Exit Interview: Chris Epps

Exit Interview: Chris Epps

Baseball

Exit Interview: Chris Epps

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By Trey McCurry.

Epps was a two-time co-captain, a winner of the Bob Bradley Award in 2010, Clemson Regional MVP in 2009, and finished his career third on the all-time walks per at-bat list (one walk every 4.20 at-bats). 

Epps recently sat down with TCI to look back briefly on his time in Tigertown. 

“Clemson was a great experience,” said #26. “I met some good people and made some friends that I will never forget. Clemson baseball taught me the true meaning of being a team and we never would have accomplished all that we did without the bond that we shared.” 

Epps came to Clemson from Dunwoody High School in Georgia. Following his high school career Epps was ranked as the #106 prospect in the nation by Perfect Game (and #7 overall in Georgia) and #111 prospect by Baseball America. He was drafted in the 28th round by the Chicago White Sox but chose to come to Clemson. 

Epps wasted no time in getting going, as he was 5-for-5 in his first five official at-bats as a Tiger. He would go on to finish the year batting .218 with 19 runs, two doubles, one homer, 12 RBI, and five steals in 40 games (33 starts). 

Epps second season in a Clemson uniform may have been his finest. He finished the season batting .297 with 32 runs, six doubles, two triples, four homers, 27 RBI, and nine steals in 56 games (29 starts). He was at his best during the NCAA Tournament as #26 hit a team-high .464 with one double, two homers, nine RBI, and eight runs in seven NCAA Tournament games. He was also named to the Clemson Regional All-Tournament Team as well as Regional MVP. 

During his junior season, #26 hit .221 with 45 runs, eight doubles, one triple, three homers, 16 RBI, and 16 steals in 56 games (41 starts) including a team-leading 35 starts as the leadoff batter. He was at his best against South Carolina in the team’s three game series. In game one against the #15 Gamecocks, he was 2-for-3 with a homer and two runs, including the game-winning run in the eighth inning. Two days later in Columbia, #26 may have had his best day in a Tiger uniform as he went 3-for-6 with a grand slam, five RBI, and two runs in leading Clemson to a 19-6 win. For his performance in the series, Epps was named the recipient of the Bob Bradley Award as Clemson’s MVP in the series. 

In 2011, Epps returned for one last run as a Tiger and had the best power numbers of his career. On the season, he hit .292 with 44 runs, six doubles, two triples, 10 homers, 42 RBI, and 11 steals in 61 games (57 starts). He started the season off right for the Tigers as he hit a solo homer as Clemson’s first batter of the season against Eastern Michigan and followed that up with a two-run shot two days later. Epps had a career day in his last regular-season home game as a Tiger as he went 4-for-6 with a triple, homer, three RBI, and two runs against Davidson. Following the Florida State series, where he went 5-for-9, #26 was named the ACC Player-of-the-Week. Epps continued his late season run with a strong ACC Tournament. He hit a three-run homer against #8 Georgia Tech in game one and hit another long homer in the Tigers’ final tournament game against NC State. He was named to the All-ACC Tournament team as he went 3-for-9 with a double, two homers, five RBI, two runs, three walks, a hit-by-pitch, and a steal in three games. Following the season, Epps was drafted in the 45th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros.

For his career, #26 finished batting .260 with 140 runs, 22 doubles, five triples, 18 homers, 97 RBI, 145 walks, 41 steals, and seven outfield assists in 213 games (160 starts).

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