Clemson Baseball: Top Performers Of 2020
Coming into the 2020 baseball season, there were no shortage of questions surrounding Monte Lee's squad. Heading into his fifth season at the helm, fans were eager for the program to take that next step.
After the way the 2019 ended, with the Tigers barely making the 64 team postseason field and being eliminated in the regional round by Jacksonville State, the team was eager to get back on the diamond.
“We don’t have to talk about expectations," Lee said before the season. “We all know what the expectations are. Everybody in that dugout has social media. Everybody that lives in this area knows what the expectation of Clemson baseball is and we embrace those expectations."
After getting off to a hot start, the season was unfortunately canceled after just 17 games. The Tigers were sporting a 14-3 record overall, and a perfect 3-0 record in ACC play. They also took two out of three from South Carolina for the fifth time in six years.
Despite the shortened season, the sample size was large enough to recognize some of the standout players. Let's take a look at three players that were on their way to outstanding seasons.
Starting Pitcher: Sam Weatherly- Throughout camp, the coaches raved about Weatherly and the left-handed junior eventually won the Friday night job. It didn't take long to see why, as Weatherly struck out eight Liberty hitters over four innings in the season opener.
In his four starts, he was 2-0 with a 0.79 ERA, and had 43 strikeouts in just 22.2 innings. He had at least eight strikeouts in all four of those starts, and had at least ten in each of his final three. Opponents hit just .096 against him and he had a WHIP of 0.95.
He also earned the Bob Bradley Award for being the teams MVP in the series win over South Carolina. In a masterful performance, he threw seven no-hit innings against the Gamecocks in Columbia, striking out 11 on the night.
Relief Pitcher: Carson Spiers- The season might have only consisted of 17 games, but Spiers had already become the workhorse out of the bullpen for the Tigers. The reliable closer appeared in more than half the teams games, making nine appearances.
In 15.1 innings pitched, Spiers didn't allow an earned run, surrendered just five hits and three walks, while striking out 17. He also had a minuscule WHIP of 0.53.
Hitter: Kier Meredith- After two injury riddled seasons to begin his career in Clemson, Meredith seemed poised for a breakout season. The speedy outfielder was hitting a team leading .364, with one home run and five RBI.
Meredith had finally started to become the sparkplug in the lineup the coaching had envisioned when signing him. On top of being the teams best hitter, he had also drawn six walks and been hit by pitches five times, giving him an OBP of .455.
Oddly enough, Meredith was just 3-7 on stolen base attempts, which is rather surprising given his speed. Although one would have to assume over an entire season, those numbers might look a little different.