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Clemson Baseball Team to Open Season With Three Different Opponents

Clemson Baseball Team to Open Season With Three Different Opponents

Feb. 18, 2010

Clemson vs. Miami (OH), Michigan State & Furman Complete Game Notes

Tigers Open Season With Three Different Opponents Clemson (0-0), ranked as high as #15 in the nation, will open the 2010 season with three games against three different opponents from February 19-21.

The Tigers’ first game will be against Miami (OH) on Friday at 4:00 PM at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers will then take on Michigan State on Saturday at 1:00 PM at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC. Clemson will be the designated visiting team. The Tigers will conclude the weekend with a home game against Furman on Sunday at 2:00 PM.

All three games will also be broadcast live on the radio by WCCP (104.9 FM) out of Clemson and can be heard live on the internet at ClemsonTigers.com for all three games as well.

The Series (Miami (OH)) Clemson and Miami (OH) have met three times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 3-0 lead in the series. All three games took place over two days at Clemson in 1965. On March 31, the Tigers topped the RedHawks 15-1 in a seven-inning game. Then in a doubleheader on April 1, Clemson won the first game 14-0 and the second game 9-0 (seven-inning contest).

The Series (Michigan State) Clemson and Michigan State have met 15 times on the diamond, with the Spartans holding a 9-5-1 lead dating back to the 1935 season. The first 14 meetings took place at Clemson, while the most-recent game last season was played in Greenville, SC.

Clemson won both games a season ago by scores of 15-2 and 6-1, respectively. The first game took place at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, while the second was at Fluor Field. Mike Freeman went a combined 6-for-9 (.667) to lead the Tigers to 25 hits in the two games.

Prior to the 2009 meetings, the two teams last met in 1958, when they played twice 10 days apart. Clemson won the first meeting by a score of 7-5 in seven innings on March 24 in the season-opener. That was Bill Wilhelm’s first game as head coach at Clemson. Wilhelm went on to win 1,161 games in 36 seasons (1958-93) at Clemson. The Spartans topped the Tigers in the second and final meeting of the year on April 3 by a score of 3-2. That was Wilhelm’s first loss at Clemson as well. Therefore, Wilhelms’ first-ever win and first-ever loss both came against the Spartans.

The Series (Furman) Clemson and Furman have met 197 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 135-58-4 advantage dating back to the 1896 season. Clemson’s first two games in school history were against the Paladins, both losses in 1896, which were the Tigers’ only games that season. The two teams have played at least one game every year since 1983.

The two teams played two games in 2009, as the two teams split the games. At Doug Kingsmore Stadium on March 3, Furman scored two runs in the 14th inning to edge the Tigers 4-2. Then at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC on May 11, Wilson Boyd and Ben Paulsen each tallied four hits to lead Clemson to an 8-5 win over Furman.

The Tigers lead 75-27-1 in games played at Clemson and 25-5 in games played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Jack Leggett is 15-5 against the Paladins as Clemson’s head coach. He was also 29-7 against Furman as Western Carolina’s head coach from 1983-91, meaning he is 44-12 against the Paladins as a head coach.

The Starting Pitchers (Miami (OH)) The RedHawks will start junior lefthander Tyler Melling on the mound. The Bellefontaine, OH native had a 6-3 record and 5.35 ERA in 13 starts for a total of 70.2 innings pitched in 2009. He allowed 73 hits (.269 opponents’ batting average) and 26 walks with 49 strikeouts.

Clemson will counter with junior lefty Casey Harman on Friday. The South Burlington, VT native had a 7-3 record and 3.95 ERA in 22 appearances (13 starts) for a total of 86.2 innings pitched in 2009. He yielded 98 hits (.282 opponents’ batting average) and 16 walks with 89 strikeouts.

The Starting Pitchers (Michigan State) The Spartans will start sophomore righthander Tony Bucciferro on the mound. The Joliet, IL native had a 5-2 record and 3.55 ERA in 14 appearances (11 starts) for a total of 71.0 innings pitched in 2009. He allowed 92 hits (.315 opponents’ batting average) and 12 walks with 61 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with sophomore righthander Scott Weismann on Saturday. The Boxborough, MA native had a 3-1 record and 1.23 ERA in 17 appearances (three starts) for a total of 36.2 innings pitched in 2009. He allowed 26 hits (.206 opponents’ batting average) and 15 walks with 28 strikeouts.

The Starting Pitchers (Furman) The Paladins will send out senior lefty Barry Benton on the mound. The Jacksonville, AL native had a 2-6 record and 6.31 ERA in 19 appearances (15 starts) for a total of 71.1 innings pitched in 2009. He yielded 105 hits (.349 opponents’ batting average) and 25 walks with 57 strikeouts.

Clemson will counter with freshman righthander Kevin Brady on Sunday. The Gaithersburg, MD native, who received a medical red-shirt in 2009, had an 0-0 record and 1.69 ERA in four appearances (three starts) for a total of 10.2 innings pitched. He allowed nine hits (.225 opponents’ batting average) and five walks with eight strikeouts.

The RedHawks Miami (OH), led by fifth-year Head Coach Dan Simonds, is a member of the Mid-American Conference and like the Tigers will play their first game of the season on Friday. The RedHawks are coming off a 30-25 season, which included a 15-12 record in the MAC.

Miami returns 15 lettermen and six position starters along with 13 of its 18 pitchers from a season ago. Junior outfielder Adam Eaton is the squad’s returning hitter. He hit .350 with 11 homers and 48 RBIs along with being 28-29 on stolen bases. Zak Hatfield added 12 long balls and 42 RBIs in 2009.

The Spartans Michigan State, led by second-year Head Coach Jake Boss, Jr., is a member of the Big Ten Conference and will open its season on Friday against Furman. The Spartans are coming off a 23-31 season, which included a 13-11 record in the Big Ten Conference.

Michigan State returns 19 lettermen and six position starters along with nine of its 14 pitchers from a season ago. Senior outfielder Eli Boike is the team’s top returning hitter. He hit .310 with eight homers and 36 RBIs along with being 12-16 on stolen bases.

The Paladins Furman, led by 17th-year Head Coach Ron Smith, is a member of the Southern Conference and will open its season on Friday against Michigan State. The Paladins are coming off a 24-31 season, which included a 10-20 record in the SoCon.

Furman returns 21 lettermen and four position starters along with 12 of its 16 pitchers from a season ago. Junior utility player Brian Harrison is the squad’s returning hitter. He hit .303 with 12 homers and 43 RBIs.

The Tigers Clemson enters the season-opening weekend ranked as high as #15 in the nation (by Baseball America and Sports Weekly). Clemson is also ranked #16 in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll. The Tigers are coming off a 44-22 season in 2009 when they advanced to the Tempe (AZ) Super Regional after winning the Clemson (SC) Regional.

The Tigers return eight position starters in 2010 and 20 lettermen overall. Among the top returnees are First-Team All-ACC outfielder Wilson Boyd is the leading returner in terms of batting average, as he hit .341, while Kyle Parker added 12 long balls and 52 RBIs.

The Tiger pitching staff was fifth in the nation in ERA in 2009 despite not having an all-conference player, an indication of the staff’s depth. Righty reliever Tomas Cruz had a 3.33 ERA and .195 opponents batting average to pace the bullpen.

Worth Noting • Clemson will play 17 of its first 21 games at home.

Tigers Picked Second in ACC Atlantic Clemson was picked to finish second in the ACC Atlantic Division by the 12 league coaches in the preseason. The Tigers received two first-place votes to win the ACC Atlantic Division, behind Florida State’s 10 first-place votes.

Behind Florida State and Clemson in the ACC Atlantic Division were Boston College, N.C. State, Wake Forest, and Maryland.

Virginia was picked to win the ACC Coastal Division title. Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Miami (FL), Virginia Tech, and Duke rounded out the ACC Coastal Division preseason picks. The Cavaliers were picked to win the ACC overall title with eight first-place votes.

Polls Clemson enters the 2010 season ranked #15 in the preseason Baseball America and Sports Weekly polls. The Tigers are also ranked #16 in the preseason Collegiate Baseball poll. It is the 22nd consecutive season that Clemson has had a preseason top-25 ranking.

Leggett Leading a Consistent Winner Head Coach Jack Leggett has a 724-331-1 (.686) record at Clemson in his 17th season. The legendary Bill Wilhelm has the most wins of any Tiger coach with 1,161 in 36 seasons (1958-93) at Clemson. Leggett’s 724 wins are second-most in school history. No other Clemson coach has more than 70 wins while in Tigertown. Leggett earned win #700 as the leader of the Tiger program in Clemson’s 10-1 win over Duke on April 5, 2009.

Through Leggett’s first 16 seasons at Clemson, he had 724 wins. Only six other programs (Florida State, Wichita State, Rice, Miami (FL), Louisiana State, Cal State Fullerton) had more wins over that span from 1994-09.

Tigers Have 195 Top-25 Wins Under Leggett In 17 seasons at Clemson, Head Coach Jack Leggett has 195 wins over teams ranked in the top 25. Below is a year-by-year chart of Leggett against ranked foes.

Epps, Freeman, Sarratt Named Captains Three Tigers were voted team captains, as voted on by the players, prior to the 2010 season. Junior outfielder Mike Freeman, and senior righthander Justin Sarratt were all named captains. Freeman was a captain in 2009 as well.

Preseason Individual Honors Several Tigers received accolades in the preseason. Lefthander Mike Freeman and outfielder Jeff Schaus were second-team All-ACC selections.

Outfielder Kyle Parker was listed as the #76 player in the nation by TheCollegeBaseballBlog.com, while utility player Will Lamb was the #92 player in the nation. Infielder Brad Miller (#28), Lamb (#48), and righthander Kevin Brady (#95) were all listed among the top prospects for the 2011 draft by Perfect Game, while utility player Richie Shaffer was listed as the #35 prospect for the 2012 draft. Miller was also invited to the Team USA National trials for the summer of 2010.

Future ACC Tournament Sites The 2010 ACC Tournament will be played at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, NC. The tourney has never been held in Greensboro. In 2011, the tourney will be played in Durham (NC) Bulls Athletic Park, where it was played in 2009, while the 2012 tourney will return to Greensboro. The 2013 ACC Tournament will also be played in Durham. Locations for the tournament after the 2013 season have yet to be determined.

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