May 16, 2011

Clemson University Overall Season Record: 36-16 ACC Regular-Season Record: 15-12

Last Week: 4-1 Tue. W, Neutral* vs. Furman, 5-1 Wed. W, Home vs. East Tennessee State, 8-3 Sat. W, Away vs. Virginia Tech, 7-2 (Game 1) Sat. W, Away vs. Virginia Tech, 8-3 (Game 2) Sun. L, Away vs. Virginia Tech, 3-2 * – Greenville, SC (Fluor Field)

Next Week Tue. Home vs. Davidson, 6:30 PM Thu. Away vs. Florida State, 6:00 PM Fri. Away vs. Florida State, 6:00 PM Sat. Away vs. Florida State, 1:00 PM (RSN)

Last Week’s Game Notes Clemson, ranked as high as #16 in the nation, went 4-1 in five games this past week. The Tigers won midweek games over Furman (5-1) and East Tennessee State (8-3) before winning two of three games at Virginia Tech over the weekend.

On the week, the Tigers batted .345 with a .439 slugging percentage and .410 on-base percentage along with 30 runs, seven doubles, three homers, and five stolen bases. The Tigers also had a .978 fielding percentage.

Brad Miller led the Tigers at the plate last week by going 10-for-19 (.526) with one homer, seven RBIs, four runs, and two walks. John Hinson was 11-for-23 (.478) with two doubles, one homer, five RBIs, and five runs, while Will Lamb went 8-for-19 (.421), but his 25-game hitting streak came to an end in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday. It is the fifth-longest hitting streak in school history and the longest by an ACC player in 2011.

The Tiger pitching staff had a 2.05 ERA and .230 opponents’ batting average on the week. The staff also allowed only 37 hits and 15 walks with 41 strikeouts in 44.0 innings pitched. Clemson relievers combined for a 1.23 ERA in 14.2 innings pitched as well.

In two relief appearances, righthander Scott Firth tossed 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing five hits and no walks with five strikeouts. Freshman righty Matt Campbell picked up two saves and did not allow a hit or run in 3.2 innings pitched over two relief appearances.

The Tigers scored all five of their runs on two-out hits in their 5-1 victory over Furman at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC on May 10. Chris Epps’ two-out double scored the first of three runs in the seventh inning to give Clemson the lead for good. Lamb went 3-for-4 with two RBIs to lead the Tigers’ 11-hit attack. Four Tiger pitchers combined to limit Furman to seven hits and one unearned run. The Paladins put 15 batters on base, but Clemson held them to 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 baserunners, including eight in scoring position. Firth pitched 3.0 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win, while Campbell pitched 1.2 hitless and scoreless innings to record his first career save.

Miller went 4-for-4 with three RBIs to lead Clemson to an 8-3 win over East Tennessee State at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on May 11. Miller’s two-run single in the first inning gave Clemson the lead for good, then the Tigers added four runs in the fifth inning. Clemson, who outhit East Tennessee State 14-8, was 5-for-8 with runners in scoring position, while the Buccaneers were 1-for-10 in that situation, as they left 10 runners on base. Hinson went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs, while Phil Pohl went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs. Kevin Pohle pitched 5.0 scoreless innings of three-hit ball to earn the win in his first career start.

Clemson then won two of three games over Virginia Tech by a combined score of 17-8 at English Field on May 14,15. Clemson outhit the Hokies .333 to .237 and totaled 14 walks. Hinson was 7-for-14 with a homer and three RBIs, while Miller was 5-for-12 with a homer and four RBIs. The Tiger pitching staff had a 2.77 ERA and 28 strikeouts against only six walks in 26.0 innings pitched. Clemson relievers combined to pitch 5.2 scoreless innings of two-hit ball with seven strikeouts. The Tigers did not commit an error in the series as well.

In game-one on May 14, which was the first game of a doubleheader, Jeff Schaus was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and reached base in all five of his plate appearances to lead Clemson to a 7-2 win over Virginia Tech. Ahead 3-2, the Tigers scored three runs in the fifth inning to build a comfortable lead. The Tigers outhit the Hokies 14-8, including three hits apiece by Pohl and Lamb. Dominic Leone allowed two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched to earn the win.

In game-two on May 14, which was the second game of a doubleheader, Miller broke a 3-3 tie with a three-run homer in the eighth inning to lift Clemson to an 8-3 victory over Virginia Tech. The Hokies tied the score with a run in the seventh inning, but Clemson worked out of a jam in the frame to keep the score tied. Clemson added two runs in the ninth inning. Hinson went 4-for-5 with a homer, two RBIs, and two runs for the Tigers, who outhit the Hokies 13-6. Joseph Moorefield earned the win in relief, while Campbell recorded the save.

In game-three on May 15, Joe Parsons and Manny Martir combined to allow just two of 14 baserunners to score in Virginia Tech’s 3-2 victory over Clemson. Down 3-1 in the ninth inning, Epps scored and Jon McGibbon advanced to third base on a wild pitch with one out. But Martir retired the next two Tigers without allowing another run. The Tigers totaled seven hits and seven walks, but they were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. Jonathan Meyer pitched his first career complete game and allowed just nine batters to reach base in 8.0 innings pitched.

2011 Season Notes Clemson has a 36-16 overall record and 15-12 ACC mark on the season. Eight of Clemson’s 16 losses have been by one run. Clemson is #9 in the unofficial RPI by and is one of five ACC teams in the top nine of the RPI. The Tigers are also ninth in the nation in scoring margin (+3.2 runs per game).

The Tigers, who have won 22 of their last 26 overall games, are in second place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings behind first-place Florida State, who is 18-9 in the ACC. Clemson has won six weekend series in a row and is in sixth place in the overall ACC standings. Virginia, Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), Florida State, North Carolina, and Clemson have all clinched spots in the 2011 ACC Tournament. N.C. State (12-15), Wake Forest (12-15), and Virginia Tech (10-17) are competing for the final two spots in the ACC Tourney.

The Tigers are hitting .316 with a .444 slugging percentage and .403 on-base percentage thanks to 244 walks and 38 hit-by-pitches in 2011. The team has also totaled 106 doubles, 14 triples, 31 homers, and 92 stolen bases along with hitting .337 with runners in scoring position on the season. Clemson is fielding at a .968 clip as well.

Brad Miller leads the ACC in batting average (.435) by 62 points and on-base percentage (.534) by 64 points along with totaling 10 doubles, three triples, three homers, 42 RBIs, 45 runs, 34 walks, and a team-tying-high 20 stolen bases in 45 games (43 starts). In the last 27 games, he is 51-for-101 (.505) with 34 RBIs.

John Hinson is hitting .320 with six homers, 31 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases.

The pitching staff has a 3.07 ERA and .228 opponents’ batting average in 460.2 innings pitched this season. It has allowed 388 hits and 150 walks with 405 strikeouts, good for a 2.70 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Clemson has also held the opposition to three runs or less in nine straight games.

Justin Sarratt leads the team with a 1.95 ERA along with a team-high six wins. In 64.1 innings pitched over 15 appearances (10 starts), the graduate student has a 6-1 record and has allowed 53 hits (.219 opponents’ batting average) and eight walks against 55 strikeouts. The Tigers have a 10-0 record in his nine starts in 2011. He also had his streak of not allowing an earned run snapped at 27.2 innings pitched on Saturday.

David Haselden is 4-1 with two saves, a 2.35 ERA, and 44 strikeouts against 11 walks in 61.1 innings pitched over 19 appearances (four starts). Jonathan Meyer is 5-2 with one save, a 2.89 ERA, and .212 opponents’ batting average. Dominic Leone is 5-1 with a 3.06 ERA and .193 opponents’ batting average. In Leone’s last five starts, he is 5-0 with a 1.78 ERA and .149 opponents’ batting average. In 29.1 innings pitched over his last four starts, he is 4-0 and has allowed just 13 hits (.131 opponents’ batting average), five runs (1.53 ERA), and eight walks with 35 strikeouts.

Clemson will play four games during its last week of the regular season. The Tigers will play their final regular-season home game against Davidson on Tuesday night before traveling to Tallahassee, FL to take on Florida State in a three-game series from Thursday to Saturday.

Clemson (15-12) and Florida State (18-9) have the same ACC records that they had entering last year’s regular-season-ending series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers went on to sweep the Seminoles and capture the ACC Atlantic Division crown in 2010.

Next weekend, the Seminoles need just one win to capture the 2011 ACC Atlantic Division title. If the Tigers win exactly one or two games and all three games of the series are played, the Tigers will be the #6 seed in the ACC Tournament. Assuming all three games are played in each of the six conference series, the Tigers are eligible to be the #2, #6, or #7 seed in the ACC Tournament depending on next weekend’s results.