in the wrong direction.
In the normal scheme of things, a lost series to a team as talented as Louisville shouldn’t be cause for much alarm but it’s the way they lost and the timing of these losses that are most alarming. It’s the one step forward, two steps back conundrum that’s plagued Lee’s squad over the last several seasons. It has become very familiar and frustrating for all involved, especially this team.
With a total of 11 games (9 conference) remaining in the season, without something short of a “Field of Dreams” type miracle, it might be too late to press the panic button. Although, ironically the Tigers are still No. 30 in the RPI. Get in the ACC Tourney and that is absolutely worthy of consideration of an at-large NCAA bid.
Again, baseball is a wacky sport with its own nuances, so who knows what the end will bring. All in Clemson Nation, especially Lee, hope it will end well. If not, Lee’s time at the helm of the program might be called into question.
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