March 30, 2000
CLEMSON, S.C. – Top-ranked Clemson (23-4, 3-0) will play its first ACC road series of 2000 when it plays at #8 North Carolina Friday (7:00), Saturday (2:00), and Sunday (1:30) at Boshamer Stadium (3,000). The Saturday game was scheduled to start at 7:00, but has been changed to 2:00 due to the North Carolina basketball team’s game Saturday in the Final Four. The Clemson Sports Network will broadcast all three games live on its network affiliates.
Clemson leads the all-time series 80-61-1 dating back to 1901. Clemson won the first two games in the series last year at Clemson, while the Tar Heels won game three. Two seasons ago at Chapel Hill, Clemson won two of three games.
North Carolina (25-5, 2-4), led by second-year Head Coach Mike Fox, won its first 21 games of 2000. Included in that streak was seven wins against top-25 teams. North Carolina swept #2 UCLA at Los Angeles earlier this year. Georgia Tech handed the Tar Heels three straight defeats at Atlanta in the ACC opener and N.C. State downed North Carolina in the first game this past weekend. But North Carolina responded and won the last two games against the Wolfpack. The Tar Heels are coming off a 10-3 win over Coastal Carolina Tuesday. North Carolina is 19-2 at home this season. As a team, the Tar Heels are hitting .340 and averaging nearly nine runs per game. Perhaps most amazingly, North Carolina batters have been hit by pitch 53 times already in 2000. The running game has yielded 62 steals in 82 attempts. In the field, North Carolina has a .970 percentage. North Carolina sports a 4.31 team ERA and .252 opponent batting average. Six times an opponent has gone scoreless against the Tar Heels.
Freshman outfielder Adam Greenberg leads the North Carolina offensive attack with a .426 batting average and 21-game hitting streak. He has also stolen a team-best 16 bases. Junior outfielder Tyrell Godwin is second with a .379 batting average along with six homers, 37 RBIs, and 10 steals. Godwin and Patrick Boyd were the highest two players selected in the ’98 draft that did not sign. But perhaps the Tar Heels’ best player is infielder Ryan Earey. The junior is hitting .356 with eight homers and 41 RBIs, along with an incredible 20 hit by pitches. As a comparison, the Clemson single-season record in the hit-by-pitch category is 17. Earey has committed just three errors and also has a 3-0 record with a 2.30 ERA in nine relief appearances this season.
North Carolina will start three lefthanders against the Tigers. Junior Ryan Snare (5-1, 4.70 ERA), from the same hometown as Boyd (Palm Harbor, FL), will start game one. Junior Eric Henderson (4-2, 4.01 ERA) will start game two. Henderson has picked off 12 of the team’s 16 baserunners this year. Henderson pitched 2.0 scoreless innings against Coastal Carolina on Tuesday. It was the first relief appearance by the junior college transfer. Senior Chris Elmore (2-0, 4.68 ERA) will start game three. Senior closer Derrick DePriest, a former punter on the Tar Heel football team, has a 1.00 ERA in 14 relief appearances. The submariner also has five saves and 29 strikeouts in 27.0 innings. Catcher Dan Moylan has only allowed 11 stolen bases in 19 attempts as well, while Snare, Henderson, and Elmore have combined to allow just five steals.
Clemson will start three righthanders. Senior Scott Berney (7-0, 1.02 ERA) will start game one, freshman Jarrod Schmidt (3-0, 2.23 ERA) will start game two, and senior Ryan Mottl (5-1, 1.98 ERA) will start game three. Mottl started Wednesday night at Georgia, but only pitched 3.1 innings as he suffered his first loss of 2000. The three have a combined ERA of 1.66 and 15-1 record. Clemson has a 2.60 team ERA and .224 opponent batting average.
Clemson’s offensive attack is led by Jeff Baker, who is riding a seven-game hitting streak and is hitting a team-best .364 with a homer and 26 RBIs. Khalil Greene, who is up to .326 with two homers and 21 RBIs, is coming off a 3-for-4 night with a double and homer at Georgia on Wednesday. Clemson has a .291 team batting average and .972 team fielding percentage.
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