As he has fun celebrating his walk-off home run to beat Florida State
Jordan Greene meant no disrespect to Florida State or to the purist of baseball fans when he flipped his bat, then stood and watched as his game-winning home run disappeared into the crowd of the Chapman Grandstands of Doug Kingsmore Stadium Monday.
“Honestly, I have never pimped a home run like that,” Greene said with shaving cream still stuck to the side of his face and in his hair following sixth-ranked Clemson’s 5-4 victory over No. 14 Florida State in Clemson. “I may sit there for a second, you know. I thought I pimped one at Georgia while we were playing at Augusta and I looked at the replay and I was sitting there and then skirted off.
“I don’t even know. You only get one of those chances. It was a walk-off. You are not going to get pegged the next at-bat. You get one chance at that so you can’t mess it up.”
Greene definitely did not mess it up. He took Conor Grady’s first pitch in the at-bat and recorded perhaps the most memorable walk-off home run at Clemson since Tyler Colvin’s walk-off grand slam to beat Oral Roberts in Game 1 of the 2006 Clemson Super Regional.
The junior admitted the only thing he was thinking about when he started to make his jog around the bases was to make sure he stepped on every bag because he did not want to be called out.
“I wasn’t thinking anything when I was running around the bases,” he said. “I saw my teammates jumping up and down and throwing water. It was just a great moment. I was just taking it all in.”
It was a moment Greene did not know could happen when the evening began. The Clemson second baseman began the night on the bench as he watched freshman sensation Sam Hall start in his spot at second base.
Sitting on the bench has not been easy to accept for the Fort Mill, S.C., native, who has been a regular contributor to the Tigers the last three seasons. But with Hall playing well and making circus-like catches like the one he made in the top of the ninth inning on Monday night, Greene knows his opportunities are limited so he has to make the most of them.
So he has stayed prepared and stayed hungry and when his chance came in the seventh inning because of pitching matchup, he was ready and he played with a chip on his shoulder.
“I get that, I feel like, from my dad,” Greene said. “My dad is a blue-collar guy. When I grew up I feel like he instilled some of those principles in me. Never take anything for granted. Just keep working and keep grinding. If you do that, then good things will come.
“There are always better days ahead.”
And it does not get any better than a walk-off home run against one of your team’s biggest rivals in a game that had national seed implications at stake.
Before each game, Greene writes a message on his sleeve to remind him what he is playing for. It was something he picked up from his good friend Clelin Ferrell, who does the same thing before taking the field on fall Saturdays for the Clemson football team.
Greene’s message to himself on Monday was “Dream With Me.”
“I guess that is the team motto for me,” he said. “I say ‘Dream with me’ because it is one of the things that I live by. You gotta play like a little kid. You never stop dreaming. You never give up and you just keep going at it.”