Clemson shakes up rotation for season’s second series vs. Wright State: top-rated freshman Clate Schmidt gets first start
CLEMSON — Jack Leggett said the early stages of the season would include plenty of experimenting with his young team and the veteran Clemson coach is already making changes entering today’s 4 p.m. series opener against Wright State (3-0).
Clemson (2-1) will start freshman Clate Schmidt in Game 2 of the series Saturday. The Acworth, Ga. native made one relief appearance against William & Mary, pitching 22/3 innings, allowing three hits, no walks while striking out three.
Schmidt was one of the top high school arms in the country last year, possessing a sharp breaking ball and a fastball that can touch 96 mph. He was a Rawlings’ first-team All-American last season. He was rated as a top 50 prep pitching prospect but was not drafted as Schmidt told area scouts he was firm in his commitment to Clemson.
He is just one of many intriguing arms in the freshman class including lefty Matthew Crownover, who is coming off Tommy John surgery last March, and struggled in his relief debut last week.
Schmidt takes the place of Patrick Andrews, who struggled in his start last weekend.
Sophomore ace Daniel Gosset will start today’s game and Scott Firth will make another start on Sunday.
Clemson will look for more power after hitting only one home run in its opening series.
Freshman Steven Duggar leads the team with a .556 batting average (5 for 9) along with two doubles. Steve Wilkerson is 5 for 12 (.417) with a double, four RBIs, and two runs.
The Wright State pitching staff has a 1.67 ERA and .230 opponents’ batting average along with 24 strikeouts against seven walks in 27 innings.