The Case to Host

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The Case to Host

For the first time this season, we have seen major college baseball publications project Clemson to host an NCAA regional. Baseball America has Clemson as the number one seed with Vanderbilt visiting as the second seed, SE Louisiana as the three seed and Mercer as the four seed. D1Baseball has Clemson hosting with Pepperdine, Oklahoma State and Michigan visiting.

I have been saying for a couple of weeks that Clemson's path the hosting a regional was pretty clear and the Tigers have made a very strong case in the last 15 games.

Here are a few of Clemson's strongest points:

*The Tigers are currently tenth in the RPI.

*Clemson is tied for 16th in wins with 38. Bryant College, Navy, Wright State, Kent State and Coastal Carolina are a few of the schools that have more wins, but only Coastal has been mentioned as hosting.

*The Tigers' 38 wins are more than Virginia, Florida State and NC State.

*Clemson has 15 wins over top 50 teams. Only Louisville, Florida, Miami, and NC State have more wins against top 50 opponents.

*The Tigers have 23 wins against top 100 teams. Only Louisville, Miami, Texas A&M, and NC State have more wins against top 100 teams.

*Clemson has played the nation's eighth toughest schedule.

*The Tigers have series wins against RPI number five South Carolina, seven NC State, 16th FSU, 26th Wake Forest, and 35th Boston College.

*Seven of the Tigers 18 losses were on the road to top five RPI teams. Thirteen of their losses came to RPI top 15 teams.

Comparing Clemson to local schools, the Tigers won the series against five top 50 RPI teams. South Carolina won one series against a top 50 team.

There are 16 regional sites that will be announced Sunday and the field will be announced Monday, but this week may decide several sites. I doubt Clemson can go 0-3 this week at the ACC Tournament and still host. A 3-0 record in in pool play or a 2-1 record that still advances the Tigers to the ACC Finals should also be good enough. However, what about a 1-2 mark? I still believe that will be good enough to host based on the Tigers complete body of work.

Clemson has its work cut out for it at the ACC tournament. Virginia is starting Connor Jones who is 11-1 with a 2.05 ERA and is a projected first round draft pick. Louisville is perhaps the most talented team in the country and has the nation's number one RPI. The Cards swept Clemson earlier. And Wake Forest has a great offense including second baseman Nate Mondou and All-American third baseman Will Craig. This is the kind of talent that comes with playing in the nation's top conference, but it also presents great opportunities.

Monte Lee is just in his first year and had a rebuilding job when he took over. That rebuilding can be accelerated if the Tigers can play well this week and bring a regional back home.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

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