By Trey McCurry.
By Trey McCurry
Growing up in a Clemson family, where his father Jimmy was a member of the football team (79-80) and his brother Jay was a member of the 2011 baseball squad, redshirt freshman Andrew Cox knows all about Tigertown and the Clemson baseball program.
After committing to the Tigers in July of 2010 as a rising high school junior, Cox (who goes by the nickname “Rudy”) lived out a dream on Opening Day Friday and made his debut in a Clemson uniform.
“I had a blast out there today,” Cox said. “Last night I felt like a kid going to bed on Christmas Eve. I could not wait to get out here today and get going in front of the best fans in the country and playing for a program that I love.”
The chance to make his first start was a long road for Cox, who redshirted last season and worked hard this fall to earn his chance. The coaches noticed Rudy’s hard work and he made the most of his chance, earning an Opening Day start in left field and responding by going 2-for-4 with a walk in his first career game.
“He (Cox) is a good player for us,” commented Leggett after Friday’s game. “He works hard every single day and has a great attitude. We look for good things out of him and look for him to be a big part of our season this year.”
Cox was also grateful after the game, both for his time on the field today and the process he went through to earn his playing time.
“It was a great opportunity to be on the field playing with guys that you love and playing for a coach that you would go to war with,” said #6. “It was definitely rewarding. I put in a lot of time and work this fall, spending time with coaches and picking the brains of the older guys on the team. It’s been a process and I am glad that I could give us a boost today.”
Unfortunately, Rudy’s boost wasn’t quite enough as the Tigers fell 6-5 in 10 innings to Eastern Michigan to kick off the 2014 season.
“It is always tough to drop one of those, especially in extra innings on Opening Day. I thought we played well, but sometimes that is how the chips fall. We have to put this one behind us and get ready to go tomorrow.”
Luckily for Cox and the Tigers, tomorrow is a new day and they will look to earn their first win of the 2014 season at 2:30PM in game two against Eastern Michigan.