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Clemson Baseball Team to Face Virginia in Charlottesville This Weekend

March 22, 2012

Clemson vs. Virginia Game Notes

Clemson vs. Virginia Clemson (11-8, 3-3 ACC) will travel to Charlottesville, VA to take on Virginia (12-8-1, 2-4 ACC) in a three-game series at UVa Baseball Stadium this weekend. Game times are 6:00 PM (Friday), 1:00 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday). All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will also be available at ClemsonTigers.com for all three games.

The Series Clemson and Virginia have met 146 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 102-44 lead in the series dating back to the 1955 season. Last year at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, the Cavaliers swept the three-game series, which included two one-run victories.

The two teams last met in a three-game series at UVa Baseball Stadium 2010. The Cavaliers won two of three games despite both teams scoring 12 runs in the series. Virginia has won 14 of the last 16 games in the series after the Tigers won 100 of the first 130 matchups.

The Tigers hold a 40-24 lead in games played at Virginia and a 92-37 advantage in ACC regular-season games. Jack Leggett has a 31-24 record against Virginia as Clemson’s head coach, including a 13-11 mark at UVa Baseball Stadium. Leggett was 2-0 against Virginia as head coach at Vermont, meaning he is 33-24 all-time against the Cavaliers.

The Starting Pitchers Virginia’s pitching rotation for the series has yet to be determined.

The Tigers will start junior righthander Kevin Brady (1-1, 2.89 ERA) on Friday. The Gaithersburg, MD native has made five starts for a total of 28.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 23 hits (.230 opponents’ batting average) and nine walks with 31 strikeouts.

Clemson will send out junior righty Dominic Leone (3-1, 5.09 ERA) on Saturday. The Norwich, CT native has made five starts for a total of 23.0 innings pitched. He has given up 17 hits (.218 opponents’ batting average) and 14 walks with 16 strikeouts.

The Tigers will start sophomore righty Kevin Pohle (3-0, 1.09 ERA) on Sunday. The Saint Louis, MO native has made three starts and two relief appearances for a total of 24.2 innings pitched. He has yielded 25 hits (.263 opponents’ batting average) and eight walks with 19 strikeouts.

The Cavaliers Virginia, led by ninth-year Head Coach Brian O’Connor, enters the series against Clemson with a 12-8-1 overall record and 2-4 ACC mark after defeating Virginia Military 12-3 at home on Wednesday. The Cavaliers, who were also swept at Florida State last weekend, are 10-4 at home.

Virginia is averaging 7.1 runs per game and hitting .316 with a .430 slugging percentage and .424 on-base percentage thanks to 100 walks and 44 hit-by-pitches against 111 strikeouts. The team has also totaled 34 doubles, 12 triples, eight home runs, and 35 stolen bases in 49 attempts.

Mitchell Shifflett is hitting .400 with four steals, while Jared King is batting .387 with two homers, 23 RBIs, a .510 on-base percentage, and a team-high eight steals. Reed Gragnani is hitting .373, while Brandon Downes is 9-for-20 (.45) in seven games. Keith Werman has added 10 sacrifice bunts as well.

The pitching staff has a 3.43 ERA and .251 opponents’ batting average along with 179 strikeouts against 70 walks in 189.0 innings pitched. Senior righthander Justin Thompson has both of the team’s saves along with a 2-0 record and an 0.82 ERA in 11.0 innings pitched over 11 relief appearances. Virginia, who has allowed 20 steals in 29 attempts, is fielding at a .969 clip as well.

The Tigers Clemson enters the series at Virginia with an 11-8 overall record and a 3-3 ACC mark after winning both games of a midweek series against Elon. The Tigers, who have won five games in a row, sport an 0-2 record on opponents’ home fields in 2012.

The Tigers are averaging 5.7 runs per game and hitting .274 with a .390 slugging percentage and .375 on-base percentage thanks to 89 walks and 21 hit-by-pitches against 115 strikeouts. Clemson has also totaled 32 doubles, two triples, 13 homers, and 19 stolen bases in 24 attempts.

Steve Wilkerson is leading the team with a .394 batting average along with four stolen bases. Richie Shaffer is hitting .358 with eight doubles, one triple, four homers, 16 RBIs, and a .511 on-base percentage thanks to 21 walks. Phil Pohl is batting .324 with three homers and a team-high 21 RBIs.

The pitching staff has a 3.38 ERA and .265 opponents’ batting average in 173.0 innings pitched. The staff has allowed 66 walks against 156 strikeouts, good for a 2.36 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Sophomore righthander Matt Campbell has a team-high two saves along with a 2.93 ERA in 15.1 innings pitched over seven relief appearances. The Tigers are fielding at a .969 clip as well.

Sophomore righthander Mike Kent (Springfield) is the lone Tiger from the state of Virginia.

Worth Noting • Clemson is 5-0 in games that it scores in the first inning.

Wilkerson Leading the Charge Sophomore middle infielder Steve Wilkerson (Roswell, GA) is a big reason the Tigers are on a five-game winning streak. He became the everyday leadoff batter atop the lineup against North Carolina on March 11 and has excelled in that role. In those seven games, he is 15-for-30 (.500) with two doubles, four RBIs, four runs, five walks against only two strikeouts, a .571 on-base percentage, and two steals. He has also hit safely in all seven games.

Overall in 2012, the switch-hitter, Clemson’s first since Patrick Boyd (1998-01), is leading the team with a .394 batting average along with five doubles, 11 RBIs, 14 runs, and a team-tying-high four stolen bases in 16 games (16 starts) as Clemson’s everyday second-baseman. He has also reached base in 15 of his 24 plate appearances (62.5 percent) as the leadoff batter of an inning and has a team-high nine multi-hit games among his 16 games played. Wilkerson has two four-hit games this season as well.

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