Lee states the case for Clemson hosting a regional
|Friday, May 26, 2017, 9:27 AM- -|
LOUISVILLE, KY – Do the Clemson Tigers deserve to host a NCAA Regional? Head coach Monte Lee thinks they do.
The Tigers rocketed out to a 29-5 start on the season and were ranked as high as number four nationally, but lost 13 out of their last 23 games and sit 39-18 overall. That includes a lackluster loss to Duke Tuesday in the ACC Baseball Championship, a loss that knocked Clemson out of the running for a repeat as ACC champs.
Once considered a lock as a top eight national seed, the Tigers now sit on the fence for hosting a regional, but Lee says Clemson’s overall body of work should speak for itself.
“I think if you look at our overall body of work, we are number ten overall in the RPI. In our league, that is third-best behind Louisville and North Carolina,” Lee told TigerNet Wednesday. “We are one of the top RPI conferences in the country, and we are in the top three in RPI in our league. We have series wins against Virginia and Wake Forest, and we are all in the hosting discussion. We have 39 wins, so I think we're a team that you have to look at and strongly consider to give a host spot to.
“That being said, we don't make those decisions. But I think if you look at our overall body of work - we were ranked in the top ten for nine or ten weeks. We are a team that has done a lot of really good things. But going into Friday, we need to play a good baseball game against Virginia. If we can do that and find a way to win that ballgame that puts us at 40 wins. All of those factors matter.”
Lee was asked by one member if he has to remind his team about the importance of consistency – and what the stakes are - and he bristled at the question.
“We have known what's at stakes throughout the good times and the bad. The good times and the tough times,” Lee said. “We knew when we were playing really well that we had to continue that to hold on to the opportunity to host a regional. And when we've struggled, as we have over the last few weeks, we understand what's at stake, too. It's not news to me or our players. It's not something I talk to them about, though. I don't think putting that kind of pressure on our players works.
“I look at the RPI every day, and I know what it takes to host. We just try to be consistent with our team. We have to show up every day and be consistent with our players. The true sign of toughness is what you do when you have adversity, and we've had a lot of adversity. I want to have my player's backs. I am going to do everything I can to put us in a position to be successful. It hasn't worked a whole lot here lately. We are all down in the dumps. I am down in the dumps. But today is a new day, and we have to have a good practice and get ready for Friday.”