Before the start of the baseball season, most outside of Doug Kingsmore Stadium most wouldn’t have known the name Max Wagner.
He came into this season as a rather unknown after his freshman campaign. However, he is now very well known. Not only in the ACC, but the rest of college baseball does as well.
The Tigers draft eligible sophomore third baseman who batted just .214 with just two home runs and nine RBIs in 35 games last season enters this week’s ACC Baseball Tournament batting .379 and 74 RBIs. He is tied with Georgia Tech catcher, Kevin Parada, for second nationally in home runs with 26. That number also ties him for fourth-most in ACC single-season history and just one behind the Clemson record achieved by Khalil Greene during the 2002 season (27).
No one could have expected the explosion that has been witnessed this season and that record isn’t the only record he is chasing. Another one he’s chasing was set by a guy who’s name is synonymous with Clemson baseball and the exact same guy who Clemson’s stadium is named after.
Wagner, to this point, has hit a home run every 7.5 at bats. That is ahead of the school record by a large margin. His .867 slugging percentage is also best in a season in school history. He has reached base either by a hit, a walk, or being hit-by-pitch in 40 straight games.
That’s why on Monday he was named ACC Player of the Year. However, his season isn’t done quite yet. The Tigers are set to begin ACC Tournament play on Tuesday and could very likely find themselves in the field of 64 when the NCAA regionals are announced this weekend. That means Wagner gets to keep chasing history on some of the sports biggest stages.
Clemson and Notre Dame have released depth charts ahead of this weekend’s matchup at Death Valley.
For the second time this season, Clemson will be an underdog at home.
Despite Clemson’s astonishing loss to Miami, the Tigers will head to Raleigh next week favored over NC State.