Clemson baseball began the year with a series win over South Alabama this past weekend, winning the first two games against the Jaguars before dropping the finale of the series.
The Tigers, ranked No. 14, will now turn their focus to a Monday night matchup with the Charlotte 49ers. The game was scheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, but with inclement weather headed towards the upstate this week, officials decided to move the game to Monday at 4 p.m. instead.
Clemson enters the matchup looking to find its offense following an overall average offensive performance this weekend. The Tigers scored 16 runs this past weekend, but Clemson left 25 runners on base and scored all but four runs on homers. The power to leave the park is excellent, but the Tigers will need to string together runs on hits more consistently to be more effective on offense.
The bright spot for Clemson this weekend was the play of Bryce Teodosio and Davis Sharpe. Sharpe threw five shutout innings and had eight strikeouts in game one of the doubleheader on Saturday before hitting two homers in game two later in the evening. If this weekend was an indication of his potential, Monte Lee will certainly use the freshman in many ways on the mound and at the plate.
Pitching will be key this season for the Tigers, and therefore what Lee gets from his midweek starters will tell us more about the depth of the rotation. We saw solid outings from Brooks Crawford, Davis Sharpe, and Justin Wrobleski, but we do not know much about the midweek starters, so we will find out this week what that part of the rotation will look like.
Charlotte enters behind a strong opening weekend performance from DH/1B Rafi Vazquez, who went .500 this past weekend with five hits, three runs, one homer, and a pair of RBIs. Shortstop Tommy Bullock and catcher Harris Yett combined for six of the 49ers’ 20 RBIs and four of the 11 runs Charlotte scored this weekend. Expect these three to carry much of the load for the 49ers’ offense on Monday.
The Charlotte pitching rotation enters with a team ERA of 2.33 and combined for 29 strikeouts in their weekend sweep of Delaware.
Clemson will go with LHP Keyshawn Askew on the mound Monday night while the 49ers will go with RHP Bryce McGowan.
As stated earlier, first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Monday.