CLEMSON, SC - Monte Lee told us on Friday night that Sharpe would have to be sharp on Saturday because he knew Liberty's starter would be tough to beat, and he was right. Sophomore Davis Sharpe did not disappoint in his 2020 debut, going 5 scoreless innings with 6 K's and allowing just 4 base runners. Sophomore Keyshawn Askew started the 6th and pitched well for two innings, but after putting two on to start the 8th, Monte turned to true freshman Nick Clayton in a tough spot to try to preserve the 1-0 lead. It's rare to see a coach have that much confidence in a true freshman in that situation, but the 6'4 York, SC native was equal to the task. After a perhaps nervous wild pitch moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd with no outs, Clayton got a huge strike out. He walked the next batter to load the bases but responded with another huge strike out, and a shallow fly ended the inning with the shutout in tact. It was a tremendous demonstration of poise by the true freshman with the game on the line. Monte told me after the game that Clayton is their closer if Spiers is not available, and that they are essentially "closer 1A and 1B." Spiers pitched 3 innings to close last night's game, so he was unavailable today.
The Tigers should have scored in the 3rd and 4th innings. True freshman Dylan Brewer tripped rounding third base in the 3rd on a single by Meredith, and with runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, they were unable to sac a run in. Monte Lee seldom plays small ball, but he had Bo Majkowski lay down a bunt, which he executed perfectly, to move the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Monte told me after the game that he will continue to employ small ball as needed this season and as the score dictates. The Tigers' personnel this season certainly suggests that they'll need to manufacture some runs. They have good hitters and good speed but not the power that they have had in the past as one of the best HR teams in the nation over the last two years. Meredith came up with the big game-winning RBI single in the 5th, driving in Starbuck for the game's only run. Sophomore Elijah Henderson was 2-3. He is 4-7 this weekend and reached base 3 times today.
The Tigers will go for the sweep on Sunday at 1:00. Post-game interviews are below!
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