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Clemson Baseball Team to Open Play in 2012 NCAA Tournament Friday at Columbia Regional

Clemson Baseball Team to Open Play in 2012 NCAA Tournament Friday at Columbia Regional

May 29, 2012

Clemson’s 2012 NCAA Regional Notes

Clemson #2 Seed in Columbia (SC) Regional Clemson (33-26) is the #2 seed in the Columbia (SC) Regional at Carolina Stadium from June 1-4. Clemson is joined by #1-seeded and host South Carolina (40-17), who is ranked as high as #2 in the country, #3-seeded Coastal Carolina (41-17), and #4-seeded Manhattan (33-25).

The first game of the tourney will pit Clemson against Coastal Carolina on Friday at 12:00 PM. The Tigers will be the designated home team against the Chanticleers. South Carolina will then face Manhattan on Friday at 4:00 PM.

The two losers will play on Saturday at 12:00 PM, while the two winners will play on Saturday at 4:00 PM. The winner of the second game on Saturday will play in the championship round on Sunday at 4:00 PM, while the loser of Saturday’s second game will play the winner of Saturday’s first game on Sunday at 12:00 PM. If the unbeaten team loses on Sunday, the same two teams will play a game on Monday at 7:00 PM to determine the champion.

All games of the Columbia Regional will be televised live by ESPNU and will also be available via webcast at ESPN3. All of Clemson’s games in the regional will also be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will be available at ClemsonTigers.com for all Tiger games as well.

The winner of the Columbia Regional will play the winner of the Charlottesville (VA) Regional between June 8-11. The four teams in that regional are #1-seeded Virginia, #2-seeded Oklahoma, #3-seeded Appalachian State, and #4-seeded Army.

Watch/Listen to Friday’s Game:

  • TV: ESPNU
  • Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Network (CTSN Affiliates)
  • Internet: ESPN3
  • Live Stats on the Internet: GameTracker on ClemsonTigers.com
  • Postgame Press Conference: Watch Live

Watch Thursday’s Regional Preview Press Conference:

Tickets Clemson has received a very limited number of tickets to sell for the regional baseball game on Friday against Coastal Carolina. Baseball season ticketholders can call the Clemson Athletic Ticket Office by the end of the day on Tuesday at 1-800-CLEMSON to purchase tickets.

Tickets are $15 each and will be held for pickup at Carolina Stadium. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Any remaining tickets will go on sale to all IPTAY donors on Wednesday at 8:00 AM.

Clemson’s NCAA Tournament History The 2012 season marks Clemson’s 37th trip to the NCAA Tournament dating back to the 1947 season. That year, Clemson actually advanced to the Final Eight of the NCAA Tournament, but it is not considered a College World Series season because only two teams went to the CWS in those days.

Clemson won the 1947 District III Tournament in Charlotte by coming through the losers’ bracket. The Tigers, coached by Randy Hinson, lost in the first round to Alabama 8-2, then came back with a win over Auburn and two wins over Alabama to advance. Clemson’s season ended when Yale, led by future President George H.W. Bush, defeated the Tigers in New Haven, CT by a score of 7-3. Bush was 1-for-3 as the starting first-baseman.

Clemson made its first trip to Omaha and the College World Series in 1958 when the Tigers again came through the losers’ bracket. After losing to Florida in the first round, Clemson came back to defeat George Washington, Florida State, and Florida twice to advance under first year Head Coach Bill Wilhelm. Clemson defeated Florida 15-14 and 3-1 on June 9 to advance. Harold Stowe struck out 17 in that second game on June 9, and that is still a Clemson record for strikeouts in an NCAA Tournament game.

The Tigers advanced to Omaha in 1959, this time with three wins (one over Georgia Tech and two over Florida State). One of the wins over the Seminoles was a 24-2 victory at Gastonia, NC. That tally is still tied for the most runs scored by Clemson in an NCAA Tourney game.

The Tigers did not advance to Omaha again until 1976. In fact, Clemson made just one NCAA Tournament appearance between 1960 and 1974. That was in 1967 when Clemson reached the Regional Championship but lost to Auburn 6-5.

Clemson made it to Omaha three out of five years between 1976-80. Clemson won a regional in Columbia, SC in 1976 with three straight wins, then came through the losers’ bracket in Miami (FL) in 1977 to advance to Omaha. The 1980 season was the first year Clemson played host to a regional, as Clemson swept three games by scoring 45 runs, including 17 in a 17-12 win over South Carolina.

Clemson has been to the NCAA Tournament every year since 1987 except one (2008). The Tigers have been to the NCAA Tournament 25 of the last 26 years. Clemson also made College World Series trips in 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2006, and 2010.

Overall, Clemson has been to a regional in 37 seasons (including 2012), fifth-most all-time. Clemson’s all-time record in NCAA Tournament play is 110-79, a 58.2 winning percentage.

Clemson is 65-39 (.625) under Head Coach Jack Leggett in NCAA Tournament play, including a 40-9 record (.816) in home NCAA Tourney games. Leggett has taken Clemson to a regional 18 times in the 19 years he has been Clemson’s head coach, and the Tigers have advanced to the College World Series six times. Leggett has also taken Clemson to a super regional nine of the 13 years that format has been in existence.

Tigers Earn 37th NCAA Tournament Bid Clemson will play in its 37th all-time NCAA Regional when it plays in the Columbia (SC) Regional from June 1-4 at Carolina Stadium. The 37 appearances are fifth-most in NCAA history, trailing only Texas (55), Florida State (50), Miami (FL) (41), and Oklahoma State (38).

Scouting #1-Seeded South Carolina First-seeded and #2-ranked South Carolina (40-17) enters the Columbia Regional after one win in three games at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, AL. The Gamecocks, who are 27-7 at home, had an 18-11 conference record during the regular season, as it finished atop the SEC Eastern Division standings. The 2012 season marks the 28th time in school history that South Carolina has played in an NCAA Tournament.

South Carolina is led by 16th-year Head Coach Ray Tanner. The Gamecocks are 12-12 in one-run games and 8-0 in two-run games. They also have a 17-0 record when scoring in the first inning and a 31-4 record when outhitting their opponents. South Carolina’s current 16-game winning streak in NCAA Tournament play is the longest streak in Division I history.

South Carolina is hitting .271 with a .399 slugging percentage and .358 on-base percentage. South Carolina, who is fielding at a .980 clip (fifth-best in the nation), has also totaled 96 doubles, 15 triples, 39 home runs, 47 hit-by-pitches, 53 sacrifice bunts, and is averaging 5.4 runs per game along with 35 stolen bases in 55 attempts.

Christian Walker leads the team with a .328 batting average along with 10 doubles, two triples, 10 homers, 51 RBIs, and 41 walks against only 20 strikeouts. Tanner English is batting .309 with nine steals, while Evan Marzilli leads the squad with 11 stolen bases. LB Dantzler has added nine homers and 43 RBIs as well.

The pitching staff has a 3.20 ERA and .228 opponents’ batting average. The staff has allowed 35 homers and 174 walks against 469 strikeouts, good for a 2.70-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Senior lefthander Michael Roth is 6-1 with a 2.58 ERA and .213 opponents’ batting average in 101.0 innings pitched over 15 starts. Junior righty Colby Holmes is 6-1 with a 3.39 ERA in 12 starts. Junior righthander Matt Price has 10 of the team’s 23 saves along with a 3.68 ERA, .198 opponents’ batting average, and 74 strikeouts in 63.2 innings pitched over 22 appearances (five starts).

Clemson and South Carolina have met 298 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 169-127-2 lead in the series that dates back to 1899. In their three-game series at three different sites earlier in the 2012 season, the Gamecocks edged Clemson 3-2 in 11 innings in Charleston thanks to Marzili’s spectacular game-ending catch. The next day in Columbia, South Carolina topped the Tigers 9-6, then Clemson responded with a 6-5 win the following afternoon thanks to Steve Wilkerson’s walkoff single.

The Gamecocks lead 77-66-2 over the Tigers in games played in Columbia, including a 3-2 advantage at Carolina Stadium. Jack Leggett has a 34-36 record against South Carolina as Clemson’s head coach, including a 16-16 record in Columbia.

The two teams have met seven times in the NCAA Tournament. Clemson defeated South Carolina 10-4 in the 1976 Atlantic Regional in Columbia, then the Tigers topped the Gamecocks twice in two games in the 1980 Atlantic Regional in Clemson. The Gamecocks downed Clemson twice in two games in the 2002 College World Series and twice in two games in the 2010 College World Series.

Scouting #2-Seeded Clemson Second-seeded Clemson (33-26) enters the NCAA Tournament coming off one win in three games in the ACC Tournament at Greensboro, NC. Clemson was 16-14 during the ACC regular season, finishing third in the Atlantic Division standings. Clemson is making its 25th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 26 years and 37th overall, fifth-most in the nation.

The Tigers, who are 9-9 on opponents’ home fields and 3-3 in neutral-site contests, are led by 19th-year Head Coach Jack Leggett. His 845 wins are seventh-most in college baseball during his tenure. The Tigers are also 8-10 against top-25 ranked teams in 2011.

Clemson, who is averaging 5.7 runs per game, is hitting .269 with a .387 slugging percentage and .359 on-base percentage. Clemson, who has 252 walks against 367 strikeouts, also has 92 doubles, 15 triples, 40 homers, and 63 stolen bases in 81 attempts.

Richie Shaffer leads the team with a .339 batting average along with 19 doubles, two triples, 10 homers, 46 RBIs, a .479 on-base percentage thanks to 58 walks, and eight steals. Steve Wilkerson is batting .308 with 10 stolen bases, while Thomas Brittle is hitting .303 with eight doubles, eight triples, two homers, 33 RBIs, and 11 steals. Phil Pohl has added eight home runs and 50 RBIs as well. All four players were named to the All-ACC team in 2012.

The pitching staff has a 3.94 ERA and .269 opponents’ batting average. The staff has allowed 235 walks against 434 strikeouts, good for a 1.90-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Junior righty Kevin Brady has a 2.52 ERA and .226 opponents’ batting average in 60.2 innings pitched over 13 appearances (11 starts). Sophomore righty Kevin Pohle is 6-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 15 appearances (13 starts), while freshman righthander Daniel Gossett is 6-3 with two saves and 79 strikeouts. In 49.2 innings pitched over 22 relief appearances, junior righty Scott Firth is 4-0 with two saves and a 1.99 ERA. Clemson is fielding at a .974 clip as well.

Scouting #3-Seeded Coastal Carolina Third-seeded Coastal Carolina (41-17) enters the Columbia Regional after winning the Big South Conference Tournament with a 4-0 record last weekend. The Chanticleers, who are 3-0 in neutral-site contests, had an 18-5 conference record during the regular season, as it finished atop the Big South Conference standings. The 2012 season marks the 12th time in school history and the 11th time in the last 12 years that Coastal Carolina has played in an NCAA Tournament.

Coastal Carolina is led by 17th-year Head Coach Gary Gilmore. The Chanticleers have won seven games in a row and 17 of their last 21 games. They are 10-7 in one-run games and 1-7 in extra-inning contests as well.

Coastal Carolina is hitting .285 with a .377 slugging percentage and .386 on-base percentage. Coastal Carolina, who is fielding at a .965 clip, has also totaled 88 doubles, 11 triples, 23 home runs, 70 hit-by-pitches, 73 sacrifice bunts, and is averaging 5.5 runs per game along with 87 stolen bases in 114 attempts.

Daniel Bowman leads the team with a .401 batting average along with 12 doubles, five triples, six homers, 38 RBIs, and 14 steals. Rich Witten is batting .350 with 16 doubles, five home runs, and 62 RBIs. Alex Buccilli has a .320 batting average with three homers and 40 RBIs. Jacob May has added a team-high 25 stolen bases as well.

The pitching staff has a 2.53 ERA (second-best in the nation) and .235 opponents’ batting average. The staff has allowed just 24 homers and 189 walks against 381 strikeouts, good for a 2.02-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Sophomore righthander Tyler Herb is 8-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 87.2 innings pitched over 16 starts. Junior lefty Austin Wallace is 5-0 with a 2.05 ERA in 57.0 innings pitched over 14 appearances (10 starts). Junior righties Ryan Connolly (11) and Aaron Burke (7) have combined for 18 saves. Connolly is 5-2 with a 2.11 ERA in 72.2 innings pitched over 34 relief appearances, while Burke is 10-5 with a 1.18 ERA in 76.1 innings pitched over 34 relief outings.

Clemson and Coastal Carolina have met 48 times, with the Tigers holding a 40-8 lead in the series that dates to 1986. On April 24, 2012, Coastal Carolina overcame five errors to defeat Clemson 10-7 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in their only meeting during the 2012 regular season.

On April 5, 2011, the Tigers defeated Coastal Carolina 5-4 when pinch-hitter Brad Miller. The Tigers trailed 4-3 entering the ninth inning before pinch-hitter Dominic Attanasio hit a double in the frame to tie the score. Then in the Clemson Regional on June 4, 2011, the Tigers totaled 14 hits in their 12-7 win over the Chanticleers. Richie Shaffer went 3-for-4 with a homer, double, and four RBIs, while Phil Pohl went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs in that game.

The two teams have never faced each other on a neutral field, but the two teams faced off in the 2007 Myrtle Beach (SC) Regional, hosted by the Chanticleers. Clemson won both meetings by scores of 11-8 and 15-3 to advance to the Starkville (MS) Super Regional. The two meetings in the 2007 postseason and the one meeting in 2011 comprise the three all-time matchups between the two teams in the NCAA Tournament.

Jack Leggett has a 27-6 mark against Coastal Carolina as Clemson’s head coach.

Scouting #4-Seeded Manhattan Fourth-seeded Manhattan (33-25) enters the Columbia Regional after winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament with a 4-1 record last weekend. The Jaspers lost their first game of the tournament, but they won their last four games, all by one run. Manhattan, who has a 4-1 record in neutral-site contests, had an 18-6 conference record during the regular season, as it finished atop the MAAC standings. The 2012 season marks the fourth time in school history that Manhattan has played in an NCAA Tournament.

Manhattan is led by first-year Head Coach Jim Duffy. The Jaspers have won 11 of their last 12 games. They have also won 32 of their last 43 games after starting the season with a 1-14 record. Manhattan has an 11-4 record in one-run games as well.

Manhattan is hitting .273 with a .370 slugging percentage and .369 on-base percentage. Manhattan, who is fielding at a .967 clip, has also totaled 97 doubles, eight triples, 22 home runs, 104 hit-by-pitches (tied for fourth-most in the nation), 42 sacrifice bunts, and is averaging 5.0 runs per game along with 81 stolen bases in 103 attempts.

Anthony Vega is hitting .336 with 11 doubles, four triples, five homers, 31 RBIs, and 32 steals. Nick Camastro is batting .319 with 16 doubles, 23 walks and 23 hit-by-pitches against only 17 strikeouts, and 19 stolen bases. Ramon Ortega has added seven home runs and 51 RBIs.

The pitching staff has a 4.44 ERA and .279 opponents’ batting average. The staff has allowed 30 homers and 201 walks against 310 strikeouts, good for a 1.54-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Senior righty Taylor Sewitt is 11-1 with a 2.40 ERA and .211 opponents’ batting average in 90.0 innings pitched over 22 appearances (six starts). Junior righty John Soldinger is 6-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 94.1 innings pitched over 16 appearances (13 starts). Sophomore righty Jacob Marchus has eight of the team’s 13 saves along with a 1.31 ERA in 20.2 innings pitched over 20 relief appearances.

Clemson and Manhattan have never met on the diamond. Jack Leggett has never faced Manhattan as a head coach as well.

Worth Noting • Clemson has five walkoff hits in 2012, tied for the most in a season under Head Coach Jack Leggett (1994-12). The 2003 team also had five walkoff hits. • Against ACC teams, Clemson’s pinch-hitters are 9-for-19 (.474) in 2012. Against non-ACC teams, Clemson’s pinch-hitters are 4-for-41 (.098).

31 That’s how many of Clemson’s 59 games have been against teams that will play in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, which equates to 53 percent. Clemson has a 13-18 record against the teams in the field. The Tigers have played 10 different teams that are in the NCAA Tournament.

Clemson has played three of the eight national seeds in Florida State, North Carolina, and South Carolina for a total of 10 games. The Tigers are 4-6 in those 10 contests. The Tigers are 7-13 against #1 seeds, 2-2 against #2 seeds, 2-2 against #3 seeds, and 2-1 against #4 seeds.

Tigers on Pace to Set School Fielding Record Clemson is fielding at a .974 clip, ahead of the school record of .972 set by the Tigers in 2006. The Tigers have committed only 61 errors in 59 games. The .974 fielding percentage is first in the ACC. Each of Clemson’s nine-best fielding percentages in school history have taken place in the last 13 years (since 2000) under Head Coach Jack Leggett.

Most teams have worse fielding percentages away from home due to being unfamiliar with different playing surfaces. However, Clemson has thrived fielding outside the friendly confines of Doug Kingsmore Stadium. In its 24 contests away from home, Clemson has a stellar .980 fielding percentage, committing only 18 errors. The Tigers have committed only four errors in the last seven games as well.

A big reason for Clemson’s outstanding fielding percentage is shortstop Jason Stolz, who has committed only four errors and has a stellar .984 fielding percentage. Stolz, who has started all 59 games and has played all but five innings at shortstop for the Tigers in 2012, is errorless in the field in each of last 30 games.

McGibbon Earns All-ACC Tournament Honors Sophomore Jon McGibbon (Lindenhurst, NY) earned All-ACC Tournament honors as the first-baseman for his performance in three games at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, NC from May 24-26. He was 5-for-13 (.385) with two home runs, one double, five RBIs, and three runs.

Against top-ranked Florida State on May 25, he laced a three-run walkoff homer in the ninth inning to give Clemson a 9-7 win. He also went 3-for-5 with a double, four RBIs, and two runs to help the Tigers to their third win in four games over the Seminoles in 2012.

On the season, McGibbon is hitting .237 with five homers, six doubles, one triple, 32 RBIs, and 28 runs in 55 games (53 starts).

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