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CLEMSON BASEBALL WEEKLY WRAPUP

May 27, 2012

CLEMSON BASEBALL WEEKLY WRAPUP (Week of May 21-27, 2012)

Clemson University Overall Season Record: 33-26 ACC Regular-Season Record: 16-14 ACC Tournament Record: 1-2

Last Week: 1-2 Thu. L, Neutral* vs. #17 Virginia, 3-2 Fri. W, Neutral* vs. #1 Florida State, 9-7 Sat. L, Neutral* vs. Georgia Tech, 5-1 * – ACC Tournament at Greensboro, NC (NewBridge Bank Park)

Next Week TBA

Last Week’s Game Notes Clemson went 1-2 in the ACC Tournament at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, NC from May 24-26. Clemson was outscored 15-12 and batted .206 with four doubles, three homers, and five steals. Jon McGibbon went 5-for-13 (.385) with two homers, one double, and five RBIs, while Richie Shaffer added a double, seven walks, one hit-by-pitch, and a .643 on-base percentage. The Tiger pitching staff had a 4.85 ERA, while Clemson fielded at a .983 clip.

In the Tigers’ first game of the ACC Tournament on May 24, #17 Virginia rallied with two runs in eighth inning for a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Clemson. McGibbon’s solo homer in the sixth inning tied the score, then two Cavalier miscues in the top of the eighth inning allowed the Tigers to take a 2-1 lead. But with two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the eighth inning, Virginia used a single, two hit-by-pitches, and two walks to score two runs and take the lead for good. The Tigers put 15 batters on base, but stranded 11 and scored only two runs. Tiger starter Daniel Gossett pitched 6.2 strong innings, allowing four hits and one run with six strikeouts.

In the Tigers’ second game of the ACC Tournament on May 25, McGibbon lined a three-run walkoff homer to right-center in the ninth inning to lift Clemson to a 9-7 win over #1 Florida State. The Tigers scored two runs on Spencer Kieboom’s single in the eighth inning to cut the Seminoles’ lead to 7-6. One-out singles by Phil Pohl and pinch-hitter Mike Dunster set up McGibbon’s dramatic walkoff homer, Clemson’s second in ACC Tournament history and first since 1981. McGibbon went 3-for-5 with a homer, double, four RBIs, and two runs to pace Clemson, who totaled 11 hits. Patrick Andrews retired all four batters he faced to earn the win.

In the Tigers’ third game of the ACC Tournament on May 26, starter Jake Davies allowed only two hits and one run in 6.0 innings pitched and added a two-run homer in the first inning to lead Georgia Tech to a 5-1 victory over Clemson. Steve Wilkerson’s leadoff homer, his first career long ball, in the first inning provided the Tigers’ lone run. Georgia Tech added one run in the second inning and two runs in the third inning, while neither team scored in the final six innings. Scott Firth pitched 6.1 innings innings in relief, allowing four hits and no earned runs.

2012 Season Notes Clemson has a 33-26 overall record and finished with a 16-14 ACC regular-season mark. Clemson is 21-14 in home games, 9-9 in away games, and 3-3 in neutral-site contests.

The Tigers will await word on Monday if it is selected to the 2012 NCAA Tournament. There are several factors in Clemson’s favor:

Clemson has an RPI of #27 and strength of schedule of #6.Clemson finished in fifth place (16-14 record) in the ACC overallstandings. The ACC is the nation’s top conference according to theRPI. Clemson has played 34 of its 59 games (58 percent) againstteams in the top 50 of the RPI. The 34 games against the top 50 aretied for second-most in the nation. And that does not include twogames against Elon (#51 RPI) and two games against Georgia (#55RPI). Therefore, Clemson has played 38 of its 59 games (64 percent)against top-55 RPI teams. Clemson has 14 wins against top-50 RPIteams. Only 10 other teams in the nation have more top-50 wins. Andthe 14-win total does not include two wins against Elon (#51 RPI)and one win against Georgia (#55 RPI). Clemson is 4-3 against teamsranked in the top five in the nation. Clemson won six of its 10conference series and nine of its 14 weekend series during theregular season. Clemson also won six of its last eight weekendseries in the regular season. Seven of those eight series wereagainst teams in the top 50 of the RPI. Clemson has been verycompetitive all season. Clemson has lost 24 of its 26 games by fourruns or less. The other two losses were by five runs and sevenruns. Clemson defeated #1 Florida State twice in three games atClemson in May, then the Tigers defeated #1 Florida State again inits only meeting in the ACC Tournament. Therefore, Clemson defeatedthe top-ranked Seminoles three times in four games in 2012. Clemsonalso defeated #7 Miami (FL) twice in three games from March toApril, then the Tigers beat Georgia Tech (#24 in RPI) twice inthree games in Atlanta. Clemson was the only team in the nation towin a weekend series over Florida State during the regular season.

In April, Clemson lost its Friday starter (Kevin Brady) to injury. He missed 21 days of action, but is expected to be at full strength in the postseason. Brady has a 2.52 ERA and .226 opponents’ batting average this season. Also in April, Clemson also lost its top reliever (Matt Campbell) for the rest of the season due to injury. Campbell had a 2.49 ERA, two saves, and a .211 opponents’ batting average this season.

Note: All RPI references according to WarrenNolan.com; as of May 27 at 2:45 PM EDT.

The Tigers, who are averaging 5.7 runs per game, are hitting .269 with a .387 slugging percentage and .359 on-base percentage thanks to 252 walks and 49 hit-by-pitches in 2012. The team has also totaled 92 doubles, 15 triples, 40 homers, and 63 stolen bases. The Tigers have cumulatively outscored their opposition in all nine innings, except the first inning (tied 32-32), and in extra innings in 2012. Clemson is fielding at a .974 clip, the best mark in school history.

Richie Shaffer leads the team with a .339 batting average, 19 doubles, two triples, 10 homers, 46 RBIs, 45 runs, 58 walks, a .479 on-base percentage, and eight steals. Steve Wilkerson is batting .308 with 30 RBIs and a team-high 47 runs, while Thomas Brittle is hitting .303 with eight doubles, eight triples, two homers, and 33 RBIs. Phil Pohl has added eight homers and a team-high 50 RBIs as well.

The pitching staff has a 3.94 ERA and .269 opponents’ batting average in 537.0 innings pitched this season. It has allowed 552 hits and 228 walks with 434 strikeouts, good for a 1.90 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Brady leads the rotation with a 2.52 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 60.2 innings pitched over 11 starts and two relief appearances. Brady, who had missed the previous 21 days due to injury, has made those two relief outings within the last two weekends.

Kevin Pohle is 6-4 with a 3.66 ERA, while Dominic Leone and Daniel Gossett join Pohle for the team lead with six wins apiece. Scott Firth has a 4-0 record, 1.99 ERA, and two saves in 49.2 innings pitched over 22 relief outings.

Clemson will await word from the NCAA Baseball Committee on the 64-team field, which will be announced on Monday at 12:00 PM on ESPNU.

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