Tigers not worried about national-seed snub
Clemson head Monte Lee tries not to worry or focus too much on things he cannot control. That is why he is not going to worry himself on why his ballclub was left out as a national seed for this week’s NCAA Tournament.
The Tigers, who will host the Clemson Regional this weekend at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, are the No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament Field, meaning they will more than likely have to play on the road if they advance to the Super Regional round.
“We always want to be national seed, but on the other hand, we also want to win a regional,” Lee said after watching the selection show with his team and the media on Monday. “I think that is the next step. Whether you are a national seed or not, you can’t play in a Super Regional unless you win a regional, so let’s worry about what we can control, which first and foremost is trying to play our best baseball this weekend.
“We will try to win a regional here at home and then we will move on to the next step if we get that far so that is our big focus right now.”
Florida State, who won the ACC Championship for a second straight year this past weekend in Durham, is the No. 7 seed and North Carolina, the No. 6 seed, joined the Seminoles as the only two national seeds from the ACC.
“That has nothing to with his us,” Lee said. “We don’t really about that a whole lot. We only worry about what we can control. I look at our resume and what we have been able to do this year. I’m very proud of our team and what they have accomplished to this point.
“We are in a great position right now, and we will be ready to go.”
If Clemson (45-14) is going to make back to Omaha and to the College World Series for the first time in eight years, it is going to have to travel a road it is very familiar with. The Tigers will host No. 2 Vanderbilt and No. 3 St. John’s, along with Morehead State in the Clemson Regional this weekend at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
“Morehead State is a very good ballclub that just beat Tennessee Tech, who is a two seed, in their conference championship final so they are going to be an awfully tough test,” Lee said. “They are a very offensive ballclub and will be a tough test for us in Game 1. Then you look at St John’s, they are in it year in and year out. They have a great ballclub and we all know how good Vanderbilt is.
“We have a tough regional here, but we would not expect it any other way. We are excited about the opportunity to see what we can do this weekend here at home.”
Of course Vanderbilt beat the Tigers twice in last year’s Clemson Regional to advance to the Super Regional round, while St. John’s was the No. 3 team in the field. If the Tigers survive the regional this year, then it more than likely will play Florida State from the Tallahassee Regional with a trip to Omaha at stake.
“It is business as usual,” Lee said. “This is our third year in a row hosting. We are very excited about the opportunity of being one of the sixteen teams that gets to host the regional. We obviously drew a very tough field.”
Lee says the Tigers are grateful for the opportunity to get to play at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, again.
“There are a lot of teams that do not get the opportunity to play at home in a regional and we do, so we are grateful for that,” the Clemson coach said. “Hopefully, we can play our best baseball this weekend, find a way to win a regional here at home and advance.”
No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Morehead State, 6 p.m.
No. 2 Vanderbilt vs. No. 3 St. John’s, noon