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Clemson Baseball Weekly Wrapup

March 8, 2010

Clemson University Overall Season Record: 9-1 ACC Regular-Season Record: 0-0

Last Week: 3-1 Wed. W, Home vs. Dayton, 6-5 (10 innings) Fri. W, Home vs. #15 South Carolina, 4-3 Sat. L, Neutral* vs. #15 South Carolina, 7-5 Sun. W, Away vs. #15 South Carolina, 19-6 * – Greenville, SC (Fluor Field)

Next Week Wed. Home vs. Gardner-Webb, 4:00 PM Fri. Home vs. N.C. State, 4:00 PM Sat. Home vs. N.C. State, 2:00 PM Sun. Home vs. N.C. State, 1:00 PM

Notes Clemson, ranked as high as #9 in the nation, went 3-1 in four games this past week, which included a Wednesday win at home over Dayton and two wins in three games against rival and #15 South Carolina over the weekend.

Chris Epps scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the 10th inning to give Clemosn a 6-5 walkoff win over Dayton at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on March 3. The Flyers scored three runs in the seventh inning to take a 5-4 lead, then Clemson scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the eighth inning to tie the score. Epps led off the 10th inning with a single. He went all the way around the bases on three wild pitches to give Clemson the win. Kyle Parker went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs to lead Clemson, who outhit the Flyers 13-6. Tomas Cruz, the last of nine Tiger pitchers, earned the win by pitching a scoreless 10th inning.

Clemson then won two of three games against #15 South Carolina by a combined score of 28-16 at three different sites from March 5-7. It was the first regular-season series win for the Tigers since 2006. Clemson outhit the Gamecocks .286 to .267 and totaled seven home runs. Epps received the Bob Bradley Award as Clemson’s MVP of the series, as he was 7-for-14 with two homers, one double, six RBIs, six runs, and two walks. Mike Freeman added six hits. The Tigers also had a 4.33 ERA in the series.

In game-one at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson on March 5, Wilson Boyd’s two-out, run-scoring single in the eighth inning lifted the Tigers to a 4-3 over South Carolina. The Gamecocks took a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning on Adrian Morales’ sacrifice fly, but Jeff Schaus added solo home runs in the first inning. David Haselden pitched the final 4.0 innings without allowing a hit or run to earn the victory.

In game-two at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC on March 6, Whit Merrifield’s two-out, run-scoring single in the top of the ninth inning gave South Carolina the lead for good in its 7-5 win over Clemson. Merrifield broke a 4-4 tie with his clutch hit, then the Gamecocks added two more run-scoring hits. Freeman’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning brought the potential tying run to the plate, but the Tigers came up short. Jackie Bradley, Jr. went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs to lead the Gamecocks, who outhit Clemson 9-8. Four Gamecock hurlers combined for 13 strikeouts in the game.

In game-three at Carolina Stadium in Columbia, SC on March 7, Clemson hit five home runs to trounce South Carolina 19-6. It was the most runs scored by Clemson against the Gamecocks since 1962 and the Tigers’ largest margin of victory in the series since 1997. Epps’ grand slam in the second inning started the onslaught, as he was 3-for-6 with five RBIs and two runs. Freeman totaled three hits, including a home run, and three runs. Addison Johnson hit a solo homer, and Scott Weismann pitched 6.0 strong innings to earn the win, while eight Gamecock pitchers combined to allow 14 hits and 11 walks.

During the week, the Tigers hit .293 with a .387 on-base percentage, eight home runs, and five stolen bases in four games. The pitching staff had a 4.14 ERA and .239 opponents’ batting average.

Epps led the Tigers by going 8-for-18 (.444) with two homers, one double, six RBIs, seven runs, and four walks to lead the Tigers to three wins. Freeman added seven hits. In two relief outings, Haselden pitched 5.0 hitless and scoreless innings with five strikeouts.

On the season, the Tigers sport a 9-1 overall record, including a 7-0 mark at home. Clemson is hitting .299 with a .501 slugging percentage and .394 on-base percentage in 10 games. Clemson has amassed 16 home runs, as 10 different Tigers have already gone deep in 2010. Parker is hitting .378 with a team-high four homers and 10 RBIs, while Schaus is batting .351 with two homers and a team-high 15 RBIs.

The pitching staff has a 3.16 ERA and .229 opponents’ batting average. The Tigers are also fielding at a .963 clip. In 7.1 innings pitched over three relief appearances, Haselden is 2-0 and has not yielded a hit or run and has six strikeouts against only one walk. Clemson’s weekend rotation of Casey Harman, Will Lamb, and Weismann have combined for a 5-0 record and all have ERAs under 3.00.

The Tigers will return to action on Wednesday afternoon against Gardner-Webb before they open ACC play with a three-game series against N.C. State at Doug Kingsmore Stadium over the weekend. It will be the second ACC series in a row against the Wolfpack, as Clemson ended the 2009 regular season with a three-game series at N.C. State.

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