April 26, 2009
Clemson University Overall Season Record: 30-15 ACC Regular-Season Record: 14-10
Last Week: 4-1 Tue. W, Home vs. #19 Coastal Carolina, 5-3 Wed. W, Away vs. South Carolina, 12-2 Fri. L, Home vs. #4 Georgia Tech, 5-4 Sat. W, Home vs. #4 Georgia Tech, 8-5 Sun. W, Home vs. #4 Georgia Tech, 6-3
Next Week Sat. Home vs. Maryland, 6:30 PM Sun. Home vs. Maryland, 6:30 PM
Notes Clemson, ranked as high as #20 in the nation, went 4-1 in five games this past week and was a one-run defeat away from a perfect week against three solid teams. The Tigers won both midweek games, wins over #19 Coastal Carolina (5-3) at home and South Carolina (12-2) on the road, and won two of three games against #4 Georgia Tech at home over the weekend.
Clemson, who was #9 in the unofficial RPI by WarrenNolan.com and #8 by BoydsWorld.com entering Sunday, could move even higher with its 6-3 Sunday win over Georgia Tech, who was #1 in the RPI. The Tigers also had the #4 toughest strength of schedule entering Sunday’s action according to WarrenNolan.com.
Jeff Schaus’ walkoff grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning lifted Clemson to a 5-3 win over Coastal Carolina at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 21. Schaus blasted the first pitch he saw deep over the fence in right field to send Clemson to its second walkoff win on a grand slam in school history. The Chanticleers had taken a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning on Tyler Bortnick’s two-run homer. Ben Paulsen had a game-high three hits, while each team totaled seven hits in the game. Clinton McKinney earned the win in relief, while starter Graham Stoneburner allowed just five hits and one unearned run in 6.0 innings pitched.
Clemson scored all 12 of its runs and tallied all 11 of its hits in the final four innings to defeat South Carolina 12-2 at Carolina Stadium on April 22. It was Clemson’s largest margin of victory over the Gamecocks in Columbia since 1997. Adam Westmoreland retired the first 15 batters of the game, but Clemson broke through thanks to a Gamecock error to score five runs in the sixth inning. The Tigers added three runs in the eighth inning and four runs in the ninth. Paulsen and Kyle Parker both hit a home run and scored three runs, while John Nester went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Matt Vaughn earned the win in relief by pitching 3.0 scoreless innings.
Clemson won two of three games against Georgia Tech at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from April 24-26. Clemson outscored the Yellow Jackets 18-13 and outhit them .302 to .286. The Tigers also totaled 19 walks, while Georgia Tech batters walked just eight times and struck out 23 times. Mike Freeman went 5-for-8 (.625) with five walks, while Jeff Schaus went 8-for-13 (.615) with a double, homer, and four RBIs in the series. The Tiger pitching staff had a solid 4.00 ERA against one of the nation’s top hitting teams as well.
In game-one on April 24, Georgia Tech scored all five of its runs in the third inning and outlasted Clemson 5-4. The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on Brad Miller’s two-out, three-run double. But the Yellow Jackets scored five runs in the third, capped by Luke Murton’s two-run homer. The Tigers scored a run in the eighth inning, but they could get no closer. Clemson had just one run-scoring hit in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 baserunners, including six in scoring position. The Tigers also walked eight times and had eight hits. Schaus went 3-for-4 with one of the Tigers’ four doubles. The Clemson bullpen also pitched 6.2 scoreless innings.
In game-two on April 25, Schaus went 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs to lead Clemson to an 8-5 win over Georgia Tech. Schaus’ three-run homer in the third inning gave the Tigers the lead for good. Georgia Tech scored a run in the eighth inning and two runs in the ninth inning before Clemson shut the door. Clemson outhit the Yellow Jackets 12-10 and was 5-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Leadoff batter Chris Epps scored three runs and Freeman went 2-for-3 with a double, two runs, and two walks. Starter Casey Harman pitched 6.2 strong inning, allowing two runs with four strikeouts to earn the win.
In game-three on April 26, four Tiger pitchers limited the Yellow Jackets to three runs in Clemson’s 6-3 win over Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets scored two runs in the top of the first inning, but Clemson responded with three runs in the bottom of the first and never relinquished its lead. Trey Delk earned the win in a starting role after missing over a month due to injury, then Stoneburner, Scott Weismann, who recorded his first career save, closed out the game. Wilson Boyd went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, while Freeman added two hits. Both teams had nine hits in the game. The victory was Jack Leggett’s 300th against an ACC team as Clemson’s head coach.
During the week, the Tigers outscored their opposition 35-18 and hit .283 with a .404 slugging percentage and .384 on-base percentage along with nine stolen bases. The pitching staff had a 3.20 ERA and .259 opponents’ batting average along with 43 strikeouts against 14 walks in 45.0 innings pitched. The Tigers also committed just three errors in five games, good for a .984 fielding percentage.
Schaus led the Tigers by going 10-for-22 (.455) with seven runs, one double, two homers, nine RBIs, and two stolen bases on the week. Miller went 5-for-13 (.385) with four RBIs, seven walks, two steals, and a .619 on-base percentage, while Nester was 6-for-16 (.375) with four RBIs. On the mound, Weismann pitched 6.0 innings, allowing just three hits, no runs, and two walks with four strikeouts as well as recording his first career save over two appearances (one start). Stoneburner allowed just one earned run and two walks with nine strikeouts in 9.0 innings pitched in two appearances (one start).
The Tigers sport a 30-15 overall record and 14-10 ACC mark on the season, good for second place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings behind first-place Florida State (15-7). Clemson also has a 22-6 home record, 7-9 road record, and 1-0 neutral-site mark.
Clemson is hitting .292 with a .442 slugging percentage and .384 on-base percentage in 45 games. Paulsen is hitting a team-best .386 with 14 doubles, four triples, nine homers, and 47 RBIs, while Schaus is hitting .331 with 10 doubles, one triple, eight homers, 30 RBIs, a .436 on-base percentage thanks to 28 walks against only 15 strikeouts, and seven stolen bases. Parker has added 10 homers and 46 RBIs as well.
The pitching staff has a 3.63 ERA and .252 opponents’ batting average along with 384 strikeouts against 135 walks in 406.1 innings pitched. The Tigers are fielding at a .969 clip as well.
Harman is 5-3 with a 3.71 ERA and 47 strikeouts against only nine walks in 51.0 innings pitched over 16 appearances (seven starts). Stoneburner has 62 strikeouts in 53.2 innings pitched, while Chris Dwyer has 57 strikeouts in 54.2 innings pitched. Tomas Cruz has a team-high three saves, a 3.18 ERA, and .174 opponents’ batting average in 17 relief appearances. In 16.2 innings pitched over 11 appearances (one start), Weismann has allowed just 12 hits (.200 opponents’ batting average), one run (0.54 ERA), and three walks with 16 strikeouts.
The Tigers will take five days off for final exams before they host Maryland in a three-game series beginning Saturday night.
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