To the stretch we go! This one ⬇️ tied it… pic.twitter.com/MYr8jrr1V8
— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) May 6, 2018
Texas infielder Kody Clemens hit for a .500 average over three games in Lubbock last weekend. He also belted three home runs and produced five RBI.
In addition, the Longhorns thoroughly enjoyed a productive weekend as a team, winning two of three from the nationally-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders.
It’s easy to see that the former had something to do with the latter.
But in Clemens’ case, you get the feeling that Texas probably won’t ascend to the heights that it wants to reach this season without a strong finish from him.
For example, let’s examine Clemens’ last cold spell with the bat.
In a six-game stretch over the last week of April, Clemens went 2 for 23 at the plate, a streak that included the last two games of a home series against New Orleans, one at home against Houston and three on the road at West Virginia.
For whatever reason, Clemens wasn’t producing. The result? Texas went 3-3, which included two Big 12 losses in three tries against West Virginia in Morgantown.
Since then, the Longhorns have played much better, winning a mid-week game last week against Texas State and then taking two of three at Texas Tech, a performance in conference that keeps them in contention to host an NCAA regional.
During that stretch, Clemens has been on fire, pounding out nine hits and scoring six runs. Against the Red Raiders, he went 7 for 14. He slugged two home runs in Game 1 and another in Game 3, both UT victories.
Now, Texas finds itself moving up in the rankings and battling for a shot to play at home on the first week of the national tournament. Clemens is hardly the only reason the Longhorns won in Lubbock.
The Longhorns boast a talented roster with Zach Zubia, Duke Ellis and David Hamilton enjoying strong seasons offensively. A 4.62 team earned run average by the pitching staff is not the greatest, but a .976 fielding percentage (40th in the nation) is solid.
Then again, it seems Texas has been at its best lately when Clemens, the son of former UT star Roger Clemens, is riding a hot streak at the plate. Right now, Clemens is among the hottest hitters in the Big 12, which can only be a good thing for the Longhorns.
Top 25 rankings
1.Florida 38-11 SEC
2. Stanford 37-6 Pac-12
3. North Carolina 32-13 ACC
4. Oregon State 35-7-1 Pac-12
5. Mississippi 36-13 SEC
6. Arkansas 33-15 SEC
7. North Carolina State 34-12 ACC
8. Clemson 35-12 ACC
9. Duke 35-11 ACC
10. Texas Tech 35-14 Big 12
11. UCLA 30-13 Pac-12
12. Georgia 33-14 SEC
13. Southern Miss 35-12 Conference USA
14. East Carolina 33-12 American
15. Minnesota 32-12 Big Ten
16. Florida State 32-15 ACC
17. Texas 33-18 Big 12
18. Auburn 34-14 SEC
19. Coastal Carolina 32-16 Sun Belt
20. Oklahoma State 28-17 Big 12
21. Kentucky 30-17 SEC
22. Stetson 37-11 Atlantic Sun
23. South Florida 29-15 American
24. Tennessee Tech 40-6 Ohio Valley
25. Connecticut 27-14 American