DURHAM, N.C. — If Clemson is going to earn an 11th consecutive bid to the NCAA Baseball Tournament next week, then it will need to beat No. 7 Louisville on Thursday in Day 3 of the ACC Baseball Championships.
To make it even more difficult for the Tigers, they will likely have to do it against the Cardinals’ ace pitcher.
Following Louisville’s 5-1 loss to No. 12 seed Boston College on Wednesday at the Durham Bulls’ Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina, Cardinals’ head coach Dan McDonnell said they will consider starting sophomore Reid Detmers against the Tigers.
The Cardinals (43-14) planned on holding Detmers for perhaps the weekend had they beat BC. But that did not happen, so they want to make sure their ace gets some work this week.
“I’ll talk to Coach (Roger) Williams and we’ll figure it out,” McDonnell said after the game. “I thought today Nick (Bennett) was probably not as sharp as he was, but better from his last outing. And he competed. And we felt like we wanted to get them another start before the regionals. He threw on Friday, so we knew we had a short leash today and gave us 60 pitches, three innings. And we thought, okay, man, now this is the game you have to win.
“So, we lined up (Bryan) Hoeing and (Michael) Kirian and (Michael) McAvene, all our guys because this is the game you’ve got to win. Obviously now that tomorrow is our last game, I would think you’ve got a chance to give Reid Detmers another start. But I’ll talk to Coach Williams and see where he’s at and take it.”
The Tigers (33-24) faced Detmers earlier this year at Clemson and had success. They handed the ACC Pitcher of the Year his second loss with a 5-1 victory at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 5.
Clemson roughed him up for four runs in the third inning as Logan Davidson and Kyle Wilkie hit back-to-back home runs. A sophomore, Detmers pitched six complete innings that night and was charged all five runs on four hits, while striking out 10 and walking two of the 28 batters he faced.
McDonnell said they were trying to win Wednesday’s game against BC, but they also wanted to set their pitching up for next week’s regional.
“I mean, you want to win them all, but you also want to line your pitching up. And I thought with Nick we did that today,” he said. “I thought we lined them up for the regionals and gave us a chance to win. Unfortunately, we just didn’t do enough.”
Detmers led all ACC pitchers in wins (11), ERA (2.42) and strikeouts (138) this year. The lefty went 11-3 during the regular season in 14 starts.