June 15, 2006
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Video: Thank You from Jack Leggett
Clemson Advances to College World Series
With back-to-back wins over #14 Oral Roberts in the Clemson Super Regional, Clemson advanced to the College World Series for the 11th time in school history. The #2 Tigers will open up with #4 Georgia Tech (50-16) on Friday at 2:00 PM EDT on ESPN2. Clemson will be the designated home team (third-base dugout) against the Yellow Jackets on Friday. The winner of that game will play the winner of the Cal. State-Fullerton vs. North Carolina game on Sunday at 7:00 PM EDT, while the two losers will play on Sunday at 2:00 PM EDT.
All of Clemson’s College World Series games will be broadcast live on the radio by the Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will also be available for all of the Tigers’ College World Series games via the internet at ClemsonTigers.com.
Radio Information The following stations will carry games in which Clemson plays this week: WCCP 104.9 FM – Clemson WAGI 105.3 FM- Gaffney WZMJ 93.1 FM- Columbia WQSC 1340 AM- Charleston WPCC 1440 AM – Clinton WKDK 1240 AM – Newberry Additionally, fans in the ballpark in Omaha will be able to listen to the games over 101.5 FM.
Clemson Making 11th Trip to CWS
Clemson is making its 11th trip to the College World Series this year, and its fifth appearance in the last 12 seasons. Clemson also made it to Omaha in 2002, 2000, 1996, and 1995. In 2002, Clemson defeated Nebraska and Georgia Tech before falling twice to South Carolina. That team featured unanimous National Player-of-the-Year Khalil Greene. In 2000, Clemson beat San Jose State in its first game, but then fell to Stanford and Louisiana-Lafayette.
In 1996, Clemson went 2-2, including dramatic wins over Oklahoma State and Alabama. The 1996 team featured the likes of National Player-of-the-Year Kris Benson and All-American Billy Koch, both future Major Leaguers and both top-four draft picks. In 1995, the Tigers lost both of their games.
Clemson is 9-20 all-time in Omaha. Clemson has only won two games twice, that coming in 1996 and 2002. In those two seasons, Clemson finished tied for third. The Tigers made it to Omaha in Bill Wilhelm’s first two seasons at Clemson, 1958 and 1959. He also guided Clemson to Omaha in 1976, 1977, 1980, and 1991. Wilhelm was 4-12 in the College World Series.
Head Coach Josh Cribb, a fifth-year righthander, was the only member of Clemson’s last College World Series team in 2002, as he red-shirted that season and did not make the trip.
Omaha on Tigers’ Minds
Omaha is on the minds of the players everyday. All of their hats have the word “Omaha” stitched inside the Tiger Paw on the back of their caps. On their way in and out of the clubhouse from the dugout at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, 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. The 2006 team is hoping to add its own memorabilia to the Clemson baseball tradition.
A Closer Look at the CWS Field
Clemson enters the College World Series as the #1 national seed. Only five of the eight national seeds have advanced to Omaha. The ACC is the only conference represented with more than one school, as it has a record four teams in the eight-team field. The conference has never had more than two teams make it to Omaha in a single season. The Big West, Conference USA, Pac 10, and SEC are all represented with one team apiece.
Miami (FL) is making its 22nd trip to Omaha. The Hurricanes are the only one of the eight teams to make it as a #2 seed, as all other teams were #1 seeds in a regional. They are also the only club to get to Omaha by winning both a regional and super regional on the road. Cal. State-Fullerton is second with 14 appearances, while Clemson is third with 11. No other team will have made more five.
Four ACC Teams in Omaha
In the first 52 years (1954-05), there were only five seasons when the ACC sent two teams to the College World Series. In 2006, half of the eight-team field is from the ACC, doubling the previous high for the league. No other conference has more than one school represented in the 2006 College World Series. Three of the teams (Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina) are in one bracket, while Miami (FL) is in the other bracket. Only twice before in history has four teams from one conference made it to the College World Series. In both 1997 and 2004, the SEC sent four schools to Omaha.
In 2006, Clemson has played six games against the Yellow Jackets, splitting those six games. In a three-game series at Georgia Tech in April, the Yellow Jackets won two of three games. Then in the ACC Tournament, Clemson won two of three matchups on its way to the tourney title. It is also important to note that Clemson was 3-0 in night games against Georgia Tech, but 0-3 in day games.
The Tigers swept the Hurricanes in a three-game series in Coral Gables, FL from March 31 to April 2, upping their winning streak over Miami to seven in a row. Due to the newly-expanded ACC, Clemson and North Carolina did not meet in the regular season for the first time since 1950. The Tigers also split its yearly home-and-home series with Georgia this season.
Clemson Regional & Super Regional Recap
Clemson went a perfect 5-0 in the regional and super regional round to advance to Omaha for the 11th time in school history. The Tigers defeated UNC Asheville (3-0), Elon (13-3), and Mississippi State (8-6) in the Clemson Regional, then beat #14 Oral Roberts by scores of 11-8 and 6-5 in the Clemson Super Regional. All five of the Tigers’ games featured a sellout crowd of 5,617 fans.
Clemson is hitting .315 with a .404 on-base percentage and 11 stolen bases in five NCAA Tournament games. The team has also hit eight doubles, a triple, and 10 home runs with a .558 slugging percentage. Tiger batters have walked (23) more times than they have struck out (22) as well.Sophomore second-baseman Taylor Harbin has been the hottest hitter in NCAA Tourney play, as he is 8-for-14 (.571) with eight runs scored, a double, four homers, 12 RBIs, and five stolen bases in five games.
The pitching staff has a 3.40 ERA and .230 opponents’ batting average. It has also allowed just five extra-base hits in the five NCAA Tournament games. Sophomore righthander David Kopp picked up the win in relief in both the regional and super regional championship-clinching wins.
Scouting Cal. State-Fullerton
Cal. State-Fullerton (48-13), the #5 national seed and ranked as high as #2 in the nation, enters the College World Series coming off two wins in two games over #16 Missouri in the Fullerton Super Regional. The Titans won by scores of 7-1 and 9-1 to advance to Omaha for the 14th time in school history and first since 2004 when they won their fourth national championship. Cal. State-Fullerton, who has not played a neutral site game this season, was 18-3 in Big West play. The Titans have won 12 games in a row and have not lost back-to-back games since losing two games in a row at #4 Rice in early March. They have also played series against #25 Stanford, UNLV, UC Irvine, UCLA, East Carolina, and Arizona.
The Titans are led by George Horton, who has totaled 450 wins in his 10 seasons at Cal. State-Fullerton. Twenty-three of the 25 players on their College World Series roster are from the state of California. They had a 29-5 home record and 19-8 road record in 2006 as well.
The team is hitting .311 with a .382 on-base percentage and 88 stolen bases in 125 attempts. The team also has 58 sacrifice bunts, including 10 by Blake Davis. The team is fielding at a .977 clip as well, committing only 54 errors in 61 games, and has allowed only 30 stolen bases in 52 attempts.
Davis is hitting a team-best .364 with five homers, 39 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases. Justin Turner is hitting .355 with 20 steals, while Brandon Tripp has a team-high nine homers and 39 RBIs. Cory Vanderhook, a transfer from South Carolina, is hitting .303 with a homer and 14 RBIs in 66 at-bats.
The pitching staff has a 2.57 ERA and .220 opponents’ batting average. In 550.0 innings pitched, the staff has allowed just 445 hits and 120 walks while striking out 456, good for a 3.8 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Righthander Wes Roemer, a candidate for national player-of-the-year, has a 13-1 record and 1.97 ERA in 18 starts (141.2 innings pitched). He is averaging nearly 8.0 innings pitched per start, and has allowed just 107 hits and six walks with 134 strikeouts. Righty Lauren Gagnier is 14-4 with a 2.42 ERA in 122.2 innings pitched. He has allowed just 92 hits and 23 walks with 101 strikeouts.
Top-seed and #2-ranked Clemson (52-14) enters the College World Series coming off two wins in two games over #14 Oral Roberts in the Clemson Super Regional. Clemson was 24-6 during the ACC regular season, finishing in first place in both the Atlantic Division and overall standings. The 24 victories set a school and league record for most conference wins. Clemson is making its 20th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, the third-longest streak in NCAA history.
The Tigers, who are 4-1 in neutral-site games, are led by 13th-year Head Coach Tyler Colvin, who is hitting .362 with 22 doubles, five triples, 13 homers, 69 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases along with a current 25-game hitting streak, the fourth-longest in school history. Brad Chalk is hitting .356 with a .473 on-base percentage, while Andy D’Alessio is hitting .313 with 22 home runs and 80 RBIs.
Taylor Harbin is hitting .331 with 19 doubles, nine homers, 47 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases on the season. He leads all players in the NCAA Tournament with a 1.500 slugging percentage in five games. He also has five stolen bases in the tourney, tied with Jon Jay (Miami (FL)) for the most in the nation.
The pitching staff has a 3.21 ERA and .243 opponents’ batting average. The starting weekend rotation of Josh Cribb have combined for a 27-5 record and 2.77 ERA in 50 appearances (49 starts). Daniel Moskos has a team-best 10 saves along with a 2.63 ERA in 31 relief appearances. Clemson is fielding at a .972 clip as well, ahead of the school record of .971 (2002).
Scouting Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech (50-16), the #8 national seed and ranked as high as #4 in the nation, enters the College World Series coming off two wins in two games over #11 College of Charleston in the Atlanta Super Regional. Georgia Tech won by scores of 5-0 and 12-2. The Yellow Jackets are making their third-ever trip to the College World Series and first since 2002. Ironically, the Tigers and Yellow Jackets faced each other in both team’s last trip to Omaha.
Georgia Tech, who is 5-3 in neutral site games, had a 19-11 mark in the ACC, good for third place in the Coastal Division. The team went 3-2 in the ACC Tournament, including 1-2 against the Tigers in Jacksonville, FL. Georgia Tech also won two of three games in Atlanta during the regular season, therefore the two teams have split six games this year. Clemson won the three night games, while Georgia Tech won the three days games.
The Yellow Jackets are led by Head Coach Danny Hall, who has totaled 579 wins in his 13 seasons at Georgia Tech. They had a 34-5 home record and 11-8 road record in 2006.The team is hitting .320 with a .420 on-base percentage and 51 stolen bases in 67 attempts. The team has totaled 153 doubles, 88 home runs, and a .501 slugging percentage. Georgia Tech has also walked 354 times and been hit by a pitch 74 times, meaning they are averaging 6.5 “free passes” per game. The Yellow Jackets are fielding at a .963 clip as well.
Whit Robbins is hitting a team-best .363 with 13 homers, 66 RBIs, and a .478 on-base percentage. Matt Wieters is hitting .355 with 20 doubles, 14 home runs, 69 RBIs, 56 walks, and a .481 on-base percentage. Wes Hodges (11) and Jeff Kindel (13) have also provide power in the Yellow Jacket lineup. The pitching staff has a 4.33 ERA and .275 opponents’ batting average. The team has accumulated 18 saves, but no pitcher has more than seven saves. Along with his hitting prowess, Wieters has a 2.67 ERA and seven saves in 20 relief appearances. Righthander Blake Wood is 11-4 with a 4.71 ERA in 109.0 innings pitched as well.
Scouting North Carolina
North Carolina (50-13), ranked as high as #5 in the nation, is making its fifth College World Series appearance and first since 1989. It captured the Chapel Hill Regional title by winning all three games, including two over #24 Winthrop, then beat #4 Alabama twice in two games in the Tuscaloosa Super Regional. In the final game, Chad Flack hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth inning, then a walkoff two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Tar Heels a dramatic 8-7 win. North Carolina, who is 0-2 in neutral site games, won the ACC Coastal Division title with a 22-8 mark. They went 0-2 in the ACC Tournament, but have won all five games since. Clemson and North Carolina did not play during the regular season for the first time since 1950 due to the expanded 12-team ACC.
The Tar Heels are led by Head Coach Mike Fox, who has totaled 337 wins in his eight seasons at North Carolina. They had a stellar 38-4 home record and have not lost more than two games in a row all season. The team is hitting .324 with a .406 on-base percentage and 90 stolen bases in 124 attempts. The team has also totaled 77 homers and 40 sacrifice bunts. North Carolina is fielding at a .965 clip as well. Josh Horton is hitting a team-best .404 with seven homers, 55 RBIs, and 12 stolen bases in 12 attempts. Jay Cox is hitting .388 with 13 homers, 59 RBIs, and a .480 on-base percentage, while Flack is hitting .384 with 13 homers, 67 RBIs, and 15 steals. Reid Fronk has walked 40 times and been hit by a pitch 21 times as well.
The pitching staff has a 3.30 ERA and .234 opponents’ batting average. Righthander Jonathan Hovis is 7-2 with a 1.28 ERA and .189 opponents’ batting average in 34 relief appearances (63.1 innings pitched). Lefthander Andrew Miller, the sixth overall pick of the 2006 draft, is 13-2 with a 2.11 ERA in 110.2 innings pitched. He has also struck out 119 against only 36 walks, and has allowed just seven extra-base hits, including only one home run. Righthander Andrew Carignan has 13 of the team’s 15 saves as well.
Clemson remained at #3 in the Baseball America poll on Tuesday after winning the Clemson Super Regional title on June 10,11. The Tigers also stayed at #3 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and #2 in the Sports Weekly poll, as the coaches will not have another poll released until after the College World Series.
The Tigers’ #1 ranking by Baseball America on February 6, which Clemson held on to for a total of four weeks, was their first since May 13, 2002, when Clemson was ranked #1 in all three major polls. It was the earliest #1 ranking for the Clemson program in history, as the earliest #1 ranking prior to that was on March 20, 2000, when Collegiate Baseball had the Tigers #1. The Tigers have been ranked #1 for 19 weeks by at least one of the major polls in Head Coach Jack Leggett’s 13 seasons at Clemson.
Clemson Sets Home Attendance Record
For the third year in a row, Clemson set the school record for average home attendance. The Tigers drew 184,946 fans for their 39 home dates in 2006, an average of 4,742 per date. That mark broke the previous record of 4,049, set in 2005.
Clemson 25-7 Against Top-25 Teams
Clemson has a 25-7 record against top-25 ranked teams in 2006. In 13 seasons at Clemson, Head Coach Jack Leggett has 172 wins over teams ranked in the top 25. Only three times in his first 12 seasons has he had a losing record against teams in the top 25.
Tigers Win Their Last 16 Home Games
Clemson will enter the 2007 season with the nation’s longest active home winning streak at 16 games. Since suffering a 5-4 loss against Furman at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 19, Clemson won its last 16 games at home to close out the 2006 season. The current streak is the longest in the nation. Ironically, Oral Roberts has the second-longest active home winning streak at 14. If the Golden Eagles had defeated the Tigers in either one of the close super regional games, it would have ended Clemson’s home winning streak and given them the nation’s longest active streak. Nine of the 16 games were against top-25 ranked teams. Clemson finished with a 36-5 home record in 2006 as well.
Graduate righthander Josh Cribb and junior first-baseman Andy D’Alessio were named to Collegiate Baseball’s All-America team on June 2. Cribb, who is 9-0 with a 3.09 ERA and a .222 opponents’ batting average in 87.1 innings pitched, was named to the second team. D’Alessio, who is hitting .313 with 22 home runs and 80 RBIs, was named to the third team. D’Alessio was also named a first-team All-American by College Baseball Foundation.
Three Tigers were named to the NCBWA All-America team on June 13. Tyler Colvin and D’Alessio were named to the first team, while Cribb was named to the third team. Clemson joined Rice as the only school to have more than one player be on the first team.
Two Tigers were also named to Baseball America’s All-America team. Colvin was selected to the first team, while D’Alessio was named to the third team.
Colvin Riding a 25-Game Hitting Streak
Tyler Colvin is riding a 25-game hitting streak entering the College World Series. During the streak, he is 48-for-110 (.436) with 26 runs scored, seven doubles, two triples, six homers, 36 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases in leading Clemson to a 24-1 record during that span. He is also hitting .472 against lefthanders and .480 with runners in scoring position in the last 25 games.
His 25-game hitting streak is the fourth-longest in Clemson history and the longest since Khalil Greene 34-game hitting streak in 2002. The school and ACC record is 41 games, set by Rusty Adkins from 1965 to 1966.
Colvin Walk Offs in Grand Fashion
In his first game after being selected with the 13th overall pick in the first round of the Major League draft by the Cubs, Tyler Colvin celebrated in style. With the Tigers trailing 8-7 with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, the cleanup batter cleared the bases with a walkoff grand slam to top #14 Oral Roberts in game one of the Clemson Super Regional on June 9. The previous three Tiger batters singled to set up the dramatic long ball.
It was the first walkoff grand slam in school history and only the second walkoff homer by a Tiger in an NCAA Tournament game in history. It was also the first walkoff homer by a Tiger since 2003. He also hit a walkoff single in the 10th inning in Clemson’s 4-3 win over #13 Florida State on May 13.
Harbin Posting Big Numbers in Postseason
Taylor Harbin has been the team’s hottest hitter this postseason. In 10 postseason games, which includes five ACC Tournament games and five NCAA Tournament games, he is 16-for-35 (.457) with 14 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, five homers, 16 RBIs, a 1.086 slugging percentage, seven walks, a .556 on-base percentage, and six stolen bases in six attempts. He has also not committed an error in 41 chances in the field and has made several highlight-reel plays at second base.
Harbin was named Clemson Regional MVP, then kept up his stellar play in the Clemson Super Regional against #14 Oral Roberts by going 3-for-5 with five runs scored, two homers, and five RBIs in two games. Therefore in five NCAA Tournament games, Harbin is 8-for-14 (.571) with eight runs scored, a double, four homers, 12 RBIs, and five stolen bases.
Demmink Leading Off With Long BallsHerman Demmink has only hit five home runs this season, but two have come in the NCAA Tournament, and both were as the leadoff batter in the first inning. Against Mississippi State in the Clemson Regional Championship game on June 4, he hit the first pitch of the game over the fence in left field. Clemson went on to win the game by a score of 8-6. The next game, which was against #14 Oral Roberts in the Clemson Super Regional on June 9, he led off the game with a homer to right-center in the Tigers’ 11-8 victory. Therefore he led off the game with a homer in back-to-back games in the NCAA Tournament.
Demmink became the first Tiger to have two leadoff home runs in an NCAA Tournament since Zane Green did it three times in the 2002 NCAA Tournament. It is also believed to be the first and only time a Tiger had led off back-to-back games with a long ball.
Tigers Top Oral Roberts in Super Regional
Clemson earned its 11th trip to the College World Series by defeating #14 Oral Roberts twice in two close games in the Clemson Super Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on June 9,10. The Tigers outscored the Golden Eagles by a combined score of 17-13 even Clemson was out-hit .310 to .303. Tiger pitchers combined for a 4.00 ERA as well.
Taylor Harbin was the hitting star for the Tigers, as he was 3-for-5 with five runs scored, two homers, five RBIs, and a stolen base in two games. David Kopp appeared in relief in both games, and allowed just one hit, no runs, and no walks in 3.1 innings pitched.
In game one, Colvin hit a walkoff grand slam in the ninth inning to lift Clemson to an 11-8 win over Oral Roberts on June 9. The Golden Eagles scored three runs in the ninth inning to take an 8-7 lead, but three straight singles with one out set up Colvin’s dramatic home run. It was the first walkoff grand slam in school history and the second walkoff homer by a Tiger in an NCAA Tournament game. Oral Roberts jump out to a 4-1 lead in the second inning on Travis DeBondt’s three-run homer. But the Tigers chipped away and took the lead on Daniel Moskos picked up the win in relief despite allowing the three runs in the ninth inning.
In game two, Clemson rallied from a 4-0 deficit, capped by a three-run eighth inning, to defeat Oral Roberts 6-5 on June 10 to win the Clemson Super Regional. After the Golden Eagles scored four runs (three unearned) in the first three innings, Harbin hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning. After Oral Roberts doubled its lead with a run in the seventh inning, Harbin hit a two-out, run-scoring single up the middle, and Stan Widmann later hit a two-run single to left field to give the Tigers the lead for good. Harbin had a game-high four RBIs. Sean Clark pitched 3.2 effective innings in relief with six strikeouts, while Kopp pitched the final 2.2 innings, allowing one hit and no runs to earn the win. The Golden Eagles left 11 runners on base, including eight in the first three innings.
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