CLEMSON — Clemson junior Jordan Greene writes a message on his arm sleeve before every game.
"Whatever's on my mind, an inspirational quote," he explained.The second baseman arrived for Monday's crucial rubber game against Florida State, looked at the lineup and noticed that he wasn't in it.
That wasn't a surprise for Greene, who entered Monday's game hitting .235 in 25 starts.
But Greene wasn't content with just being a spectator. He pulled out a marker, wrote "dream with me" on his sleeve and went about his pregame routine, hoping for an opportunity to help the Tigers at some point later in the evening.
"It's one of the things I live by. Never stop dreaming. Never give up," Greene said. "Sometimes things just feel right. I wasn't starting today and I was just thinking you've gotta keep believing, keep dreaming. Good things will happen."
As it turns out Greene was right.
A good thing happened for the Fort Mill native and the Tigers in the ninth inning as Greene blasted the first pitch he saw out of Doug Kingsmore Stadium to give the Tigers a critical 5-4 walk-off victory against Florida State.
Greene demolished the belt high pitch well beyond the wall in left field, slung his bat to the side and stared into the Tigers dugout as Clemson took a big step towards earning a top eight national seed in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers are now 36-12 (19-8) with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
"He stood and looked at it probably a little too long. We all want to admire our work, but I'm a little bit old school. I want our guys to have fun and stay loose and enjoy the moment, but that might have been a little bit too much. So I do apologize to the baseball purest who were watching on ESPN," Lee said. "But Jordan's a kid that's in the third year in our program. He's played a lot of baseball for us. And he came up with the biggest at bat of the year. That's the biggest at bat of the year for us up until this point."
Greene had one homer in his career entering this season before hitting four in 2018 prior to Monday night.
Greene started 51 of Clemson's 63 games last season but had been coming in and out of the lineup in 2018. He entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning and likely earned more playing time with one swing of the bat in the ninth inning Monday.
"He thinks he should be in there every day. He doesn't like it when he's not playing. I think when he gets those opportunities he wants to prove to everybody that I should be in there on a regular basis," Lee said. "He got his opportunity to get back in there tonight, and obviously again, just a huge at bat. It says a lot about Jordan, his maturity, him always being ready for the opportunity to get in there. And he certainly deserves to be in there again based on what he did tonight for us. It's a huge win for us and he's the reason we did it."
This article is written by Matt Connolly from The State and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.