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Clemson Baseball Weekly Notes

March 19, 2000

CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson swept Maryland from Mar. 17-18 in each team’s ACC opening games of 2000. Clemson won by scores of 8-6, 9-3, and 11-2. Clemson hit .320 in the series and allowed just three Terrapin extra base hits, all doubles by Craig Munroe. Clemson improved to 42-1 all-time against Maryland at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Michael Johnson had five RBIs and Clemson held on despite a furious Maryland rally to down the Terrapins 8-6 in game one. Johnson hit a bases-clearing triple in the third inning as part of five Tiger runs in the third. Clemson added three more runs in the seventh, two coming on a towering homer by Johnson. Maryland plated four runs in the ninth, but Scott Glaser closed the door with his eighth save. Scott Berney allowed five hits, two runs, and no walks while striking out seven in 8.0 innings to pick up his sixth win in as many starts.

The two teams played a doubleheader on Mar. 18 due to the threat of rain on Sunday. Clemson won both games by scores of 9-3 and 11-2, improving to 42-1 all-time against Maryland at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

In the first of two games, Mike Calitri went 3-for-4 with five RBIs, including a bases clearing double in the second inning, to lead Clemson to a 9-3 win. Jarrod Schmidt allowed six hits and two earned runs in 7.0 innings to pick up the win. All nine Tiger starters had at least one hit.

In the second game, Clemson scored six runs in the fifth inning on its way to an 11-2 victory. Jeff Baker went 3-for-5 with four RBIs to pace the Tiger hitting attack. Kevin Lynn relieved Ryan Mottl, who was forced to leave after getting hit by a batted ball, to earn his first career win by pitching 1.2 scoreless innings. The Terrapins had 12 hits, but left 13 runners on base.

49ers to Take on Tigers Wednesday Night Clemson (19-3) takes on UNC Charlotte (15-9) in a mid-week game Wednesday night at 7:15 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. A detailed game preview will follow later in the week.

Tigers 17-2 on Homestand Clemson, who is in the midst of a 23-game homestand, is 17-2 in the 19 games. Clemson will face UNC Charlotte on Wednesday and The Citadel three times this weekend. Clemson will play a single game at Georgia on Mar. 29 and then travel to Chapel Hill for three games from March 31 to April 2. Then Clemson will have an 11-game homestand. Clemson has not been on the road since the ACC Disney Blast in late January.

Pitchers Clutch in the Clutch No matter what a team’s ERA, opponent batting average, walk-strikeout ratio, etc., is, a sign of a great pitching staff is how it comes through in pressure situations. The Tiger pitching staff has done a tremendous job in those situations with its team .148 opponent batting average with the bases loaded and .154 opponent batting average with two outs. Opponents are also hitting just .212 with runners in scoring position.

Trio 2000 It’s no secret what has been the key to Clemson’s early success…starting pitching. The weekend rotation of Scott Berney, Ryan Mottl, and Jarrod Schmidt, all righthanders, has a combined record of 13-0 and 1.13 ERA in 111.2 innings. They have also allowed just 72 hits, 27 walks, and no home runs while striking out 85. All three have opponent batting averages below .200 as well.

In 1996, a different trio led Clemson to heights unseen. Kris Benson, Billy Koch, and Ken Vining led Clemson to its best College World Series finish in history in ’96. That trio had a combined 34-10 record along with a 2.63 ERA, 491 strikeouts, and 12 complete games in an unimaginable 382.2 innings. Although none of the 2000 pitchers will be drafted as high as Benson and Koch (#1 and #4 overall, respectively), the trio can more than hold its own in terms of consistency and the ability to push each other.

Do It All Schmidt Freshman Jarrod Schmidt came to Clemson with accolades such as First-Team All-American and Georgia Gatorade Player-of-the-Year out of Lassiter High School in Marietta, GA. And early on in 2000, he started at first base and outfield. But when the Tigers got into the rigorous college baseball schedule, Schmidt added another position to his repetoire…pitcher.

Schmidt, who was “Mr. Do It All at Lassiter”, has done the same at Clemson. Unlike many schools, very few times in recent years has a pitcher played in the field and vice versa. But Schmidt is bucking that tradition as he has solidified himself as a weekend starter in Clemson’s rotation. He made his debut on the mound against Old Dominion on Feb. 19 and allowed just one run and four hits in 5.0 innings. In his next two starts, he allowed just two earned runs combined in 12.1 innings. Schmidt finally earned his first win against Ohio on Mar. 11 in a relief role. He did not allow a run and only three hits in 4.1 innings against the Bobcats. Overall, Schmidt has a 1.55 ERA and a .198 opponent batting average in 29.0 innings.

Despite struggling at the plate in the early going (.180 batting average), Jack Leggett foresees a bright future for Schmidt, and not just on the mound. Schmidt has shown the ability to play catcher along with first base and outfield. Schmidt can also hit for power, and with more consistency, could find a spot in the middle of the Tiger lineup in the future. Expect to see Schmidt in the next few years…all over the field.

Riley Solidifying Tiger Infield Junior college transfer Ryan Riley was the last player to sign in Clemson’s #1-rated recruiting class last summer. Riley, teammate of Tiger closer Nick Glaser and coached by Hank King at Edmonds CC, actually did not enroll until the second semester. He did not play in any of the ACC Disney Blast games to open the season. But he has found his way into the everyday lineup as the starting second baseman thanks to his perfect fielding record in 2000. In 75 chances, the Seattle, WA native has not committed an error and has made many spectacular plays. He has been a main reason Clemson’s sports an impressive .973 team fielding percentage. Riley possesses outstanding range, quick release, and a strong arm. Although he is only hitting .231, he brings leadership to an infield that has only one starter from a season ago.

Going Back to Cally Junior first baseman and co-captain Mike Calitri never complains and is a consummate team player. He capitalizes on every chance he gets to make an appearance. In 22 at bats in 2000, “Cal” has eight hits, six runs scored, two doubles, a homer, and 10 RBIs. The Canton, MA native started the first game of the season at second base, an odd spot for the lanky 6-3 ballplayer. He is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team reach its goals. So when Calitri saw his playing time diminish in recent weeks, he did not complain. He then started the last two games of the Maryland series on Mar. 18 and shined. In the first game, he went 3-for-4 with a three-run double and two-run single for a total of five RBIs. In past years, Calitri has stepped up when called upon, including getting a clutch pinch-hit in a game at #2 Texas A&M in the 1999 Super Regional. It’s refreshing to know that Clemson will always have a leader to turn to who will step up when called upon.

Greene Shining at Hot Corner Sophomore third baseman Khalil Greene is the only starter in the infield that started in ’99. The Key West, FL native struggled defensively as a freshman, but in 2000, he has made many diving stops and made tough plays look routine. He has a canny ability to position himself during a short-hop. He has committed just three errors for a .949 fielding percentage after his .881 fielding percentage (23 errors) as a freshman. He has been a main reason the Tigers have a .973 team fielding percentage. At the plate, Greene is hitting .325 with a homer and 18 RBIs. Greene set the Clemson freshman record last season with 98 hits.

Clemson Offers Promotional Ticket Discounts to Fans This year, Clemson offers special promotional considerations to select fans. Clemson offers a Businessperson Special on all weekday day games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, where any fan who presents his/her business card will receive free admission. All Sunday home games are Senior Citizens’ Day, where any fan who presents his/her AARP card will receive free admission. Also on Sundays, all youngsters are invited on the field during the national anthem to stand next to their favorite Clemson player. Ticket prices for home games are $5 for adults and $2 for students. Clemson students who present their student ID will receive free admission.