Despite the team-first approach of head coach Augie Garrido’s small-ball system, freshman infielder Kacy Clemens has already found a way to stand out.
Entering his first collegiate season, most of the focus was on Clemens’ name. As the son of Roger Clemens, former MLB all-star and Longhorn legend, expectations were very high, with the spotlight fixed on his every move.
While Clemens is just starting to find his rhythm at the plate, currently hitting .224 with just three RBIs through 25 games, his ability to do the small things has made him stand out in Garrido’s mind.
“He is another example of not bringing any fear into this game from that other game, and that is what ballplayers have to be able to do,” Garrido said after Clemens went hitless in the Kansas series two weeks ago. “Both [he and freshman catcher Tres Barrera] have power, if they can start to be consistent at the plate and be a little more aggressive, they can add another element to the team.”
After a slow start, Clemens’ hitting has shown great improvement as of late, especially his plate discipline after recording two hits and drawing three walks against Columbia last weekend.
His work in the field, however, has been spectacular since opening day.
Clemens is currently sporting a .985 fielding percentage with just four errors at first base this season, where he sees more action than any other defender. His stellar defensive play seems to be rubbing off on his teammates too, as the Longhorns have committed just two errors over the course of their current four-game win streak.
Texas has recorded 29 runs on 42 hits during the win streak, and, if Clemens can get his bat going, the wins will continue. Clemens and the Longhorns will get their next chance to continue the hitting display against Texas State on Tuesday.
The Bobcats will travel to Austin from San Marcos face the Longhorns, sporting a respectable 15-8 record this season. Texas State is coming off of an impressive series with Western Kentucky, in which it won two of three games while scoring 21 combined runs.
But the Bobcats’ 3-4 record on the road and a 3.76 combined ERA plays strongly into what the Longhorns are doing well at the moment. Texas State can score plenty of runs, averaging just over five runs per contest, but bad pitching against a hot Texas lineup cannot happen.
The Longhorns are playing well in all facets of the game as of late, and, if Clemens and other young players can expedite the learning curve, the possibilities are endless for this Texas team.