Clemson is having a whole lot of it right now
DURHAM, N.C. — Playoff baseball is something ball players dream about.
They all want to win that coveted pennant and dog pile on top of their buddies as they celebrate a championship.
Some members of Clemson’s baseball team got a taste of that feeling two years ago when the Tigers rolled off four straight wins in route to the program’s first ACC Championship in 10 years at the time.
“I think all of our guys are excited to get here and we just hope we are fortunate enough to move on to the next round,” outfielder Seth Beer said.
Beer is one of 11 players on this year’s roster that was celebrating a championship in Durham two years ago when the Tigers knocked off Florida State to win the 2016 ACC Championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Now the Tigers (45-13) find themselves two wins away from winning another ACC Championship. Clemson beat Notre Dame 21-4 in its first game Wednesday afternoon and then knocked off Miami 7-1 on Thursday to advance to Saturday’s Semifinal Round.
Beer says this year’s run through the ACC Tournament is very similar to what the Tigers experienced in 2016.
“Just seeing everything, those fun memories just keep coming back,” the All-American said. “Brooks (Crawford) and I were both just talking about it. It is really a fun time so let’s see if we can get another one.”
Clemson heads into Saturday’s semifinal as winners in 19 of their last 21 games, including eight straight overall. The Tigers have won 13 straight games over ACC opponents away from Doug Kingsmore Stadium … a program record.
Lee agrees with Beer that there are some similarities between this year’s team and the ACC Champion from two years ago.
“They are similar teams in terms of their chemistry and in their personalities,” Lee said. “This group is fun to be around. It is a very loose and laid back group.”
That’s where the two teams differ. While this year’s squad is loose and laid back, the 2016 team was a little bit more of an intense group in terms of their personality.
“That group had Chris Okie and Pat Krall, you know more physically intense types of competitors,” Lee said. “This group is a little more laid back. They are very cool and collected. They are very confident. This is an extremely confident group.
“Even before (Thursday’s) game, they were really loose and laid back. It was kind of another game to them, and I don’t mean that with any disrespect, I think that is why we have been so consistent. These guys don’t really get all that amped up. They know they are a good club and if they do what they do then they are going to give themselves a chance to win the game and that is kind of what I have seen out of this group this year.”
In other words, they are just having fun. Who does not like to have a little fun, especially when you are winning?