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#7 Baseball Takes on Terps Beginning Friday at 7:15 PM

#7 Baseball Takes on Terps Beginning Friday at 7:15 PM

April 6, 2006

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Clemson (21-8, 6-3 ACC), ranked as high as #7 in the country, will play host to Maryland (14-17, 6-9 ACC) this weekend in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Game times are 7:15 PM (Friday), 4:00 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday). All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will also be available at for all three games.

The Series Clemson and Maryland have met 138 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 103-35 lead in the series dating back to the 1923 season. Last year in College Park, MD, the Tigers won all three games by scores of 14-3, 6-4 (13 innings), and 12-0. Two years ago, Clemson swept the Terrapins at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson has won seven games in a row over the Terrapins dating back to an 8-4 Maryland victory in the second game of a doubleheader in College Park on April 19, 2003.

The Tigers hold a 58-6 advantage over Maryland all-time in games played at Clemson and 48-1 lead in games played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, including winning 18 in a row in the friendly confines. Clemson also holds a 90-32 advantage over the Terrapins in games played in the ACC regular season.

Tiger Head Coach Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Starting Pitchers In game one, Maryland will start junior lefty Casey Baron (1-2, 4.33 ERA) on the mound. The Silver Spring, MD native has made four starts and eight relief appearances for a total of 27.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 29 hits and six walks with 15 strikeouts. The Tigers will counter with senior righthander Josh Cribb (5-0, 2.25 ERA) on Friday. The Lake View, SC native has made six starts and one relief appearance for a total of 32.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 22 hits (.198 opponents’ batting average) and 11 walks with 31 strikeouts.

In game two, the Terrapins will send out senior righthander Ben Pfinsgraff (2-3, 6.07 ERA) on the mound. The Annapolis, MD native has made eight starts for a total of 46.0 innings pitched. He has yielded 58 hits and eight walks with 36 strikeouts. The Tigers will counter with junior righthander Jason Berken (4-2, 2.00 ERA) on Saturday. The De Pere, WI native has made seven starts for a total of 36.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 35 hits and 15 walks with 35 strikeouts.

Maryland’s starter for game three has yet to be determined. Clemson will start junior righthander Stephen Faris (3-0, 1.79 ERA) on Sunday. The Richmond, VA native had made seven starts for a total of 45.1 innings pitched. He has a .187 opponents’ batting average, allowing 29 hits and seven walks with 38 strikeouts.

The Terrapins Maryland, led by sixth-year Head Coach Terry Rupp, enters the weekend series with a 14-17 overall record and 6-9 ACC mark after defeating Towson 5-3 on Wednesday and taking two of three games over #3 Georgia Tech last weekend. The Terrapins hold a 5-11 record on opponents’ home fields.

The team is hitting .258 with a .329 on-base percentage. Nine different players have accounted for the team’s nine total home runs. The team has stolen 34 bases in 45 attempts as well. Dan Melvin has a team-best .321 batting average and .426 on-base percentage. Gerry Spessard is hitting .298 with 11 doubles and 15 RBIs.

The pitching staff has a 4.89 ERA and .293 opponents’ batting average. The staff also has an outstanding 2.6 walks per nine innings pitched mark. Righthander Seth Overbey has a team-best 2.88 ERA in 15 relief appearances, while lefty Brett Cecil has eight saves and a 3.29 ERA in 17 appearances (one start). Maryland is fielding at a .954 clip as well.

The Tigers Clemson enters the weekend series with a 21-8 overall record and 6-3 ACC mark after defeating top-ranked South Carolina 3-2 in Columbia on Wednesday. The Tigers have won their last six ACC games, including a three-game sweep at #11 Miami (FL) last weekend. Clemson sports a 16-3 home record as well.

The Tigers, who are 11-3 against top-25 ranked teams, are hitting .290 with a .370 on-base percentage. Tyler Colvin is batting .368 with 11 doubles, six homers, 26 RBIs, and nine stolen bases. Andy D’Alessio is hitting .333 with 10 doubles, nine homers, and 40 RBIs, including seven homers and 29 RBIs in the last 12 games.

Sophomore Brad Chalk has 10 sacrifice bunts this season, giving 25 for his career. That figure is tied with Casey Stone (1998-01) for the most career sacrifice bunts by a Tiger in history.

The pitching staff has a 2.97 ERA and .239 opponents’ batting average. Both lefty Daniel Moskos and righty Steve Richard have four saves. Clemson is fielding at a .965 clip as well.

Tiger Victories Over Top-Ranked Teams When Clemson defeated #1 South Carolina in baseball on April 5, 2006 in Columbia, Head Coach Jack Leggett tied the Clemson coaching record in all sports for wins over a top-ranked team. It was Leggett’s fifth win over a #1 team, tying him with former Tiger Baseball Coach Bill Wilhelm and former Tiger Men’s Soccer Coach Dr. I.M. Ibrahim.

Overall, it was the 23rd time in history Clemson defeated a #1 team in all sports, including the 10th time in baseball. All 10 of those wins have taken place away from Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Clemson has beaten a #1 team in baseball 10 times, and five of the victories have been by one run, including the win over South Carolina in Columbia, a contest the Tigers won 3-2. In fact, 11 of the 23 Tiger wins over top-ranked have been by one point, run, or goal.

The April 5 victory over South Carolina was Clemson’s first win over a #1 team in baseball since an 8-4 victory at #1 Florida State on April 10, 1999. It was also the first win over a #1 team in any sport since the men’s soccer team defeated Wake Forest in Winston-Salem by a 2-1 score in overtime in 2002.

With the victory over South Carolina, Clemson has an 11-3 record against top-25 teams this year, including eight victories in the last nine games. It was Leggett’s 158th victory at Clemson over a top-25 team, including his 83rd win over a top-10 team. It also marked the 12th time in his career he has beaten a top-10 South Carolina team.

Clemson Edges Top-Ranked Gamecocks 3-2 Tyler Colvin run-scoring double in the first inning. Robbie Grinestaff tied the score with a solo homer in the fourth inning. In the sixth inning, Colvin hit a two-out double and scored on Andy D’Alessio single to left. After the Gamecocks tied the score in the bottom of the sixth, Brad Chalk blooped a two-out single to right-center in the seventh inning to plate the winning run. The game ended on a line-drive double play off the bat of Michael Campbell with the tying run on second base. Colvin had a game-high three hits, as the Tigers out-hit South Carolina 10-8. Clemson also snapped the Gamecocks’ 20-game home winning streak.