It appears as if Clemson head coach Erik Bakich has had a few sleepless nights mulling over a few decisions he made this past weekend during the NCAA baseball regional. After winning their opener, the Tigers dropped a 14-inning marathon to Tennessee before being eliminated by Charlotte on Sunday. It’s the fifth consecutive time Clemson has failed to reach the Super Regionals while having home field advantage in the first round. However, the 6-5 loss to the Volunteers on Saturday may be one that haunts the Tigers for quite some time.
“He waved me off when I stepped out of the dugout to stay in there, and I should have listened to him,” Bakich said on SportsTalk Tuesday night when asked about his decision to remove starting pitcher Caden Grice from the game against Tennessee. “It was just one of those things where it’s a game of inches, and we just fell short of those inches.”
Grice was terrific against Tennessee, giving up four runs on six hits in eight and two-thirds innings. But it was a two-out, three-run homer that relief pitcher Ryan Ammons surrendered that ultimately gave the Vols the opportunity to win the game in extra innings. Bakich stressed that the move to remove Grice from the contest was done to protect his arm and future in professional baseball.
Bakich was quite candid about the weekend as he jumped on the radio with us. He detailed what little information he received from the umpires regarding the 13th inning ejection of centerfielder Cam Cannarella. The first-year Tigers head coach also reviewed this past season and what additions his program needs for next year.