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Baseball Looks to Weekend Showdown with Maine

March 8, 1998

Tuesday, March 10 Coastal Carolina at Clemson 3:00 PMFriday, March 13 Maine at Clemson 3:00 PMSaturday, March 14 Maine at Clemson (DH) 12:00 PM

Probable Position StartersPos #   Player          B-T Cl.     G-GS    Avg.    HR  RBIC   15  Derek Borgert   R-R *Jr.    16-9    .175    1   5    or  41  Brian Ellis L-R *So.    13-10   .500    1   141B  25  Jason Harris    L-L Jr.     18-18   .413    4   172B  18  Kurt Bultmann   R-R Jr.     18-18   .380    5   19SS  4   Doug Roper      S-R *So.    18-18   .421    1   173B  8   Brian Holstad   R-R *So.    16-14   .232    0   4LF  9   Peter Nystrom   R-R Fr.     17-14   .364    2   15CF  24  Patrick Boyd    S-R Fr.     18-18   .299    4   17RF  22  Matt Padgett    L-R Jr.     17-17   .397    2   11DH  1   Henri Stanley   L-L So.     17-11   .395    2   8    or  17  Justin Hyde R-R Jr.     13-5    .421    1   6

Clemson Sweeps Stetson Clemson improved its record to 16-2 on the season with a three-game sweep of the Stetson Hatters at Tiger Field on Mar 6 & 8. Stetson was fresh off an 8-0 victory at Georgia Tech in the previous days.

In game one, Clemson scored its most runs in almost a year by downing the Hatters 22-4. Kurt Bultmann hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs. Ryan Mottl (4-0) picked up the win, which was his eighth consecutive dating back to last season. Justing Singleton, son of former Oriole Ken Singleton, hit his first career homer, a line drive to straight-away center. Clemson used an 11-run fifth inning to put the game out of reach.

Game two saw Clemson take a commanding 10-5 win behind the bat of Matt Padgett and Peter Nystrom. Padgett had a double and a triple, while Nystrom added a double. Both players had two RBIs apiece. Skip Browning picked up his third victory of the season with his five inning outing, where he allowed three earned runs. Matt Addition pitched the final four innings, allowing only on run and four hits, t pick up his first save.

In game three, Padgett was the hero as he hit an opposite-field two-run homer in the sixth inning to put Clemson ahead 5-3. The Tigers went on to win 9-4 in a rain-shortened game. Padgett added another double along with his home run. Patrick Boyd had two hits and four RBIs, including a line-drive, opposite-field home run to left. Sophomore Mike Paradis gave up only five hits and three earned runs in seven innings to pick up his third win. Scott Clackum earned his fourth save. Tiger pitchers only allowed five hits in 30 at bats by the Hatters. Stetson entered the game hitting .340.

Tigers Split Two With Florida Atlantic Clemson’s 10-game winning streak came to an end on Mar. 4 as Florida Atlantic split the two-game series.

In game one, Clemson won its fourth consecutive one-run game as the Tigers defeated the Owls 6-5. The Tigers scored single runs in the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. Patrick Boyd led Clemson with three hits, including a home run and a double. Reliever Scott Clackum picked up his second win by pitching 1.2 innings without giving up a run.

Game two saw Clemson strand 13 runners on base, including the bases loaded in the eighth and ninth innings, as the Tigers’ 10-game winning streak ended by a 6-5 margin. The Tigers scored all five of its runs in the bottom of the second inning after the Owls had took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Florida Atlantic’s Mick Celli went 3-for-4 on the day, giving him seven hits in nine at bats for the two games. Ed Bou’s seventh inning, three-run homer proved to be the difference. Ten different Tigers accounted for Clemson’s 12 hits. Reliever Donovan Harrison suffered his first loss of the season.

Another Sweep For Clemson Clemson swept UNC Wilmington in a three game series on Feb. 27-Mar. 1. The wins gave Clemson a nine-game winning streak and improved the Tigers’ record to 12-1.

In game one, Ryan Mottl pitched seven shutout innings to earn his third win as Clemson defeated UNC Wilmington 13-0. The win was also the seventh consecutive win dating back to 1997. The shutout was the first for the Tigers in 1998. Shortstop Doug Roper hit his first career home run as the Tigers had 13 hits, including six for extra bases.

Game two featured more of the Clemson bats. Behind 15 hits and a 12-run third inning, the Tigers out scored the Seahawks 19-6. The Tigers put 12 runners on base before UNC Wilmington made an out. Skip Browning earned the victory, going five innings. Kurt Bultmann added two doubles. Clemson also committed no errors for the first time of the season. The Tigers also scored double-digit runs for the fifth straight game.

In Game three, Mike Paradis pitched seven innings, allowing only four hits and three runs as Clemson defeated the Seahawks 6-3. Donovan Harrison pitched the final two innings without giving up a hit to earn his first save as a Tiger. Kurt Bultmann hit his seventh double of the season and drove in two runs in Clemson’s four-run first inning.

Tigers Out-Hit UNC Charlotte In Make-up Game Clemson pounded out 16 hits en route to an 11-7 victory over UNC Charlotte on Feb. 26. Both teams had each lost a game due to inclement weather in the previous weeks. Sophomore Brian Ellis led the Tiger charge with a career-high four hits, including his first career home run. Clemson used a five-run fifth inning to break the game open. Freshman Peter Nystrom had a perfect 3-for-3 day, including two doubles.

Mottl Named ACC Player-Of-The-Week March 2 Sophomore pitcher Ryan Mottl earned Clemson’s first ACC Player-of-the-Week award in 1998 when he pitched seven innings and picked up his third win against UNC Wilmington on Feb. 27. The Florissant, MO native also won his seventh consecutive game dating back to the ’97 season. In the game against the Seahawks, he allowed just six hits and one walk, while striking out six.

For the season, Mottl is 4-0 with a 4.45 ERA in five starts. He won his last four decisions of ’97, therefore he has won eight decisions in a row. Mottl was a First-Team All-ACC starting pitcher as a freshman, and was the first freshman Tiger pitcher to ever accomplish that feat.

Leggett Has 41-7 Record in Februarys Under Head Coach Jack Leggett, Clemson has gotten off to some fast starts, mainly in the month of February. In his five February’s at Clemson, Leggett has amassed a 41-7 (.854) record in the month of February. Leggett was 8-2 in 1994, 6-1 in 1995, 7-2 in 1996, 9-1 in 1997, and 11-1 in 1998.

Freshman Nystrom An Instant Hit Despite being in the shadows of the highly touted Patrick Boyd, Peter Nystrom has made an instant impact on the Tiger offense. The freshman from Dunedin, FL is hitting .364 with six doubles, two home runs, and 15 RBIs in only 44 at bats. Nystrom has played in 17 of the 18 games, starting 14 in left-field.

Boyd’s Average Slowing Rising After starting the season 3-for-25 (.120), freshman Patrick Boyd has risen his batting average near .300. He is hitting 17-for-42 (.405) over the last 11 games. As the number-two hitter in the Tiger lineup and centerfielder, Boyd has started all 18 games, and has scored 19 runs and hit four home runs. Baseball America tabbed Boyd in the preseason as the ACC’s Newcomer-of-the-Year and as one of the top-10 prospects overall in the ACC regardless of class.

Calitri Homers In First Career At Bat Red-shirt freshman Mike Calitri waited a whole year to do what few have ever done. The Canton, MA native hit an opposite field two-run homer in his first career at bat in the Tigers 16-4 win over East Carolina on Feb. 14. Calitri is 3-for-9 on the season, including a double and three RBIs in limited playing time at first base.

Roper Comes Back Strong After missing all but one game of the 1997 season, redshirt sophomore shortstop Doug Roper has started 1998 with a bang. The Vidalia, GA native has 24 hits in 57 at bats for a .421 batting average. He also has five stolen bases, second most on the team. Roper was 5-for-47 (.106) entering the ’98 season.

Harris Impressive As Tigers’ First Baseman Junior Jason Harris is hitting .413 with four homers and 17 RBIs as the Tigers’ new first baseman and cleanup hitter in 1998. The Brevard College transfer has also scored a team best 22 runs and been hit by pitch four times. He also has not committed an error in 175 chances.

Bultmann Picks Up Where He Left Off Kurt Bultmann has started 1998 on a roll after setting the Clemson single-season record for doubles with 31. The junior from Seminole, FL hit two doubles in the three-game Olive Garden Classic. He also had six hits in 14 at bats and was named the tournament MVP. The second baseman has moved over from the shortstop position now that Doug Roper is back from a season-ending injury in 1997.

Bultmann is currently hitting .380 with seven doubles, a triple, five home runs, and 19 RBIs in starting all 18 games. Bultmann had one of his best games in his career against Stetson on Mar. 6, where he was 2-for-2 with two home runs, a two-run shot and a grand slam.

Bultmann now has 48 career doubles, tying him with Matthew LeCroy for 14th all time in Clemson history. Below is a look at the Clemson career doubles leaders:

Rk. Name            (Years)         Doubles1.  Gary Burnham (1994-97)          772.  Bert Heffernan (1985-88)        633.  Chuck Baldwin (1984-87)         624.  Shane Monahan (1993-95)         605.  Jim Crowley (1988-91)           576.  Jim McCollom (1982-85)          567.  Kevin Northrup (1989-92)        55    Billy McMillon (1991-93)        559.  Brian Kowitz (1988-90)          5310. Mike Milchin (1987-89)          51    Robert Bonnette (1976-79)       5112. Steve Baucom (1984-87)          49    Jeff Miller (1990-93)           4914. Kurt Bultmann (1996-present)    48    Matthew LeCroy (1995-97)        48

Mottl, Boyd Among Nine USA Baseball Team Training Camp Invitees Clemson sophomore pitcher Ryan Mottl (Florissant, MO) and freshman outfielder Patrick Boyd (Palm Harbor, FL) were among the first nine players invited to the USA Baseball National Team summer camp.

Boyd, rated as the top newcomer in the ACC by Baseball America, is the only freshman amongst the nine invitees. Mottl, a First-Team All-ACC pitcher in 1997 as a freshman, was a member of the 1997 USA Baseball National Team. Both players attended the 1998 USA Baseball National Team Trials at Hi Corbett Field in November, 1997.

Camp is tentatively scheduled to open June 1 at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson., AZ, home of USA Baseball and Cactus League spring training home of the Colorado Rockies. The USA Baseball National Team will begin its competition in mid-June and play approximately 30 games in preparation for the International Baseball Association’s XXXIII World Championship in Italy on July 21 – August 2.

Seven Current Tigers Picked In Major League Draft The following is a list of current Clemson players selected in the Major League draft:

Player              Year    Team                    RoundPatrick Boyd        1997    Seattle Mariners        2ndMike Paradis        1996    Oakland Athletics       7thJustin Singleton    1997    Arizona Diamondbacks    9thSkip Browning       1996    Florida Marlins         11thPeter Nystrom       1997    Arizona Diamondbacks    13thPaul Stryhas        1997    San Francisco Giants    21stRyan Mottl          1996    Tampa Bay Devil Rays    39th

Clemson’s 203 Wins since 1994 Second Best In The Nation The barometer of a great season in college baseball is getting to Omaha and winning 50 games. Since Jack Leggett took over as Clemson’s head coach in 1994, the Tigers have won 203 games (excluding 1998) for an average of almost 51 per season. Included in that total is 53 wins against top 25 teams. Included among the 53 wins is 24 victories over top 10 teams.

Tiger Field Rated Among Best In The Country Beautiful Tiger Field has helped Clemson gain one of the best home-field advantages in the country. The Tigers have won over 84 percent of its home ACC games and 82 percent of its overall home games, dating back to 1970.

Baseball America recently published its rankings of the top baseball stadiums in the country based on aesthetics, playing conditions, and amenities. Tiger Field was ranked #8 in the country in Baseball America’s preseason issue, which is also tops in the ACC.