Clemson baseball misses NCAA Tournament for rare second consecutive time

Monte Lee lamented last week that his team didn't


Monte Lee regretted last week that his team didn't

Monte Lee lamented last week that his team didn’t “leave no doubt” on their tourney resume.

Clemson baseball wasn’t among the names called for the 2022 NCAA Tournament on Monday, making it consecutive seasons without an NCAAs bid for the first time in the 64-team era (1999-on) and overall since a stretch from 1982-86.

It’s a tough blow for a program with the proud tradition of 12 College World Series appearances. None of those have come in the Mount Lee era – or for anybody at Clemson since 2010 – however, with the last Super Regional appearance also in the 2010 run and the last regional hosting in 2018.

The 2022 Tigers (35-23, 13-16 ACC) started the season 14-0, but they scuffled through a 2-9 conference season start.



Along the way, Clemson tallied an impressive 13 wins over top-25 opponents and cracked the top-20 of the RPI down the stretch, but considered a bubble team going into last week’s ACC Baseball Championship, top-20 RPI foes Virginia Tech and UNC outscored the Tigers 27-8 to leave the chances slim of a Memorial Day selection.

Lee talked about the possibility of being left out of the tournament after the 18-6 loss to No. 2 Virginia Tech last Thursday.

“It’s really hard. It’s tough to end the season — it’s really hard to put into words the way that the end of the season feels,” Lee said. “I’ve been coaching now for 22 years. I’ve played baseball I’ve had my heart broken at the end of the year a lot of times. More than half my life I’ve been in this situation where your heart’s broken at the end of the season. So, it’s really hard to put into words.”

Lee made a point to thank the players and take responsibility for the ultimate outcome.

“I’m grateful for these young men, and I’m also disappointed that as the head coach that I didn’t do a good enough job of putting us in a better position,” Lee said. “I’m 100 percent accountable for the way our team plays. Obviously, that falls on me. We’re right there, but ultimately, we didn’t do some things that we needed to do all in all over the course of the season to leave no doubt. I think that’s the main thing.

“That’s disappointing. But on the other side of that, I’m very grateful for the young men that chose to come to come play for us and how hard they’ve worked and all the sacrifices they’ve made for this program and this team.”



The high points of Lee’s tenure so far have come in the first three seasons with an ACC Baseball Championship in 2016 and three regional hosts in a row, including a 47-win campaign and first-place divisional finish in 2018.

The Tigers went 35-26 after being sent to the Oxford Regional at Ole Miss in 2019, started strong in the pandemic-canceled 2020 campaign (14-3) and finished sub-.500 last season for Clemson to miss the postseason for the first time since 2008.

Lee was asked how he felt about his job security at the same Charlotte news conference.

“I do expect to be back but ultimately that is not my decision,” Lee said. “That is going to be up to the administration. I’m sure that I will meet with the administration at some point and hear what they have to say. I expect to be back but ultimately that is not my decision. We’ll certainly cross that bridge when we get there.”

He was holding out hope that the season’s resume could stand.

“It’s not in our hands now. It will be dependent on the selection committee,” Lee said. “I think we have a lot of really good points. We are sitting in the low 30’s (in RPI) if I’m not mistaken. Hopefully we get an opportunity to keep playing, but this week did not go the way we wanted it to go. We will have to see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit across the country and how our resume looks compared to some of the teams that are on the bubble.”

Clemson finished No. 34 in the RPI with a 13-18 mark versus top-50 RPI foes against a No. 17-ranked strength of schedule. NC State earned the distinction of having the highest RPI from the ACC to get left out (32) after going 36-21 and 14-15 in conference action.

Print

Mike Williams says he and Hunter Renfrow talked about teaming up with Raiders
Mike Williams says he and Hunter Renfrow talked about teaming up with Raiders
Mahomes on Justyn Ross: 'I can only imagine how good he's going to be'
Mahomes on Justyn Ross: ‘I can only imagine how good he’s going to be’
Updated NCAA Tournament projection for Clemson
Updated NCAA Tournament projection for Clemson
Monte Lee expects to be back with Tigers next season
Monte Lee expects to be back with Tigers next season



.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.