Mr. Everything

CLEMSON – Even though baseball is truly a team sport, there is little doubt that in order for Clemson to make a run toward the ACC title and a trip to the College World Series, Mr. Everything, a.k.a. Kris Harvey, is going to have to shine. <BR>

Harvey, a junior, is expected to be one of the team's best hitters, while at the same time being one of the top pitchers. He may also find himself playing in the outfield and at first base on occasion.

Yes, Mr. Everything indeed.

"I'm going to have to step up this year," Harvey said. "We've got a lot of young guys. We lost a lot of leaders from the team last year and with our top pitcher (Jason) Berken hurt, I'm going to have to step up on the mound. But I'm also going to have to step up at the plate.

"I think I'm going to get a lot of time on the mound. I think I'm going to have to. Our pitching staff is pretty young and we don't have that many guys coming back. I'm definitely going to have to step up and pitch."

Last year, Harvey literally split time between pitching and playing the outfield and it wore on him physically. He finished with a 6-0 record and a 5.40 ERA in 14 starts.

This year, the Tigers need him more as a pitcher, thus he won't play as much in the field. And that's just fine with him.

"I think that's going to be a lot easier on me, especially with pitching," he said. "Last year, I'd throw on Tuesday and play the outfield all weekend, so it was kind of tough to (throw on the side).

"There was a lot of pressure on my arm and a lot of work. Being able to take some time off and being able to throw in between starts I think is going to help me stay sharp on the mound and keep my arm in a little better shape."

Clemson coach Jack Leggett is hoping that Harvey will rise to the occasion and become the team's third weekend starter, which is open at the moment.

However, just because he won't be in the field as much doesn't mean he's not going to play offense.

Last season in 54 games, Harvey hit .335 with eight home runs, 16 doubles, 41 RBIs, with a slugging percentage of .526, the third highest on the team.

"Hitting is something that I've kind of always done and worked at a lot," Harvey said. "Pitching was something I didn't do until my senior year in high school. It was something that was kind of a natural thing. I would rather hit, I think"

There's no way Leggett would ever consider losing him as a hitter.

"He'll be a pitcher for us, but he's also got to be a hitter for us," he said. "He's one of our better hitters."

And now you see why Harvey's so important to this team. But he knows he can't do it alone.

"You can't really say we're going to stand out in the ACC or that we're going to be bad," he said. "It's going to be a weekend-to-weekend thing. …

"The freshmen have got to step up and we've got to have good pitching. We've got to hold guys to two and three runs a game so we can win. Our offense hopefully can step up and score, but we really don't have the firepower that we had last year. Four or five runs may sit. I think this is much more of a small-ball team than it has been the last three years since I've been here. It's going to be different.

"It's going to be interesting to see how everything plays out."

He just may be talking about himself. Top Stories