On fire

OMAHA, Neb. – Good luck trying to get Clemson third baseman John Hinson to talk about the PlayStation-like numbers he's been producing over the last 12 games.

The Ashville, N.C. native is 19-for-37 (.514) in the NCAA Tourney, including his 3-for-4 day against Oklahoma. Hinson has had at least two hits in eight of the last nine NCAA Tournament games.

He's tied Khalil Greene's Clemson record for total hits in one NCAA Tournament.

"Yeah, I've been hitting pretty well," Hinson said after Clemson's 6-4 win over Oklahoma, "but hopefully we keep it going. The team's been hitting well.

"We've been getting double-digit hits just about every game we play and we're putting up runs," he said. "And our pitchers are doing well and doing what they need to do for us to win."

Through the first one-third of the season, Hinson quietly accepted his role as a part-time starter at third, platooning with Jason Stolz.

Of the 65 games he's played, Hinson has started 55.

Heading into the College World Series, Hinson was batting .345—third best on the team. His 17 homeruns and 72 RBIs were both second-best. He'd also stolen 23 bases, almost 10 more than any other Tiger.

Clemson coach Jack Leggett said Hinson has been a very complete player for the Tigers.

"I'm just real proud of how he works and how he's come along," Leggett said. "His attitude, how he runs the bases, how he handles himself in the batter's box, he's gotten much better defensively.

"He's really come along and been a very good player for us."

Batting out of the six-spot, Hinson has sparked the Tiger lineup throughout their stay in Omaha.

He was the only Clemson batter to have multiple hits against Oklahoma and is tied for the team lead with three RBIs at the College World Series.

A 13th round draft pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft, Hinson's focused on winning his next game for Clemson.

"Hopefully we just keep playing the way we are, keep playing well as a team and hopefully play for a national championship," he said.

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