May 18, 1998
CLEMSON, SC–Southern California will come to Clemson as the number-one seed for the East Regional of the NCAA baseball tournament, the NCAA committee announced Monday. It will be the first time in history the Trojans have come to Clemson for a baseball game.
Southern California (40-15) is the number-one seed and will meet Fordham, the #6 seed (27-18) in the first game of the event, 11:00 AM on Thursday. Clemson is the #2 seed and enters with a 42-14 record. The Tigers will meet state rival The Citadel (36-22) in the 7:00 PM game on Thursday. Third seed Virginia Commonwealth (44-13) will meet #4 seed South Alabama (39-17) in the 3:00 PM game on Thursday.
The tournament is a double elimination format with games being played at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Clemson’s Tiger Field. There will be a championship game at 2:00 PM on Sunday with another game if necessary at 7:00 PM Sunday evening. The champions will move on to Omaha for the College World Series May 29- June 6.
Clemson and Southern California have met just once in history, a 1-0 Trojan win during a regular season tournament in Chapel Hill, NC in 1990.
This will be the fourth time in the last five years that Clemson has played host to an NCAA Regional. The Tigers have advanced to the College World Series twice in the previous three regionals at Clemson in the decade of the 1990s. Clemson reached the final three in the 1994 East Regional at Clemson, an event won by Auburn. The Tigers defeated Alabama in 1995 and Tennessee in 1996 to advance to Omaha.
Clemson and The Citadel will be meeting for the second time this year. Clemson won 5-0 at Tiger Field on March 25th. Overall, Clemson has a 78-17 advantage in the series that dates to May 19, 1900, a 9-0 Clemson victory at Clemson.
Clemson won the first 25 games of the series behind such coaches as Johen Heisman and Jess Neely. The Citadel’s last victory over Clemson took place in Charleston in 1990, 11-2. The two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament before, a 5-1 Clemson victory in the East Regional at Clemson in 1994, Jack Leggett’s first NCAA Tournament game as Clemson head coach.
The Citadel last defeated Clemson at Tiger Field in 1984, a 7-4 Bulldog victory in the first game of a doubleheader. Clemson won the second game that day, 6-0 on a no-hitter by Scott Parrish. Clemson has not recorded a no-hitter since that victory over The Citadel.
Clemson has a 42-14 record entering the tournament, but the Tigers have lost seven of their last nine games. The Tigers, who are appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the 12th straight year, are led at the plate by catcher Brian Ellis, who has a .400 average and a team best .564 on-base percentage. Matt Padgett is Clemson’s top power hitter with a .384 average and 14 home runs and 57 RBIs.
All-ACC relief pitcher Scott Clackum is Clemson’s top pitcher with a 7-0 mark, a 1.10 ERA and nine saves. Jack Leggett will start one of three pitchers, Brian Adams, Ryan Mottl or Matt White. Adams is 6-1 this year, including the victory over The Citadle on March 25th. Mottl is 9-4 overall with a 5.07 ERA, while White is 4-2 with a 5.22 ERA.
The Citadel is coming off a Southern Conference Tournament Championship. They have a 36-22 record and a team batting average of .307. The top Citadel player is Brian Rogers, who is slated to start against Clemson on Thursday. He has a 7-5 record with a 3.57 ERA. The junior from Carthage, NC has an incredible 150 strikeouts in just 113 innings. Rodney Hancock has a 9-2 mark and a 3.02 ERA.
The top Bulldog hitter is Terrence Smalls, a senior from Holly Hill, SC who has a .377 batting average. Stuart Jordan, a freshman from Marietta, GA, has a .376 average. Phillip Hartig, a freshman from Asheville, leads the team in home runs with 17.
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