Erik Bakich addressed the media, Thursday, roughly 24 hours before his Clemson Tigers take the field against Lipscomb in their NCAA Regional opener at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Lipscomb (36-24) claimed the Atlantic Sun’s automatic bid after winning the final three games of the conference tournament en route to the title.
Bakich isn’t overlooking the Bison, who defeated Louisville, Arkansas and Notre Dame twice during the regular season, “They’ve got 106 home runs, 99 stolen bases, they’ve got the A-Sun Pitcher of the Year (Logan Van Treeck), they’ve got speed, they’ve got power. They’re just a good club.” Bakich said, “All these teams that are coming off a dogpile, ourselves included, have got a lot of positive momentum behind them. So, they’re very dangerous.”
No team has more positive momentum than Clemson, winners of 16 straight.
Van Treeck, a southpaw, fanned 101 batters this season against just 13 walks and held opposing batters to a .207 batting average. Lipscomb’s lineup features two hitters with 21 home runs in Austin Kelly and Alex Vergara. A third, Trace Wilhoite, has 17 homers. Wilhoite also leads the Bison with 65 RBI’s.
The Tigers will counter with righty Austin Gordon, who is coming off a dazzling performance in the ACC Tournament. Gordon surrendered just a pair of hits and held Boston College scoreless for six innings last Friday.
The first pitch between host Clemson (43-17) and fourth-seeded Lipscomb is scheduled for 1 p.m., Friday. Game 2 between no. 2 Tennessee and no. 3 Charlotte is set for 6 p.m.