Feb. 20, 2000
CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson (5-1) faces James Madison on Friday (3:00), Saturday (2:00), and Sunday (2:00) in its next action. The Tigers are coming off a three-game sweep of Old Dominion and look to continue the outstanding pitching that limited the Monarchs to only one earned run on 11 hits in three games. James Madison enters this week’s play with a 5-2 record, including winning two of three games over Penn State this past weekend.
The two teams have met 12 times with the Tigers holding a 10-2 advantage. They last played in 1997 at Clemson. The Tigers won both mid-week games by 12-5 and 11-3 scores.
The Dukes are led by Steve Ballowe, who is hitting .407 with two homers and 10 RBIs. The Dukes have stolen 24-32 bases, led by Rich Thompson (7-7) and T Riley (8-9). The Duke pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.82. Starters for this weekend’s game will be announced later in the week.
Tigers Allow Only One Earned Run in Sweep of Old Dominion
Tiger pitchers continued their impressive early showing by allowing just one earned run and 11 hits against Old Dominion as Clemson swept the Monarchs by 5-0, 3-1, and 10-2 scores from Feb. 18-20. The Monarchs hit just .121 while Tiger pitchers had an incredible 0.33 ERA.
Clemson blanked Old Dominion 5-0 in the first of three games from Feb. 18-20. Scott Berney pitched 7.0 shutout innings, allowing just three hits and no walks to get the win. Berney threw just 73 pitches (54 strikes). Ryan Riley led the Tiger offensive side with a 2-for-3 performance and three stolen bases.
Game two featured more outstanding pitching, as Steve Reba pitched 3.0 shutout innings in relief to pick pick up the win in the Tigers’ 3-1 victory. Clemson scored two runs in the eighth inning to go ahead for good. Patrick Boyd’s single and Khalil Greene’s double brought home the two runs. Boyd broke a 1-for-17 slump with a 2-for-2 performance. Nick Glaser pitched the ninth inning to pick up the save. Monarch pitchers allowed just four hits, but walked Tiger hitters eight times.
In game three, Michael Johnson hit two home runs and had five RBIs in Clemson’s 10-2 victory over the Monarchs. Johnson, a red-shirt freshman, hit the first two Tiger homers of the season in the game and hit the first two given up by Old Dominion in 2000. Johnson’s first inning grand slam gave the Tigers all the runs they would need. He ended the day with three hits and five RBIs. Ryan Mottl pitched 5.0 innings, allowing no runs and one hit to pick up the win.
Tigers Down #4 and #7 Ranked Teams in ACC Disney Blast
Clemson opened the 2000 season in the ACC Disney Blast at Lake Buena Vista, FL with wins over #7 Rice, and #4 and defending national champion Miami (FL) from Jan. 28-30.
Senior righthander Ryan Mottl had his best outing since his sophomore season to get the win, as Clemson downed Rice 3-1. Mottl pitched 6.0 innings, allowing just three hits, one run, and one walk while striking out five. Khalil Greene’s two-out, two-run double in the first inning gave the Tigers all the runs they would need. Junior college transfer Nick Glaser picked up the save in his first outing as a Tiger.
The Tigers then upset Miami (FL) 4-0, ending the Hurricanes’ 13-game winning streak, the longest in the country at the time. Senior transfer Scott Berney was masterful, allowing three hits, no runs, and no walks while striking out eight to get the win. Jeff Baker’s two-run infield single in the eighth inning padded the Tigers’ lead, as Glaser closed out the game once again.
#23 Central Florida handed the Tigers their first loss of 2000 with 5-0 win. Virginia transfer Casey Kennedy pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out nine. It was the first shutout by an opposing pitcher since the ’97 ACC Tournament (Chris Chavez of Florida State).
Berney, Mottl, & Co. Stepping Up on the Mound
Pitching was one of Clemson’s biggest concerns after last season’s disappointing 5.82 team ERA in ’99. But all indications point to a vast improvement in that area in the early going. Clemson has a 1.17 team ERA, and it isn’t due to playing second-rate competition. The Tigers allowed just six runs combined to three ranked teams (two of which were in the top seven in the nation) in the ACC Disney Blast and allowed just one earned run to Old Dominion, which participated in the 1999 NCAA Tournament.
Senior transfer Scott Berney, who is 2-0 and has not allowed a run or walk in 14.0 innings, and others have brought a contagious attitude of aggressiveness and competitiveness to Kevin O’Sullivan’s pitching staff.
Along with Berney, Ryan Mottl has seemed to find himself again. He is 2-0 with an 0.82 ERA in 11.0 innings. He now has 289 career strikeouts and needs just 11 to become only the sixth Tiger in history to reach the 300 strikeout mark. Clemson has appeared to find a closer as well in junior college transfer Nick Glaser. In three shut-downs, he he has allowed no runs while strking out four in 3.0 innings and has two saves. As a whole, the Tiger pitching staff in 54.0 innings has allowed just 29 hits, seven earned runs, one homer, and 12 walks while striking out 45.
Bats Off to Slow Start
Clemson certainly hopes the saying, “hitting warms up with the weather” holds true. The Tigers’ .232 batting average appears on paper to be a detriment, but certain factors have played a key role in that stat. The Tigers have faced some outstanding pitching, including #4 Miami (FL), #7 Rice, #23 Central Florida, and Old Dominion. Plus, the ballpark at the ACC Disney Blast and Clemson’s Doug Kingsmore Stadium are not conducive to teams that hit for power with their long fences. In the three games at Clemson, stiff winds blew in from centerfield knocking many balls down. Add to the fact the rule change with the bat performance level and the inability to get into a rhythm with Clemson’s 18-day layoff between series, it is easy to understand the drop in numbers.
Tiger Field Renamed Doug Kingsmore Stadium
Former Clemson baseball star and current Board of Trustees member Doug Kingsmore gave the Clemson athletic department a $1 million gift towards renovation of Clemson’s baseball stadium, formerly known as Tiger Field. George Bennett, executive director of IPTAY, made the announcement on January 28, 2000 at a dinner at the Madren Center on the Clemson campus. Bennett also announced that the facility would be called Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
In accepting the honor Kingsmore said, “Life has been all I could have asked for and more. I’ve been blessed to have the business and professional opportunities afforded me and doubly blessed with a family that’s truly loving and supportive. With Clemson’s strong legacy and promising future, it’s a pleasure to give something back that will affect the lives of many who participate and become part of the Clemson family in the future.”
Kingsmore played for the Tiger varsity squad from 1952-54. An All-ACC and All-District III outfielder in 1954, Kingsmore became the first Clemson player in history to hit 10 home runs in a season. He did that in 1954 while playing in just 24 games. He led the ACC in home runs and runs scored (25) that year, and led the Tigers in batting average (.371), slugging percentage (.742), and RBIs (27).
Kingsmore played three years of professional baseball in the Baltimore Oriole organization before beginning a successful business career. He is currently president and chief executive of the Graniteville Company in Aiken, SC. He is serving in his third term on the Clemson University Board of Trustees and will become Trustee Emeritus when his current elected term expires in 2002.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am about this announcement,” said Head Coach Jack Leggett. “This will be a great lift to our program. Everyone in our program is appreciative and it means so much to come from a former Clemson baseball player, and a man who has meant so much to Clemson University.”
Corbin Named USA National Team Assistant Coach
Assistant Head Coach Tim Corbin was named one of four assistant coaches for the USA National Team on February 1. The team, headed by Southern California Head Coach Mike Gillespie, will play on the US WEST Red, White, and Blue Summer Tour in 2000.
Corbin, Clemson’s recruiting coordinator, is in his seventh season as Jack Leggett’s top assistant. Corbin’s 1999 recruiting class was ranked #1 in the nation by Baseball America and he is a major reason Clemson has won 288 games (fifth most in the country) during his six seasons at Clemson.
Corbin, 38 and a 1984 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan, joins Southern California pitching coach John Savage, Louisville Head Coach Lelo Prado, and Loyola Marymount Head Coach Frank Cruz on the USA National Team coaching staff.
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