Clemson (0-0) vs. Wright State (0-0)
First Pitch: Friday 4pm EST, Saturday 2pm EST, Sunday 1pm EST
Watch/Listen: Watch online through the ACC Network Extra or TigerCast
Friday: Danny Sexton LHP (WSU) vs. Charlie Barnes LHP(CU)
Saturday: Zane Collins LHP (WSU) vs. Pat Krall LHP(CU)
Sunday: Trevor Swaney RHP (WSU) vs. Alex Eubanks LHP(CU)
We will see how Charlie Barnes does and if he can overcome last year’s Friday starter struggles that Clemson seemed to have each weekend. Pat Krall will then get an opportunity to show what he can do as a starter. Though Krall pitched a large number of innings last year, he was never a consistent weekend starter. If Krall can contribute and lock down the Saturday starting spot it will do wonders for this pitching staff. Alex Eubanks also returns and hopefully his appearances are a little less rocky. Clemson had some real turnover last year in the Sunday starter spot.
The Raiders will have a new coach this year in Jeff Mercer, a former WSU player. Mercer will be tasked with replacing 5 players from a team that won the Horizon League last year before bowing out in the NCAA Tournament. Those 5 players were drafted last June, a program record.
Despite the unprecedented departures, don’t expect Wright State to give up easily. They are the preseason pick to win the Horizon League by fellow coaches because of some talented young players in the squad.
Wright State will be replacing the middle of their defense at catcher and SS which provides plenty of opportunity for Clemson to test the Raiders’ defense, but they’ll have to put the ball in play against a strong pitching staff. Wright State won 46 games last year and could easily surprise Clemson. The offense may not be as good as some of the teams Clemson will see later this year, but it will be potent enough to pounce on any mistakes Clemson makes in the field.
The big question for the Tigers is going to be the pitching staff. Inconsistent is probably the best term to describe last year’s pitching, especially the starters. If Clemson can find some consistency in the pitching things will look really good for Clemson.
Consistent pitching will also help the other question for Clemson, how they maximize Seth Beer’s production. As of right now Beer isn’t going to have the protection in the lineup he had last year, and teams are likely going to pitch around him. Clemson will need someone to step up on offense to help provide Beer with some quality at-bats.
As always join us here all weekend to discuss the games, and if you’re in town make sure you head over to Doug Kingsmore in person.