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Baseball Travels to Georgia Tuesday

March 29, 1999

CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson (14-11, 2-3 ACC) and Georgia (14-12, 2-6 SEC) square off on Tuesday at 7:00 in Athens, GA in the second of two meetings between the rival schools. The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 17-5 on Mar. 23 at Tiger Field. The Bulldogs lead the series105-85-2 (.552) in the series dating back to 1900 but Clemson leads 8-3 in the last six seasons (or under Head Coach Jack Leggett). The Tigers downed Georgia 9-2 in Athens last season. Clemson’s probable starting pitcher will be sophomore lefty Mike Proto (0-0, 7.02 ERA) on the mound while Georgia will start one of two freshman righthanders in Brandon Moorhead (1-1, 5.79 ERA) or Rob Moravek (2-1, 3.72 ERA). If Proto starts, it will be the first of his career.

1999 Clemson Baseball Promotional Dates

Date     Day    Opponent         Time       Promotion(s) Apr. 17  Sat.    Duke            7 p.m.     *Family Night Apr. 18  Sun.    Duke            2 p.m.     #Senior Citizens Special Apr. 21  Wed.    South Carolina  7:15 p.m.  Secretaries Day SpecialApr. 25  Sun.    Georgia Tech    2 p.m.     +Purple DaySpecial/#Senior Citizens Special May 2   Sun.    Virginia (DH)    12 noon    #Senior Citizens Special May 9   Sun.    North Carolina   4 p.m.     #Senior Citizens Special * - bring whole family for $5 with coupon in the Journal/Tribune or The Messenger + - wear purple shirt or jacket receive $3 off adult admission # - present AARP card and receive free admission  - secretaries/administrative assistants receive free admission when    accompanied by a supervisor or employer who is paying full admission      price 

Clemson-Miami (FL) Time Changes The Clemson vs. Miami (FL) game time on Saturday, Apr. 3 has been changed. The game will start at 3:00 PM. The Sunday game was also moved to 3:00, but due to Miami (FL) travel plans, the game is now scheduled for 1:00. The two teams will matchup at the home of the AAA Charlotte Knights (Knights Stadium) in Fort Mill, SC on Apr. 2-4. The games will be considered neutral games for both teams. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1996, when Miami (FL) defeated the Tigers twice in the College World Series.

Tigers On The Road A Lot Lately The Tigers are in the middle of a 21 game stretch in which 16 games are away from home. The Tigers lost two games at East Carolina, who is currently ranked #24 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball poll, and three games at Wake Forest, who has been ranked in or near the top 25 all season. In upcoming weekend series, the Tigers will play annual powerhouses Miami (FL) and Florida State on the road. Both programs have a history of College World Series appearances and have both been ranked in the top 10 all season. Florida State has been ranked #1 in almost every poll as well. The Tigers final road game of the stretch is at arch-rival South Carolina, who has also been ranked many times this season. Therefore of the 16 games, 12 are against teams that have been ranked so far in 1999.

The Tigers will come home for a 15-game homestand after the South Carolina game, including four straight home weekends against ACC teams after playing their first three ACC series on the road. Clemson is 10-3 at home and 4-8 away from home in ’99.

Wake Forest Sweeps Tigers Clemson dropped three games at the hands of Wake Forest from Mar. 26-28 in Winston-Salem, NC by scores of 5-1, 11-6, and 10-2. Demon Deacon pitchers shut down the potent Tiger hitting attack all weekend, limiting Clemson to just nine runs. The Tigers also left more men on base in each of the three games and hit just .179 with runners in scoring position while the Demon Deacons hit .364 with runners in scoring position in the series.

In game one, Mike MacDougal (6-1) held Clemson to a season low in runs in the Demon Deacons 5-1 on Mar. 26. He allowed just one run on five hits and six walks over 8.0 innings. Ryan Mottl (2-2) suffered the loss despite allowing four runs in 7.0 innings for the Tigers (14-9, 2-1). Danny Borrell led Wake Forest (17-6, 4-2) at the plate with three hits, including two homers, and three RBIs in three at bats.

Game two saw the Tigers (14-10, 2-2) claw back from a 6-2 deficit only to fall 11-6 to Wake Forest (18-6, 5-2) on Mar. 27. Jeff Kane’s clutch two-run double followed by Brian Holstad’s squeeze bunt tied the game at 6-6. But Wake Forest responded with five runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by Jon Palmieri’s three-run homer, to put the game away. Palmieri ended the day with three hits and six RBIs. Brian Adams (2-3) suffered the loss in relief.

In game three, Eric Schmitt (3-1) allowed just one earned run in 7.0 innings as Wake Forest (19-6, 6-2) finished off the three-game sweep with a 10-2 win over the Tigers (14-11, 2-3) on Mar. 28. Steve Reba (2-2) took the loss. The Demon Deacons scored in six of the eight innings in which they batted and came up with big plays in the field. Jason Harris led the Tigers with three hits in three at bats.

Walking and Running Clemson has an outstanding team on base percentage of .438 and has stolen 53 bases through 25 games of 1999. The .438 on base percentage is aided by a team batting average of .305, but moreso by its 200 walks. That averages to be 8.0 walks per game. Add that to the Tigers 10.6 hits per game and 17 hit-by-pitches, the Tigers are averaging 19.3 baserunners per game. Henr Stanley leads the team with 34 walks and Brian Ellis is second with 26 walks. Ellis set the Tiger single-season record for walks per at bat in ’98 and both he and Stanley are on pace to break that mark again in ’99. Freshman outfielder Kyle Frank also has walked 19 times in just 45 at bats, well ahead of the record. Although he is hitting just .222, he has a .453 on base percentage. In three games against George Mason (Mar. 12-13), the Tigers walked 41 times and had a team on base percentage of .553.

Stealing bases has also been a success this year as the Tigers have stolen 53 bases in 65 attempts. Clemson has stole at least one base in 23 of the 25 games this season. Jason Harris leads the team with 11 steals and Stanley is second with nine.

Tigers Off To Fast Starts In First Innings The Tigers have not had a problem in ’99 getting early leads, as they hold a 40-9 advantage in scoring in first innings of games. Clemson has scored in the first inning in 18 of the 25 games this year, including 15 of the last 19 games. The Tigers have scored 242 runs in the first 25 games of ’99, an average of 9.7 runs per game. Below is a list of inning-by-inning scoring:

Team         1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  Ex  Total CLEMSON     40  29  19  22  50  30  22  25   3   2   242 Opponents    9  22  23  12  37  15  18  26  13   3   178 

Clemson’s Poll Streak Ends At 146 Weeks Clemson was ranked in at least one of the major College Baseball polls for 146 straight polls until March 8, 1999. Clemson, who lost six of next eight games after starting the season 4-0, was also ranked in the top 10 by one of the polls in 82 of the 146 polls (56.2%). The last time the Tigers were unranked was in the final poll of the 1990 season. Over the 146-game stretch that lasted over eight seasons, the Tigers had a record of 407-138 (.747).

Freshman Khalil Greene Tigers’ Top Hitter This fall, Jack Leggett said that freshman Khalil (pronounced kuh-LEEL) Greene was the Tigers’ most consistent hitter. The Key West, FL native has down nothing to disprove Leggett, as he is hitting a team-best .382 with four homers and 25 RBIs in 25 games as the everyday third baseman. Greene shined in the UNLV/Coors Desert Classic from Feb. 25-28, hitting .458 with two homers (one of which was an inside-the-park homer) and five RBIs in five games. He also hit two homers in the first game of a doubleheader against George Mason on Mar. 13. Greene is vying to become the top freshman hitter in Tiger history in terms of batting average. The record is .391 by Billy McMillon (1991).

Bultmann Moving Up In Tiger Charts Senior second baseman Kurt Bultmann gets the most out of his 5′-8″ frame. He showed he belonged when he hit .471 in the College World Series as a freshman after hitting just .243 in the first 41 games of his career. Then he hit a school record 31 doubles and 48 extra base hits as a sophomore. Now he is rising to the top of the Tiger career doubles and home run lists. The Seminole, FL native has 73 career doubles, good for second place, and 35 career home runs, tied for fifth best. The 73 doubles is also approching the ACC record of 82 held by Yellow Jacket Jason Varitek (1991-94). He had one of his best games against #24 Washington on Feb. 25 when he was 3-for-5 with two homers (grand slam and three-run) and eight RBIs. He also has shown why Baseball America listed him as the best defensive second baseman in the ACC. Bultmann went 29 consecutive games (dating back to last season) without committing an error (127 chances) before his streak ended on Feb. 26 at UNLV. He has started a new streak and has not committed an error in his last 66 chances over 13 games. Bultmann has seen his fielding percentage rise to .966 in ’99. He is a career .393 hitter (22-for-56) in NCAA Tournament play as well. All this for a player who was all but resigned to attending junior college out of high school. Below is a list where Bultmann ranks in the all-time Tiger doubles list:

Clemson Career DOUBLE Leaders

Rk. Name            (Years)        Doubles 1.  Gary Burnham   (1994-97)         77 2.  Kurt Bultmann  (1996-present)    73 3.  Bert Heffernan (1985-88)         63 4.  Chuck Baldwin  (1984-87)         62 5.  Shane Monahan  (1993-95)         60 

Bultmann has returned to his form of ’97 as he is hitting .343 with 14 doubles, a triple, four homers, 31 RBIs, and three stolen bases in 25 games. Ironically, the righthanded hitter is hitting twice as good against righthanders as he is lefthanders (.422 vs. .211) this season.

Stanley Making The Rounds Junior outfielder Henr Stanley knows the importance of a leadoff hitter getting base as evidenced by his .558 on base percentage. He is hitting .369 but the reason for his outstanding on base percentage is his 34 walks. He took over the centerfield position at the beginning of the season when Patrick Boyd went down with an injury but has since moved back to left with the return of Boyd. Along with his .369 batting average, the Columbia, SC native has three homers, 33 runs scored, 27 RBIs, and is 9-10 on stolen bases in 25 games this season. The lefthanded hitter also is hitting .355 against lefthanders, .432 with runners in scoring position, and is 4-for-5 with the bases loaded.

Stanley had one of his best games in the UNLV/Coors Desert Classic finale when he was 4-for-4 with a homer, double, three runs scored, four RBIs, and two stolen bases to lead the Tigers to a 13-10 come-from-behind win over Creighton (Feb. 28). He also had three hits (including a home run), four runs scored, and three RBIs in the second game of a doubleheader against George Mason on Mar. 13.

Paradis Found Junior righthander Mike Paradis has been one of the bright spots on the Tiger pitching staff so far this season. Control problems plagued the fireballer in his first two seasons, but he has had command of all his pitches in ’99. The Auburn, MA native is 3-0 with a team-best 2.41 ERA and opponent batting average of .229, including .205 against left-handed batters, in six starts. The key to his success has been his ability to key the ball down in the strike zone as he has thrown 53 ground-ball outs compared to just 16 fly-ball outs. He also has struck out 39 batters compared to just 12 walks. In all six of his starts he has gone at least 5.0 innings and in five of the six he has allowed either zero, one, two earned runs. Baseball America rated Paradis as the #7 prospect in the ACC and #42 college prospect for the 1999 Major League Draft. Paradis was a seventh-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics out of high school.

LeCroy Solid At The Plate And In The Field Junior shortstop Bradley LeCroy (Walhalla, SC) has emerged as one of the Tigers clutch hitters. LeCroy (no relation to former Tiger great Matthew LeCroy) is hitting .357 in 56 at bats with two homers, seven doubles, and 19 RBIs in 20 games. He is also 15 for his last 38 (.395) with 16 RBIs over 12 games. He is hitting .364 against righthanders and is hitting .500 with runners in scoring position. LeCroy, a righthanded hitter, has been platooning with switch-hitter Doug Roper at shortstop but has recently been starting against righthanders. His defense has also been outstanding, as he has committed just four errors in ’99 and has a respectable .943 fielding percentage.

Borgert Drives In Nine RBIs In One Game Entering the second game of a doubleheader against George Mason on Mar. 13, fifth-year senior catcher Derek Borgert (Greenwood, SC) had four hits and four RBIs in 21 at bats in ’99. But that all changed when Borgert exploded with four hits and nine RBIs in one game. The nine RBIs, which all came after two outs, is the most by a Tiger since Jerry Brooks’ 10 against UNC Charlotte in 1988. Borgert doubled to right field in the first inning to bring home two runs. In the second inning, he hit an opposite-field grand slam off the right field foul pole. The only time he was retired came in the fourth inning when he laced a line-drive that was caught by the right fielder. In the fifth inining, Borgert singled with the bases loaded bringing home two more runs. He drove in his ninth run of the game with a run-scoring single in the sixth inning. He also walked in his final plate appearance in the eighth inning. Ironically, Brian Ellis, who caught in the first game of the doubleheader, had a double, homer, two hits, and four RBIs meaning Tiger catchers totaled six hits, two homers, two doubles, and 13 RBIs in one day. Not a bad days work for an unheralded position.

Borgert has been one of the top Tiger hitters in recent weeks raising his average to .311. He also leads the team with a .524 average with runners in scoring position and has 16 RBIs in just 45 at bats. Borgert has taken on double duty recently due to a foot injury to catcher Brian Ellis.

Leggett 34-13 Against SEC Teams While At Clemson In six seasons under Head Coach Jack Leggett, Clemson has had tremendous success against the Southeastern Conference. Leggett’s record against the SEC as the Tigers’ skipper is 34-13, including 14 wins against top-25 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    Winning Opponent            at Clemson     Percentage Alabama                 2-0          1.000 Auburn                  1-1           .500 Georgia                 8-3           .727 Kentucky                3-0          1.000 South Carolina         11-6           .647 Tennessee               9-3           .750 Totals                34-13           .723 

1999 Preseason Honors

Clemson #21 recruiting class by Collegiate Baseball

#24 Patrick Boyd

#1 college prospect for 2000 Major League Draft by BaseballAmerica First-Team All-American by Baseball America ACCPlayer-of-the-Year by Baseball America Best defensive outfielder inthe ACC by Baseball America First-Team All-ACC by Baseball America

#18 Kurt Bultmann

Best defensive second baseman in the ACC by Baseball AmericaFirst-Team All-ACC by Baseball America

#27 Ryan Mottl

#29 college prospect for ’99 Major League Draft by BaseballAmerica #3 prospect in ACC for ’99 Major League Draft by BaseballAmerica

#30 Mike Paradis

#42 college prospect for ’99 Major League Draft by BaseballAmerica #7 prospect in ACC for ’99 Major League Draft by BaseballAmerica

Clemson’s 246 Wins Since ’94 Fifth 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 246 games (excluding ’99) for an average of over 49 per season. Leggett has led Clemson to three 50-win seasons and two appearances in the College World Series in five seasons. Included in that total is 61 wins over top 25 team and a 33-13 record against the SEC.

Renovations To Tiger Field Planned Early in the next century, Tiger Field will undergo a face-lift at the entrance of the stadium. A brick facade with a wrought iron fence will be constructed behind the north entrance to create a fan-friendly pavilion and a more asthetically-pleasing look. There are also plans to refurbish the press box and to build a visitors’ lockerroom. The plans are still in the conceptual design phase and have not been finalized.

Clemson also has plans to renovate Littlejohn Coliseum (basketball) and Memorial Stadium (football), and plans to build a new indoor track and field facility along with a practice golf range. The improvements to Littlejohn include a new sound system, restrooms, concessions area, and reformatted seating along with a new practice facility located where the driveway to the tunnel currently lays. Memorial Stadium will add a year-round restaurant along with cosmetic improvements to include new lockerrooms, concession areas, and restrooms. The new indoor track will also house an indoor practice field for football, soccer, and baseball. Tiger Pride is the capital campaign established to raise money for the cost of all renovations, which is an estimated $30-million, and is expected to take five years to complete.