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Baseball Hosts Elon in Two-Game, Midweek Series

Baseball Hosts Elon in Two-Game, Midweek Series

March 20, 2006

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Clemson vs. ElonClemson (11-6), ranked as high as #10 in the nation, will play host to Elon (17-6) in a two-game, midweek series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Game times are 7:15 PM (Tuesday) and 4:00 PM (Wednesday). Both games will be broadcast live on the radio by WCCP (104.9 FM) out of Clemson. Live stats will also be available at for both games.

The SeriesClemson and Elon have met seven times (all at Clemson) on the diamond, with Elon winning four of the seven games. In 1920, Elon defeated the Tigers 6-3. The two teams did not meet again until 80 years later, when Clemson came away with a 17-5 victory in 2000.

In 2002, Elon upset the top-ranked Tigers 8-6. Then on May 7, 2003, Elon came away with an 11-2 victory. In 2004, the two teams played two games. Clemson won the first game 10-6, while Elon won game two 7-1. In 2005, Clemson won the only meeting 9-6 on April 26 thanks to nine walks and four Phoenix errors.Head Coach Jack Leggett is 3-3 against Elon while at Clemson and was 1-3 while at Western Carolina, therefore is 4-6 all-time against the Phoenix.

The Starting PitchersIn game one, Elon will start freshman righty Steven Hensley (0-2, 8.31 ERA) on the mound. The Asheville, NC native has made five starts and two relief appearances. In 21.2 innings pitched, he has allowed 32 hits and 11 walks with 23 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with sophomore righty David Kopp (1-0, 5.14 ERA) on Tuesday. The Margate, FL native has made two starts and one relief appearance. He has yielded six hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 7.0 innings pitched this season. On April 26, 2005 against Elon, Kopp started and earned the win. He pitched 6.0 innings, allowing four hits, five runs (four earned), and four walks with a career-high seven strikeouts.

Both teams’ starters for Wednesday’s game have yet to be determined.

The PhoenixElon, led by 10th-year Head Coach Mike Kennedy, enters the midweek series with a 17-6 overall record and 2-1 record in Southern Conference play. The team has won six games in a row, including a three-game sweep of Kent State this past weekend where it scored 37 runs. The Phoenix have also beaten #14 South Carolina (once in three games), Duke (twice in two games), and Auburn (twice in three games).

Elon, who is 6-4 in road games, is hitting .305 as a team, led by Chris Vasami’s .408 batting average, four homers, and 18 RBIs. Adam Weaver is hitting .355, while Chris Price is hitting .349 with four home runs and a team-best 31 RBIs. The team also has a .413 on-base percentage thanks to 118 walks and 41 hit-by-pitches.Aggressive baserunning is another trademark of the 2006 Phoenix. They have stolen 40 bases in 50 attempts, including 12-12 by Ryan Addison and 10-11 by Donny Jobe. The defense also sports a solid .970 fielding percentage.

The pitching staff has a 4.60 ERA and .275 opponents’ batting average. It has also allowed just 61 walks in 205.1 innings pitched, good for a 2.7 walks per nine innings pitched mark. Tom Porter has a team-high three saves, while Chad Tilley has added two saves, including 18 strikeouts against only two walks in 10 relief appearances.

The TigersClemson enters the midweek series against Elon with an 11-6 overall record and 0-3 ACC mark after being swept at Virginia over the weekend. The Tigers are 10-2 at home. Taylor Harbin leads the club with a .340 batting average, while Herman Demmink is hitting .328 with a .434 on-base percentage. Tyler Colvin has a team-best five homers and 15 RBIs, while the team is hitting .278 with a .361 on-base percentage.

The pitching staff has a 2.65 ERA and .231 opponents’ batting average. Steve Richard has all three of the team’s saves, while Daniel Moskos has a 1.69 ERA out of the bullpen. Clemson’s defense sports a .969 fielding percentage and has turned 20 double plays in 17 games.

Worth Noting* Clemson is 6-0 when it does not commit an error, and 5-6 when it commits at least one.* Clemson is 11-1 when it has at least as many hits as its opponents, and 0-5 when it gets out-hit.

PollsClemson dropped to the #10 spot in the Baseball America poll on Monday after being swept at Virginia from March 17-19. The Tigers also fell to #13 in the Collegiate Baseball and #11 in the Sports Weekly poll.

Leading Off the Key to VictoryGetting the leadoff man on base has always been an important key to success on offense. Stats back that up for this year’s team. Up until the Virginia series from March 17-19, Clemson was good at getting the leadoff man on base. Through 14 games, nearly 45 percent of the Tiger leadoff batters reached base to start an inning. However against the Cavaliers, only six of 27 (22 percent) leadoff batters reached base, which was key to Clemson scoring only seven runs in the series. The Tigers scored runs in only five different innings all weekend, and in four of those five, the leadoff man reached base.

The “magic number” of leadoff batters reaching base translating in to wins has been three this year. When Clemson has three or more leadoff batters reach, the Tigers are 11-1. The only loss when totaling at least three came when Clemson had three at Virginia on March 18. Conversely, Clemson is 0-5 when it has two or less leadoff batters reach.

Cavaliers Silence Tiger Bats in SweepVirginia swept #2 Clemson by scores of 2-1, 10-2, and 7-4 from March 17-19 at UVa Baseball Stadium. The Cavaliers outhit the Tigers .370 to .175 and hit .452 with two outs during the series. Tyler Colvin was 5-for-12 with a double, homer, and three RBIs to pace Clemson.

In game one, Brandon Marsh’s walkoff sacrifice fly lifted Virginia to a 2-1 victory over the Tigers on March 17. Tim Henry scored the winning run after he walked, stole second, and went to third on a throwing error. Josh Cribb struck out eight and allowed one run in 5.2 innings, but did not factor in the decision. Sean Doolittle and Casey Lambert limited Clemson to only four hits, including doubles by Adrian Casanova and Andy D’Alessio. The Tigers’ lone run came on an RBI single by Colvin in the first inning.

In game two, Virginia scored nine runs with two outs in the sixth inning to defeat Clemson 10-2 on March 18. Virginia put together six singles and three walks with two outs and the score tied in the sixth to put the game out of reach. The Cavaliers outhit Clemson 15-7, as all 15 of their hits were singles. Freshman Jacob Thompson allowed two runs on six hits to earn the win, while Jason Berken suffered the loss. Brad Chalk and Colvin had two hits apiece for the Tigers.

In game three, Virginia rallied from a 4-1 deficit to defeat Clemson 7-4 on March 19. The Cavaliers tied the score 4-4 in the seventh inning thanks to Brandon Guyer’s two-run single, then took the lead with three runs in the eighth, highlighted by Henry’s run-scoring single up the middle. Clemson built its lead thanks to a two-run single by Adrian Casanova in the second inning and a two-run homer by Colvin in the third inning. Virginia outhit Clemson 14-6, led by Marsh’s four hits and three runs scored. Colvin and Stan Widmann had two hits apiece for the Tigers.