top of page

ACC Midterm Grades: Clemson

Photo Courtesy of Clemson Athletics

It is past the halfway mark in the ACC Conference slate, which means it's time for midterm grades to go out on all 14 ACC teams. We continue with the Clemson Tigers, who currently sit atop the Atlantic Division with a 30-6 (11-4) record.

Offense: A

Statistically, the Tigers offense may not jump off the page at first glance. However, Erik Bakich’s team continues to find ways to get the job done.

The Tigers rank outside the top half of the conference in nearly every offensive statistic, but 65 home runs and some timely scoring has helped establish the team as one of the best in the country.

Four of the Tigers’ everyday starters boast a batting average better than .315, with infielders Jacob Hinderleider and Blake Wright leading the way. Wright’s 14 home runs are good enough for the fourth most in the conference and five more than any other Tiger.

Rotation: A

Clemson found a star in freshman pitcher Aiden Knaak, who has allowed just 12 earned runs while striking out 51 in the Tigers’ last eight games. His 2.87 ERA is good enough for the third best in the ACC and his allowed batting average of .201 is fourth best in the conference.

Outside of Knaak, things have been somewhat of a revolving door for the Tigers this season. Ethan Darden has now cemented himself as a weekend starter and with an ERA of 3.19, also sits among the top five in the conference. The sophomore left-hander is also one of four ACC pitchers to toss a complete game this season, allowing just seven hits and one earned run to NC State.

Tristan Smith has also shown flashes of being an elite-level starter, boasting an ERA of 2.55 in five starts. As the season progresses, expect Smith to take on the role of the third weekend starter as Austin Gordon continues to transition into a bullpen role.

Bullpen: B+

College Baseball Central midseason All-Star Matthew Marchal highlights a talented bullpen, but it is Lucas Mahlstedt that leads the Tigers’ relievers with an ERA of 2.89.

Drew Titsworth and Rocco Reid have also posted sub-3.50 ERAs as full-time relievers in 2024. The aforementioned Marchal leads the bullpen with 31 strikeouts and nearly every relief pitcher for the Tigers has done an outstanding job limiting their opponents’ hits.

As Austin Gordon — a former starter for the Tigers — moves into a bullpen role, expect this grade to only improve. His talented arm just adds another terrifying aspect to a bullpen already loaded with potential.

Overall: A

23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page