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March 4, 2012

Clemson University Overall Season Record: 5-4 ACC Regular-Season Record: 0-0

Last Week: 1-2 Fri. L, Neutral* vs. #2 South Carolina, 3-2 (11 Innings) Sat. L, Away vs. #2 South Carolina, 9-6 Sun. W, Home vs. #2 South Carolina, 6-5 * – Charleston, SC

Next Week Wed. Home vs. Holy Cross, 4:00 PM Fri. Home vs. North Carolina, 4:00 PM Sat. Home vs. North Carolina, 2:00 PM Sun. Home vs. North Carolina, 1:00 PM

Last Week’s Game Notes Clemson, ranked as high as #15 in the nation, won one of three games against #2 South Carolina at three different sites from March 2-4. The Gamecocks, who outscored the Tigers 17-14, outhit Clemson .255 to .226. Richie Shaffer, who received the Bob Bradley Award as Clemson’s MVP of the series, was 6-for-9 with two homers, four RBIs, six runs, and six walks. The Tiger pitching staff had a 3.86 ERA and 30 strikeouts against 11 walks in the series as well.

In game-one at Charleston, SC on March 2, Evan Marzilli’s diving catch with two outs and the potential tying run on third base in the 11th inning preserved South Carolina’s 3-2 win over Clemson. The Gamecocks scored two runs on two, two-out singles in the top of the 11th inning, then a pair of South Carolina errors helped the Tigers score a run in the bottom of the 11th inning before Marzilli’s game-ending catch. Shaffer went 2-for-2 with a double, two runs, and three walks. Matt Campbell tossed 3.1 scoreless innings in relief of one-hit ball with three strikeouts.

In game-two at Columbia, SC on March 3, Adam Matthews’ three-run homer in the third inning highlighted South Carolina’s 11-hit attack in its 9-6 win over Clemson. Jason Stolz’s two-out, two-run single in the top of the second inning gave Clemson the lead, but the Gamecocks scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning and three more on Matthews’ long ball in the third. Evan Beal pitched 4.0 effective innings in relief to stymie Tiger batters and earn the win. Shaffer went 2-for-5 with a homer, double, three RBIs, and two runs to lead Clemson, who had eight hits in the contest.

In game-three at Clemson, SC on March 4, Steve Wilkerson lined a walkoff single to left-center in the ninth inning to score Jon McGibbon and give Clemson a 6-5 win over South Carolina. The Gamecocks scored four unearned runs in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead. With South Carolina ahead 5-3, Phil Pohl belted a two-run homer in the eighth inning to tie the score. In the ninth inning, McGibbon led off with a single and advanced to second on Thomas Brittle’s sacrifice bunt before Wilkerson’s walkoff single. Shaffer went 2-for-2 with a homer and three walks to lead Clemson, who outhit South Carolina 12-9. Scott Firth pitched 4.0 strong innings in relief to earn the win.

2012 Season Notes Clemson has a 5-4 overall record and an 0-0 ACC mark on the season. Its four losses have been by a combined six runs, including three one-run defeats.

The Tigers have been very resilient of late. In each of their last three wins (two over Maine and one over South Carolina), they have trailed by four runs or more.

The Tigers are hitting .263 with a .399 slugging percentage and .358 on-base percentage thanks to 39 walks and nine hit-by-pitches in 2012. The team has also totaled 13 doubles, one triple, nine homers, and six stolen bases. Clemson is fielding at a .964 clip as well.

Richie Shaffer is among the ACC leaders in batting average (.452) and has totaled four homers, four doubles, 12 RBIs, 12 runs, 10 walks, a .585 on-base percentage, and a .968 slugging percentage in nine games. Phil Pohl is batting .371 with three homers, two doubles, 12 RBIs, nine runs, and a .463 on-base percentage, while Steve Wilkerson is hitting .367 with a team-high two steals. Spencer Kieboom, Clemson’s starting catcher, suffered an arm injury on Friday and did not play during the rest of the weekend. The Tigers hope to get him back in the lineup during the upcoming week.

The pitching staff has a 3.18 ERA and .278 opponents’ batting average in 82.0 innings pitched this season. It has allowed 88 hits and 27 walks with 75 strikeouts, good for a 2.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Kevin Pohle is 2-0 and has yet to allow an earned run in 12.0 innings pitched over three appearances (one start) this season. Kevin Brady has a 1.13 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 16.0 innings pitched.

Clemson will return to action on Wednesday when it hosts Holy Cross for the first time since the 1958 College World Series. Then over the weekend, North Carolina will visit Tigertown for a three-game series in both team’s first ACC series of the season.