Position spots up in air as opening day approaches

Position spots up in air as opening day approaches

Baseball

Position spots up in air as opening day approaches

With five days to go before Clemson opens a new baseball season against William & Mary on Friday, there is still a lot of competition going on for some of the nine position spots in the field.

“We have a lot of competition and a lot of battles going on and we still have some questions that need to be answered,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said. “But we feel good about where we are at defensively. We feel good about our pitching staff.

“It is more about trying to figure out who will hit one through nine versus a lefty and versus a righty.”

As Lee told The Clemson Insider late last week, Chris Williams will get the start at first base instead of at catcher. Williams is still trying to gain full strength in his right (throwing) arm and is not 100 percent just yet.

It appears Jordan Greene has the edge at second base, where Lee says he has swung the bats well lately during the team’s intersquad scrimmages. Grayson Byrd is also still being considered for the starting job at second base.

Third base is a battle, according to Lee, between Byrd, Patrick Cromwell and junior college transfer Justin Hawkins.

“We have some options there, and we have some battles going on there,” Lee said. “Justin Hawkins is a right-handed hitter so it could give us the option to put him in there and platoon him. We can platoon some at third, some at second and at the DH spot. So we have a good problem between Cromwell, Byrd, Hawkins and Greene.

“All of those guys have played really well. We have to find ways to get them all in the lineup.”

Besides Williams, the other spots that seem locked up are Logan Davidson at shortstop, Seth Beer in right field, Kyle Wilkie behind the plate and freshman Bryce Teodosio in center field.

“Bryce Teodosio is probably our best defensive outfielder and we feel like he looks really, really good in center field, and he is starting to swing the bat well,” Lee said.

Lee says seniors Drew Wharton and Robert Jolly are still battling it out in left field.

Clemson will open the season against William & Mary at 4 p.m. on Friday.

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