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Baseball Play Host to Elon Wednesday

Baseball Play Host to Elon Wednesday

May 7, 2003

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Clemson (33-14), ranked as high as #14, will play host to Elon (28-20-2) Wednesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The game will start at 7:15 PM, 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 on Clemson’s website.

The two teams have met just three times (all at Clemson), with Elon winning twice. In 1920, Elon defeated the Tigers 6-3. The two teams did not meet again until 80 years later, as Clemson came away with a 17-5 victory in 2000. Last season, Elon upset the top-ranked Tigers 8-6. Head Coach Zane Green and Russell Triplett were both 2-for-3 in last year’s game. Jeff Hahn also did not allow an earned run in 5.1 innings pitched in relief last year.

Elon will start junior lefthander Brian Hensen on the mound. Hensen (3-2, 4.43 ERA) is a native of Clemson and attended nearby Daniel High School. He has struck out 47 against only 16 walks in 63.0 innings pitched. He has also yet to allow a homer. Clemson will counter with freshman righthander Brett Murphy (1-0, 2.19 ERA). Murphy will be making his first start Wednesday. The Oviedo, FL native has made 11 relief appearances for a total of 12.1 innings pitched this season. He has also allowed just one extra base hit and is holding opponents to a .222 batting average.

Elon enters Wednesday’s contest hitting .259 as a team, led by Brian Ingram’s .322 average. Ingram also has a team-high seven homers and 47 RBIs to go along with an outstanding .468 on-base percentage thanks to 49 walks. The Phoenix has stolen 94 bases in 119 attempts, led by Evan Tartaglia’s 31. Elon is coming off a 4-1 win over Campbell Tuesday. Earlier in the season, Elon defeated #7 Wake Forest 4-1 and #22 North Carolina 5-4. Elon is 9-16 in away games, has a .954 fielding percentage, and a 4.09 team ERA as well.

Clemson is coming off two wins in three games over Duke from Sunday to Tuesday. Zane Green .346 average. Clemson is hitting .313 as a team to go along with a 4.01 ERA. Clemson is also fielding at a .971 clip and is 25-3 at home this year.

Clemson Take Series Over Duke Clemson won two of three games against Duke at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from May 4-6. The Tigers hit .357 in the series and held Duke to a .250 batting average. David Slevin and Kyle Frank each added six hits apiece. The Tigers outscored the Blue Devils by a combined total of 26-15 in the three games.

In game one, David Slevin had three hits apiece to pace the Tiger hitters.

In game two, Clemson rallied in the eighth with four runs to tie the score, but Duke scored a run in the ninth and won 7-6. The Tigers, who had not hit a homer in the series, hit three home runs in the eighth inning to knot the score at 6-6. Russell Triplett, Frank, and Slevin hit the homers. But Murray’s single to the right side plated the winning run. Duke built the four-run lead in the eighth thanks to a three-run triple to center by Stanley that Frank slipped on the wet grass on a routine play. Patrick Hogan did not factor in the decision and struck out a career-high 10 batters in 8.0 innings, also tying a career high. Triplett and Frank each had three hits to lead the Tigers.

In game three, Clemson exploded for 13 runs on 17 hits in a 13-2 series-clinching win over the Blue Devils. Zane Green chipped in with two doubles and a single along with three runs scored. Steven Jackson pitched 7.0 shutout innings to earn the win. The junior righty allowed just four hits and two walks in tying his career-long outing. Both of Duke’s runs were unearned.

Tigers #5 in Latest RPI The only rating system the NCAA uses to determine selections and seedings is the RPI, or the Ratings Percentage Index. Although the NCAA does not release its official RPI, Boyd Nation has come up with an RPI index that is all but the same as the official RPI. He uses numbers from previous seasons to verify his formulas.

In the May 5 release, his RPI index has Clemson #5, despite the Tigers only being ranked as high as #14 in the polls. Clemson can thank a brutal non-conference schedule for its high RPI ranking. The RPI only counts games against Division I teams and is for games through May 4.

The Atlantic Coast Conference is rated as the top conference in the unofficial RPI, one point ahead of the SEC. The ACC, which was the #1 conference a season ago, sports six of the top 18 teams in the RPI, including #1 Florida State, #5 Clemson, #6 Georgia Tech, #12 N.C. State, #17 Virginia, and #18 North Carolina.

Boyd Nation's Unofficial RPI By Team    Rk      Team                W-L     Rating    1.      Florida State       40-8    .663    2.      Auburn              34-14   .653    3.      Miami (FL)          32-11   .637    4.      Rice                40-7    .635    5.      Clemson             32-13   .631    6.      Georgia Tech        32-13   .628    7.      Stanford            31-14   .627    8.      Louisiana State     32-16   .625    9.      Cal. State-Fullerton  38-11   .624    10.     Texas               37-14   .620

Boyd Nation’s Unofficial RPI By Conference Rk Conference W-L Rating 1. Atlantic Coast 262-154 .587 2. Southeastern 348-218 .586 3. Big XII 281-193 .577 4. Pacific 10 241-178 .552 5. Sun Belt 235-184 .545

Ranking Clemson’s Opponents By RPI Rk Team *GP *W-L ^W-L Rating 1. Florida State 3 1-2 40-8 .663 2. Auburn 3 1-2 34-14 .653 6. Georgia Tech 3 3-0 32-13 .628 12. N.C. State 3 1-2 38-12 .616 15. Coastal Carolina 2 1-1 37-12 .602 17. Virginia 3 2-1 26-18 .599 38. South Carolina 4 3-1 32-17 .576 40. Georgia 2 1-1 26-22 .573 48. Western Carolina 2 1-1 34-14 .560 73. Winthrop 1 1-0 30-17 .541 102. Georgia Southern 2 2-0 28-18 .524 133. Maryland 3 1-2 18-29 .508 136. College of Charleston 2 2-0 27-21 .502 142. Old Dominion 3 3-0 16-28 .498 155. Tennessee Tech 2 2-0 22-20 .491 173. Maine 3 3-0 29-12 .481 182. Duke 1 1-0 15-29 .473 193. Charleston Southern 1 1-0 16-31 .469 215. East Tennessee State 1 1-0 14-30 .450 260. Wofford 1 1-0 8-35 .405 * – head-to-head and through May 4; ^ – overall; Note: There are 287 schools that play Division I baseball.

Pitchers Dominating at Home In 28 home games this season, the Tiger hurlers have combined for a 2.79 team ERA to lead Clemson to a 25-3 record. In 255.0 innings pitched, Clemson pitchers have allowed just 79 earned runs, 89 walks, and 206 hits while striking out 219. The pitchers have combined to hold opponents to a .219 batting average as well. Offensively, Clemson is hitting .335 at home.

Tigers Sport Consistent Lineup Clemson has a good team batting average of .313, but no player is hitting above .346. The six Tigers with at least 130 at bats are all hitting between .335 and .346, which means many different players have come through in the clutch. Clemson has not had to depend on a certain player to come through every time.

Four Tigers Above .384 in ACC Competition Clemson’s three middle infielders, Russell Triplett (SS) along with first baseman Michael Johnson are all hitting over .385 or better in ACC play this season. Slevin is hitting .420, Demmink is hitting .400, Johnson is hitting .394, and Triplett is hitting .385. Demmink, a freshman, has provided a spark from the leadoff spot of late, as he has a .489 on-base percentage in ACC play. As a team, Clemson is out-hitting its ACC opponents .325 to .280, a margin of 45 points.

Frank to Graduate Friday Kyle Frank, a fifth-year senior, will receive is undergraduate degree Friday, May 9 at Littlejohn Coliseum. He will receive his degree in computer information systems.

Jackson Shows Good Action at Home Junior righthander Steven Jackson has all the makings of being a high draft pick. And this year, he is living up to his potential, especially at home. The hurler who has been clocked in the mid-90s this season has a 7-2 record overall, but a 6-0 record and 2.01 ERA at home in seven starts. He is also holding opponents to a .208 batting average at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. He has picked up wins in six of his last seven starts and is 7-1 since is his first start of the year at #16 Auburn. Jackson has a 15-4 career record in three seasons.

Johnson Second in Career Homers at Clemson Senior first baseman Jeff Baker, who own the Tiger career record with 59.

Career Home Runs By a Tiger     Rk      Player           Years   HR      1.      Jeff Baker      2000-02 59      2.      Michael Johnson 2000-03 56      3.      Matthew LeCroy  1995-97 53      4.      Jim McCollom    1982-85 52              Khalil Greene   1999-02 52      6.      Eric Macrina    1988-91 51      7.      Jim Crowley     1988-91 43              Kurt Bultmann   1996-99 43      9.      Joe DeBerry     1989-91 35              Keith Williams  1991-93 35