Freeman closes stellar Clemson career

OMAHA, Neb. – If this baseball gig doesn't work out for Mike Freeman, Clemson coach Jack Leggett believes his senior second baseman could have a future in law.

"We call him the great debater," Leggett said after Clemson's 4-3 loss to South Carolina at the College World Series. "When you say something, he wants to debate it. I've said he should be a lawyer."

Baseball seems to be working out pretty well, so far.

The Georgia transfer was first drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 41st round (No. 1,233 overall pick) out of Edgewater High School in 2006. As a junior at Clemson, he turned down the 36th round (No. 1,086 overall pick) call from the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009.

Earlier this spring, the Diamondbacks drafted him again, this time in the 11th round (No. 331).

On Saturday, Freeman wrapped up his college baseball career with a 2-for-5 night at the plate in the Tigers' loss to the Gamecocks.

"It's exactly how I didn't want it to end in Omaha," he said. "I would have liked to have it end Tuesday or Wednesday next week. But getting here is something special. To share it with the guys on our team who are such good friends and brothers that I've made along the way, it makes it that much more special."

During his final season at Clemson, Freeman hit .331 with career-highs in homeruns (eight), RBIs (57) and slugging percentage (.498).

Leggett isn't short on praise for the senior co-captain who's started all three years at Clemson.

"He's been awesome, just awesome—as good a second baseman as you could ever have in your program. You could make a highlight film of everything he does, defensively," Leggett said. "He's a good leader and just one of the best players I've coached. He truly is a good baseball player."

Freeman feels good about the Tigers' chances of returning to Omaha in 2011.

"There are a lot of really good players coming back and they've got a really good chance to come here next year," he said. "I know they're excited about that opportunity of getting started on next season after today." Top Stories