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Feb. 27, 2011

Clemson University Overall Season Record: 5-1 ACC Regular-Season Record: 0-0

Last Week: 3-0 Fri. W, Home vs. Cincinnati, 15-4 Sat. W, Home vs. Charleston Southern, 19-1 Sun. W, Neutral* vs. Michigan State, 8-0 * – Greenville, SC (Fluor Field)

Next Week Wed. Home vs. Wofford, 4:00 PM Fri. Away vs. South Carolina, 7:00 PM Sat. Neutral* vs. South Carolina, 4:00 PM Sun. Home vs. South Carolina, 2:00 PM (CSS) * – Greenville, SC (Fluor Field)

Notes Clemson, ranked as high as #5 in the nation, went 3-0 against three different opponents in the First Pitch Invitational from February 25-27. The Tigers outscored Cincinnati, Charleston Southern, and Michigan State by a combined score of 42-5 and hit .405 while holding their opponents to a .160 batting average. Clemson also had a .507 on-base percentage and 10 steals. Chris Epps went 6-for-10 with six runs and four steals, while Spencer Kieboom also went 6-for-10 with three runs. Richie Shaffer went 3-for-6 with a homer, four RBIs, eight runs, and six walks. The Tiger pitching staff had a 1.33 ERA and 23 strikeouts against five walks.

In the first game against Cincinnati at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on February 25, Clemson totaled 15 hits and 12 walks in its 15-4 victory. The Tigers scored in each of the first seven innings, including five runs in the second inning and four runs in the seventh inning. Kieboom went 3-for-4 to lead Clemson’s 15-hit attack. Brad Miller, John Hinson, and Scott Weismann retired the first 10 Bearcats in the game and earned the win. He allowed three hits and two runs with four strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched.

In the second game against Charleston Southern at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on February 26, Clemson totaled 18 hits in its 19-1 victory. The Tigers scored at least two runs in each of the first five innings. A total of 12 Tigers had at least one hit, 11 scored at least one run, and 10 had at least one RBI. Epps went 3-for-3 with a triple, three runs, and two RBIs, while John Hinson went 2-for-4 with a grand slam and five RBIs. Starter Justin Sarratt combined to limit the Buccaneers to just four hits, including none after the third inning.

In the third game against Michigan State at Greenville, SC on February 27, three Tiger pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts in Clemson’s 8-0 win. In 7.0 innings pitched, Will Lamb, and Alex Frederick combined to allow four hits and no walks while facing just two batters over the minimum. Only two batters reached second base, both on doubles, and none advanced past second base as well. Jason Stolz led Clemson’s 12-hit attack by going 3-for-4 with a double, two runs, two RBIs, and one of the Tigers’ four steals in the game.

Clemson improved to 5-1 on the season with the three wins this past week and has won four games in a row. The Tigers are hitting .373 with 67 runs (11.2 per game), a .522 slugging percentage, .489 on-base percentage thanks to 48 walks against only 25 strikeouts, and 18 stolen bases. The team is fielding at a .972 clip as well.

Kieboom continues to lead Clemson at the plate with a .579 batting average along with leading the team in hits (11) and RBIs (10). Kieboom is the only Tiger to hit safely in all six games in 2011 and has yet to allow a stolen base in one attempt this season. Stolz is hitting .438 with three steals, while Pohl is also hitting .438. Kieboom (.577), Miller (.571), Stolz (.571), and Epps (.536) all have on-base percentages over .500 as well.

Freshmen Jon Surber, and Steve Wilkerson have also made positive contributions off the bench this season.

The pitching staff has a 2.50 ERA and .195 opponents’ batting average in 54.0 innings pitched this season. It has allowed 38 hits and 11 walks with 49 strikeouts, good for a 4.45 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The staff has combined to allow just five hits in 57 at-bats with two outs, good for an .088 opponents’ batting average in that situation.

Brady had his second straight stellar start on Sunday and is 2-0 with an 0.73 ERA on the season. In 12.1 innings pitched over two starts, he has allowed just six hits (.140 opponents’ batting average), one run, and one walk with 19 strikeouts. David Haselden is 1-0 with an 0.90 ERA in 10.0 innings pitched over three appearances (one start), while Weismann is 2-0 in two starts.

With Clemson’s win on Friday, Jack Leggett moved into sole possession of 20th place in the all-time wins list by a head coach at a Division I school. He now has 1,151 career victories in 32 seasons and needs just 10 wins to tie the late Bill Wilhelm and two other coaches for 15th place on the list.

Clemson will return to action on Wednesday when it hosts Wofford at 4:00 PM. Then the Tigers will play South Carolina three times at three different sites over the weekend. On Friday, the two teams will meet at Carolina Stadium in Columbia at 7:00 PM. On Saturday, the teams will face off at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC at 4:00 PM. Then on Sunday, the two teams will play for the final time during the regular season at Doug Kingsmore Stadium at 2:00 PM. The Sunday game will be televised by CSS.