Finding a good place

GREENVILLE - Maleeke Gibson raised his batting average 31 points after hitting leadoff in each game of this week's doubleheader against Furman.

Gibson pounded out four hits in 10 at-bats at Fluor Field to help spark a 26-run outburst against the Paladins.

Ideally, that's who Jack Leggett will have at the top of his lineup moving forward.

"Maleeke, I think, gives us a little bit of a boost up there," Leggett said, "So we've got to get him a few more at-bats."

The freshman outfielder/designated hitter from Sumter entered the series batting .200 [11-for-55]. Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 7 high school prospect in the state last year, Gibson had never really been through a funk quite like that one.

"It was bad," he said. "But it happens. You've got to take adversity, you get knocked down and you get back up."

With seven games left in the regular season, Gibson thinks he's in a better place.

"I'm feeling really good, feeling confident. I'm seeing the ball really well. I'm just getting my pitch and hit it, nothing too complicated," he said.

Gibson drove in four runs, scored three more and stole three bases in the two games against Furman.

"He's a tough out. He's got some speed. He knows the strike zone," Leggett said. "I like him [leading off]. We'll keep getting a jolt from him, because he kind of stirs things up a little bit."

Riding the wave

Since April 1, Clemson is 18-4. The Tigers opened the month with an 11-game winning streak.

"We're playing good. We're starting to gel a little bit, the young guys are playing good, the older guys are starting to come along," Leggett said. "Our pitching has been pretty solid. We're getting into a better place, offensively."

Sitting third in the ACC Atlantic Division, Clemson has a weekend series with Georgia Southern and a mid-week date with USC-Upstate before heading down to Tallahassee to close out the regular season with Florida State.

Plenty is at stake over the next couple of weeks. Any slip ups before next weekend's series might cost Clemson a chance at hosting a regional.

"They know that every game is important and every game could make or break you before it's over," Leggett said. "A lot of people are competing for the same thing. We just want to keep on winning games, keep on playing well.

"Our schedule is good. Our RPI is good. Hopefully, we've got an opportunity down the road."

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