Kyle Wilkie has been as hot as ever at the plate and his success continued in eighth-ranked Clemson’s 9-4 victory over Kennesaw State Tuesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The sophomore catcher went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, which was his third home run of the season. After the Wake Forest series this past weekend, Wilkie was leading the team in batting average with runners in scoring position as well as the best average on the team in ACC games.
“I think it’s just swinging at strikes and being on time for me,” he said after Tuesday night’s game. “When I load on time and get my foot down and swing at good pitches, good things happen and that’s just what I’ve been trying to do.”
As much as Wilkie has been producing for the Tigers, he was recently bumped up to the six-hole in the lineup, which he said has given him even more confidence as he has continued to get the job done.
“Just confidence,” he said. “I always tell myself I’m a good hitter. That’s what you have to do. Then you get bumped up to the six-hole and that just helps your confidence a lot. For me especially, I’m just feeling better at the plate and know that I belong.”
Wilkie feels like the turning point for him this season was on February 27, when he drove a single up the middle in the bottom of the 10th inning to defeat Winthrop in walk-off fashion.
“That just settled me down a little bit I think,” he said. “And that’s a moment that I turn back to. I had three hits in that game. I felt good at the plate and I just tried to keep that momentum going forward.”
The Tigers continue their five-game week tonight as they take on Presbyterian College at home before traveling to Virginia this coming weekend. Wilkie is confident in his abilities and knows he is as capable as anyone to get the job done.
“That’s one thing that I’ve always told myself is that the more confident you are the better you’re going to be,” he said. “There’s a fine line between confidence and cockiness.
“I think if you are confident in yourself, but you’re not cocky, that’s where you need to stay and that’s what I’ve been feeling. I just feel extremely confident up there knowing that I can get the job done.”