Prior to Tuesday’s 5-0 win over Charleston Southern, Freshman Holt Jones had only recorded 3.1 innings on the mound as a Clemson pitcher, all in relief, in just a pair of appearances.
In his first start as a Tiger Jones recorded five and 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball allowing just two hits and striking out eight as he improved to 2-0 on the season.
Clemson head coach Monte Lee did not expect a lengthy start from Jones simply because of his lack of experience this season but was more than pleased with the start he got from his freshman right hander.
“We were just hoping Holt could get us through the lineup a couple of times in his first start,” Lee said. “He pounded the strike zone and was outstanding, far exceeding my expectations.”
Jones’ start was critical on a day when Tiger hitters, other than Grayson Byrd, struggled to garner momentum at the plate. He was extremely efficient on the mound striking out his first seven batters and maintaining a no hitter through his first five innings.
The California-native could not have asked for a better first start and maintained a team mindset on the mound, pushing to give whatever he had on the mound.
“It felt really good, I was excited just to go out there and pitch as a starter,” Jones said. “I wasn’t sure what I had but I wanted to give whatever I had in me.”
He seemingly earned another opportunity to start in the midweek in the near future and is looking forward to the opportunity. However, Jones says is comfortable in the bullpen if that is what it takes for Clemson to continue its hot streak.
The Tigers are back in action Friday at 6:30 as conference foe North Carolina State travels to Doug Kingsmore Stadium.