CLEMSON -- The Clemson baseball team (32-17, 14-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) will attempt to continue its spring success tonight at Wake Forest (13-35, 4-20), seeking a third straight series win while continuing to strengthen its postseason resume.
Coinciding with the Tigers' seven-game winning streak is the torrid bat of John Hinson, who has 20 hits in his last 53 at-bats with six home runs.
After redshirting in 2009 due to a back injury, Hinson is tapping into his power potential. He hit his 11th home run Wednesday against Furman, tying him for second on the team in home runs with Jeff Schaus, six behind Kyle Parker (17).
The Tigers hit their 66th homer as a team Wednesday, bettering last year's mark (65) with seven regular season games to play.
"I do best when I have the same approach," said Hinson, a third baseman/infielder. "I sit back and wait for the fastball."
The Tigers are hoping Hinson and their powerful middle of the lineup can improve the team's postseason position. Clemson is projected as one of seven ACC teams in the NCAA field by Baseball America, and as a No. 2 seed at the Coastal Carolina regional, according to Southeastern Baseball's latest projection.
Teams have taken notice that Hinson hits fastballs well, so he's beginning to see a steady diet of offspeed pitches.
It's an adjustment the sophomore must make to continue his torrid streak. Not only is Hinson second in home runs to Parker, he ranks second to Parker in average (.360) and slugging (.610).
"I swung over the top (Wednesday)," said Hinson of striking out on a curveball. "But luckily I have been keeping that to a minimum."
While the Clemson offense has been hot during the seven-game winning streak, the Tigers are looking for arms. Casey Harman and Scott Weismann will continue to work as the No. 1 and No. 2 starters, but the Tigers have yet to announce a starter for the third game against Wake.
Clemson has allowed fewer than five runs just twice in its last 12 conference games.
The Tigers wrap up the regular season next weekend at home against Florida State.