Gamecocks BB: Why Wes Clarke may be the best hitter in the NCAA

The South Carolina Gamecocks Baseball team has been showing out this season and Wes Clarke’s explosiveness off the bat has been a major factor.

The South Carolina Gamecocks Baseball team is balling out this season, making the roster a legitimate push to Omaha. The team underwhelmed last season before the cancellation of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year the team has come prepared. The Gamecocks are playing with heart and tenacity this season and it shows with their huge wins against their rivals the Clemson Tigers. 

The Clemson Tigers are the Gamecocks’ rivals from right upstate and they’ve always been pretty decent on the diamond. The Clemson-Carolina rivalry in baseball has been one of the longest collegiate baseball rivalries in the nation. 

A huge reason for South Carolina’s success is because of Junior Wes Clarke’s phenomenal play at the plate. Clarke has always been a good hitter, averaging .262 throughout his first two seasons, logging a total of nine home runs and 27 RBI’s. Clarke’s sophomore tour is where he picked up eight homers and 22 RBI’s, and already in over 30 fewer bats, he has eight dingers and 17 RBI’s already! 

Wes Clarke is currently the national leader in home runs, RBI’s, third in RBI’s per game, and eighth in total hits. These stats alone are phenomenal and really show how great of a hitter he is. Obviously, the sample size is a little small as we are only a handful of games in, but all of South Carolina’s opponents as of yet, haven’t been chumps. Dayton and Winthrop both have decent programs and Clemson is a really talented ACC team. 

Now, I’m sure Wes Clarke won’t continue to hit in the .600’s for the rest of the season, as that is well above the current record. Keith Hagman from The University of New Mexico finished his season with an all-time high batting average of .551. Wes Clarke may not break the batting average record, but it is still absolutely feasible that he is the best hitter in collegiate baseball. Clarke leads or is ranked highly in every major hitting statistic. 

Obviously, the Gamecocks look to play a few very tough SEC schools in Vanderbilt and Florida, but if Wes Clarke can continue to hit well as he did against the talented Clemson team, he could finish this year as the NCAA’s Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award, given to the nation’s best hitter. Clarke was already on the awards watch list but he may be able to secure the trophy if he continues hitting the way he is.

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