Clemson, as a program, wasn’t great in 2021, finishing the season at 25-27 and 16-20 in the ACC.
This year, however, has been a different story. After a tough weekend series sweep against South Carolina, Clemson stands at a gaudy 11-0, and well on its way to a different kind of season.
This start is in no small part (hello, Dennis!) due to three Valley Leaguers, all off to solid to amazing starts. Let’s take a look:
- First of all, Cooper Ingle (Charlottesville 2021) is hitting .463/.603/1.213 in 41 at-bats, with 16 runs scored, three doubles, a home run, 14 RBIs, and a silly 14/5 BB/K ratio.
- Ryan Ammons (Strasburg 2021) has emerged as the closer, and is 0-0, 1.50 in six innings, with four saves, one walk, and 10 K’s.
- Chad Fairey (Strasburg 2021) doesn’t have Ingle’s average, but he’s still getting on base at a good clip, slashing .242/.457/.333 in 33 at-bats, with eight runs, one home run, eight RBIs, and 12 walks to 10 strikeouts.
Over at D1baseball.com, Aaron Fitt covered the team during the sweep, and focused on Ingle and Ammons. It’s behind a paywall, but here’s a taste (and by the way, I have found my subscription to the site well worth it):
Lefty Ryan Ammons is another great developmental success story, emerging as a closer in his third season after seeing limited action a year ago. He now has as many saves (four) as he had innings in 2021, and he sports a 10-1 K-BB mark along with a 1.50 ERA. A funky, high-effort southpaw with a thick frame and a short arm circle to a high slot, Ammons hides the ball well and stays in attack mode with a 90-91 mph fastball and two good secondary pitches: a sharp three-quarters slurve at 77-80 and a 79-80 changeup some action to it.https://d1baseball.com/features/rapsodo-team-on-the-rise-inside-clemsons-dramatic-turnaround/
The “dramatic turnaround” storylines abound with this club, but Ingle is one of the most dramatic of all. [Coach Monte] Lee raved about his bat in the fall of his freshman year, but Ingle never got it going last spring, hitting just .063 (1-for-16). In Ingle’s case, the key to unlocking his full potential has been about preparation.https://d1baseball.com/features/rapsodo-team-on-the-rise-inside-clemsons-dramatic-turnaround/
(Check out the article for the full story; again, it’s worth it!)