After bursting onto the college baseball scene as one of the best freshman hitters in the nation in 2015, Clemson’s Reed Rohlman experienced a sophomore slump last season, when he hit just .274 with two home runs and a .374 on-base percentage.
This year, the redshirt junior outfielder has gotten back on track with a team-leading .375 batting average, 21 doubles, six home runs, 33 RBI, 42 runs and a .464 on-base percentage in 57 games.
Rohlman, Clemson’s only first-team All-ACC selection in 2017, says his mental approach to the game has keyed his bounce-back campaign.
“It’s all in the head,” Rohlman said. “It’s realizing whatever happened the day before is done, and I think last year that was my problem was I would hang on a bad series for a while and that would just keep rolling over throughout the season. But this year, a big help for me has been just once the day’s over, good or bad, reflecting off it, learning from it and then moving on to the next day.”
As a freshman, Rohlman hit .356 with 43 runs, 17 doubles, three homers and 58 RBIs en route to first-team freshman All-American honors.
Clemson head coach Monte Lee said Rohlman’s approach at the plate changed last season and contributed to his decline in results. This season, according to Lee, Rohlman has reverted back to what worked so well for him as a freshman.
“I think Reed probably tried to do a little bit too much, probably pulled the ball a little bit too much,” Lee said of Rohlman last year. “I think this year he went back to his strength, which is staying in the middle of the field. When he does pull the ball this year, he’s been able to get the ball in the air more.”
Rohlman was college baseball’s hottest hitter in March and April, when he had a 20-game hitting streak, the 18th-longest hitting streak in Tiger history. He is also currently riding a 33-game on-base streak, the longest by a Clemson player this year.
The native of Moore, S.C., attributes his consistent success to staying in the moment and taking the season day-by-day, something he admittedly struggled to do last season.
“That’s what baseball is all about, coming in every day, realizing it’s a new day and you have to do just as much as the day before,” Rohlman said. “I’ve just been sticking with the same approach and mindset every day, so that’s what has helped me a lot.”
That remains Rohlman’s focus heading into the Clemson Regional, which begins for the Tigers on Friday at 7 p.m. against UNC Greensboro.
“The postseason is a new season, so I can’t hang onto what I did this year or the years before,” Rohlman said. “Just really focused on game-by-game, pitch-by-pitch in the postseason.”