With the pressure on for Clemson to win in hopes of possibly earning an NCAA Tournament bid, starting pitcher Mat Clark stepped up and led the Tigers to a 4-3 victory at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson Thursday night.
Before Thursday, Clark had been trying to find his way back as a consistent pitcher after suffering an injury in April. The sophomore hadn’t pitched over six innings since his injury, but he went 6 2/3 innings against the Demon Deacons, while allowing no earned runs off just four hits.
“Me sitting down there put a bump in the road,” the lefty said. “But pitching at NC State and getting the feel of things and having a decent outing today definitely gave me some more confidence.”
Clark, who had nine strikeouts on Thursday, said the confidence as been there all along even through the past month of struggles.
“We’ve had that confidence all year. I know we have been struggling in the past month, but we still have confidence that we are a better ball club. We use that confidence to keep playing hard everyday and got the win today.”
Clemson head coach Monte Lee considers Clark to be Mr. Consistent.
“I’m proud of myself for throwing strikes and having a good composure out there on the mound,” Clark said. “When you get a compliment like that from your head coach it means a lot.”
The Tigers will try to win Game 2 of the three-game series tonight against Wake Forest. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.