Clemson head coach Monte Lee admitted following No. 8 Clemson’s 9-8 win over Virginia on Sunday that he made a mistake when it came to playing freshman Sam Hall.
“It says a whole lot about me. I should have put him in there earlier, but I’m glad we did,” he said while smiling after the game.
So is Clemson.
Once again, the freshman was on for the Tigers. Hall not only had two hits in his five at-bats Sunday in Charlottesville, but he also recorded his first home run, a solo shot to left field to lead off the fourth inning.
“He threw me a slider and he hung it,” Hall said. “I knew I hit it well, but I did not think I hit it out. I thought he was going to catch it, honestly. I was running hard to second and then I look up and they are telling me it is a home run.”
Since being forced into the starting lineup on Wednesday due to an injury to Patrick Cromwell at third base, Hall has made the most of his opportunity. Since that win over Presbyterian, he has hit safely six times in his 16 at-bats. He has driven in three runs and of course hit Sunday’s home run.
“I think it says a whole lot about him as a player and how hard he has worked,” Lee said. “He got his opportunity because of an injury. He has been working so hard to do this and he has run with this opportunity.
“He has swung the bat extremely well for us. He has played great defense. He is always smiling. He is like a little kid playing in a little league game.”
Lee said Hall’s teammates love to see him on the field and they pull for him hard. Even when he was on the bench and did not play, Hall was a good teammate in the dugout and did not complain.
“I’m just super happy for him with how he has played for us,” the Clemson coach said.
Hall says he knew when he got his opportunity he would be ready to take advantage of it.
“I knew my time was coming. I just relied on my hard work,” the freshman said. “That is really all you can do. The time I was spending when I was not playing. I just used that as a time to grow and develop as a player and as a person.”