Photo by © David Grooms/Clemson Sports Talk
Clemson Baseball

Clemson Baseball - Inside the Numbers as Tigers take on Bulldogs

April 10, 2018

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Clemson took 2 of 3 from Notre Dame last weekend, to move to 25-7 overall and 10-5 in the ACC.  After being held to two runs on Saturday, the Tigers roared back to win Sunday's twin bill by scores of 6-3 and 5-2.

Next up is the first of two consecutive Tuesday matchups with Georgia, who is coming off a series loss to Vanderbilt in which the Bulldogs scored 3 runs in each of the 3 games.. 

Tale of the Tape

Thirty-two games into the season I think we can safely say this is a team that is not going to hit for average, but can make up for some of that with power and perhaps a bit of speed now that Kier Meredith is in the lineup. 

In a weird statistical anomaly, the Tigers have just as many home runs (43) as doubles.  For reference, last season Clemson had 119 doubles and 73 home runs (1.6 doubles for every home run).   

I'm not sure what's up with the dearth of doubles, but thought it was odd enough to mention.

Team Batting OBP Slugging ERA WHIP Fielding Scoring
Clemson .248 .371 .423 3.14 1.28 .976 6.0
Georgia .287 .379 .417  3.54 1.28 .978 6.9

The weekend was highlighted by Brooks Crawford gem in Sunday's first game, going 7 innings and only giving up 5 hits and 1 run. The outing was easily Crawford's longest and best of the season.

Ryan Miller finished it up, throwing the last two innings, meaning the bullpen wasn't spent before the second game.



NOTE: This only measures batting average, not on base or slugging percentage.


Leading Off

A stat I track, but don't often publicize are the stats for leadoff batter - meaning the batter in the 1 hole.  Before Sunday, it had been Logan Davidson except for one game (Patrick Cromwell) and those two had combined for a mediocre .262 average when in this spot.  I expect that to change with the introduction of Meredith at the top of the order Sunday.

You never want to make too much of 14 plate appearances, but Meredith brings a dynamic element the Tigers have not had at the top of the order along with the threat of speed and power.  Monte Lee gushes when discussing Meredith's skills.  

It's apparent Davidson isn't a natural leadoff batter, but with no other options, Lee was forced to use him in the leadoff spot.

If early returns are an indication, Meredith batting leadoff is going to be a win-win situation for both Clemson and Davidson and could mean more pressure on the opponent's defense and more runs for the Tigers.

This week's crazy stat

Guess who sits with Seth Beer with an OPS over 1?  Yep, you guessed it, Jordan Greene, who smashed his 3rd homer of the season against the Irish.  If he keeps this up he'll be known as the "Clemson Toy Cannon" (nod to Jimmy Wynn).

Why the Tigers should go for 2

A lot of times college coaches play for a single run and at times that's the smart move depending on the game situation.  On the other hand, if Clemson's trends are representative of college baseball at large, then more teams should play for bigger innings. 

The Tigers are 23-3 in games where they have an inning, any inning, where they score more than 1 run. and 2-4 when they don't.

Whether the Tigers score 2 in the second or 6 in the 5th, they have a good chance of winning if they score more than a single run in any inning.

I know what you're saying, "Well, genius, of course, they have a better chance if they score more runs."  Well, yeah, but...the 23-3 record includes games where the opponents scored more than 1 run in an inning, too.  There has been 1 time where the opponent had more multi-run innings than Clemson, yet the Tigers won and several instances where the Tigers and opponent had the same number of multi-run innings and Clemson won.

The point is, small ball is not always the way to go and with Clemson's pitching, sometimes it's better to for 2 (or more).


Quality At Bats

This metric is calculated different ways by different teams and at times can be subjective depending on who is measuring the at-bat.  The goal was to capture as much data as possible to better understand decisions made by the coaching staff.


Zero errors in the Notre Dame series was good to see, but when you play on an all artificial surface that's the way it should be, generally. 

Actual vs. Expected Record

Actual Record Expected Record "Luck" Expected Season Record
25-7 23-9 +2 40-16


Prior to the season, I mentioned it would be a good thing to go 5-3 against the teams I saw as tough non-conference opponents - South Carolina, Coastal Carolina, and Dallas Baptist.  The Tigers went 6-2 against that group, but one team I didn't include was Georgia. 

The Bulldogs are 23-9 and have an RPI of 8, making this another important non-conference "series" (one game each of the next two Tuesdays) for the Tigers resume. 

Record RPI SOS RPI 1-50 RPI 51-100 RPI 101-150 RPI 151-297
25-7 5 15 6-5 9-2 4-0 6-0

Upcoming Schedule

An early look at the weather shows it'll likely be 30 degrees warmer in North Augusta than it was in Notre Dame.

Two more winnable ACC series lay ahead as we head towards the final third of the regular season. 

Clemson has won both away ACC series so far this season, but that means 9 road ACC games remain. 

Date Opponent Location Current Record Current RPI
4/10 Georgia North Augusta, SC 23-9 8
4/13-4/15 Miami, FL Clemson 13-18 (7-8 in ACC) 80
4/17 Georgia Athens, GA 23-9 8
4/20-4/22 Wake Forest Winston-Salem, NC 14-19 (7-8 in ACC) 119
4/24 Kennesaw State Clemson 17-15 97

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