Feb. 20, 2007
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Clemson vs. High Point
Clemson (2-1), ranked as high as #2 in the nation, will play host to High Point (2-4) on Wednesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 PM. The game will be broadcast live on the radio by WCCP (104.9 FM) out of Clemson and can be heard live on the internet at WCCPFM.com. Live stats will also be available at ClemsonTigers.com for the game.
Clemson and High Point have met seven times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 7-0 lead in the series dating back to the 1976 season. The two teams played the seven games between 1976 and 1979, with six of the games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson has outscored the Panthers 41-8 as well.
In 1976, the Tigers swept the Panthers at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in two games by scores of 3-0 and 4-3 (11 innings), and did the same in 1977 by scores of 10-1 and 10-0. In 1978 at High Point, Clemson was victorious 6-1. In two seven-inning games on March 3, 1979, Clemson defeated High Point by scores of 2-1 and 6-2 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Starting Pitchers
High Point will start junior righthander Eammon Portice (0-1, 4.91 ERA) on the mound. The Oakland Park, FL native has made two starts for a total of 11.0 innings pitched (team-high). He has yielded eight hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts. Opponents are also 0-1 on steals against him.
The Tigers will counter with freshman righty Josh Thrailkill on Wednesday. The Arden, NC native will be making his first collegiate appearance after a standout career at T.C. Roberson High School. He will be the first Clemson freshman to appear on the mound this season.
High Point, led by sixth-year Head Coach Sal Bando, Jr., enters Wednesday’s game at Clemson with a 2-4 overall record and has not played a game since February 11. High Point’s four scheduled games last week were all cancelled due to inclement weather.
The Panthers opened the season by splitting two games against Charlotte before defeating Longwood on February 7. From February 9-11, High Point suffered a three-game sweep at South Florida by scores of 14-0, 5-2, and 13-11. Therefore, High Point is 0-3 on the road this season. High Point is hitting .251 with a .354 on-base percentage. Randy Schwartz leads the club with a .364 batting average along with a homer and four RBIs. Chris Norwood and Matt Schlanger are also tied for the team-lead with five RBIs apiece.
The pitching staff has a 6.06 ERA and .272 opponents’ batting average. Bubba O’Donnell has the team’s lone save along with a 1.12 ERA and .125 opponents’ batting average in 8.0 innings pitched. The team is fielding at a .948 clip as well.
Clemson enters Wednesday’s game against High Point with a 2-1 record after winning the home series over George Mason last weekend.
The team is hitting .272 with a .369 on-base percentage. Brad Chalk is hitting a team-best .417 with a .533 on-base percentage. He has reached base via a hit or walk in 30 straight games dating back to last season. Stan Widmann and Doug Hogan are also hitting .400 on the season.
The pitching staff has a 2.67 ERA and .194 opponents’ batting average. It has combined to strike out 27 against only eight walks. The Tigers are fielding at a .967 clip as well.
The Tigers have six players from the state of North Carolina. Two Tigers, sophomore utility player D.J. Mitchell and freshman outfielder Addison Johnson, were teammates of Panther freshman righthander Jamie Serber at North Forsyth Senior High School in 2005.
Clemson fell to the #2 spot in the Baseball America poll on Monday after going 2-1 against George Mason over the weekend. Clemson also fell to #5 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. There will not be another Sports Weekly poll released until later this month, as Clemson was ranked #2 in its preseason poll.
The Tigers’ #1 ranking by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball on February 12 was their first since February 27, 2006, when Clemson was ranked #1 by those same two polls. The Tigers have been ranked #1 for 20 weeks by at least one of the major polls in Head Coach Jack Leggett’s 14th season at Clemson.
Chalk Riding 30-Game Streak
Brad Chalk ended his sophomore season on a 16-game hitting streak and had three hits in the 2007 season-opener, upping his hitting streak to 17 games. But he went hitless in the second game of the year even though he walked twice. In the game before the 17-game hitting streak (versus College of Charletson) in 2006, he went hitless, but still reached base via a walk. And since he had a 10-game hitting streak entering the game against the Cougars, he has hit safely in 28 of the last 30 games.
Chalk has also reached base safely via a hit or walk in each of the last 30 games, showing his value as the #2 batter in the lineup.
Hogan Starts Season With a Blast
Junior catcher Doug Hogan is in his first year as Clemson’s starting catcher in 2007. And he wasted little time making an impact by blasting two solo homers in the Tigers’ season-opening 14-0 win over George Mason on February 16. Hogan, who batted #9 in the lineup that game, entered the season with just one career homer, but became the second Tiger in as many years to hit two long balls in the season-opener. Tyler Colvin hit two home runs in the 2006 season-opener against James Madison as well.
D.J. Playing a Different Tune in 2007
Sophomore utility player D.J. Mitchell started all 13 postseason contests in right field in 2006, and performed well, hitting .311 in those 13 games. He has platooned in right field with Wilson Boyd so far this season.
But unlike last year, he has added pitcher to his resumé in 2007. He did not appear on the mound in 2006, but had a successful summer with Thomasville in the Coastal Plain League. There, he had a 2.25 ERA and save in 16.0 innings pitched over nine relief appearances. Mitchell also earned the victory in a starting role in the league championship game.
Mitchell made his Tiger debut on the mound against George Mason on February 16. He pitched 2.0 perfect innings with a strikeout in the Tigers’ 14-0 victory over the Patriots. He is expected to play an important role on the 2007 team with the unexpected preseason loss of righthanders Sean Clark and Graham Stoneburner.
Tigers Take Two of Three From George Mason
Clemson, ranked #1 in the country, won two of three games over George Mason from February 16-18 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Tiger batters combined for a .272 batting average, while Clemson held the Patriots to a .194 batting average and outscored them 20-9. Brad Chalk had five hits and walked three times, while Doug Hogan hit two home runs. Clemson’s pitching staff had a 2.67 ERA and struck out 27 batters against eight walks. The starting rotation of P.J. Zocchi, David Kopp, and Ryan Hinson combined to allow just one run in 15.0 innings pitched as well.
In game-one on February 16, Clemson totaled 20 hits on its way to a 14-0 victory over the Patriots. It was the most runs by a Tiger team in a season-opener since 1989. Every Tiger starter had at least one hit, while Chalk, Taylor Harbin, and Hogan had three hits apiece. Hogan added two solo home runs and three RBIs. Clemson’s eight-run seventh inning put the game out of reach. Zocchi pitched 6.0 innings, allowing one hit, no runs, and no walks with six strikeouts to earn the victory. George Mason managed just two hits and committed four errors.
In game-two on February 17, Jason Bour hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to give George Mason the lead for good in its 5-1 victory over the Tigers. After Kopp pitched 5.0 scoreless innings, George Mason scored four runs in the sixth inning off two Tiger relievers. Clemson, who saw its 17-game home winning streak come to an end, totaled just two hits, while it committed three errors and threw six wild pitches. Lefthander Mike Modica pitched 6.0 innings, allowing one hit and one run to earn the victory. Brad Chalk 17-game hitting streak also came to an end, as he was 0-for-2 with two walks.
In game-three on February 18, Clemson rallied from a 4-2 deficit to defeat George Mason 5-4. The Patriots scored three runs in the fifth inning, but Marquez Smith hit a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh inning to tie the score. After getting out of a jam in the top of the eighth inning, the Tigers plated the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth when Harbin’s sharp grounder to third was booted by Ryan Uphouse, allowing Hogan to score. The Patriots outhit the Tigers 8-6, but George Mason pitchers allowed nine walks. Daniel Moskos pitched the final 1.2 innings without allowing a hit or run to pick up the win. Clemson also stole four bases, but left 11 runners on base.
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