Arkansas pitcher taking Roger Clemens approach to facing Kody Clemens

Mark TownsendYahoo Sports Contributor

Texas Longhorns slugger Kody Clemens is making quite a name for himself this season. That’s not exactly an easy thing to do when your father was one of Major League Baseball’s most dominant pitchers, but the son of Roger Clemens has pulled it off by helping lead Texas back to the College World Series.

The younger Clemens game is much different than his father’s. He’s all about power at the plate. His 24 home runs this season are more than 60 Division I schools all by itself. He’s established his own personality too, though not unlike father, that personality has rubbed some people the wrong way.

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It’s called the intimidation factor. But as we learned Friday, it’s not going to work on Arkansas ace Blaine Knight.

The 21-year-old right-hander is scheduled to pitch against Clemens and the Longhorns in Arkansas’ College World Series opener on Sunday. Based on his comments about facing Kody Clemens this weekend, he’s not going to back down from the challenge. In fact, it seems Knight has quite a bit of Roger Clemens in his game and his attitude.

“I’m going right after him. I’m not scared of him. I don’t care if he has 24 jacks on the year or not, I’m going to make him hit my pitch. If he hits it out, he hits it out. But I have an offense behind me that can put up more runs than he can put up by himself.”

That definitely sounds like something Roger Clemens would say before facing the league’s best hitter.

There might be some bulletin board material there too for the rest of Texas’ offense. Knight made them sound like a one-man show, but that’s obviously not true. Otherwise the Longhorns wouldn’t be playing in Omaha.

Roger Clemens’ son, Kody, has a big College World Series matchup coming against Arkansas’ Blaine Knight. (AP)
Roger Clemens’ son, Kody, has a big College World Series matchup coming against Arkansas’ Blaine Knight. (AP)

Both Clemens and Knight were third round draft picks in the 2018 MLB Draft. Clemens went first in the round to the Detroit Tigers. Knight was taken a few picks later by the Baltimore Orioles. The talented right-hander has posted a 2.84 ERA in 17 games started for Arkansas this season.

The Clemens vs. Knight matchup will definitely add a little extra intrigue to what’s shaping up to be an interesting College World Series.

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