March 12, 2002
Tigers 10-0, 0-0 #2 BA, #2 CB, #2 BWJack Leggett (Maine ’76)
Eagles 12-5, 0-0 Not Ranked Rodney Hennon (Western Carolina ’93)
Clemson Off to Best Start Since 1992 After a three-game sweep of Purdue last weekend, Clemson is now 10-0 and off to its best start since 1992. That year, the Tigers finished 50-14 and won the ACC regular season championship after beginning the year 17-0. Clemson put together a 10-game winning streak early in the 1998 season, the last instance of 10 straight Tiger victories. The 1996 College World Series team strung together a 15-game winning streak, while the 1995 squad, also a CWS participant, won 25 straight games after dropping the season opener.
Clemson is now the consensus number two team in the country after moving up one spot in the Collegiate Baseball and Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches polls. The Tigers are the only remaining unbeaten team in the top-25.
Clemson vs. Georgia Southern Tuesday’s game will mark the 71st meeting between Clemson leads the alltime series 42-27-1. The teams met in a Tuesday-Wednesday set last year at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on March 13-14. Georgia Southern won Tuesday night’s game 12-9 in 10 innings. Clemson bounced back the next day to take a 9-3 victory.
The Eagles are led by Rodney Hennon, who graduated from Western Carolina in 1993. Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett guided the Catamounts from 1983-1991.
Tigers Sweep Purdue Steven Jackson, Jeff Hahn and Paul Harrelson combined to limit Purdue to just two runs, and a fifth inning Purdue error proved to be costly in Clemson’s 4-2 victory over the Boilermakers Sunday afternoon at Kingsmore Stadium.
The victory improved Clemson’s record to 10-0, while Purdue, ranked 27th in the nation in the preseason Collegiate Baseball poll, fell to 2-8. The victory completed a three-game sweep of the series for the Tigers.
Jackson was the starter and winner for Clemson, improving his record to 2-0. He allowed two runs and six hits before leaving in the sixth. Hahn inherited a two-on and no-out situation in the sixth with Clemson leading just 3-2. He struck out pinch hitter Wilson James, then got Brad Kriner to ground into a double play to end the inning. Hahn, who had given up five earned runs in two innings entering the contest, then got the Boilermakers out in order in the eighth. Paul Harrelson pitched the last 1 and 2/3 and picked up his fifth save in five opportunities. He faced five Purdue batters and retired them all, three on strikeouts.
Clemson was led at the plate by Khalil Greene, who had three of Clemson’s six hits. Michael Johnson had a walk and a single to drive in a run. Russell Triplett had the only other RBI for Clemson. Purdue took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Kriner led off with a single to center and went to second on a single by shortstop Mitch Koester. Two outs later, Nick McIntrye singled to right to score Kriner with the game’s first run. Purdue, who finished second in the Big Ten last year, made the count 2-0 with a run in the fifth.
Koester opened the inning with a walk. He moved to second on a stolen base and scored on a single by left fielder Adam Fazio.
Down, 2-0, the second-ranked Tigers took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Michael Johnson, who had hit 12 home runs in his last 15 games over two years, started the uprising with a walk. He moved to second on a single to center by right fielder Jarrod Schmidt.
That brought David Slevin, Clemson’s leading hitter entering the game with a .500 average, to the plate. He attempted a sacrifice bunt, but third baseman John Gusich threw wide at first, allowing Johnson and Schmidt to score. Slevin advanced to third on the throw and scored one out later on a single to left by Russell Triplett.
Clemson added an insurance run in the sixth. With two out, Jeff Baker walked and then stole second. Johnson then delivered a bloop single over second base to score Baker, giving Clemson a 4-2 advantage. Purdue had two runners on in the eighth with one out, but Harrelson shut the door with two strikeouts.
Clemson 5-0 vs. Ranked Teams With his team’s sweep of 25th-ranked Auburn and two wins over South Carolina this season, Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett now has 97 wins over top-25 teams since taking the helm in 1994. Clemson’s wins over South Carolina were Leggett’s 25th and 26th over a team ranked in the top-five in one of the three major polls. His last top-five victory prior to Saturday was a 7-4 win at #4 South Carolina on March 4, 2001. Clemson defeated second-ranked Florida State three straight games from May 6-8, 2000, the last instance of consecutive victories over a top-five team before this weekend.
Return of the Long Ball Clemson has continued to launch the long ball in 2002 after a big 2001 season. Entering the series with Georgia Southern, the Tigers have 15 home runs in 10 games. If the pace contnues, the team will finish with approximately 84 home runs at the end of the 56-game regular season. That would be the fourth best team home run figure in Clemson history.
The 1991 team set a school record with 111 home runs. The 1997 team launched 95 home runs. After hitting only 37 long balls in 2000, the proliferation of home runs returned to Clemson in 2001. The Tigers smashed 85 home runs this season. That is more than double the 2000 season out put of 37 dingers. Fifteen of the 37 homers in 2000 came at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, while Clemson has more than tripled the total and hit 54 out of Kingsmore Stadium in 2001. The fences to the stadium were moved in 10 feet prior to the start of 2001.
Jeff Baker total of 23 led the ACC a season ago. Michael Johnson finished fourth in the league with 17. Jarrod Schmidt also hit 15 home runs to tie for sixth in the ACC.
Khalil Greene came on strong at the end of the season and finished with 12. He joins Baker, Schmidt and Johnson with at least 10 home runs this season. Clemson last had four players with 10 or more home runs in 1997 when five players had double-digit totals. Matthew LeCroy led the Tigers with a school best 24, followed by Kurt Bultmann (16), Gary Burnham (15), Jason Embler (14) and Matt Padgett (13).
Johnson on a Home Run Tear First baseman Michael Johnson homered twice against College of Charleston on Wednesday, giving him six home runs in the Tigers’ first six games. He also hit a grand slam in Saturday’s 9-6 wi over Purdue. He homered five times in the last six games of 2001, which means the first baseman has 12 home runs in his last 16 games dating back to last season.
The feat of one player homering twice in a game was a somewhat frequent occurrence for the Tigers in 2001, and the trend is continuing in 2002. Johnson’s two-homer performance was the fifth of his career and the third for Clemson this season. Jeff Baker hit two against Auburn on Feb. 22 , the eighth time of his career that he hit two homers in the same game. He leads Clemson in that category.
Jarrod Schmidt is the only other current Tiger with multiple home runs in more than one game. He hit two home runs April 6 at Florida State and again April 14 vs. Duke in 2001. Clemson had 10 multi-home run games last season, the most in school history.
Multi HR Games in 2002Player Multi HR Games OpponentMichael Johnson 2 South Carolina, 3/3 Charleston, 3/6Jeff Baker 1 Auburn, 2/22
Multi HR Games in 2001 Player Multi HR Games Jeff Baker 5 Michael Johnson 3 Jarrod Schmidt 2
Multi HR Games in a Season by Individual Player Multi HR Games Year Jeff Baker 5 2001 Matthew LeCroy 4 1997 Eric Macrina 3 1991 Michael Johnson 3 2001
19 tied at 2 including current Tigers: Jarrod Schmidt 2 2001 Jeff Baker 2 2000
Johnson Named ACC Player of the Week Clemson first baseman Michael Johnson was named ACC Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. The honor was the first for Johnson, who was named MVP of the Clemson Regional in 2001. The Georgetown, SC native batted 6-11 (.545) with seven RBIs in three Tiger victories last weekend.
Johnson began the weekend by going 2-4 with an RBI against the College of Charleston. He hit the game-winning home run in Clemson’s 9-7 victory over South Carolina on Saturday and then blasted two more home runs and a double on Sunday as the Tigers defeated the Gamecocks 11-10 in 10 innings.
The junior leads the team with four home runs on the season and leads the ACC in slugging percentage with a 1.100 figure. He is the second Tiger to be named Player of the Week by the ACC in 2002. Jeff Baker shared the honors last week.
Records in Range for Greene Khalil Greene assured himself a spot in the Clemson batting record books last season when he set new standards for being hit by a pitch in an inning (2), game (3), season (21) and career (47). But the senior is making a name for himself in many other categories of the Clemson record book.
He doubled three times in an 11-10 victory over South Carolina, tying a Clemson record. It was the third time he accomplished the feat. After six games, Greene is near the top of many career categories, including third in doubles (70), fifth in hits (288), sixth in RBIs (196) and seventh in at-bats (824) and tied for sixth in total bases (459). The outstanding defensive player also set a new Clemson mark last season for fielding percentage by a shortstop. His .965 fielding percentage broke Bill Spiers record.
Career Category Leader (Stat) Greene Rank (Stat) Doubles Kurt Bultmann (82) 3rd (70) Hits Shane Monahan (337) 5th (288) RBIs Jim McCollom (218) 6th (196) At-Bats Bert Heffernan (993) 7th (824) Total Bases Shane Monahan (535) T-6th (459)
Schmidt Now Fourth in Clemson Career Winning Percentage When junior Jarrod Schmidt picked up his second win of the season against South Carolina, he improved his career record to 18-3 on the mound, good enough for an .857 winning percentage. The mark ties him for fourth with Bill Parmer (1965-67), who also had an 18-3 record.
Tigers Take Two From Gamecocks Clemson outfielder Kyle Frank raced home from first base to give second-ranked Clemson a 11-10 victory in 10 innings over fifth-ranked South Carolina. The Tigers (6-0) claimed both games against the fourth-ranked Gamecocks (9-2) during the two-game weekend set. Clemson posted a 9-7 victory in Columbia on Saturday evening.
Clemson began the 10th inning with a fly out to right field by Steve Pyzik and a ground out to short by Kyle Frank was hit by a Matt Campbell pitch on a 1-1 count. Khalil Greene then wrapped a 1-1 Campbell pitch to center field. South Carolina centerfielder Jon Coutlangus fumbled the sharply hit ball and was charged with an error.
A relay throw by shortstop Drew Meyer beat Frank to the plate, but the junior outfielder avoided the tag by catcher Landon Powell. Jarrod Schmidt, who started the contest in right field, picked up the win in relief for Clemson despite giving up the tying two runs in the ninth inning on a Powell two-run double with two strikes and two out. Schmidt, who hurled 51 pitches in the final two frames, raised his season record to 2-0.
South Carolina freshman Matt Campbell shouldered the loss for South Carolina and is now 0-1 on the season. Campbell, making just his third appearance of his career, struck out the side in the ninth inning with the bases loaded for the Tigers.
Greene, a senior third baseman and junior first baseman Michael Johnson paced the Clemson offensive attack. Greene ended the contest 4-4 with three doubles and one runs batted in. Johnson was 3-5 on the day with two two-run home runs, one double and four runs batted in. On Saturday, Clemson scored five runs in the fourth inning and fended off a Gamecock rally to defeat South Carolina 9-7 in Columbia, SC. The game was scheduled for a 4:00 PM start but did not get underway until 6:00 PM due to a rain delay.
Closer Paul Harrelson entered the game in the bottom of the sixth to halt a big scoring inning for South Carolina and pitched 3.1 innings of relief to earn his third save of the year.
The Tigers took an early lead with a run in the second inning, but did most of the heavy damage in the fourth. After Kyle Frank was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, Khalil Greene followed with a two-run home run to left field. Jeff Baker later in the frame to put the Tigers ahead 4-0. Tony Adler came in to pitch for the Gamecocks with two outs, but the Tigers scored two more runs when pinch hitter L.J. DeMaino singled to right field.
Clemson extended its lead to 7-0 in the fifth, but South Carolina finally got to Clemson starter Steve Reba in the bottom of the inning. The Gamecocks put runners on the corners with one out when Jon Coutlangus singled to center and drove in their first run. Reba got out of the inning when he induced Drew Meyer into a 4-6-3 double play.
South Carolina chased Reba in the sixth inning after a walk and single to left. Jeff Hahn entered the game in relief but gave up three straight hits and three runs before lefthander Tyler Lumsden came in with runners second and third with none out. Landon Powell hit a sacrifice fly to center to score one run and Steve Thomas scored on a grounder to the left side that cut the Clemson lead to 7-6. The Gamecocks then put runners on second and third with two outs when Harrelson came in the game and got the final out of the inning. Michael Johnson extended the Clemson lead to 9-6 in the top of the seventh with a two-run homer then Yaron Peters led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo shot to make the score 9-7. But Harrelson shut down South Carolina the rest of the way to secure the Tiger victory.
Reba (2-0) earned the win for Clemson. The senior ace hit three batters and walked four in five innings of work but no-hit the Gamecocks through the first four innings. Greene, Johnson, Schmidt and DeMaino each had two RBIs to lead the offense. David Marchbanks (3-1) picked up the loss for South Carolina.
Baker Moves Up Career Home Run List Junior third baseman Jeff Baker moved into 6th place on Clemson’s all-time career homerun list with two home runs in Friday’s season opener, including one shot that came just shy of clearing the 40-foot batters’ eye in center field (400 feet). The junior now has 36 career home runs and is within reach of Matthew LeCroy’s school record of 53 home runs. The multi-homer game was the eighth of Baker’s career, a Clemson school record.
Clemson Career Home Run ListPlayer Years HRsMatthew LeCroy (1995-96-97) 53Jim McCollom (1982-83-84-85) 52Eric Macrina (1988-89-90-91) 51Jim Crowley (1988-89-90-91) 43Kurt Bultmann (1996-97-98-99) 43Jeff Baker (2000-present) 36
Baker Named ACC Co-Player of the Week Jeff Baker was named ACC Co-Player of the Week for Feb. 25, the conference announced on Tuesday. The junior helped the Tigers to a three-game sweep of Auburn by batting 5-10 with eight RBIs, including a single, two doubles, a triple and a home run.
The Woodbridge, VA, native hit 3-5 with seven RBIs with runners in scoring position, including a three-RBI double in the eighth inning to lead Clemson to a 6-5 comeback victory over Auburn on Sunday. With two home runs on Friday, Baker moved into sixth place on the school’s all-time career list with 36 career homers. Baker shared the honors with N.C. State’s Tim Coffield, who batted 8-13 with three home runs and 17 RBIs in three games against Coppin State.
Tiger Batters Step Up in the Clutch Clemson’s offensive success in its three-game series with Auburn came largely due to its hitting in the clutch. Tiger batters went 10-26 (.385) with 18 RBIs with runners in scoring position and 5-13 (.385) with 8 RBIs with runners in scoring position and two outs. Khalil Greene batted 3-4 with 4 RBIs and Jeff Baker hit 3-5 with 7 RBIs with runners in scoring position to lead Clemson. Baker’s biggest hit of the series, a bases-clearing, three-RBI double in the eighth inning on Sunday, came after he started the count 0-2.
Clemson Opens 2002 Season With Three-Game Sweep of Auburn For the sixth time under Head Coach Jack Leggett, Clemson opened its home schedule with a three-game sweep. The Tigers defeated Auburn 7-4 on Friday, 8-5 on Saturday and 6-5 on Sunday.
Paul Harrelson picked up his first career save in Friday’s game. The fireworks began early for Clemson with three first-inning runs. Jeff Baker came to the plate and then crushed the ball to deep center, nearly clearing the 40-foot wall, to give the Tigers an early 3-0 advantage.
Auburn responded with two runs in a two-out, third inning rally, but Baker extended the Clemson lead to 4-2 when his shot to center just cleared the fence and the glove of the leaping centerfielder.
On Saturday, Clemson plated four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie en route to a 8-5 victory. Starting pitcher Matt Henrie (1-0) hurled six innings of one-run, five-hit ball to earn his first victory on the year. Freshman Tyler Lumsden, making his first appearance on the mound for Clemson, pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record his first career save.
Clemson rallied for four runs in the eighth inning and fended off an Auburn comeback in the ninth inning for a 6-5 victory Sunday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Jarrod Schmidt picked up the win for third-ranked Clemson (3-0).
Clemson led for most of the game but entered the bottom of the eighth trailing 4-2. David Slevin led off with a single, Steve Pyzik walked and L.J. DeMaino was hit by a pitch to load the bases with none out. After a Khalil Greene drew a walk to plate one run. All-American Jeff Baker then stepped to the plate and drilled a line drive to right field that cleared the bases and gave Clemson a 6-4 lead heading into the ninth.
After loading the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth, Auburn scored a run when Bobby Huddleston hit an infield single. John Tyler grounded back to Clemson closer Paul Harrelson, who threw to home plate for a force out. Harrelson then induced a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and earn his second save of the year.
Clemson Ranked Second in Preseason Expectations are always high for the baseball players and coaches at Clemson, but never have the expectations from the media been as high. Clemson was tabbed as the second best team in the preseason by Baseball America, the highest preseason prediction ever for the Clemson baseball program. Other preseason polls picked the Tigers among the nation’s elite. Baseball Weekly ranked Clemson fifth while Collegiate Baseball placed the Tigers sixth.
Clemson Picked to Win ACC The Atlantic Coast Conference’s nine head coaches selected Clemson as the top pick to win the conference championship in 2002 with five first place votes and 77 points.
The Tigers return seven position players and three starting pitchers from their 2001 squad which finished second in the ACC regular season standings and compiled an overall record of 41-22.
In the voting, Florida State finished a close second with 74 points and four first place votes after finishing the 2001 season as the regular season champion. ACC Tournament Champion Wake Forest finished in third place tallying 57 points. The Demon Deacons finished last season with a 44-18 overall record.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fill the fourth place slot with 56 points, while North Carolina placed fifth in the balloting with 45 points. The Tar Heels were followed by N.C. State who finished with 33 points and then Duke with 29 points. Virginia was selected to finish eighth with 24 points and Maryland ninth with nine points.
2002 ACC Coaches Preseason Predicted Order of Finish School Points 2001 Record/Finish 1. CLEMSON (5) 77 41-22, 17-7 ACC 2. Florida State (4) 74 47-19, 20-4 ACC 3. Wake Forest 57 44-18, 16-8 ACC 4. Georgia Tech 56 41-20, 13-11 ACC 5. North Carolina 45 31-26, 9-15 ACC 6. N.C. State 33 32-29, 9-15 ACC 7. Duke 29 23-33, 10-13 ACC 8. Virginia 24 25-31, 9-15 ACC 9. Maryland 9 17-37, 4-19 ACC
Four Tigers Named Preseason All-Americans Jeff Baker, Jarrod Schmidt have been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association 2002 preseason All-America teams.
Johnson and Baker were selected to the first team, Reba was a second-team selection while Schmidt garnered third-team honors. Baker and Schmidt were also named to Baseball America’s 2002 Preseason All-America teams. Baker was a first-team selection, while Schmidt garnered second-team honors.
Scouting directors of Scouting directors of major league clubs voted on the Baseball America preseason teams and made their selections based on performance, talent and major league potential.
Tigers Eyeing Return to OmahaJack Leggett’s program will be looking to repeat some of its own recent history in 2002 with a return to the College World Series. After losing in the Super Regional to Texas A&M in 1999, the 2000 team came back strong and advanced to Omaha. Now, the 2002 Tigers hope to advance past last year’s Super Regional loss to eventual national champion Miami and make Clemson’s 10th appearance in the College World Series.
Omaha is literally on the minds of the players everyday. All of their hats have the word “Omaha” stitched inside the paw on the back of their caps. As a part of their warmups for practice, the players jog to the outfield and touch the banner signifying Clemson’s last CWS appearance in 2000. On their way in and out of the clubhouse from the dugout, players touch a home plate that hangs on the wall. The plate is a memento from one of the Tigers’ CWS appearances in the 1990s that Head Coach Jack Leggett had dug up from Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha. The 2002 team is hoping to add its own memorabilia to the Clemson baseball tradition.
Captains Named for 2002 Season Outfielder Khalil Greene, first baseman Steve Reba have been named team captains for the 2002 season head baseball coach Jack Leggett announced. “After looking at the voting, the team decided we have a lot of capable leaders, but this group stands out,” Leggett said. “I think they will be outstanding leaders that will help guide this team to where it plans to be at the end of the year. All four are good examples of what this program is about in all different ways.”
Head Coach Jack LeggettJack Leggett enters his ninth season at Clemson with a record of 380-155 (.710). Clemson has made the NCAA Tournament and won at least 40 games in all of his season at the helm. Since his arrival at Tiger Town in 1994, Clemson has been the fifth winningest program in the country.
Leggett came to Clemson from Western Carolina and was honored by his former school in October. He was inducted into the Western Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame for his outstanding leadership and his many accomplishments. He finished his nine-year Catamount career with a 302-226 (.572) record. Leggett led Western to an unprecedented five consecutive Southern Conference Championships and five straight NCAA tournament bids from 1985-89. Perhaps his most impressive statistic is the 100 percent graduation rate for all who played for him four seasons.
Radio and Televison Schedule Announced Fifty of Clemson’s 56 regular season baseball games and all postseason games will be broadcast live on the radio in joint partnership between Clemson Tiger Sports Properties and WCCP-FM (104.9) in Clemson. In addition, the Tigers will have six games televised by either Fox Sports Net South or Comcast/Charter Cable.
Clemson Tiger Sport Properties will broadcast 36 regular-season Clemson baseball games this season, including all 24 conference games. The broadcast schedule also features 12 non-conference games, including all four games with South Carolina, two games with Georgia, one game each with Coastal Carolina, Winthrop, Wofford and a three-game series with Maine, the alma mater of Clemson head coach Jack Leggett.
The network will also broadcast all postseason contests, including all games the Tigers play at the ACC Tournament and in the NCAA Tournament. Additionally, WCCP in Clemson will broadcast another 14 games giving the Tigers a radio presence in 50 of its 56 regular season games. Ed Jensen will handle the play-by-play duties for games on WCCP.
The Tigers will play three games on Fox Sports Net South, two as part of the ACC baseball package – vs. Wake Forest and at Virginia – and another vs. Georgia Tech. Clemson will also play three games – two vs. South Carolina and another vs. Wofford – on Comcast/Charter Cable.
Recruiting Class Ranked Seventh by Collegiate Baseball The Clemson baseball recruiting class that enrolled in school in August was ranked seventh in the nation by Collegiate Baseball, the magazine announced last fall. Clemson had the highest-ranked class in the ACC. Only two other schools were ranked in the top 30. Florida State was ranked ninth and Georgia Tech was ranked 14th.
“I’m extremely excited about the potential of this class,” said ninth-year head coach Jack Leggett. “Our staff has done a good job at getting these guys to come to Clemson, now it is up to them to go out there and perform. So far, I’m encouraged by what I see from this group.”
The class consists of 11 newcomers, nine freshmen and two junior college transfers, and features five players who were drafted in June’s MLB amateur draft. Tyler Lumsden was a fifth-round draft pick by the Florida Marlins. He is joined by other draftees David Slevin (11th, Rockies), Garrick Evans (23rd, Blue Jays), Bart Hunton (46th, Reds) and Collin Mahoney (48th, Angels).
“Every year that (associate head coach) Tim Corbin has been at Clemson, his hard work has paid off,” Leggett said. “Together with (assistant head coach) Kevin O’Sullivan, they have been able to identify talent that has found success here. The three of us work well together in the recruiting process.”
Clemson One of Six Teams Never to Miss Super Regional Round Clemson’s 8-2 victory over Seton Hall last June marked the third consecutive year that Clemson has advanced to at least the Super Regional of the NCAA Tournament, which expanded from a 48- to 64-team field prior to the 1999 season. The expansion created the Super Regional Round, which pits the winners of 16 sub-regionals with the victors there advancing to the College World Series.
The Tigers won the Fayetteville, AR Regional in 1999 to advance to the Super Regional at Texas A&M, while last year the Tigers won the Clemson Regional and advanced to host Mississippi State in the Super Regional.
Clemson is one of just six schools to appear in all three Super Regional rounds. The Tigers are joined by Florida State, LSU, Miami, Southern California and Stanford to make a Super Regional every year.
Clemson in the NCAA Tournament Clemson made its 27th appearance in the NCAA Baseball Tournament in 2001, the seventh-best total in the nation. It marks the 15th consecutive selection for the tournament, which is the third longest active streak. The Tigers are 73-57 all-time in the NCAA tournament with nine appearances in the College World Series. Clemson finished as the regular season runner-up in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season behind Florida State. Clemson was 17-7 in ACC action and 41-22 overall, including a 27-8 mark at home.
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