March 11, 2012
Clemson University Overall Season Record: 6-7 ACC Regular-Season Record: 0-3
Last Week: 1-3 Wed. W, Home vs. Holy Cross, 16-4 Fri. L, Home vs. #6 North Carolina, 4-3 Sat. L, Home vs. #6 North Carolina, 6-3 Sun. L, Home vs. #6 North Carolina, 6-5 (11 innings)
Next Week Wed. Away vs. Western Carolina, 4:00 PM Fri. Home vs. Boston College, 6:30 PM Sat. Home vs. Boston College, 6:30 PM Sun. Home vs. Boston College, 12:00 PM
Last Week’s Game Notes The #19 Clemson Tigers went 1-3 in four games this past week, which included three heartbreaking defeats. The Tigers won a midweek game over Holy Cross (16-4) before suffering a sweep at the hands of #6 North Carolina at home over the weekend.
On the week, the Tigers outscored the opposition 27-20 despite the 1-3 record and batted .290 with a .434 slugging percentage and .406 on-base percentage. They also totaled 13 doubles, one triple, two homers, 22 walks, nine hit-by-pitches, and four stolen bases. Clemson fielded at a .960 clip as well.
Richie Shaffer paced the Tigers at the plate by going 7-for-16 (.438) with three doubles, one triple, five runs, five walks, and a .571 on-base percentage in four games. Jason Stolz was 7-for-17 (.412) with three doubles, one homer, and three runs, while Jon McGibbon added a homer, double, and six RBIs.
The Tiger pitching staff had a 3.79 ERA and .268 opponents’ batting average on the week. The staff also allowed 38 hits and 20 walks with 24 strikeouts in 38.0 innings pitched.
In three relief appearances, Jonathan Meyer pitched 4.2 innings, allowing just two hits, no earned runs, and one walk with three strikeouts.
Shaffer tied a school record with three doubles to lead Clemson to a 16-4 win over Holy Cross at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on March 7. The Tigers scored in seven of the eight innings in which they batted and totaled 16 hits, including seven doubles, 10 walks, and two hit-by-pitches. Phil Pohl went 3-for-3 with two doubles, five RBIs, four runs, and a walk, while McGibbon went 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs. Dominic Attanasio added two hits and three RBIs off the bench. David Haselden pitched 5.0 innings in a starting role and allowed just one run to earn the win.
North Carolina then won three hard-fought games, including two by one run, against Clemson by a combined score of 16-11 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from March 9-11. Despite being swept, Clemson had a higher batting average (.243 to .236) in the series, but the Tigers were just 4-for-31 (.129) with two outs. Stolz was 6-for-13 (.462) with one homer and three doubles in the series. The Clemson pitching staff had a 4.03 ERA and 20 strikeouts against 19 walks. Meyer allowed just one hit and no earned runs in 3.2 innings pitched over two relief appearances.
In game-one on March 9, Michael Morin struck out Pohl with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth inning to lead North Carolina to a 4-3 win over Clemson. The Tar Heels scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 4-1 lead, then the Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. But Clemson stranded a combined seven runners on base in the final three innings without scoring. Morin and two other Tar Heel hurlers combined to allow just three of Clemson’s 14 baserunners to score in the contest. Shaffer went 3-for-4 with a triple and walk for the Tigers, who outhit North Carolina 8-7, but they left 10 runners on base to the Tar Heels’ four.
In game-two on March 10, North Carolina scored three runs in the ninth inning to defeat Clemson 6-3. The Tar Heels scored two runs on bases loaded walks and another on a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning. The Tigers committed four costly errors, including two in the seventh inning that enabled North Carolina to tie the score. Clemson outhit the Tar Heels 8-6, but Tiger pitchers combined for eight walks. Spencer Kieboom and Stolz both went 3-for-4, while Attanasio hit a two-run double. Morin recorded his second save in as many days by retiring three of the four batters he faced.
In game-three on March 11, North Carolina tied the score with three runs in the ninth inning, then scored a run in the 11th inning to down Clemson 6-5. The Tigers held a 5-2 lead entering the top of the ninth, but three straight walks to start the inning and Jacob Stallings’ run-scoring single, the Tar Heels’ only hit of the frame, extended the game. The Tigers left two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth, then Clemson had the bases loaded with one out in the 10th. But North Carolina turned a key double play that allowed Mike Zolk to hit a two-out, run-scoring single in the 11th inning for the win. Stolz hit a homer and double for Clemson, who stranded 15 runners on base in the game.
2012 Season Notes Clemson has a 6-7 overall record and an 0-3 ACC mark on the season. The Tigers will likely drop out of the polls for the first time this season, ending their 13-week streak of being ranked in the top 25 of at least one poll dating to 2011. The Tigers have lost their seven games by a combined 11 runs, which includes five one-run losses and two three-run defeats. Nevertheless, there are reasons for optimism in Tigertown.
Clemson has played arguably the toughest schedule in the nation to date, as nine of its first 13 games were against teams that played in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. UAB, who sports an 11-2 record in 2012 against teams not named Clemson, makes up three of the Tigers’ four games against non-NCAA Tournament teams from 2011. Furthermore, the Tigers’ RPI (according to WarrenNolan.com) is #22, and that does not take into account margin of victory.
The Tigers have been competitive in all 13 games this season. Clemson has won its six games by a combined 28 runs (4.7 runs per win), while it has lost its seven games by a combined 11 runs (1.6 runs per loss). In 2011, the Tigers suffered a sweep at home at the hands of Virginia to open the ACC schedule, which included two one-run losses, but they still went on to make the NCAA Tournament and host a regional.
The Tigers are hitting .272 with a .411 slugging percentage and .374 on-base percentage thanks to 61 walks and 18 hit-by-pitches in 2012. The team has also totaled 26 doubles, two triples, 11 homers, and 10 stolen bases. Clemson is fielding at a .962 clip as well.
Richie Shaffer is hitting a team-best .447 with four homers, seven doubles, one triple, 14 RBIs, 17 runs, 15 walks against only six strikeouts, a .581 on-base percentage, and an .894 slugging percentage. He has reached base in all 13 games this season and 18 games in a row dating to 2011.
Jason Stolz and Phil Pohl are tied for second on the team with .333 batting averages. Stolz has hit safely in each of the last eight games and has an outstanding .970 fielding percentage at shortstop. Pohl has a team-high 17 RBIs along with four doubles and three homers.
The pitching staff has a 3.38 ERA and .275 opponents’ batting average in 120.0 innings pitched this season. It has allowed 126 hits and 47 walks with 99 strikeouts, good for a 2.11 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Kevin Pohle leads the staff with a 1.00 ERA and a 2-0 record in 18.0 innings pitched over four appearances (two starts). Kevin Brady has a 2.53 ERA and 22 strikeouts against only four walks in 21.1 innings pitched over four starts as well.
Clemson will return to action on Wednesday when it travels to Cullowhee, NC to take on Western Carolina. Then over the weekend, Clemson will host Boston College in a three-game series.
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