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Baseball Looks For Revenge Against Furman

Baseball Looks For Revenge Against Furman

May 13, 2003

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Clemson (35-17), ranked as high as #19, will play host to Furman (28-21) Tuesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The game, which is the Tigers last of the regular season in 2003, will start at 7:15 PM, will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Properties, and can be heard live via the internet at www.clemsontigers.com. Live stats will also be available on Clemson’s website.

The Series Clemson and Furman have met 188 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 130-54-4 advantage in the series dating back to 1896. Clemson’s first two games in school history were against the Paladins, both losses in 1896, which were the Tigers’ only games that season. Clemson had won 29 games in a row in the series before Furman defeated #14 Clemson 10-8 Thursday at Furman Baseball Stadium. The Paladins scored six runs, five of which were unearned, in the eighth inning to rally for the victory. Kyle Frank hit his first career grand slam in the game as well. Last season, Clemson defeated the Paladins 18-7 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in the only matchup of 2002. The two teams have played at least one game every year since 1983. Jack Leggett is 10-1 against Furman as the Tiger skipper and was 29-7 versus Furman as the Western Carolina head coach.

The Starting Pitchers Furman will start senior righthander Coogie Freedman (1-3, 6.03 ERA) on the mound Tuesday. He has made three starts and 10 relief appearances for a total of 31.1 innings pitched this year. He is also holding opponents to a .241 batting average. The Tigers’ starting pitcher was not determined as of Tuesday morning.

Furman Overview Furman is coming off a three-game sweep of East Tennessee State over the weekend by a combined score of 20-6. The team is hitting .281, led by Dominic Frankey’s .344 average. He also has a team-high four homers and 43 RBIs. The pitching staff boasts a 4.01 ERA, led by All-America candidate Tom Mastny. He has a 10-2 record and 1.17 ERA in 115.0 innings pitched. David Mitchell also has a team-best five saves. Furman has a .967 team fielding percentage as well.

Clemson Overview Clemson enters the game after winning the final two games over North Carolina Sunday and Monday. Both wins saw the Tigers come-from-behind after trailing heading into the eighth inning. David Slevin extended his hitting streak to 14 games in the series finale with a go-ahead, two-run double. He also tied the score late in the game in Clemson’s win Sunday. Brad McCann is hitting a team-best .349 and is riding an 11-game hitting streak. Michael Johnson suffered a sprained ankle Sunday and did not play Monday against the Tar Heels. He is listed as day-to-day. Clemson, who is 27-5 at home, sports a 4.03 ERA and .970 fielding percentage as well.

Clemson Wins Series Over North Carolina Clemson won the final two games of the series, both trailing after seven innings, to take the series over North Carolina from May 10-12 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson hit .275 in the series, led by Brad McCann 6-for-13 (.462) performance. Clemson pitchers had a 3.54 team ERA and the Tiger fielders committed just two errors all series. Tiger hurlers also held Jeremy Cleveland, the ACC’s leading hitter, to just three hits in 13 at bats (.231). The Tigers moved into a tie for fourth place with the Tar Heels in the ACC standings as well.

In game one, Daniel Moore allowed one run on five hits in 7.0 innings to earn the win in the Tar Heels’ 9-4 victory. North Carolina scored three runs in the second and four in the third. Sean Farrell, Greg Mangum, and Ryan Blake all had three hits apiece, as the latter two had three RBIs apiece. David Slevin extended his hitting streak to 12 games with two hits, while Russell Triplett, Jeff Hourigan also had two hits apiece. Tyler Lumsden suffered his first loss of the season as well.

In game two, Clemson rallied from a run down in the 10th inning to score two runs and win 5-4. David Slevin tied the score 4-4 with a double down the left field line, and Brad McCann had a game-high three hits, while Russell Triplett hit his seventh homer of the season. Paul Harrelson earned the win, as he allowed just one run in 3.2 innings pitched.

In game three, Clemson rallied with four runs in the eighth inning to win 5-2 and take the series. David Slevin and Ryan Hub each had two-run hits to account for the scoring. Slevin extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a go-ahead, bases-loaded double in the eighth. Two batters later, Hub hit a two-run single to left to add insurance runs. In the ninth, Hub then made a diving catch with the tying run at the plate and then doubled off the runner at second to end the game. Hub was not even in the lineup an hour before the game but was added when Steven Jackson continued his mastery at home, pitching a career-high 7.1 innings and allowing just one earned run on five hits. Jeff Hahn picked up the win by pitching 1.2 scoreless innings in relief.

Tigers #11 in Latest RPI The only rating system the NCAA uses to determine selections and seedings is the RPI, or the Ratings Percentage Index. Although the NCAA does not release its official RPI, Boyd Nation has come up with an RPI index that is all but the same as the official RPI. He uses numbers from previous seasons to verify his formulas.

In the May 12 release, his RPI index has Clemson #11, despite the Tigers only being ranked as high as #19 in the polls and not even ranked in two polls. Clemson can thank a brutal non-conference schedule for its high RPI ranking. The RPI only counts games against Division I teams and is for games through May 11.

The Atlantic Coast Conference is rated as the second-best conference in the unofficial RPI, just behind the SEC. The ACC, which was the #1 conference a season ago, sports five of the top 15 teams in the RPI, including #1 Florida State, #3 Georgia Tech, #11 Clemson, #12 N.C. State, and #15 North Carolina.

Boyd Nation's Unofficial RPI By Team    Rk      Team                     W-L     Rating    1.      Florida State            44-8    .654    2.      Auburn                   35-16   .646    3.      Georgia Tech             36-13   .636    4.      Stanford                 35-14   .634    5.      Rice                     43-8    .633    6.      Louisiana State          34-17   .627    7.      Miami (FL)               33-13   .622    8.      Texas                    37-14   .620    9.      Cal. State-Fullerton     41-12   .618    10.     Baylor                   35-17   .617    11.     Clemson                  34-17   .617    12.     N.C. State                38-12   .612

Boyd Nation’s Unofficial RPI By Conference Rk Conference W-L Rating 1. Southeastern 368-236 .585 2. Atlantic Coast 277-171 .585 3. Big XII 296-203 .577 4. Pacific 10 256-187 .554 5. Sun Belt 252-197 .545

Ranking Clemson’s Opponents By RPI Rk Team *GP *W-L ^W-L Rating 1. Florida State 3 1-2 44-8 .654 2. Auburn 3 1-2 35-16 .646 3. Georgia Tech 3 3-0 36-13 .636 12. N.C. State 3 1-2 38-12 .612 15. North Carolina 2 1-1 35-16 .602 20. Coastal Carolina 2 1-1 40-13 .596 22. South Carolina 4 3-1 35-17 .591 29. Virginia 3 2-1 26-21 .585 34. Georgia 2 1-1 28-23 .575 59. Western Carolina 2 1-1 36-15 .553 72. Elon 1 0-1 32-21 .539 82. Georgia Southern 2 2-0 32-19 .532 92. Winthrop 1 1-0 32-19 .530 117. Furman 1 0-1 28-21 .514 121. Maryland 3 1-2 19-32 .512 139. College of Charleston 2 2-0 28-24 .501 141. Maine 3 3-0 33-14 .500 146. Tennessee Tech 2 2-0 24-20 .496 147. Old Dominion 3 3-0 18-30 .496 171. Charleston Southern 1 1-0 17-34 .481 172. Duke 3 2-1 16-30 .481 219. East Tennessee State 1 1-0 14-33 .447 265. Wofford 1 1-0 8-38 .404 * – head-to-head and through May 11; ^ – overall; Note: There are 287 schools that play Division I baseball.

More Hits Than Opponent = Victory Of course the only column on the scoreboard that counts in determing a game’s winner is the run column. But this season, the hit column has been just important for the Tigers. When Clemson has had more hits than its opponents, it is 30-1 this season. When it has not, the Tigers are 5-16. The only loss in that situation game the first time it happened this year (at #16 Auburn in the third game of the season). Therefore, the Tigers have won 30-straight games when outhitting the opponent.

Slevin Riding 14-Game Hitting Streak Senior second baseman David Slevin has been the hottest hitter over the last month and is riding a 14-game hitting streak, the longest by a Tiger this season. The Port Saint Lucie, FL native is also 33-for-85 (.388) in the last 21 games to raise his season average to .331. Slevin, who has batted near the bottom of the lineup all season, also is hitting well in ACC games (.402).

Slevin came up big twice in one series to lift the Tigers to victory. Against North Carolina on May 11, he tied the score in the 10th inning with a double. He later scored the winning run in the Tigers’ thrilling 5-4 victory. The next day, with the Tigers trailing 2-1 and the bases loaded in the eighth inning, he doubled to right center, giving the Tigers the lead for good. Both clutch hits extended his hitting streak as well.

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