Midweek Preview: Clemson Could Turn To Freshman Pitcher

Brad Senkiw

Monte Lee turns to a freshman to keep Clemson’s dominant start on the mound going this week.

Right-handed pitcher Mack Anglin was supposed to make his first career appearance and start Tuesday against The Citadel, but the game was postponed until May 5.

Instead, Anglin could be making that start against Furman on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson hasn't officially announced a starter for that game. It was listed as "TBA" before Tuesday's rainout. 

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Anglin was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Ohio last year and comes to Clemson as the No. 6 freshman in the ACC, according to Perfect Game.

“Mack Anglin is a name everybody’s going to be impressed with when they see him pitch,” Clemson coach Monte Lee said last week. “He’s up to 95 (mph) with a power breaking ball and he’s a true freshman.”

Lee has called Anglin’s go-to pitch a “power slider,” and said last month that the Marengo, Ohio, native would be “in the mix” for a starting role.

The Tigers are coming off a stellar weekend of pitching after they held Liberty, which returned several of its best hitters from 2019’s 43-win squad, to five runs in their three-game sweep.

The starting pitching of Sam Weatherly, Davis Sharpe and Spencer Strider combined to allow one earned run on five hits with 18 strikeouts through 10 innings.

Anglin could look to keep that going Wednesday against Furman. Another starting option could be redshirt freshman Carter Raffield, who tossed one scoreless inning Sunday.

Raffield, like Strider, missed all of last season after having Tommy John surgery, but Raffield’s rehab process is different.

“He’s a little more flexible than Spencer in terms of how we use him because he’s farther along in his rehab process,” Lee said.

Raffield, a highly-touted member of the 2018 recruiting class, was slated to be a potential midweek starter by Lee last week if Raffield wasn’t needed for multiple innings during the weekend.

The Paladins, who went 2-1 last weekend against La Salle, come to Clemson for the first of a two-game set. The series finale will be played April 14 at Fluor Field in Greenville.

By the numbers

·Outfielder Elijah Henderson was 6-of-11 at the plate in the first weekend, driving in three runs and slugging .636 with a .571 on-base percentage.

·Catcher Adam Hackenberg has a team-high four RBIs after racking up six hits.

·Closer Carson Spiers picked up a save, threw four innings in relief over the weekend and allowed one unearned run on two hits with five strikeouts and no walks in two appearances.

Coming up this weekend

Clemson hosts Stony Brook for a three-game series beginning Friday at 4 p.m. Saturday’s Game 2 is set for 3 p.m. with the series finale scheduled for noon Sunday. The Seawolves lost three of four games against Texas State in their first series.