A dominant outing on the mound from Spencer Strider helped lead sixth-ranked Clemson to a five-run victory over No. 18 Coastal Carolina Tuesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The freshman pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits, one run and three walks with seven strikeouts. The righty carried a no hitter through the first 6 1/3 innings.
“I feel like I’ve started to figure things out a little bit,” Strider said. “I scuffled here and there at the beginning of the season adjusting to the bullpen a little bit. It was nice to get a start. I really appreciate that from the coaches.
“They believed in me to go out there against a really good team. They beat us a couple of weeks ago so it feels good to get the win, especially against a good team.”
Strider is becoming more and more acclimated to whatever role he is placed in, whether it be starting on the mound or coming out of the bullpen in relief. He is continuing to earn trust from his coaches each day.
“You adjust to whatever situation you’re in,” said the Knoxville, Tenn. native. “At the end of the day it comes down to understanding your mechanics and consistency in whatever role you’re in.”
Clemson head coach Monte Lee could not have been more pleased with Strider’s performance and knows the freshman is only going to continue to improve and become a major key player in the years to come.
“The last two times he has pitched out of the bullpen he has pounded the strike zone,” Lee said. “So what I’ve seen out of him is him maturing and getting more and more comfortable. He’s been more consistent out of the bullpen lately. We feel like Spencer is going to be a huge part of our future.
“He is a huge part of our team now. But he is going to be a dominant type guy on the weekends. We believe, we have a lot of faith in Spencer and want to give him a start again to give him that opportunity to continue to develop. I don’t know if he could’ve thrown any better.”
As Strider took the mound in the top of the seventh inning Tuesday night, he says the no-hitter wasn’t going through his mind in the moment. Instead, he was simply focused on executing his pitches and getting outs.
“It’s not something you necessarily think about when you’re going through it,” he said. “I knew I had kind of been struggling with command.
“My focus was, we put some runs up there on the board late, so just try to go out and get a 1-2-3 inning. That’s what I always try to do.”