Clemson was selected for the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the 39th time, fifth most in Division I college baseball history, on Monday afternoon. The third-seeded Tigers will travel to Nashville, Tenn and will play number-two seed Oregon in the first round on Friday at 1 p.m. (Eastern). Number-one seed Vanderbilt will host the regional and play number-four seed Xavier in the other first round game on Friday.
This will be the first baseball game for the Tigers against Oregon and the first time Clemson has faced a Pac 12 team since 2010 when the Tigers defeated Arizona State, 6-3, in the first game of the College World Series.
Clemson has never played number-four seed Xavier and has faced Vanderbilt three times, just once in Nashville. Clemson closed its 1984 season with an 11-5 win at Vanderbilt. The two teams split two games at Clemson in 1986.
Vanderbilt enters the NCAA Tournament with a 41-18 record, including a 23-3 mark in non-conference games and 26-9 at home. The Commodores are coached by former Clemson assistant Tim Corbin, who coached under Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett from 1994-2002.
Oregon has a 42-18 record, a 24-6 record in non-conference play, and an 18-10 record away from home. They are ranked 23rd in the RPI and had an 18-12 record in the Pac 12. Offensively, Oregon is led by Shaun Chase, who has 12 home runs, 15th best in the nation. Jeff Gold and Thomas Thorpe both have 10 wins to lead the pitching staff. Gold is eighth in the nation in strikeout-walk ratio.
Xavier won the Big East Tournament Championship with 5-0 victory over Creighton in the title game. The Musketeers enter the NCAA Tournament with a 29-27 record, including a 17-16 mark in non-conference play.
This is the 20th NCAA Tournament selection for the Tigers in the 21 years Jack Leggett has been the head coach. Clemson has won at least one NCAA Tournament game in each of the 20 appearances under Leggett and 26 consecutive tournaments overall, the fourth longest active streak in college baseball.
Clemson enters the tournament with a 36-23 record, including a 2-1 record in the recently completed ACC Tournament in Greensboro. One of Clemson’s wins was a 3-2 victory over a Miami (FL) team that was ranked as high as third in the nation entering the game. Clemson has won 11 of its last 15 games entering the tournament.
The Tigers have three .300 hitters and are led by designated hitter Tyler Krieger, who has a .330 average with 16 doubles and 32 runs batted in. Second baseman Steve Wilkerson is a .318 hitter with a team best 18 doubles and five home runs to go with 39 RBI, while outfielder Garrett Boulware is a .303 hitter. Freshman catcher Chris Okey leads the team in RBI with 41.
Daniel Gossett leads Clemson’s pitching staff with a 7-1 record, 102 strikeouts and a 1.78 ERA. He is on pace to have the best ERA by a Clemson pitcher since 1998. Matthew Crownover leads the teams in wins with an 8-5 record and a 2.26 ERA. Matt Campbell has been the ace in the bullpen with a 4-0 record and a 0.87 ERA to go with eight saves.