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Baseball Prepares to Win Some More

April 6, 1998

The Schedule

Tuesday, April 7 Furman at Clemson 7:00 PM

Wednesday, April 8 Charleston Southern at Clemson 7:00 PM

* – to be broadcast on Clemson radio network

Furman Quick Facts 1998 Record: Head Coach: Ron Smith Series Record: Clemson leads 124-53-4

Clemson Versus Georgia Tech Games Added To TV

The Clemson at Georgia Tech games on May 4 and May 5 have been added by Fox Sports South to its television lineup. Both games are scheduled to start at 7:00 PM.

The Tigers will also be on Fox Sports South on April 26 against Florida State. The game will begin at 1:00 PM, but the game will be tape delayed on TV beginning at 4:00 PM on the same day. Also, the Clemson at North Carolina game on May 10 will be televised by Fox Sports South at 4:00 PM.

Tigers Probable Positionm StartersPos #   Player              B-T Cl.     G-GS    Avg.    HR  RBIC   41  Brian Ellis         L-R *So.    23-18   .431    1   18 or 15  Derek Borgert       R-R *Jr.    31-20   .274    2   91B  25  Jason Harris        L-L Jr.     36-36   .400    7   402B  18  Kurt Bultmann       R-R Jr.     35-35   .329    10  39SS  4   Doug Roper          S-R *So.    35-35   .345    2   283B  11  Justin Singleton    L-R Fr.     26-15   .380    3   18 or 8   Brian Holstad       R-R *So.    31-19   .266    1   10LF  9   Peter Nystrom       R-R Fr.     35-32   .365    5   34CF  24  Patrick Boyd        S-R Fr.     36-36   .366    7   41RF  22  Matt Padgett        L-R Jr.     35-35   .424    8   34DH  1   Henri Stanley       L-L So.     33-20   .315    2   11 or 20  Paul Stryhas        R-R Jr.     20-6    .379    0   11

Tigers Probable Pitching Starters # Player Cl. W-L G-S ERA IP BB SO 37 Brian Adams, LHP So. 4-0 9-5 2.31 39.0 14 25 39 Matt White, LHP Jr. 1-2 9-6 6.03 34.1 16 31

Tigers Go 2-1 Against Virginia In Charlottesville After taking games against ACC foes Georgia and South Carolina, Clemson traveled to Virginia and won two of three games. Clemson’s offense scored 30 runs and Tiger pitchers struck out 28 batters against only three walks in the series.

In game one, Clemson won once again in late innings when first baseman Hunter Wyant’s errant throw on an attempted sacrifice bunt allowed Casey Stone and Justin Singleton to score and give Clemson a 9-7 victory at Virginia on Apr. 3. Both runs in the ninth were unearned. Tiger closer Scott Clackum (5-0) pitched the final 2.1 innings, allowing only one hit while striking out five Cavalier batters. Clemson had a 7-2 lead when Virginia scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, capped by E.J. Anderson’s three-run homer on a Mike Paradis 3-0 pitch, to tie the game at 7-7. Patrick Boyd led the Tiger hitting attack with four hits in six at bats. Peter Nystrom and Derek Borgert also added home runs. Starter Paradis went 6.2 innings, allowing nine hits, five runs, and a walk, while striking out three batters.

Game two, Virginia rallied once again, this time from a 6-2 deficit to defeat Clemson 7-6 on Saturday, Apr. 4. Tim LaVigne’s two-run homer off starter Ryan Mottl (7-1) tied the game in the eighth inning, and Jon Kemmerer’s RBI single put the Wahoos ahead for good later in the same frame. Mottl went 7.2 innings, allowing 12 hits and seven runs, but struck out 12 batters while walking none. Brian Holstad and Paul Stryhas had two hits apiece to pace the Tigers at the plate. Clemson rallied in the ninth, but with two walks and a hit, but left runners at first and second as Patrick Boyd struck out to end the game. All told, Clemson left 13 runners on base.

In game three, Clemson jumped out to a 7-0 lead and added eight more runs in the eighth inning to take the rubber game 15-6 against Virginia on Sunday, Apr. 5. Donovan Harrison (4-1) relieved starter Skip Browning and pitched five innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs while striking out six against no walks to earn the victory. Seven different Tigers had multi-hit games. Jason Harris and Doug Roper had three hits apiece in the game. Harris had a double, triple, three runs, and two RBIs. Also, four other Tigers had two RBIs. Clemson also had six doubles and a triple on the day. Clemson improved its overall record to 31-5 and 7-2 in the ACC.

Roper’s Homer Lifts Tigers Over USC in Columbia Doug Roper hit a game-winning two-run homer down the right field line in the top of the ninth to propel Clemson to a 6-4 victory over eighth-ranked South Carolina at Sarge Frye Field on Apr. 1. The homer was only Roper’s second of his career and came off USC closer Jason Pomar, who entered the game allowing only one earned run in more than 24 innings pitched. The home run also came when he was 7 for his last 40 (.175) at the plate. Kurt Bultmann and Peter Nystrom also added homers for Clemson.

Starter Matt White had a strong outing, going 7.1 innings and allowing four runs. Closer Scott Clackum (4-0) picked up the win in relief by pitching the final 1.2 innings and getting Ryan Bordenick to groundout with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to end the game. With the win, Clemson improves its record against SEC teams in 1998 to 3-0 (Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina).

Tigers Rally To Down Dawgs In 10 Innings Clemson rallied from a 4-2 deficit to defeat Georgia 5-4 in 10 innings at Tiger Field on Mar. 31. Georgia took a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning on back-to-back homers by Andy Osbolt and Aaron Anthony, and a run-scoring triple by Kevin Hall, but would not manage another baserunner over the next four-plus innings. Matt Additon (1-0) relieved starter Brian Adams after Hall’s triple and retired all 13 batters he faced. The Tigers tied the game in the eighth inning on Matt Padgett’s two-run double just inside the left field line. Padgett continued his torrid hitting with his 17th hit in his last 28 at bats over the last seven games. Then Clemson won the game in the 10th inning. Jason Harris reached on a single. After two walks by Georgia reliever Josh Jerkins (1-1), one of which was intentional, sophomore Henri Stanley singled up the middle with no outs to bring in the winning run. Clemson won its sixth one-run game in seven tries.

Tigers Take Two Of Three Against Wake Forest Clemson took two of three games against Wake Forest on Mar. 27-29 at Tiger Field.

In game one, Clemson sophomore Ryan Mottl (7-0) pitched eight innings, allowing six hits and two runs while striking out eight, as the Tigers downed Wake Forest 10-2 on Mar. 27 at Tiger Field. Mottl also won his 11th consecutive decision dating back to last season. Matt Padgett led the Tiger hitters with two more hits in three at bats. The only out recorded against the junior came when centerfielder Scott Daeley reached over the fence to deny Padgett his second homer of the game. Jason Harris also added two hits in three at bats, and Kurt Bultmann and Brian Holstad had homers on the evening as well.

Game two featured many lead changes as Clemson eventually downed Wake Forest 6-5 on Mar. 28. Down two runs entering the bottom of the eighth, Clemson scored two runs. Justin Singleton and Doug Roper had RBI singles to give Clemson the lead. Senior Scott Clackum (3-0) pitched two perfect innings to earn the victory. Demon Deacon pitcher Mike MacDougal (4-2) suffered the loss. Matt Padgett had two hits on the day, giving him four straight games with at least two hits. Patrick Boyd also added three hits on the evening. Wake Forest had taken the lead in the top of the eighth when Scott Clackum’s balked a run home.

In game three, Demon Deacon lefthander John Hendricks (6-2) pitched a complete game to lead Wake Forest over Clemson 8-2 on Mar. 29. Hendricks allowed only six hits and two unearned runs as he was able to strand 14 Tiger baserunners on the day. Wake Forest only left two men on base. A pair of four-run innings keyed the Demon Deacon win. Skip Browning (5-1) suffered the loss as he pitched six innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs.

Tigers Triumph Over The Citadel Behind Brian Adams Sophomore lefthander Brian Adams (4-0) won in his third consecutive start as Clemson blanked The Citadel 5-0 Mar. 25 at Tiger Field. Adams pitched 7.2 shutout innings, allowing only five hits and two walks while striking out six. Adams lowered his team best ERA to 1.62. Senior closer Scott Clackum wrapped up the game by finishing the eighth and ninth innings.

Right-fielder Matt Padgett added three hits and an RBI to lead the Tiger hitters. Over the Sunday game and The Citadel game, Padgett had a streak of seven straight at bats with a base-hit. Peter Nystrom added an RBI triple.

Leggett Reaches 600-Win Mark Head Coach Jack Leggett is only in his 19th season as a head coach and has already reached the 600-win mark in his coaching career when Clemson defeated his alma mater Maine in the second game of a doubleheader on Mar. 14. He has a career record of 611-364 (.627) in five seasons at Vermont, nine at Western Carolina, and more than four seasons at Clemson.

Leggett has also amassed a 234-77 (.752) record while at Clemson, including each of the first three seasons that saw him win 50 or more games.

Odds And Ends

* Freshman Justin Singleton has 18 RBIs, 16 runs scored, three homers, and two triples in only 50 at bats this season.

* In ACC games, Clemson is 26-28 on stolen bases while its opponents are just 2-5.

* Tiger pitchers struck out 41 batters and walked only eight in five games last week against Georgia, #8 South Carolina, and Virginia.

* 13 different Tigers have homered this season.

* Of Justin Hyde’s 13 hits, he has six doubles, a triple, and a homer.

* First baseman Jason Harris has not committed error in 341 chances.

* Only four times this season has a Tiger had four or more hits in a game, despite the team .349 batting average.

* Scott Clackum has given up one or more runs only once in his 15 appearances this season. Also, the senior has only allowed one baserunner in 5.1 innings pitched in ACC games.

* Clemson has outscored its opponents 63-11 in third innings, 54-13 in fifth innings, and 60-16 in sixth innings of games this season.

* Clemson has already stolen more bases (68) through 36 games in 1998 than it did in all of 1997 (51) in 64 games.

* Brian Ellis has thrown out seven of 13 potential base stealers this season.

* The Tigers are 7-0 in night games this season.

* The Tiger defense has only committed five errors in the last 10 games.

Clemson Running More in ’98 Clemson has stolen 68 bases and been thrown out only 14 times this season. Four Tigers have already reached double figures in stolen bases. Doug Roper (14-16), Brian Holstad (13-17) Jason Harris (12-13), and Patrick Boyd (11-12) have all stolen 11-plus bases and have combined to steal 50 bases in 58 attempts. In ACC play, Clemson is 26-28 on the basepaths as well, while its opponents have only stolen two bases in five attempts through nine ACC games. The Tigers stole only 51 bases in all of 1997. The Tiger and ACC record for steals in a season is 188 set by the 1988 Clemson team.

Newcomers Provide Strong Offensive Effort The one question mark entering the 1998 season for Clemson was its ability to put runs on the board. That question has been answered emphatically thanks to many Tiger newcomers who have replaced the five graduating position starters from 1997. Clemson’s 10 newcomers in the field have combined to hit .368 (207-for-563). Those players have also stolen 28 bases in 30 attempts, and scored 172 of the 355 runs (48.5 %).

Consistency A Key To Tigers’ Success Clemson is averaging 9.9 runs per game in 1998 and doing so without great individual game performances, but rather a group effort. Twelve of the 14 Tigers with at least 25 at bats are batting .315 or better. Also, only four times this season has a player had four or more hits in a game.

On the mound, all 12 pitchers have under a 7.00 ERA and have at least four appearances.

Big Innings Clemson has scored at least 11 runs in an inning an amazing five times in 1998. The Tigers scored 12 runs in the third inning against UNC Wilmington on Feb. 28 in the 19-6 win. Clemson scored 11 runs in the fifth inning against Stetson on Mar. 6 in the 22-4 victory. Clemson then had double-digit scoring innings twice in the same day. In game one of a doubleheader against Maine on Mar. 14, Clemson scored 12 in the fifth inning en route to the 18-2 win. Then in game two, Clemson scored 14 runs in the sixth inning to overcome a 11-4 deficit to win 19-11. Clemson topped the 14-run inning with a Clemson record 19-run third inning against Maryland on Mar. 21. The run total was also the most runs in a third inning in NCAA history.

In the third, fifth, and sixth innings, Clemson has outscored its opponents 177-40 (63-11 in third, 54-13 in fifth, and 60-16 in sixth).

The offense has also been scoring runs at a record pace. The Tigers have scored 355 runs in 36 games, or 9.9 runs per game. The team record for runs in a season is 698 by the 1991 team. That team averaged 9.97 runs per game.

Defense Strong In ’98 Despite losing five of the eight position starters from a year ago, Clemson’s team fielding percentage has been outstanding this season. The Tigers’ .968 team fielding percentage leads the ACC and is ahead of the Clemson single-season best of .9671 figure that the 1976 team had. The defense has only committed 46 errors through 36 games, including five of which that were credited to Clemson catchers because of catcher’s interference. When the defense has not committed an error in a game, the Tigers are 9-0 this season. First baseman Jason Harris has also not committed an error in 341 chances in ’98. The Tigers have also had many error free games recently, committing only five errors in the last 10 games.

Tigers Finding A Way To Get On Base Clemson has an amazing team on base percentage of .457 this season. The key to this stat is that Clemson has walked 246 times and hit by pitch 24 times. That means that 7.5 times per game a batter reaches base via a walk in addition to Clemson’s 12.2 hits per game. Matt Pagdett, Brian Ellis, Justin Singleton, and Paul Stryhas all have on base percentages of .500 or better.

Clemson Shining Under The Lights Clemson is a perfect 7-0 in night games in 1998. This is a vast improvement from the ’97 team that finished the season 13-14 under the lights.

Tigers 3-0 Against SEC In ’98 Clemson is 3-0 versus the Southeastern Conference this season. The three wins came against #10 Auburn (9-4 score) in the Olive Garden Classic in Kissimmee, FL on Feb. 8, Georgia (5-4 score in 10 innings) at Tiger Field on Mar. 31, and at #8 South Carolina (6-4 score) on Apr. 1.

Under Head Coach Jack Leggett, Clemson has also been successful against the SEC. Leggett’s record against the SEC as the Tigers’ skipper is 32-13, including 14 of which are against ranked teams. Leggett also has at least a .500 record against all six SEC schools he has faced while at Clemson. Below is a list of Leggett’s record at Clemson against each of the six SEC member schools he has faced:

SEC Leggett's Record    WinningOpponent    at Clemson  PercentageAlabama         2-0     1.000Auburn          1-1     .500Georgia         6-3     .667Kentucky        3-0     1.000South Carolina  11-6    .647Tennessee       9-3     .750Totals          32-13   .711

Padgett Providing Powerful Punch Junior Matt Padgett has steadily raised his batting average from his freshman season as he is hitting a team best .424 in 1998. He entered the ’98 season hitting a career .278 in 109 games. The Lexington, SC native has 56 hits in 132 at bats, and has eight homers and 34 RBIs in 35 games. Padgett has also hit safely in 18 of the last 20 games. During the 20 game stretch, he is hitting .468 (36-for-77), including 27 runs scored and 27 RBIs.

He also had a streak against Maryland (3/22) and The Citadel (3/25) where he had a hit in seven consecutive at bats, just two short of the Clemson record. In the Maryland game on Mar. 22, he had a five hits in six at bats. The five hits was a team-high for the season. And in the last 11 games Padgett is 23-for-44 (.523) with 14 runs scored and 14 RBIs. Included in the 10 games was one game where he went hitless in four at bats. Padgett has also been strong against lefthanders, batting .390 against southpaws.

Clackum Saving And Winning As The Tiger Closer Senior submariner Scott Clackum has been closing games for Clemson since the 1997 season. This season, he has topped his ’97 ERA of 1.93 with an 0.87 ERA in 15 relief appearances. He has six saves and a 5-0 record in 20.2 innings pitched. Clackum entered the South Carolina game on Apr. 1 and Virginia game on Apr. 3 and picked up wins. He also has 21 strikeouts against only four walks, and has only allowed two runs, both coming on a Tony Gsell (Old Dominion, Feb. 21) home run. That homer is also the only extra base hit he has allowed in 20.2 innings. Opposing batters are also only hitting .157, including righthanded hitters batting only .118 against the righthander. Clackum has also a streak of 17.1 innings without allowing a run.

Clackum has 10 career saves, which puts him in fifth place in the Clemson record chart. He needs five more saves to move into third place in the record book.

Brian Adams Providing Strong Outings As Starter Entering the 1998 season, lefthanded sophomore pitcher Brian Adams had not started a game on the mound as a Tiger. But if his last four starts are any indication, Adams will see a lot more time opening games for Clemson. In his last four starts, Adams has pitched 27.2 innings, allowing only 20 hits, six runs, and seven walks while picking up three wins. He has lowered his ERA to a team best 2.31 figure given a minimum of 30 innings pitched. Opponents are only hitting .215 against him, including lefthanded batters only hitting only .121. Adams has a twin brother on the Tiger pitching staff. Unlike Brian, Darren throws from the right side and red-shirted the 1997 season. Darren has pitched 4.0 innings in ’98 in four relief appearances.

Mottl Repeating All-ACC Campaign Of 1997 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. In the game against the Seahawks, he allowed just six hits and one walk, while striking out six.

For the season, Mottl is 7-1 with a 4.12 ERA in nine starts. He won his last four decisions of ’97 and won his first seven decisions of ’98, therefore he won 11 decisions in a row. Mottl also has 67 strikeouts against only 13 walks for a 5.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Also, in the last four starts, Mottl has struck out 40 while walking only five batters. Mottl was a First-Team All-ACC starting pitcher as a freshman, and was the first freshman Tiger pitcher to ever accomplish that feat.

Boyd Garners ACC Honor March 9 Freshman Patrick Boyd was tabbed as the ACC Player-of-the-Week on March 9. He led Clemson to a 4-1 record for the week and hit .474 (9-for-19). The Palm Harbor native also was responsible for 14 runs in the five games, scoring nine runs and batting in five.

Boyd Stellar As True Freshman After starting the season 3-for-25 (.120), freshman Patrick Boyd has risen his batting average to .366. He is also hitting 50-for-120 (.417) over the last 29 games. As the everyday centerfielder, Boyd has started all 36 games, while scoring 46 runs. He has hit seven home runs, a triple, and seven doubles as well. Boyd has also hit safely in 18 of the last 19 games and now has a team best 41 RBIs this season.

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.

Freshman Nystrom An Instant Hit Peter Nystrom has made an instant impact on the Tiger offense as the starting left-fielder. The freshman from Dunedin, FL is hitting .365 with nine doubles, two triples, five home runs, and 34 RBIs in only 104 at bats. He has also walked 24 times and has an on base percentage of .496, which means he is reaching base almost half the time he makes a trip to the plate. Nystrom has played in 35 of the Tigers’ 36 games, starting 32 in left-field.

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 9-for-28 (.321) on the season, including two doubles, a triple, and nine RBIs at first and third base. Calitri had an outstanding game in the second game of a doubleheader against Maine on Mar. 14 when he had a double, triple, and four RBIs.

Roper Comes Back Strong After missing all but one game of the 1997 season, redshirt sophomore shortstop Doug Roper has started 1998 in fine fashion. The Vidalia, GA native has 39 hits in 113 at bats for a .345 batting average. Ironically, the slick-fielding shortstop bats in the ninth-spot in the lineup. He also has a team best 14 stolen bases. Roper was a career 5-for-47 (.106) entering the ’98 season.

Roper had one of his best moments as a Tiger when he homered down the right field line in the top of the ninth inning to defeat South Carolina 6-4 in Columbia on Apr. 1, 1998. He also hit the homer off star closer Jason Pomar, who had only given up one earned run in over 20 innings pitched up to that point. The homer was only the second of his career.

Harris Impressive As Tigers’ First Baseman Junior Jason Harris is hitting .400 as the Tigers’ everyday first baseman. He has seven homers in his first season wearing the orange and white. He also leads the squad with 40 RBIs and has a team best 48 runs scored. The Brevard College transfer also has 12 stolen bases in 13 attempts. And he has not committed an error in 341 chances.

Harris’ production is magnified by the fact that the left-handed hitter is hitting .371 against lefties. Harris has also hit safely in 20 of the last 23 games. He also has 18 multi-hit games, and has a team-best 13 multi-RBI games. Harris’ 19 two-out RBIs is also best on the team.

Bultmann Picks Up Where He Left Off Kurt Bultmann is coming of the 1997 season that saw him set 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 .329 with 12 doubles, a triple, 10 home runs, and 39 RBIs in starting 35 of the 36 games at second base. His fielding percentage has also been a bright spot this season. He has committed only five errors in 140 chances for a .964 fielding percentage. 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 53 career doubles, which puts ties him for ninth place all time in the Clemson record books. 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.  Kurt Bultmann (1996-present)    53    Brian Kowitz (1988-90)          5311. Mike Milchin (1987-89)          51    Robert Bonnette (1976-79)       5113. Steve Baucom (1984-87)          49    Jeff Miller (1990-93)           4915. Matthew LeCroy (1995-97)        48

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.

ACC Coaches Pick Clemson To Finish Second1.  Florida State (3)   732.  Clemson (2)         70    Georgia Tech (3)    704.  N.C. State          455.  Wake Forest (1)     446.  Duke                387.  North Carolina      318.  Virginia            239.  Maryland            11