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Tiger Baseball Team to Play Host to Georgia Tech in Weekend Series at Kingsmore Stadium

Tiger Baseball Team to Play Host to Georgia Tech in Weekend Series at Kingsmore Stadium

April 23, 2009

Complete Game Notes

ACC Select Coverage:Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Clemson (28-14, 12-9 ACC), ranked as high as #20 in the nation, will host #4 Georgia Tech (27-9-1, 13-5-1 ACC) in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this weekend. Game times are 6:30 PM (Friday), 6:30 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday). All three games will be available live via webcast at ClemsonTigers.com for all three games as well.

The Series Clemson and Georgia Tech have met 197 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 98-96-3 lead in the series dating back to the 1902 season. The two teams have faced each other at least one time every year since 1974.

In the three-game series at Russ Chandler Stadium in 2008, the Yellow Jackets won the first two games by scores of 5-1 and 7-1 before the Tigers were victorious 16-6 in the series-finale. Then in the ACC Tournament, Clemson downed Georgia Tech 10-4. Two years ago at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Clemson won the first two games by scores of 3-2 (10 innings) and 10-3 before Georgia Tech won game-three by a score of 6-3. The two teams also played seven times in 2006, meaning they have faced off 14 times in the last three years.

The Tigers hold a 41-21-1 lead in games played at Clemson and a 31-14 advantage at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers also hold a 42-36 lead in ACC regular-season games.

Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Leggett was also 3-5 against the Yellow Jackets as Western Carolina’s head coach, meaning he is 35-31 all-time against Georgia Tech.

Of Leggett’s 58 games coached against Georgia Tech, 51 have come against a top-25 Yellow Jacket squad, as he has a 28-23 record in those 51 meetings. Leggett is also 9-6 against a top-five Georgia Tech team.

The Starting Pitchers In game-one, the Yellow Jackets will start sophomore righthander Deck McGuire (6-0, 2.56 ERA) on the mound. The Richmond, VA native has made nine starts for a total of 59.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 46 hits (.219 opponents’ batting average) and 25 walks with and ACC-best 75 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with freshman lefty Chris Dwyer (4-3, 4.30 ERA) on Friday. The Swampscott, MA native has made 10 starts for a total of 52.1 innings pitched. He has given up 44 hits (.232 opponents’ batting average) and 20 walks with 54 strikeouts.

In game-two, the Yellow Jackets will send out junior righty Zach Von Tersch (6-1, 4.91 ERA) on the mound. The Cedar Falls, IA native has made nine starts for a total of 44.0 innings pitched. He has given up 44 hits (.262 opponents’ batting average) and 20 walks with 41 strikeouts.

Clemson will counter with sophomore lefty Casey Harman (4-3, 3.86 ERA) on Saturday. The South Burlington, VT native has made nine relief appearances and six starts for a total of 44.1 innings pitched. He has given up 51 hits (.287 opponents’ batting average) and eight walks with 43 strikeouts.

In game-three, Georgia Tech will start sophomore righthander Brandon Cumpton (2-0, 4.24 ERA) on the mound. The Evans, GA native has made six starts and one relief appearance for a total of 34.0 innings pitched. He has yielded 41 hits (.299 opponents’ batting average) and nine walks with 40 strikeouts. The Tigers’ starter for game-three on Sunday has yet to be determined.

The Yellow Jackets Georgia Tech, led by 16th-year Head Coach Danny Hall and ranked as high as #4 in the nation, enters the series at #20 Clemson with a 27-9-1 overall record and 13-5-1 ACC mark after splitting a home-and-home midweek series against Western Carolina. Georgia Tech, who has the best overall record in the ACC, has an outstanding 11-4 record on the road.

Georgia Tech is averaging 9.0 runs per game and hitting .325 with a .556 slugging percentage and .415 on-base percentage. The team has also totaled 77 doubles, 12 triples, 71 home runs, and 39 stolen bases in 55 attempts.

Luke Murton is hitting a team-best .368 with 10 doubles, 11 homers, and 41 RBIs. Jeff Rowland is batting .363 with a team-best 15 stolen bases, while Tony Plagman is hitting .357 with 12 doubles, 11 home runs, and a team-high 48 RBIs. Matt Skole has added 10 doubles, 10 homers, and 36 RBIs.

The pitching staff has a 4.65 ERA and .265 opponents’ batting average along with 344 strikeouts against 144 walks in 331.0 innings pitched. Freshman righthander Mark Pope has seven of the team’s nine saves. The Yellow Jackets are fielding at a .965 clip as well.

The Tigers Clemson, ranked as high as #20 in the nation, enters the series against #4 Georgia Tech with a 28-14 overall record and 12-9 ACC mark after winning a pair of midweek games over #19 Coastal Carolina (5-3) and South Carolina (12-2). Clemson sports a 20-5 home record.

The Tigers are averaging 6.8 runs per game and hitting .292 with a .446 slugging percentage and .383 on-base percentage. Clemson has also totaled 68 doubles, 12 triples, 44 homers, and 50 stolen bases in 66 attempts.

Ben Paulsen is hitting a team-best .402 with 14 doubles, four triples, nine homers, and 45 RBIs. Jeff Schaus is hitting .308 with a .420 on-base percentage thanks to 27 walks against only 15 strikeouts. Kyle Parker has added 10 homers and 45 RBIs along with a .301 batting average.

The pitching staff has a 3.61 ERA and .250 opponents’ batting average. The staff has allowed 127 walks against 361 strikeouts, good for a 2.8-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Tomas Cruz has a 2-1 record, three saves, and a 2.56 ERA in 16 relief appearances. The Tigers are fielding at a .968 clip as well.

Worth Noting • Clemson is 14-1 in games decided by five runs or more this season. • Clemson has scored 40 runs in the first inning this season, more than any other inning. • Clemson is 22-4 when it outhits its opponent and 3-8 when it gets outhit this season. • Clemson is 23-8 when it hits a home run and 5-6 when it does not hit a home run this season. • John Nester is 6-for-12 (.500) with one double, three homers, and 10 RBIs in the eighth inning this season.

Long Ball Streak at 11 Games Clemson has hit at least one home run in 11 straight games. It is the Tigers’ longest streak since 2002, when Clemson hit a home run in 11 consecutive games from May 25 to June 19. The longest Tiger homer streak prior to the 11-game streak in 2002 was in 1996, when Clemson had a 13-game homer streak from March 31 to April 17. Earlier in 2009, the Tigers also had a 10-game streak of hitting at least one home run.

Parker Receives Bob Bradley Award Kyle Parker added the Bob Bradley Award to his list of accomplishments on April 22. The award, named after Clemson’s longtime sports information director, is given annually to Clemson’s MVP of the season series against South Carolina. In four games against the Gamecocks, Parker was 6-for-15 (.400) with two doubles, one homer, seven RBIs, four runs, and three walks. In the last of the four meetings in Columbia on April 22, he went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and three runs to lead the Tigers to a 12-2 victory.

Five Former Tigers on Major League Rosters Five former Clemson baseball players are on Major League rosters this year. The list includes Clemson’s two National Player-of-the-Year selections in history, Kris Benson and Khalil Greene, former All-American Jeff Baker, and rookie pitchers Steven Jackson and Tony Sipp.

Benson is in his first year with the Texas Rangers after playing previously with the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, and Baltimore Orioles. He is a veteran of seven seasons but did not play the last two years due to arm problems. He gained a victory for Texas against Baltimore on April 15, his first win since he pitched for Baltimore in September of 2006. Benson won the National Player-of-the-Year award in 1996 when he led Clemson to the College World Series. He finished his Tiger career with 29 wins and 356 strikeouts, as both are in the top five in Clemson history.

Greene is the starting shortstop with the Saint Louis Cardinals. He spent six seasons with the San Diego Padres before signing a free-agent contract with the Cardinals prior to this season. Greene was the National Player-of-the-Year during his senior year at Clemson (2002) and is still first in school history in career RBIs (276), third in batting average (.377), and fifth in home runs (52).

Baker is in his fifth season with the Colorado Rockies. Baker, who is tied for the all-time Tiger record with 59 career homers, played for the Rockies in the 2007 World Series.

Jackson, who played for Clemson from 2001-04 and had a 19-8 record, was called up to the New York Yankees on April 19.

Sipp was called up to the Cleveland Indians on April 21 and made his Major League debut against Kansas City on April 22. He pitched a perfect inning in relief and had a strikeout. Sipp batted .280 and had a 2-2 pitching record for the Tigers in 2004.

Clemson Erupts to Blast South Carolina 12-2 Clemson, ranked #20 in the nation, scored all 12 of its runs and tallied all 11 of its hits in the final four innings to defeat South Carolina 12-2 at Carolina Stadium on April 22. It was Clemson’s largest margin of victory over the Gamecocks in Columbia since 1997. Adam Westmoreland retired the first 15 batters of the game, but Clemson broke through thanks to a Gamecock error to score five runs in the sixth inning. The Tigers added three runs in the eighth inning and four runs in the ninth. Ben Paulsen and Kyle Parker both hit a home run and scored three runs, while John Nester went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Matt Vaughn earned the win in relief by pitching 3.0 scoreless innings.

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