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Despite injuries, Leggett confident in his team

  by - Senior Writer - Saturday, May 5, 2012 12:24 PM

Catcher Spencer Kieboom has seen his bat come alive in recent weeks

CLEMSON – A Clemson baseball team that many left for dead just a few weeks ago is now playing to better their seeding in the NCAA Tournament, but must do so without two key components.

Many wondered if the Tigers would make the NCAA field after a rough start to the season, but recent series’ wins – including winning two of three at Georgia Tech last weekend – have the Tigers back in the thick of things to make the field of 64.

The Tigers (26-19) have 11 regular season games remaining, including four straight starting Saturday when they host the College of Charleston for three games thru Monday and then Tennessee Tech on Tuesday.

The Tigers will play those games without staff ace Kevin BradyKevin Brady
RS Jr. RH Pitcher
#19 6-3, 220
Gaithersburg, MS

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, who injured his hamstring covering first base last Friday against Georgia Tech, and reliever Matt CampbellMatt Campbell
So. RH Pitcher
#36 5-11, 185
Alpharetta, GA

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, who suffered a Latissimus Dorsi (“Lat”) strain in the ninth inning of the same game.

The Tigers hope to have Brady back in a few weeks, but Campbell’s 2012 season is done.

“Matt Campbell won't be back,” Tiger head coach Jack LeggettJack Leggett
Baseball Head Coach
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told TigerNet Friday. “He has that lat pull, and he won't recover in time to help us this season. Kevin Brady, we will just play day-by-day and week-by-week and hope he can give us something by the end of the year.”

Leggett said the weekend’s first two starters are set, but the coaching staff will make the decisions for Monday and Tuesday after seeing what happens in the weekend’s first two games.

Dominic LeoneDominic Leone
Jr. RH Pitcher
#6 5-11, 195
Norwich, CT

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and Kevin PohleKevin Pohle
So. RH Pitcher
#21 6-3, 180
St. Louis, MO

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will start Saturday and Sunday,” he said. “Monday and Tuesday will be TBA, because we have to see who we will use in relief. We have to have somebody step up for us. They have to. Somebody is going to be called upon, because we have 36 innings staring at us. Those younger guys need to mature, grow up and be ready to help us any way they can.”

Leggett said the fact that the Tigers have played their way back into NCAA contention shouldn’t surprise anyone.

“To me, it’s a long season, and you can't ever give up on the Tigers,” he said. “People want to jump off the bandwagon, and they get very impatient. This program feeds off the fact that we go with the flow and feed off that adversity. We have done that for my 21 years and long before that. We just have to play hard and be committed to each other.”

Junior catcher Spencer KieboomSpencer Kieboom
Jr. Catcher
#22 6-0, 220
Marietta, GA

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was named ACC Player-of-the-Week last week for his performances in four games from April 24-29. He went 11-for-20 (.550) with a homer, double, eight RBIs, and five runs.

He said he is confident that the baseball team will rise to the occasion of doing without its best starter and one of its top relievers.

“I am confident in everybody and their abilities and what they have to offer” Kieboom said. “I think when our backs are against the wall we play our best. We have to keep going out there and try and perform consistently. If we do that, things will work out. I think someone else will step in and take over for these guys and we will play well.”

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