Regional host: Lee hears the news from his daughter, Beer his girlfriend
|Monday, May 29, 2017, 2:56 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Monte Lee heard the news from his daughter, first baseman Andrew Cox sat alone in his apartment refreshing Twitter and Seth Beer was told by his girlfriend. Clemson will be hosting a NCAA Regional this weekend.
The Tigers were selected to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed in the Clemson (S.C.) Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Stadium. The Tigers (39-19) will face No. 4 seed UNC Greensboro (35-22) in the their opening game, while No. 2 seed Vanderbilt (33-22-1) and No. 3 seed St. John's (42-11) round out the regional field. It marks Clemson's 42nd NCAA Tournament appearance, fifth most in the nation, and 30th in the last 31 years.
Clemson opens the double-elimination regional against UNC Greensboro on Friday at 7 p.m., on ESPN3. Vanderbilt plays St. John's on Friday at noon on SEC Network and ESPN3.
Clemson’s hosting came as a bit of a surprise – the Tigers went 10-14 in their last 24 games and went 0-2 in the ACC Tournament. However, the Tigers sit at No. 12 nationally in the RPI, and since 2006 59 ACC teams have finished with a RPI of 12 or better, and all 12 have hosted.
“Very excited for our players and for our program and for our fans here in Clemson,” Lee said. “To be able to bring a Regional to Clemson in back-to-back years is special. It's great for our fan base. It's great for our players. We obviously love playing at home, so we're just really excited and grateful for the opportunity to be able to host a Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this weekend.
“Every year, this time of year as a baseball coach is pretty exciting as you count down the days and then the hours and the minutes to when they make those announcements and you get those butterflies as a coach. You always kind of remember where you are and what you're doing when you get the news that you're going to get a chance to host. It was pretty exciting.”
Beer said his girlfriend told him the Tigers would be hosting, and he tried to play it off like he knew all along.
“I was sitting at a barbecue with some of my family and friends. It was obviously in the back of my mind, but I was focused and ready to do whatever I needed to do to prepare myself, if we were traveling or whatever,” Beer said. “My girlfriend tapped me on the shoulder and she said, 'Seth, you guys made it.' I said, 'What do you mean?' She was like, 'You guys are hosting.' I turned around said, 'We are ready to go.' We want to go out there and have a chip on our shoulder. When she told me, I shrugged like I knew but I didn’t.”
Lee said a lack of cell service kept him from hearing about hosting.
“We're moving into a new house and I have zero cell phone service at my new house,” Lee said. “I've got no service, so we're getting in the car to go get something to eat because we've been moving from one house to another and my daughter Shelby holds her cell phone up because she got a little service and I couldn't and she literally put it right in my face and said, 'Dad, we're hosting! We're hosting!' I'm like, 'Really?' I look at it and I'm like, 'Alright. Yeah. Let's go get some food.'”
First baseman Andrew Cox said he was alone, waiting for the news to break.
“I like it. We are grateful and appreciative of the opportunity we have. It's a brand new season,” Cox said. “There are 295 teams in the country, and we are one of the 64 fortunate enough to be able to keep playing and continue our season. We couldn't be more excited and thankful to start that new season and new opening day at Doug Kingsmore. We are excited about going out to work today and start our quest on playing good baseball. I was on Twitter, and I kept refreshing my Twitter, and I was home by myself screaming and laughing.”