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Baseball Opens Up ACC Play Against NC State

March 27, 2003

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Clemson vs. N.C. State Clemson (18-4, 0-0 ACC), ranked as high as #10 and winners of 15 of its last 16 games, will travel to Kinston, NC to play N.C. State (21-6, 2-1 ACC) in the Tigers’ first ACC action of the season. It will be a battle of top-20 teams, as N.C. State is ranked as high as #16. It is also the Wolfpack’s first national ranking since 1999. Game one at Grainger Stadium will be Friday at 7:00 PM, while games two and three, Saturday and Sunday, will both start at 1:30 PM. All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Properties and can be heard live via the internet at Live stats will also be available for all three games on Clemson’s website.

The series will be played at Kinston, NC due to renovations at Doak Field in Raleigh that have yet to be completed. The Wolfpack have played all of their “home” games at several locations, including Grainger Stadium in Kinston. Grainger Stadium, which has a capacity of 3,800 and is the home of the Kinston (A) Indians, is located 80 miles east of Raleigh on U.S. Highway 70. The games will be considered home games for N.C. State and away games for Clemson due to NCAA rules.

The Series Clemson holds an 87-60-1 advantage in the series dating back to 1921. Last season, the Wolfpack ended Clemson’s second 13-game winning streak, despite the Tigers taking two of three regular-season games. Clemson also defeated N.C. State 5-3 in the 2002 ACC Tournament. In 2001 at Raleigh, NC, Clemson took two of three games. Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 21-10 against the Wolfpack as Clemson’s skipper, including a 6-6 record at N.C. State. Leggett was 7-18 versus the Wolfpack while at Western Carolina, meaning he is 28-28 all-time against them.

The Starting Pitchers Junior lefty Nate Cretarolo (2-2, 7.50 ERA) will start game one. It will be the fourth-straight game Clemson has faced a lefty starter. Junior righthander Vern Sterry (6-0, 2.36 ERA) is scheduled to start game two for the Wolfpack. The California native is allowing opponents to hit just .192 off him. Sterry, a junior-college transfer, also has struck out 65 while walking just 13 in 49.2 innings pitched this season. Red-shirt freshman righty Michael Rogers (6-1, 1.78 ERA) is scheduled to start game three Sunday. He has struck out 45 against only 15 walks in 50.2 innings pitched this season. The Wolfpack sports a 3.66 team ERA and 3.12 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Clemson will counter with sophomore lefthander Tyler Lumsden (5-0, 1.32 ERA) in game one. The recent invitee to the USA National Team trials, has a .203 opponents’ batting average and 34 strikeouts against only seven walks in 34.0 innings pitched. Last season against N.C. State in the ACC Tournament, Lumsden earned the win by allowing just two earned runs in 7.0 innings pitched while striking out nine. Freshman righty Jason Berken (3-0, 1.42 ERA) will start game two. Berken already has a win under his belt this week, as he pitched 5.0 innings, striking out seven to earn the win against Wofford Monday. Berken has allowed just one extra base hit (a double) in 19.0 innings pitched this season. Sunday’s starter as yet to be determined. Clemson has a 3.36 team ERA and .237 opponents’ batting average.

N.C. State Overview N.C. State, who won two of three games over #2 Florida State last weekend at Grainger Stadium, is led by seventh-year Head Coach Elliott Avent. The team is hitting .274, led by Marc Maynor’s .383 batting average. Catcher Colt Morton has 10 homers and 25 RBIs, while Joe Gaetti, son of former Major Leaguer Gary Gaetti, has a team-high 29 RBIs. Gaetti also has 10 of the team’s 43 stolen bases. The Wolfpack sports a .965 fielding percentage as well. The Wolfpack had a 16-game winning streak prior to its 3-1 defeat to Florida State Sunday. Winthrop upset the Wolfpack 8-5 Wednesday at Grainger Stadium.

Clemson Overview Clemson is coming off a 7-3 win over Georgia Wednesday night. Prior to its loss at Western Carolina Tuesday, the Tigers had won 14 games in a row. Russell Triplett is the hottest Tiger, as he is 8-for-12 in his last three games. Brad McCann has a team-best 28 RBIs to go along with 10 doubles in 21 games as well. Thanks to a 3-for-3 performance against Georgia, Kyle Frank is leading the team with a .362 batting average. The Tigers are hitting .316 and have an outstanding .973 fielding percentage.

Jackson Wins in Clemson’s 7-3 Win Over Dawgs Brad McCann went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while Kyle Frank was 3-for-3. Clemson improved to 9-0 at home against the Bulldogs under Jack Leggett and 14-0 at home in 2003.