CLEMSON, S.C. – The 2017 Tigers will hold their first full-squad practice of the new year on Friday at 2:30 p.m., at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson was picked to finish third in the ACC Atlantic Division by the league coaches on Wednesday.
Head coach Monte Lee returns six of nine position starters and pitchers who made 48 of the 64 starts (75 percent) on the mound in 2016. Clemson returns 2016 Dick Howser Trophy winner and ACC Player-of-the-Year Seth Beer and fellow first-team All-American Pat Krall, a senior lefthander.
Beer batted .369 with 18 home runs, 70 RBIs, 57 runs, 62 walks and a .535 on-base percentage as a freshman. Beer is slated to make the move to first base in 2017. In 2016, Krall was 10-2 with five saves, a 1.67 ERA, .203 opponents’ batting average and 65 strikeouts against 17 walks in 80.2 innings pitched. Krall led the ACC in ERA and became the first Tiger in history to lead the team outright in wins and saves.
Clemson must replace its third first-team All-American from 2016 in catcher Chris Okey, who hit .339 with 15 homers and 74 RBIs.
“I’ve been very, very pleased,” said Lee at the conclusion of the fall. “It’s been a ball club that shows up every day, and they punch the clock and go to work. It’s a low-maintenance group of players. They work hard and do everything that we ask them to do. I feel really good. I like our lineup, I like our defense, but we’re going to have to be ready to go when we start the season in February.
“I think we’re going to be really, really good offensively. I think we have a chance to have a special lineup this year. We’re also much improved defensively.
“We’re much deeper on the mound. The big key for us is to stay healthy. We have to do everything we can in training, the weight room and with proper rest to do all the things we need to do to get our bodies ready for the spring, because a 56-game schedule is tough, especially against the competition we play.”
The Tigers open up their 120th season against Wright State in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from February 17-19. To purchase tickets, click HERE or call 1-800-CLEMSON. Fans can also follow Clemson Baseball on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @ClemsonBaseball.
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