Junior lefty Casey Harman gets the call to toe the rubber for Clemson in the 6 p.m. game—a no brainer for Clemson coach Jack Leggett, who's sticking with the same number he's dialed all season for weekend series openers.
In his previous outing, Harman (7-2, 3.95 ERA) went the distance in the 5-2 win over Auburn in the Tigers' first of three games at the Auburn Regional last weekend, where he struck out eight and scattered just five hits.
That night, Harman made it clear to Clemson pitching coach Dan Pepicelli and Leggett he wanted to go the distance.
"I told them, ‘You've got to let me have this.' I went out there to tell them that. That's why they let me go out there to finish it," Harman said.
Harman finished with 129 pitches, a little higher than Leggett's preferred range of 110-120 pitches he'll typically allow a pitcher to throw.
"When you get into that range you start really calculating where you're at," he said. "Casey was pushing the envelope a little last week. He's the kind of guy that's not the max-effort guy. He's a different kind of guy that's not throwing really hard.
"We don't throw many complete games. I would say you go into the game expecting that someone else is going to have to take over the reins, even if he's pitching really well."
Harman leads the team in ERA, is tied for first in starts (16), wins, innings pitched (100.1) and strikeouts (86).
Clemson's best pitcher this season said he was in the bullpen Monday night getting ready to face a left-handed batter in the late innings of Clemson's qualifying win over Auburn.
"That's what he was telling me," Leggett said. "I wasn't going to use him."
Just days later, Harman was drafted in the 29th round (No. 880 overall pick) by the Chicago Cubs.
"I'm kind of waiting until the end of the season to worry about anything like that. If the right opportunity comes along, it will be evaluated then," he said. "As of now, the most important focusfor me and this team is just to go out here, get the win and go to Omaha."
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