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Baseball Notes

Baseball Notes

April 3, 2000

UPCOMING GAMES Tuesday, April 4 Western Carolina at Clemson 7:15 PM

Wednesday, April 5 Furman at Clemson 7:15 PM

Friday, April 7 N.C. State at Clemson 7:15 PM

Saturday, April 8 N.C. State at Clemson 7:00 PM

Sunday, April 9 N.C. State at Clemson 2:00 PM

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS Wednesday, March 29 Clemson at Georgia L, 10-6

Friday, March 31 Clemson at North Carolina L, 6-0

Saturday, April 1 Clemson at North Carolina W, 10-2

Sunday, April 2 Clemson at North Carolina L, 5-2

Noteworthy * Michael Johnson has a 10-game hitting streak, the longest by a Tiger this season. * Only one Tiger pitcher has allowed as many as 10 earned runs through 30 games this season, that being Ryan Mottl with 13. Mottl still has a 2.62 ERA and 5-2 record. * Tiger pitchers are holding opponents to a .150 batting average with two outs and .161 average with the bases loaded. * Jarrod Schmidt’s complete game at #8 North Carolina on Apr. 1 was the first by a Tiger this season. * Clemson left 26 runners on base while scoring just eight runs in its three losses last week. Clemson hit .213 and committed nine errors in the four games.

Clemson Returns Home to Face Western Carolina Tuesday Clemson returns home Tuesday night to play host to Western Carolina (10-23) on Tuesday night at 7:15 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. A detailed pregame outlook will be posted on Monday afternoon.

Tar Heels Take Series For First Time Since 1990 For the first time since the 1990 season, #8 North Carolina won the three-game series with the Tigers thanks to wins in game one and three. North Carolina blanked #1 Clemson 6-0 in the first game, but Clemson responded with a 10-2 win in game two. North Carolina took the rubber matchup 5-2. The two teams combined for 15 errors in the three games. Clemson starters allowed just five earned runs in 19.2 innings, despite tallying a 1-2 record. North Carolina, who entered the series with a .340 team batting average, hit just .232. In game one, three Tar Heel pitchers shut down Clemson in the 6-0 victory. Clemson mustered just two hits, one in the first inning and one in the second. Ryan Snare went the first 6.2 innings to pick up the win. Scott Berney’s perfect record came to an end, despite allowing just three hits and one earned run in 7.0 innings.

Clemson responded in game two with a 10-2 win thanks to the efforts of freshman righthander Jarrod Schmidt’s and third baseman Khalil Greene. Schmidt pitched the first complete game by a Tiger in 2000. He allowed just seven hits, no earned runs, and one walk in earning his fourth win of the season. Greene had four hits in five at bats and totaled six RBIs. Greene also added three doubles and a stolen base. A five-run fourth inning keyed Clemson’s outburst. Clemson committed four errors while North Carolina committed five.

The Tar Heels took game three 5-2 thanks to the efforts of three Tar Heel pitchers, Chris Elmore, Ryan Earey, and Derrick DePriest. The three limited Clemson to five hits and two unearned runs. Ryan Mottl suffered his second straight loss, as he did not make it through the fourth inning. North Carolina scored two runs in the first on their way to victory. Michael Johnson extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

Georgia Bats Too Much for Clemson Behind 15 hits, including at least one by every Bulldog starter, Georgia downed #1 Clemson 10-6 at Foley Field on Mar. 29 in front of one of the largest crowds in Georgia history (3,372). Georgia scored in every inning except the first two. Ryan Mottl allowed eight hits and four runs in 3.1 innings. Mottl suffered his first loss of 2000. Mark Thornhill led Georgia with four hits and two RBIs. Khalil Greene led the Tigers with three hits, including a double and homer. Casey Stone had two hits, including a two-run triple and Henr’ Stanley hit a towering homer over the scoreboard in right field. Six of Clemson’s nine hits went for extra bases. Bill Sharpton struck out a career-high nine batters, while Georgia pitchers fanned Tiger batters 13 times. Clemson’s nine-game winning streak against SEC foes ended.

Advance Tickets to Go on Sale for South Carolina Game Advance tickets for the South Carolina at Clemson baseball game on April 12, 2000 at 7:15 PM will go on sale from April 7-9 the N.C. State at Clemson series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The general admission tickets will be available during the first three innings of each game against the Wolfpack. Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $2 for students high school age or under. Remaining tickets will be sold over the counter on Monday, April 10 at the Athletic Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is open weekdays from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and is located at Gate 9 of Memorial Stadium.

Pitching Consistency Clemson’s 2.70 team ERA is tops in the ACC, thanks to a combined effort by many Tiger pitchers. Only one pitcher has allowed double-digit earned runs this season, that being Ryan Mottl, who still sports a 2.62 ERA.

Pitching Vastly Improved Over 1999 The NCAA has yet to publish national team and individual leaders, but Clemson is sure to be atop many of the pitching categories in 2000. Clemson struggled in 1999 with a 5.82 ERA, but 2000 has seen Kevin O’Sullivan’s pitching staff come full circle. Below is a comparison of the team’s stats from 1999 and 2000.

Category 1999 2000
ERA 5.82 2.70
Hits per 9 IP 10.64 7.45
Homers Allowed Per Game 0.88 0.10
Walks per 9 IP 4.66 3.37
Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio 1.69 2.11
Opp. Batting Average .299 .225

Schmidt Off to Impressive Start as Freshman Freshman Jarrod Schmidt’s came to Clemson with accolades such as First-Team All-American and Georgia Gatorade Player-of-the-Year out of Lassiter High School in Marietta, GA. And early on in 2000, he started at first base and outfield. But when the Tigers got into the rigorous college baseball schedule, Schmidt added another position to his repetoire…pitcher. Schmidt, who was “Mr. Do It All” at Lassiter, has done the same at Clemson. Unlike many schools, very few times in recent years has a pitcher played in the field and vice versa. But Schmidt is bucking that tradition as he has solidified himself as a weekend starter in Clemson’s rotation.

Schmidt has earned the win in each of his last four starts, including a complete game at #8 North Carolina on April 1. Schmidt allowed no earned runs and seven hits at Chapel Hill. It was the first complete by a Tiger in 2000. Overall, Schmidt is 4-0 with a 1.79 ERA as a weekend starter.

Despite struggling at the plate in the early going (.208 batting average), Jack Leggett foresees a bright future for Schmidt, and not just on the mound. Schmidt has shown the ability to play catcher along with first base and outfield. Schmidt can also hit for power, and with more consistency, could find a spot in the middle of the Tiger lineup in the future. Expect to see Schmidt in the next few years…all over the field.

Baker Leading All Tigers at the Plate Freshman shortstop Jeff Baker (Woodbridge, VA), who is rated as the #1 freshman in the nation by Baseball America, is showing more consistency every game at the plate. Baker leads the team with a .350 batting average. Baker’s average had been hovering at and above .300 all season until his recent surge, but had been somewhat inconsistent because of his over-aggressiveness. But Baker has adjusted and become more accustomed to most Jack Leggett-type hitters…which are line-drive and gap hitters. Baker has also become more consistent in the field. Baker’s fielding percentage, which was at .877 after 13 games, has risen to .918.

Greene Has Big Week at the Plate Sophomore third baseman Khalil Greene hit .533 in games at Georgia and #8 North Carolina last week. Against Georgia on March 29, he had three hits, including a double and homer. Then against the Tar Heels on April 1, he went 4-for-5 with six RBIs, three doubles, and a stolen base. Overall, the Key West, FL native is hitting .340 with two homers and 27 RBIs.

Clemson Offers Promotional Ticket Discounts to Fans This year, Clemson offers special promotional considerations to select fans. Clemson offers a Businessperson Special on all weekday day games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, where any fan who presents his/her business card will receive free admission. All Sunday home games are Senior Citizens’ Day, where any fan who presents his/her AARP card will receive free admission. Also on Sundays, all youngsters are invited on the field during the national anthem to stand next to their favorite Clemson player. Ticket prices for home games are $5 for adults and $2 for students. Clemson students who present their student ID will receive free admission.