By Trey McCurry.
Opening Day at Doug Kingsmore is just about five weeks away. TheClemsonInsider starts our in-depth coverage of the Tiger baseball program as they begin another run towards Omaha.
The 2012 Tiger pitching staff consists of 11 returners and five newcomers. In his third season at Clemson, pitching coach Dan Pepicelli should have his best staff since he arrived with a nice mixture of experience and young talent. Following is a brief breakdown of the 2012 Clemson Tiger pitching staff:
#19 Kevin Brady RHP
The redshirt junior from Gaithersburg, MD returns after a promising season in 2011 was derailed by injury. Last season, Brady was 2-0 with a 3.86ERA in 10 appearances (three starts). In his starts, the team was 3-0 while the righty was 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA, .155 batting average, and 23 strikeouts against three walks in 16.1 innings. Brady should be the team’s ace and expect to see a quality start every time he takes the mound.
#6 Dominic Leone RHP
The junior from Norwich, CT returns after an up-and-down season in 2011. After dealing with a lingering injury in the first half of 2011, Leone was able to bounce back and was a solid part of the weekend rotation in the second half of the season. Last season, the righty had a 6-2 record and 3.70 ERA in 15 appearances (12 starts). Over 65.2 innings pitched, he allowed 53 hits (.219 opponents’ batting average) and 30 walks with a team-high 72 strikeouts. In 2012, Leone will be looked at as one of the leaders of the staff and should combine with Brady to give the Tigers a nice start to the weekend rotation.
#28 Jonathan Meyer RHP
The junior from San Diego, CA was used in long relief during the first half of 2011 before joining the weekend rotation for the second half of the season. In 23 appearances (seven starts), the righty had a 5-2 record, one save, and a 3.31 ERA. In 58.0 innings pitched, Meyer allowed 55 hits and 19 walks with 63 strikeouts while throwing the only complete game by a Tiger in 2011. This season Meyer should complete with Firth for the final spot in the weekend rotation and will be one of the guys the staff leans on throughout the season.
#20 Scott Firth RHP
The junior from Buffalo Grove, IL had a strong season in 2011. In 50.0 innings pitched over 16 appearances (seven starts), the righty was 5-1 with a 3.06 ERA. Firth was even better against ACC competition, going 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA (eighth-best in the ACC) and a .202 opponents’ batting average (fifth-best in the ACC). This season Firth should challenge for a spot in the weekend rotation and should be one of the go-to guys for the Tigers in 2012.
#29 David Haselden RHP
The senior from Spartanburg, SC is back for his final season in Tigertown. Last season may have been the righties finest since coming to Clemson as he went 6-1 with three saves while recording the fifth best ERA in the ACC (2.23). In his 25 appearances (four starts), Haselden allowed only 65 hits and 14 walks with 49 strikeouts in 76.2 innings pitched. Haselden should again be a major contributor in 2012 and will be looked at as one of the leaders of the pitching staff.
#51 Joseph Moorefield LHP
The redshirt junior from Woodruff, SC was used primarily in 2011 to face lefthanded batters as the only full-time lefty on the team. In his limited time (15.1 innings over 24 appearances), Moorefield had a 2-1 record and a 5.28 ERA. Moorefield should see his innings greatly increase in 2012 and may even have an opportunity to be a spot starter throughout the season.
#36 Matt Campbell RHP
The sophomore from Alpharetta, GA returns for his second season in Tigertown. The righty was 1-0 with two saves and a 3.09 ERA in 16 relief appearances and was especially strong down the stretch in 2011. Campbell should be one of the anchors of the bullpen for Clemson in 2012.
#21 Kevin Pohle RHP
The sophomore from St. Louis, MO was the team’s top freshman pitcher in 2011 as he was used in long relief and as a weekday starter. A second-team freshman All-American, the righty led the team in ERA (1.93) in 2011. In 32.2 innings pitched over 17 appearances (three starts), Pohle had a 5-2 record while allowing 37 hits, no homers, and 10 walks with 17 strikeouts. Pohle should continue to make significant strides in 2012 and will be a key ingredient in the Tiger bullpen.
#15 Mike Kent RHP
The redshirt sophomore from Springfield, VA was hampered by an injury that caused him to receive a medical redshirt in 2011. Kent should be available as an option out of the bullpen in 2012.
#25 Jon Surber RHP
The sophomore from Lisle, IL saw limited action as a two-way freshman player in 2011. In five relief appearances, Surber had no record and allowed four hits, four walks, and six strikeouts. The righty should see an increase in time out on the mound in 2012.
#42 Clay Bates RHP
The redshirt freshman from Rock Hill, SC was the only freshman who redshirted among last season’s freshmen. Bates should complete for innings out of the bullpen.
#43 Patrick Andrews RHP
The freshman from Hilton Head, SC was the SCISA Player-of-the-Year as a senior at Hilton Head Prep School in 2011. Andrews set the school record for wins and strikeouts and was named the #6 player in South Carolina by Perfect Game as well as the #3 pitcher in South Carolina by Diamond Prospects. The righty should see some innings out of the bullpen in 2012.
#27 Kyle Bailey LHP
The freshman from Southlake, TX is the first Tiger from Texas since Stan Widmann. Over his last two seasons at Carroll Senior High School, Bailey was 12-4 with 107 strikeouts in 91.0 innings. As one of the two lefties on the team, expect Bailey to be used in matchup situations and get a good number of appearances out of the bullpen.
#26 Brock Goodling RHP
The freshman from Mount Union, PA was an All-State selection as a junior and senior at Mount Union High School. The #8 player in Pennsylvania by Perfect Game should compete for innings out of the bullpen in 2012.
#23 Daniel Gossett RHP
The freshman from Lyman, SC was a 16th-round draft pick by the Boston Red Sox, but chose to attend Clemson. Gossett was one of the top incoming recruits for the Tigers and garnered several top rankings by national baseball publications. The righty was the #7 prospect in South Carolina by Baseball America, the #5 player in South Carolina by Perfect Game, and the #4 player and #2 pitcher in South Carolina by Diamond Prospects. Gossett should be the top freshman contributor on the staff in 2012.
#46 Trevor Kieboom RHP
The freshman from Marietta, GA joins his brother on the Tiger squad. Kieboom comes to Clemson from Walton High School and could be a two-way player for the Tigers this season as he pitched and played infield in high school. The big righty should compete for innings out of the bullpen this season.