Although head coach Monte Lee has not officially announced who will start on the mound against No. 4 seed Morehead State Friday night in Game 2 of the Clemson Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, if it happens to be Jacob Hennessy he will be ready to do his job.
“(Coach Lee) hasn’t really talked with us yet, but whatever he decides I will be happy with it and will be happy to do my job,” Hennessy said after Tuesday’s practice. “I would just take it like I have my other starts, my others weeks and prepare the same way.”
This past season Hennessy made the transition from a reliever to the Friday night starter. Prior to this season, the sophomore left-hander’s last start came in high school.
“(Starting) is different in high school obviously,” Hennessy said, “but I had people like Charlie Barnes who was the Friday guy here before me. I talked to him a lot. He kind of helped me with the whole process. But yeah it’s a little bit of a different mindset.
“He reached out when I got the starting job and said, ‘Congratulations.’ He’s been there and he’s had to deal with situations I have. Just being able to prepare to start every Friday. He really helped me with my routine throwing wise throughout the week.”
Hennessy finished the regular season with a 4-3 record and 3.65 ERA. He is satisfied with the year he had as a starter but as always, knows there is still work be to done.
“I have been really happy with my year,” he said. “I feel like I’ve had a good one but still have work to do and I have a lot of confidence going into the regional.”
Even though two of the three teams traveling to Clemson for the regional, No. 2 seed Vanderbilt and No. 3 seed St. John’s, were here in last year’s regional as well, Hennessy says that has no effect on how the team prepares.
“It doesn’t really matter,” he said. “Whoever we play, we have to play our best to prepare for them. I faced Vandy in relief last year. I came in for a lefty-lefty matchup so I only faced one batter.
“As Coach Lee said, we’re just happy to be home playing in the regional. That’s the most important thing so we don’t really worry about anything else besides that and just get ready for the weekend.”
Hennessy feels the key to finding success this weekend is to keep things simple and do what they have done the entire season, which has allowed the Tigers to win 45 games to this point.
“Just being who we are and keep doing what we’re doing,” he said. “We’ve won forty-five games and it’s been working. So we’ll just keep doing our thing.
“We’re very loose which I think is a very big positive. It helps us stay relaxed and doesn’t allow the moment to get too big.”