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Clemson vs. Georgia Preview

Clemson vs. Georgia Preview

April 2, 2007

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Clemson vs. Georgia Clemson (18-9), ranked as high as #16 in the country, will travel to Athens to take on Georgia (10-17) at Foley Field on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:06 PM. The Bulldogs will make the return trip to Clemson on Wednesday night at 7:15 PM. Tuesday’s game will televised live by CSS and will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. The game will also be available via webcast on ACCSelect in non-CSS markets only. Live stats will be available at ClemsonTigers.com as well.

The Series Clemson and Georgia have met 210 times on the diamond, with the Bulldogs holding a 114-94-2 lead in the series that dates back to 1900. Georgia is Clemson’s second-most played rival in school history, trailing only South Carolina (277).

Last year, the two teams split the two games, as each team won on its home field. At Foley Field, the Bulldogs outlasted Clemson 12-11 thanks to Josh Morris’ walkoff single with two outs in the 10th inning. A day later, the Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 10-7 behind four RBIs by Andy D’Alessio.

The Bulldogs lead 67-39 in games played at Georgia, including winning eight of the last 10 meetings at Foley Field. Each of the last three meetings in Athens have been one-run victories by the Bulldogs as well. Jack Leggett is 17-12 against Georgia as Clemson’s head coach, including 6-11 in Athens.

The Starting Pitchers Georgia will start freshman righthander Dean Weaver (1-1, 9.20 ERA) on the mound Tuesday. The Douglasville, GA native has made three starts and four relief appearances for a total of 14.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 23 hits (.359 opponents’ batting average) and four walks with 11 strikeouts. He has also not given up a home run.

The Tigers will counter with sophomore righty D.J. Mitchell (1-0, 4.32 ERA) on Tuesday. The Rural Hall, NC native has made six relief appearances and one start for a total of 16.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 14 hits (.219 opponents’ batting average) and four walks with 16 strikeouts.

The Bulldogs Georgia, led by sixth-year Head Coach David Perno, enters Tuesday’s game against Clemson with a 10-17 overall record and 3-6 SEC mark after losing all three games to Florida at Foley Field this past weekend. The Bulldogs, who are 9-14 at home, have lost six of their last seven games despite totaling double-digit hits in five of those seven games. Georgia was the SEC’s lone representative in the 2006 College World Series.

The team is hitting .270 with a .344 on-base percentage. Georgia has also totaled 17 homers and 35 stolen bases in 42 attempts. Rich Poythress leads the team with a .385 batting average in 39 at-bats, while Gordon Beckham, son of a former South Carolina quarterback (also named Gordon) from 1979-82, is hitting .316 with seven homers and 28 RBIs, both team-highs.

The pitching staff has a solid 3.55 ERA and .245 opponents’ batting average. The Bulldog pitchers have combined to strike out 186 against 107 walks. Junior righthander Joshua Fields has both of Georgia’s saves along with a 5.23 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 20.2 innings pitched. The team sports a .963 fielding percentage as well.

The Tigers Clemson enters Tuesday’s game against Georgia with an 18-9 overall record and 5-4 mark in the ACC after falling twice in three games against Miami (FL) at Doug Kingsmore Stadium over the weekend. The Tigers, who are 1-4 on the road this season, also bring a #16 national ranking into the game.

The team is hitting .290 with a .369 on-base percentage. Andy D’Alessio, who suffered a pulled groin in the second inning on Sunday, is listed as doubtful for Tuesday’s game.

The pitching staff has a 3.19 ERA and .238 opponents’ batting average. It has combined to strike out 232 against 81 walks. Daniel Moskos has a team-high six saves, while Stephen Clyne has an 0.41 ERA and .154 opponents’ batting average in 12 outings. The team is fielding .967 as well.

Clemson has two players from the state of Georgia on its 2007 roster. Sophomore lefthander William Bond (Lawrenceville) and freshman infielder Ben Paulsen (Acworth) both hail from the state of Georgia.

Polls Clemson fell to #18 in the Baseball America poll and #16 in the Collegiate Baseball poll on Monday after going 3-2 in five games last week. Clemson also fell to #17 in the Sports Weekly 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.

Smith Heating Up in Late Innings Senior third-baseman Marquez Smith (Ocala, FL) is hitting .320 overall with four homers and 23 RBIs this season. But as the game progresses, his batting average rises drastically. In the first four innings of games, Smith is just 10-for-48 (.208). From the fifth inning on, he is 23-for-55 (.418).

Hurricanes Take Two From Tigers Miami (FL) won the first and last games of a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from March 30 to April 1. The Hurricanes outscored the Tigers 18-13 and outhit Clemson .276 to .268. Marquez Smith hit a team-best .444 with four walks. Clemson’s pitchers had a 5.00 ERA and struck out 29 batters.

In game-one on March 30, Miami scored 10 unanswered runs to come away with a 10-3 victory over Clemson. The Tigers took a 3-0 lead in the third inning, but the Hurricanes responded with four runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by Dennis Raben’s three-run homer. Miami added three runs in the seventh inning on Yonder Alonso’s three-run long ball, then Alonso added a solo homer in the ninth inning. The loss snapped Clemson’s 21-game home ACC winning streak and seven-game winning streak over Miami. Brad Chalk 50-game streak of reaching base also came to an end.

In game-two on March 31, three Tiger pitchers limited Miami to only three hits in Clemson’s 4-1 victory. Starter Daniel Moskos pitched a perfect ninth inning to record the save. All three of Miami’s hits came consecutively in the fifth inning when the Hurricanes scored their only run of the game. Clemson scored three runs in the third inning, aided by a Hurricane error. The Tigers tacked on another run in the fifth inning thanks in part to another error. Chalk had a game-high three hits, as Clemson totaled seven hits in the game.

In game-three on April 1, Miami rallied after an 89-minute rain delay to defeat Clemson 7-6. With the Hurricanes ahead 4-2, the Tigers tied the score in the fifth inning when Ben Paulsen RBI double to left field. But pinch-hitter Gus Menedez’s two-out, bloop single in the seventh inning plated two runs and gave Miami the lead for good. Johnson led the Tigers with three hits and two RBIs. A throwing error by David Kopp on a potential double play led to three unearned runs for the Hurricanes in the fifth inning. Each team totaled three double plays as well.

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