Clemson part of a "stacked" field at ACC tourney

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Sophomore right-hander Daniel GossettDaniel Gossett
So. RH Pitcher
#23 6-0, 180
Lyman, SC

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says the ACC is stacked this year, and he relishes the opportunity of going up against the nation’s best in this week’s ACC Tournament, which will be held in Durham, N.C., starting on Wednesday.

Gossett (9-3, 2.20) will take the hill against N.C. State Wednesday night in a primetime game that is slated for a 7 p.m. first pitch, and he said he can’t wait to see all of the talent that will be on display in Durham, including a lot of talented freshmen on Clemson’s roster.

“The ACC is stacked this year, so we are going to have an awesome tournament,” Gossett said Monday. “We are really excited to go up there and see the talent in the ACC and play against the best. In the fall we had 18 incoming freshman and now we are contending to host a regional. It’s been exciting to see how far all of these guys have come. This should be a great week.”

The ACC Baseball Championship runs Wednesday through Sunday, and it features four teams in Baseball America’s Top 10 and six in the Top 22. The entire eight-team field is in the top 22 nationally in RPI.

Clemson is in a Pool A along with State, UNC and Miami. Pool B features Florida St., Virginia, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. Each team plays one game against the other teams in their pool, and the Pool A champ plays the Pool B champ on Sunday. All of the round-robin action will be televised on RSN, with the championship game on ESPN2.

Clemson went 4-5 against the pool play competition this season, and all nine games were played on the road.

Clemson head coach Jack LeggettJack Leggett
Baseball Head Coach
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said that both sides of the round-robin tournament are strong.

“Strong. Very strong. Both sides are strong, and there is no advantage for one side or the other,” Leggett said. “We have N.C. State and North Carolina and Miami on our side, so we have to be on our toes. We’ve played all three of them, so we know what to expect. They all have really good ball clubs.”

Leggett said he is confident his team can make a splash in the tournament, and thinks his team is playing well at the right time of the year.

“I always have confidence we are going to win. Our pitching has been good, our defense has been pretty good and our offense has actually been pretty good in the last 32 games and getting better,” Leggett said. “Every team gets better, and you hope you are playing your best baseball at the end of the season. But this team, because of the youth, has just gotten better and better. I can see our players getting more mature and more confident, and feeling their oats a little bit. They are pretty well focused.”

Leggett then said the tough tournament will be a good litmus test to see how far his young team has progressed this season.

“Early in the season, I saw us as a pretty good team. We are a team I wouldn’t want to bump into if I was playing us,” he said. “Hopefully we play well, but we have some tough baseball ahead of us this week and it will tell us how far we have come. “

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