Monte Lee has memorable first win as Tigers' skipper
|Sunday, February 21, 2016, 7:01 AM- -|
CLEMSON – The Monte Lee era of Clemson baseball is just two games old, but Saturday’s 9-4 win over Maine will go down as one of the most memorable games of Lee’s young career.
The win was the first of the 2016 season, the first for Lee as a Clemson Tiger and it was orchestrated by a solid pitching performance by senior righty Clate Schmidt, who is making his first appearance after beating cancer in 2015.
Lee told the media after Saturday’s win at Doug Kingsmore Stadium that he couldn’t have possibly drawn up his first win in a Tiger uniform any better, especially having Schmidt on the mound.
“It was a lot of fun to watch Clate Schmidt today. What a road it has been for him after last year having a life-changing experience,” Lee told the media Saturday afternoon. “He means so much to our team and to see him get out there and get the first win of the season for us was a lot of fun for me, and I know it was a lot of fun for him. I'm very, very proud of him. It was awesome to have my first win as the head coach at Clemson be with Clate Schmidt on the mound. It was a special moment for me, and I know it was a special moment for him.”
The former College of Charleston head coach and assistant at South Carolina and Spartanburg Methodist said he likes to keep a memento from the special games of his career, and Saturday’s was certainly special for Clemson’s first-year head coach.
“I keep box scores, and I keep the dugout chart from memorable games,” Lee said. “I've always done that throughout my career, and I've got quite a few memorable games. I will definitely keep the dugout chart and the box score from today.”
Lee has box scores and dugout charts from some of the biggest games of his career, but he said he hopes there are many more to come while he’s the head coach At Clemson University.
“I think the last one that I kept was the Regional win at Florida State last year,” Lee said. “I've kept all of the post-season wins, and I also keep any win against a ranked opponent. Those types of things. Just memorable games. This will be one that obviously I'll keep and I hope it's just one of many to come.”
Saturday’s win was just as special for the players, especially Reed Rohlman who said he enjoyed seeing Lee celebrate after the game.
“It always feels good. Last night we were all anxious and swing happy, but we settled down today,” Rohlman said. “All of us are still confident. It was a great win just to see Coach Monte celebrate with his family. I know it was a big deal for him, and we’re ready to go now.”