With the 2016 baseball season over for Clemson, it is time to take a look back. Yesterday we took a top-level look at how Clemson did in 2016 and for the next several days we'll look at how each player did. Today we look at Clemson's pitching staff. The pitchers performed better than many expected, but inconsistency led to Clemson's downfall in Regional play.
Charlie Barnes - Sophomore, SP
Barnes had a solid if consistent season for Clemson. He started 16 games for the Tigers and ended up with a 6-4 record and a 4.66 ERA. He averaged nearly 6 innings per start for Clemson while striking out 84 guys and walking only 24. The one area where Barnes got hurt was defense, he allowed 62 runs, only 49 of which were earned. Opponents hit a decent .256 against Barnes this year. The best way to describe his pitching was moments of quality surrounded by some frustrating games. Some of that wasn't his fault because of the defense around him, but Barnes struggled on occasion because he couldn't keep the ball down.
Clate Schmidt - Senior, SP
Let's be honest, what Schmidt did this year was fairly amazing. After his cancer diagnosis last summer I don't think many fans were counting on Schmidt to contribute much if at all. Thankfully Schmidt was able to beat cancer, return to the team, and contribute at a decent level. Schmidt started 15 games and appeared in relief in 3 games. He pitched well enough for an 8-5 record while maintaining a 4.83 ERA. He went 85.2 innings and gave up 56 runs, 46 of which were earned. Schmidt did well to strike out 68 batters this year while walking only 21. The one area of concern when Schmidt was pitching was the opposing batting average. Opponents hit .307 against Schmidt and it led to a lot of tricky situations. That is likely why Schmidt had fewer innings pitched despite more appearances than other starters.
Alex Eubanks - Redshirt Freshman, SP
Alex Eubanks spend most of the season as the Sunday starter or midweek guy. Some rocky starts early led to Coach Monte Lee tinkering with the Sunday starter, but by the end of the season Eubanks had regained his spot. He finished with the best ERA of the starting staff at 4.09 and a 6-5 record to go with it. Eubanks started 11 games and appeared in 23 this year for a little over 81 innings pitched. His 70 strikeouts was good for third on the team with 21 walks to accompany them. Once again the effect of poor defense is seen when Eubanks surrendered 50 runs, only 37 earned.
Pat Krall - Junior, RP(quasi-starter)
The closest Clemson has to an automatic inning, the news that Pat Krall is returning in 2017 helps answer a few questions about the pitching staff. Krall spent most of the season as Clemson's best reliver and also started 3 games, one of which he went the full 9 innings. Krall ended up going 10-2 with an excellent 1.67 ERA. Despite throwing 80 innings the ERA is certainly inflated because of his many reliver appearances. Krall allowed 18 runs, 15 of them earned. He struck out an excellent 65 batters and only walked 17. Opposing hitters only hit .203 against him.
Andrew Papp - Freshman, RP
Papp saw limited time for Clemson but did well. He had 6 appearances and went 5.1 innings. His ERA of 1.69 was a result of allowing 1 run all season. He seemed a little wild which led to 5 strikeouts and 5 walks this year as well as a wild pitch. Opponents hit .211 against him.
Patrick Andrews - Redshirt Graduate, RP
Andrews was one of the more used relievers this year. He appeared in 19 games out of the bullpen and pitched 23.1 innings. In his appearances he garnered a 2.31 ERA from allowing 7 runs, 6 earned. Andrews is definitely a bit of a fireball with 23 strikeouts to go with his 8 walks. Opponents did hit .250 against him, but he was able to limit the damage to 1-2 batters per inning.
Garrett Lovorn - Redshirt Junior, RP
Lovorn got a small run out this year with 15.1 innings across 10 appearances in relief. He surrendered 4 runs all year which gave him a 2.35 ERA in 2016. Lovorn had some control issues, he only struck out 4 batters but walked 9 and opponents hit .286 against him.
Brooks Crawford - Freshman, RP
Crawford was one of the workhorses out of the bullpen for Clemson this year. He appeared in 24 games out of the bullpen as well as starting 2 games. He went 3-0 on the season with a 3.66 ERA over 46.2 innings. He struck out 26 guys while walking 19. Crawford allowed 25 runs on the season, 19 of which were earned and opponents hit .254 against him.
Jake Higginbotham - Freshman, S/RP
Higginbotham spent his little time on the mound as a starter in midweek games and a few Sunday games. In 7 starts he went 3-0 with a 4.59 ERA. He also had an appearance in relief. Through these 8 appearances he went 33.1 innings while surrendering 22 runs, 17 earned. Higginbotham also struck out 28 while walking 21, not exactly a great ratio especially when opposing batters also hit .300. Clemson will need Higginbotham to take the next step in 2017 to assuage some real concerns about the pitching staff.
Alex Bostic - Junior, S/RP
Bostic was another workhorse for Clemson. Out of the bullpen he had 25 appearances, plus one start, and had a 4-2 record with a 5.13 ERA from it. Across 33.1 innings Bostic allowed 21 runs and struck out 44 batters. He also walked 27. Opponents hit a measly .210 against him making Bostic one of the more effective Clemson relievers this year.
Ryley Gilliam - Freshman, RP
Gilliam was another midweek starter for Clemson and had a few appearances in relief. Across 15 games he started 6 and went for 31 innings. This gave him a 3-2 record and a rather high 6.10 ERA. Despite this high ERA, the result of 21 earned runs, opponents only hit .230 against him. Ryley also only walked 18 to go with his 16 strikeouts. It may have just been bad luck more than anything to account for the poor ERA. Gilliam has immense upside and a future as a weekend starter and/or closer.
Alex Schnell - Sophomore, RP
Schnell is the final reliever on the roster that Coach Lee went to. Schnell had 21 appearances this year including 3 mid week starts. He didn't win a single game this year, he had a 0-0 record, but did have a rather high 6.11 ERA. Schnell did not benefit from Clemson's defense with 26 runs allowed and only 19 of them were earned. Opponents did manage to hit .317 against him too
Paul Campbell - Sophomore, RP
Campbell had 12 appearances that didn't go too well. An 11.17 ERA was the result of allowing 12 runs while on the mound. Campbell did strike out 9 to go with his 5 walks and an opposing batting average of .364
Mike Goren - Redshirt Freshman, RP
Goren spent his 4 innings across 3 appearances getting shelled. He surrendered 10 runs for a 22.50 ERA while striking out 5 and walking 1. Goren had an opposing batting average of .368, not exactly good.
Andrew Towns - Junior, RP
In 3 appearances across 1.2 innings Towns had a rather high 37.8 ERA. He allowed 7 runs in his 1.2 innings and opposing batters hit .583 against him. It wasn't the greatest season for Towns, but there are always opportunities for improvement next year.