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2004 Baseball Final Notes

2004 Baseball Final Notes

June 9, 2004

2004 Game by Game Results in PDF FormatDownload Free Acrobat Reader

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Tigers Earn 18th Straight NCAA AppearanceClemson finished the 2004 seasons with a 39-26 overall record, earning its 18th straight NCAA Tournament appearance. It was also the 19th consecutive season the Tigers won at least 39 games.

Clemson’s NCAA Tournament HistoryThe 2004 season marked Clemson’s 30th trip to an NCAA Regional dating back to the 1947 season. Clemson has been to the NCAA Tournament every year since 1987, making College World Series trips in 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, and 2002. Clemson’s streak of 18 consecutive regionals is the third-longest active streak in the nation behind Miami (FL) (32) and Florida State (28). Clemson’s streak is also tied for the fourth-longest in college baseball history.

Overall, Clemson has been to a regional in 30 seasons (including 2004), sixth-best all-time. Clemson’s all-time record in NCAA play is 84-64, a .568 winning percentage.

Clemson is 39-24 (.619) under Head Coach Jack Leggett in NCAA Tournament play, including a 24-5 record in home NCAA Tournament games. Leggett has taken Clemson to a regional all 11 years he has been Clemson’s head coach, and the Tigers have advanced to the College World Series four times. Leggett has also taken Clemson to the Super Regional four of the six years that format has been in existence.

42That’s how many of Clemson’s 65 games were against teams in the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Clemson had a 21-21 record in those 42 games, therefore only five losses came to teams not in the NCAA Tournament.

Tigers Fall One Inning Short of Regional TitleClemson went 3-2 in the Athens (GA) Regional from June 4-6 at Foley Field, falling one game short of advancing to Super Regional play. Clemson’s five games were decided by a total of 10 runs, including the last three games being decided by one run apiece. In the regional, Clemson hit .294 with 13 doubles, a triple, eight homers, and 34 runs scored in the five games. Russell Triplett led the team with a .375 batting average. The pitching staff had a 6.40 ERA and 50 strikeouts against only 13 walks in 45.0 innings pitched. Tony Sipp struck out 10 and did not walk a batter in 7.1 innings pitched.

In the Tigers’ opening game, Clemson scored six runs in the second inning on its way to a 10-6 win over Birmingham-Southern. Sipp had three hits, including a double to lead the 12-hit attack. Lou Santangelo added two doubles and three RBIs, while Travis Storrer had a double, homer, and three RBIs. Brad McCann hit a home run in his only official at-bat as well. Lefthander Wes Letson, who entered the regional with 12 wins, allowed 10 runs on nine hits and suffered the loss. Steven Jackson pitched 2.2 innings in relief with five strikeouts to pick up the victory. Josh Cribb pitched the final 4.0 innings, allowing one hit, no runs, and no walks while striking out five to earn the save.

The Tigers faced off against host Georgia in the winners’ bracket the next day. The Bulldogs came away with a 6-3 win thanks to two lefthanders, Paul Lubrano and Will Startup. The two allowed just three runs, no walks, and eight hits. Tyler Lumsden struck out seven in 4.0 innings pitched, but suffered the loss. Kris Harvey was 3-for-4 to lead the Tigers, while Andy D’Alessio hit a two-run homer.

Clemson stayed alive with a 5-4 victory over Birmingham-Southern right after losing to Georgia. Storrer’s RBI single in the top of the ninth inning proved to be the difference, as Patrick Hogan picked up the win in relief. Clemson hit six doubles, including two each by Sipp and Garrick Evans, to tie a school NCAA Tournament record. Storrer smacked another home run and had three RBIs, while Evans was 3-for-4 with three runs scored from the #9 spot in the batting order.

The following day, it appeared as if Georgia would coast to a championship-clinching win over the Tigers, as the Bulldogs led 9-2 after the top of the fifth inning. But Clemson clawed its way back to within 9-6 thanks to Storrer’s three-run homer. Then in the seventh inning, Santangelo hit a grand slam at least 460 feet to right-center to give Clemson a 10-9 lead, which ended up being the final score. The seven-run comeback tied for the largest deficit overcome to gain victory by a Clemson team in NCAA Tournament history. Despite allowing five runs in the fifth inning, Cribb shut down the Bulldog offense the rest of the way and earned the win. Russell Triplett added a homer as well, while Harvey’s 19-game hitting streak came to an end.

In the championship game, Clemson held a 6-4 lead entering the ninth inning, but solo homers by Bobby Felmy and Jason Jacobs tied the score, and Clint Sammons’ solo homer in the 10th gave Georgia a 7-6 victory, ending the Tigers’ season. Sipp gave Clemson a 4-0 lead with a bases-clearing triple in the second inning. A two-run single by Justin Holmes and solo homers by Jacobs and Josh Smith tied the score. Santangelo’s two-run homer just inside the right-field foul pole gave Clemson a 6-4 lead. Then when it appeared Georgia would answer in the sixth inning, Sipp shut the door. With the bases loaded and no outs, he came in the game and struck out the side. Clemson put runners on second and third with one out in the 10th, but Startup struck out Santangelo and John Ingram to end the game.

Four Tigers Make All-Regional TeamTony Sipp (OF), and Travis Storrer (OF) were all named to the Athens (GA) Regional All-Tournament team. Clemson lost 7-6 in 10 innings Sunday night at #10 Georgia and was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers were 3-2 in the regional.

Cribb pitched 10.0 innings in two relief appearances. He allowed just seven hits and two walks while striking out 10. Against Birmingham-Southern in the first game of the regional, Cribb pitched 4.0 scoreless innings of one-hit, no-walk ball while striking out five to earn the save in the Tigers’ 10-6 win. Then at Georgia, he helped the Tigers stay alive with 6.0 innings pitched of quality relief. He struck out five and pitched masterful in the final four innings. In those final four frames, he did not give up a run and allowed the Tiger offense to comeback from a 9-2 deficit to claim a 10-9 thrilling victory.

Santangelo was 7-for-21 (.333) with three doubles, two homers, and nine RBIs in five games. The first homer was a grand slam at Georgia in the first game of the doubleheader on Sunday that gave Clemson a 10-9 lead. Clemson held on to win by that same score thanks to his opposite-field blast that traveled at least 460 feet. The other homer was a two-run shot that gave the Tigers a 6-4 lead in the fifth inning of the final game of the Athens Regional.

Sipp was 8-for-22 (.364) with six runs scored, three doubles, a triple, and six RBIs in five games. He also pitched 7.1 innings over two relief appearances and did not allow a walk while striking out 10. In the final game of the regional, he came in the game with the bases loaded and no outs, and struck out the next three Georiga batters to keep the score tied 4-4.

Storrer was 7-for-23 (.304) with six runs scored, two doubles, three homers, and 10 RBIs in five games. He entered the regional with just four homers on the season and had not hit one since March. His home run in Clemson’s seven-run comeback was one of many big moments for Storrer.

Comeback for the AgesClemson trailed 9-2 entering the bottom of the fifth inning at #10 Georgia in the Athens Regional on June 6. The Bulldogs had just scored five runs in the top of the fifth inning, capped by Josh Smith’s three-run homer. But the Tigers refused to let their season come to an end.

Travis Storrer lined a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Bulldog lead to 9-5. Then in the sixth inning, Russell Triplett hit a solo home run off the left-field foul pole. After Tony Sipp led off the seventh with a walk, Storrer walked, and Lou Santangelo stepped to the plate. He crushed a Matthew Boggs’ pitch deep over the fence in right-center for a grand slam to give Clemson a 10-9 lead. It was Santangelo’s second grand slam of the year, as his other also was hit against Georgia.

Santangelo’s bomb was hit at least 460 feet and was one of the most dramatic home runs in Tiger history. Meanwhile, Josh Cribb shut down the Bulldog bats over the last four innings. He allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out four during the final four frames to preserve the win.

The seven-run comeback tied the Clemson record for largest deficit overcome to gain victory in an NCAA Tournament game. In the NCAA Tournament on June 9, 1958 at Gastonia, NC, Clemson trailed Florida 10-3 entering the bottom of the fifth inning. The Tigers scored 12 runs in the final five innings, including one in the ninth, to defeat the Gators 15-14. Clemson has played 148 NCAA Tournament games in its history.

Four Tigers Named to All-ACC TeamsKris Harvey was named to the First-Team All-ACC squad and three other Tigers were named to the second-team, announced by the conference prior to the ACC Tournament. Harvey received first-team honors as an At Large selection. The Second-Team All-ACC Tigers include Brad McCann (3B), and Lou Santangelo (C). The 2004 season marked the second year in a row McCann was named to the second team.

Record Nine Tigers Picked in DraftNine Tigers, highlighted by lefthander Tyler Lumsden selection in the supplemental round between the first and second rounds, were taken in the Major League Draft from June 7-8, 2004. The nine selections sets a school record for most Tigers drafted in one year. The previous mark was eight, as both the 1996 and 2002 teams had eight players drafted.

Lou Santangelo (C), Brad McCann (3B), Steven Jackson (RHP), and Patrick Hogan (RHP) were also selected within the first 14 rounds. Tony Sipp (OF/LHP) were taken Tuesday in the second day of the draft. All of the players drafted, except Jackson, Hogan, and Green, are juniors and have the option of returning for their senior seasons in 2005.

Clemson tied for the third-most selections by a college team. Georgia Tech and Stanford had the most with 10 each, while Texas and UCLA joined the Tigers with nine picks apiece. South Carolina had eight, while East Carolina, Lamar, Long Beach State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Vanderbilt all had seven apiece.

With the nine selections, Jack Leggett has had a total of 47 players drafted in his 11 seasons as head coach at Clemson. Eight of those 47 players were drafted twice, meaning a Tiger has been drafted 55 times in his tenure. Twelve more Tigers have signed free-agent contracts as well.

Two-Way TigersIn past years, Clemson had not had many players both pitch and play in the field. But in 2004, three Tigers saw action in both roles. Lefthander Tony Sipp started 51 games in the outfield and pitched in 22 games on the mound. Righthander Kris Harvey started a team-tying-high 14 games on the mound (winning six games), while starting four at first base, two in left field, 24 in right field, and 21 as the DH. And righthander Collin Mahoney, who never pitched in college before this year, showed flashes of dominance on the mound in 2004. He struck out 26 in just 19.0 innings pitched. His fastball was clocked in the high 90s and has even reached 100 on the radar gun. He was also 4-for-16 (.250) with three RBIs at the plate in 2004.

Another Tiger was a different kind of two-way player. Outfielder and true freshman C.J. Gaddis is also listed as a cornerback on the Tiger football team. Gaddis red-shirted in the fall of 2003, as the Clemson football coaching staff is excited about the abilities he brings to the gridiron. He also stole three bases in four attempts in 2004.

Tigers UnloadedClemson hit .375 (27-for-72) with six homers, five doubles, a triple, and 84 RBIs with the bases loaded in 2004. Brad McCann hit two grand slams and was 3-for-3 with 10 RBIs with the bases full. Lou Santangelo also hit two grand slams, both against Georgia, and was 4-for-8 with two doubles and 14 RBIs. Herman Demmink and Russell Triplett also hit grand slams.

Double TimeClemson hit 149 doubles in 65 games in 2004, good for 2.29 per game. That mark was enhanced in the last 17 games, as the Tigers hit 54 doubles, or 3.18 per game. Clemson also hit 17 doubles in just four ACC Tournament games, including an ACC Tournament-record eight doubles against N.C. State on May 28. Clemson went 21 straight games with at least one double until the final game of the year at #10 Georgia. No Tiger had more than 20 doubles, but 10 Tigers hit at least nine doubles.

The Clemson record for doubles in a season is 189, set in 1991. The 149 doubles and 2.29 per game in 2004 both rank fifth-most in a season in school history.

Good NightClemson was 22-6 in 28 night games in 2004, including a 14-2 record at home. The Tigers hit .312 at night, compared to their opponents hitting just .254 at night. Clemson’s ERA was also 3.77 at night, compared to its opponents’ 6.67 ERA. The Tigers were 17-20 in day games.

Santangelo Solid Behind the PlateJunior catcher Lou Santangelo (Colts Neck, NJ) transferred from Seton Hall prior to 2004 and made an drastic impact. In two seasons as the Seton Hall starter behind the plate, he totaled just three home runs. He had a team-high 18 homers and 62 RBIs in 64 games in 2004. He was the Tiger cleanup hitter in all 64 games that he started.

Santangelo was also solid behind the plate. He dramatically improved Clemson’s run defense, as he threw out 20 base stealers, and was a big factor in the development of the Tigers’ pitching staff. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Houston Astros.

Santangelo was one of only two Tigers to drive in at least six runs in a single game in 2004. In fact, he drove in six runs on two different occasions, including in a 15-4 win at College of Charleston on March 5 and against Georgia on March 31. In one of his biggest moment as a Tiger, he hit an opposite-field home run in the 10th inning to defeat #10 North Carolina on April 18. Then in potentially his last at-bat as a Tiger, he hit a towering grand slam at #10 Georgia in the Athens Regional to give the Tigers a 10-9 win.

Santangelo batted .300 overall in 2004 and started 64 of the team’s 65 games behind the plate.

McCann Led Team With .379 Batting AverageIn 63 games in 2004, Brad McCann had 96 hits and led the team with a .379 batting average along with 16 homers and 65 RBIs. He also had a team-best 64 runs scored and team-best 20 doubles.

The 2003 and 2004 Second-Team All-ACC pick had eight RBIs in three games against #7 Auburn from March 12-14. Then against Georgia in two games in late March, he was 7-for-8 with a homer and five RBIs. In seven career games against the team (Georgia) he signed with out of high school, he was 15-for-28 (.536).

McCann, whose brother is a rising star in the Braves’ organization, batted in the #3 spot in the lineup all season. McCann has a career batting average of .363 (183-for-504) in two seasons as well, 10th in Clemson history, but fourth among players with at least 400 at-bats.

Triplett Had .312 Career Batting AverageFifth-year graduate shortstop and tri-captain Russell Triplett (West Columbia, SC) was a steady presence in the Tiger lineup for years. The 2004 season was no different. A career .312 hitter and two-time All-ACC selection, he was an active part of four NCAA Tournament teams while at Clemson. In 2004, he is hit .304 with 17 doubles, four homers, and 41 RBIs.

Triplett hit a walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Clemson a 2-1 win over N.C. State on April 23, 2004. He did it again in the ACC Tournament, this time to beat North Carolina on May 26 when he laced a single in the ninth inning to plate Kris Harvey. It was his third walkoff hit, as he had won against Winthrop in 2003. It was also his fourth final-inning, game-winning hit, as he hit a two-run single in the ninth inning at College of Charleston in 2003.

Sipp Sported Dual RolesJunior Tony Sipp (Moss Point, MS), Clemson’s only lefthander out of the bullpen for most of 2004, was an asset to the Tigers in more ways than one. He started 51 games in the outfield and added speed on the basepaths. He led the team in stolen bases (20) and slowly raised his batting average after struggling at the plate early in 2004. He ended the season with a .280 batting average, 48 runs scored, 13 doubles, four triples, a homer, 23 RBIs, and 26 walks against only 25 strikeouts.

One of his best games was against Furman on May 11. He reached base five times and lined out to the shortstop in his other at-bat. He also scored three runs, had two RBIs, and stole two bases. But his biggest worth proved to be on the mound. He pitched the final 3.1 innings, allowing just two hits and no runs while striking out five to earn the victory.

On the mound in 2004, he was 2-2 with a 4.69 ERA. He also had two saves and 59 strikeouts in 48.0 innings pitched. After starting his first three games, he appeared out of the bullpen 19 times. As a reliever, he was 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA and 45 strikeouts against only eight walks.

Sipp Special in the PostseasonTony Sipp had one of the best all-around ACC Tournaments of any Tiger in recent history from May 26-28, 2004. In four games in Salem, VA, he was 8-for-17 (.471) with six runs scored, four double, a triple, two RBIs, five walks, and a .591 on-base percentage as the leadoff batter. In the middle two games, he reached base in 10 of his 12 plate appearances. He tied two Clemson ACC Tournament records with four total doubles and four walks in a single game (against #5 Georgia Tech on May 27). Sipp also made two relief appearances on the mound. In 3.2 innings pitched, he allowed one earned run and one walk while striking out six.

He also was outstanding in the Athens Regional, where he hit .364 with three doubles, a triple, and six RBIs. He also pitched 7.1 innings, allowing seven hits and no walks while striking out 10 to earn All-Regional honors.

Therefore in nine postseason games, Sipp was 16-for-39 (.410) with 12 runs scored, seven doubles, two triples, eight RBIs, and seven walks at the plate. On the mound, he pitched 11.0 innings in four relief appearances. He allowed just one walk while striking out 16, including three after entering the Georgia game in the Athens Regional on June 6 (second game of the doubleheader) with the bases loaded and no outs to preserve the Tigers’ lead.

Harvey Produced on Mound and at PlateSophomore righthander Kris Harvey (Catawba, NC) was hampered most of 2003 with shoulder problems, but regained the form in 2004 that made him a fifth-round draft pick out of high school. The son of former Major League pitcher Bryan Harvey made a team-tying-high 14 starts on the mound and had a 6-0 record. He was 4-1 in 2003 as a freshman, therefore he is 10-1 in his two-year career as a Tiger.

Harvey, a First-Team All-ACC player, was also a producer at the plate in 2004. In 54 games in the field, he quietly hit .335 with 16 doubles, eight homers, and 41 RBIs. Against Wake Forest from March 26-28, he shined, going 7-for-13 (.538) with three doubles, a homer, and seven RBIs in just three games. Then the next weekend against Maryland, he was 6-for-14 with two doubles, two homers, and six RBIs, as he earned conference player-of-the-week honors.

He was also a thorn in the side of Georgia in two games from March 30-31. He pitched 7.0 innings, allowing just two runs while striking out seven to earn the win at Athens. Then the next day, he went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs as the starting right fielder. His biggest home run of the year came against Charleston Southern on May 5. With the Tigers trailing 2-0 in the ninth inning, he hit the first pitch he saw over the fence for a two-run home to tie the score. The homer got him off the hook, as he was slated to be the losing pitcher had the Tigers not come back. Clemson went on to win 3-2.

Lumsden Struck Down the CompetitionJunior lefthander Tyler Lumsden (Roanoke, VA) had a 3.98 ERA and 5-4 record in 14 starts and one relief appearance in 2004. In a team-high 81.1 innings pitched, the first-round draft pick struck out 88, good for a 9.74 strikeouts per nine innings pitched mark.

Starting a Good Move for RohrbaughSophomore lefthander Robert Rohrbaugh (Littlestown, PA) made his first start of 2004 and second career start at Texas Tech on March 21. After that date, he was a weekend starter for the Tigers, starting against all eight league opponents in the regular season. He only allowed 16 earned runs in 49.2 innings pitched and did not allow more than three earned runs in any of the eight ACC starts. In fact, he only allowed more than two earned runs in one of the ACC starts, that being three earned runs against #24 Florida State. He was also 3-4 and had a 2.90 ERA in ACC play. Overall in 2004, he made eight relief appearances and 12 starts. He was 4-5 with a 3.99 ERA. In 76.2 innings pitched, he yielded just 21 walks and a .269 opponents’ batting average. In 106.1 innings pitched over two seasons, he has a 3.72 ERA.

Jackson Had Carolina on His MindRighthander and tri-captain Steven Jackson returned for his senior year after being selected in the 32nd round by the Cleveland Indians in 2003. One of his goals was to finally pitch against South Carolina, a team he never faced in three previous years. He earned his chance when Clemson traveled to Columbia on April 14 to face the #6 Gamecocks. In his first start of 2004, Jackson pitched 6.1 innings, allowing three runs to earn the win, also his first of the season. Later in the week, he came out of the bullpen at #10 North Carolina. He pitched 1.2 scoreless and hitless innings in Clemson’s 4-2 win.

Then on April 21, the 10th-round pick of the Diamondbacks in 2004 came in the game against Western Carolina in the ninth inning with runners on first and second with no outs and induced a double play on his first pitch. He retired the next batter to get out of the inning. Clemson went on to score three runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the game. Therefore, he picked up wins against three Carolina teams, including two top-10 Carolina teams on the road, in the span of eight days. He would have earned another win against N.C. State, another Carolina team, if the Tigers had not blown a 3-1 lead late in the game on April 24.

In 2004, Jackson was 4-3 with a 3.56 ERA in three starts and 19 relief outings. He also held opponents to a .253 batting average in 43.0 innings pitched. He had a 19-8 career record in 67 appearances (34 starts) over four seasons.

Cribb Had Week to RememberIn two relief appearances in one week in early May, sophomore righthander Josh Cribb (Lake View, SC) pitched near flawless ball. In 8.0 innings pitched, he did not allow a hit nor run and struck out 11 batters. He also allowed just three walks, one of which was intentional. The first outing was against Charleston Southern on May 5. In that game, he earned the win by pitching 3.1 innings and striking out four. The next game, this time on May 9 against #24 Central Florida, he pitched 4.2 innings with seven strikeouts. Although he did not win conference honors for that week’s performance, it will still go down as one of the best back-to-back relief performances by a Tiger in history.

Overall in 2004, Cribb was 5-1 with a 3.71 ERA and two saves in 19 relief appearances and one start (60.2 total innings pitched). The middle reliever and spot starter also held opponents to a .222 batting average and 15 walks against 58 strikeouts thanks to his assortment of sharp-breaking pitches. Cribb earned Athens Regional All-Tournament team honors thanks to a win and save he earned in two relief appearances. He allowed just seven hits and two walks while striking out 10 in 10.0 innings pitched. In four relief appearances in the postseason, he allowed just 12 hits and three walks while striking out 17 in 15.1 innings pitched.

Hogan Shut the DoorFifth-year graduate righthy and tri-captain Patrick Hogan (Columbia, SC) became the Tigers’ stopper out of the bullpen in 2004. In a team-high 24 relief appearances, Hogan had 10 saves in 44.2 innings pitched. The 10 saves rank tied for third-most in a season in Tiger history. He has also struck out 60 against only 19 walks (four of which were intentional). In four years, he had 18 career saves, third-most in Clemson history.

Berken BattledThe one word Head Coach Jack Leggett likes to use when talking about sophomore righthander Jason Berken (De Pere, WI) is “battler.” Clemson’s Friday starter for the first half of this year did just that, as he was 5-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 10 starts. He had a streak for most of the year of not allowing an earned run for 30 innings, one of the longest streaks in Tiger history. On the season, he allowed just 30 hits in 46.1 innings pitched while striking out 40. Opponents hit only .181 overall. His season ended prematurely, just as the conference season heated up. Berken developed soreness in his arm.

Record Crowd, Season AttendanceA record crowd of 6,480 fans was on hand to watch #5 South Carolina defeat #18 Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on March 7, 2004. The mark broke the previous Tiger record of 6,392, set in the Clemson Super Regional against Mississippi State in 2000. Clemson also set the school single-season record for average attendance in 2004. In 32 home games, Clemson averaged 3,649 fans per game, ahead of the Tiger single-season record of 3,592 set in 2002. A season-ticket base of over 1,800 is one reason for Clemson’s outstanding fan support.

Three Tigers Earned Degrees on May 7 Fifth-year seniors Russell Triplett received their undergraduate diplomas in commencement ceremonies May 7 at Littlejohn Coliseum. The three players were a part of four NCAA Tourney teams and two College World Series teams. Hogan, a righthanded pitcher from Columbia, SC, received his degree in PRTM. He also spent the spring semester as an intern in the SID office. Hub, an outfielder from Sumter, SC, received his degree in political science and plans to join the Marines in the fall of 2004. Triplett, the Tigers’ starting shortstop from West Columbia, SC, received his degree in elementary education.