When Jordan Greene asked what he knew about Morehead State pitcher J.C. Hatcher, the man he got the game-winning hit off in the 10th inning in Friday’s 4-3 victory in the Clemson Regional, the second baseman leaned over to Clemson head coach Monte Lee and asked, “Who is that?”
Lee chuckled and said, “Hatcher is the guy you got the hit off of.”
Greene smiled and said, “I guess I should say, ‘nothing.’”
Luckily for top-seed Clemson, third base coach Greg Starbuck knew exactly who Hatcher was and what the scouting report was on the Eagles’ pitcher.
“Coach Buck came up and told me that he throws a lot of sliders and after the Florida State walkoff, I kind of have to be expecting I’m not going to get a fastball,” Greene said. “I felt like I had a good approach going up to the plate and I just wanted to get a good pitch to hit and it worked out for me.”
Greene went down to catch one of Hatcher’s sliders on a 1-1 offering, which he got just through the hole on the left side, allowing Drew Wharton to come home from second base with the winning run.
“When I went up to bat, the only thing I was worried about was the pitch I was about to get,” Greene said. “I was just sticking to my process. I knew I was going to get a slider so I was able to make sure I stayed down on it just enough to get a hit through the hole.”
Greene’s walkoff was his second one in three weeks and the sixth for the Tigers this season. The junior launched a bomb to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Florida State on May 7 to walk off in style that night.
However, he still has not got used to being the hero.
“I’m still stunned,” Greene said. “I really don’t have anything for you. I wish I did, but I’m not Seth Beer. I am very new to this. I hope it keeps going. I will take it. I really don’t have anything. I’m still stunned.”
Greene may have been stunned, but he had the right frame of mind heading into the game. Prior to the game, Greene wrote on his arm-sleeve, “All Gas,” playing on Clemson’s motto for the game, which was “All Gas. No Brakes.”
“We want to have an aggressive mentality and relentless,” he said. “Every at-bat, every pitch, be on it and be ready to go. All Gas. No brakes.”
Greene, who was batting in the seven-hole in the lineup, was definitely aggressive at the plate. The second baseman went 2-for-4, including his game-winner.
Wharton led off the bottom of the 10th inning when he dropped a single into right field and then moved into scoring position after Patrick Cromwell sacrificed him to second base with a sacrifice bunt to third base.
“I was super proud that Cromwell got the bunt down,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said. “Once we got the bunt down and we got Jordan coming up in that situation, you feel pretty good about it. You have a veteran hitter and he was sitting on sliders … He did a good enough job to stay on the baseball enough to get it through the six-hole and he won the game for us.”
With the win, Clemson advances to today’s winner’s bracket game where it will meet No. 2 seed Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. The Commodores beat St. John’s earlier on Friday.