March 13, 2000
CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson, fresh off a three-game sweep of Ohio this past weekend, plays host to #17 East Carolina (17-3) at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Tuesday at 3:00 PM and Wednesday at 7:00 PM. Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net South.
Clemson (15-2) will send out senior righthander Ryan Mottl (4-0, 1.37 ERA) to the hill in game one. Mottl started Clemson’s last game, but due to the weather delay in the Ohio game on Mar. 11, Mottl only pitched the first 2.1 innings. Mottl will be making a rare mid-week start. Game two starter has not been determined. Clemson pitchers, who have allowed just one homer and has not yielded a long ball in 13 straight games, will face a Pirate lineup that has hit 20 homers in 20 games. Clemson has a 1.65 team ERA and .202 opponent batting average.
East Carolina, who is 6-0 in one-run games, will start two lefthanders against the Tigers. Only three Pirate lefthanders are making the trip with the team. Freshman Sam Narron (1-0, 5.17 ERA) will start game one. Junior Foye Minton (2-1, 4.79 ERA) will start game two for the Pirates. Minton shut down the Tigers last year in East Carolina’s 14-2 win over the Tigers in Greenville, NC. He allowed six hits, two runs, and one walk while striking out eight in 8.0 innings to pick up the win. Clemson is hitting .312 against lefthanders in 2000. East Carolina has a 4.40 team ERA and .257 opponent batting average.
The Tiger bats have come alive of late, including the resurgent Patrick Boyd, who has nine multi-hit games in his last 13 games. Over that span, Boyd is hitting .426 with 14 runs scored and 14 RBIs to raise his batting average to .328. Boyd started the season 1-for-17. Khalil Greene (.339), Casey Stone (.327), Jeff Baker (.319), and Bradley LeCroy (.316) have all season their batting averages climb over the .300 mark. Clemson is hitting .281 as a team.
East Carolina, who is hitting .301 as a team, is led by sophomore third baseman Bryant Ward. Ward is hitting .412 with three homers and 13 RBIs. Former Clemson first baseman, Justin Hyde (1998), is second on the team with a .385 average. Sophomore shortstop Lee Delfino is hitting .351 with four homers and 16 RBIs. Junior designated hitter Joseph Hastings is hitting .333 with three homers and 20 RBIs.
East Carolina is under the leadership of Head Coach Keith LeClair. LeClair played under Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett at Western Carolina from 1985-88. LeClair took over at the helm at Western Carolina in 1991 when Leggett came to Clemson.
The Tigers hold a 10-5 advantage in the series dating back to 1968. The two teams last met in ’99, where the Pirates won both games 5-4 and 14-2 in games played at Greenville, NC. Along with Minton’s outstanding pitching performance in game two, John Williamson starred with three home runs in the game.
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