May 24, 2009
Clemson University Overall Season Record: 40-19 ACC Regular-Season Record: 19-11
Last Week: 1-2 Thu. L, Neutral* vs. #15 Virginia, 6-5 Fri. L, Neutral* vs. Duke, 10-4 Sat. W, Neutral* vs. #4 North Carolina, 4-3 (11 Innings) * – ACC Tournament at Durham (NC) Bulls Athletic Park
Next Week TBA
Notes Clemson, ranked as high as #13 in the nation, went 1-2 in the ACC Tournament at Durham (NC) Bulls Athletic Park from May 21-23. Mike Freeman went 7-for-15 (.467) with a homer, two RBIs, and four runs, while Wilson Boyd went 6-for-13 (.462) with five RBIs in the tournament. In two relief appearances, Matt Vaughn pitched 5.1 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and one walk with two strikeouts.
In the Tigers’ first game of the ACC Tournament on May 21, relievers Andrew Carraway and Kevin Arico combined to limit the Tigers to one hit and no runs in the final 5.1 innings pitched to lead #15 Virginia to a 6-5 victory over Clemson. The Tigers took a 4-0 lead with three runs in the third inning, but the Cavaliers chipped away with two runs in the fourth inning and four runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-5 lead. The Tiger bats were quiet the rest of the game thanks to the Cavalier bullpen. Virginia outhit the Tigers 10-7, as Boyd led Clemson by going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Vaughn pitched 4.0 scoreless innings of two-hit ball in relief to keep the Tigers in the game.
In the Tigers’ second game of the ACC Tournament on May 22, Duke broke a close game open with six runs in the sixth inning on its way to a 10-4 victory over Clemson. Ahead 2-1, the Blue Devils used five hits and two walks to score six runs in the sixth and break the game open. Jake Lemmerman and Nate Freiman both went 3-for-4 with a home run to lead the Blue Devils’ 11-hit attack. The Tigers also tallied 11 hits, but they were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base while Duke only left four runners on base. Starter Andrew Wolcott pitched 7.1 effective innings to earn the victory. Boyd went 2-for-3 with an RBI to pace Clemson.
In the Tigers’ third game of the ACC Tournament on May 23, Boyd’s walkoff single with two outs in the 11th inning lifted Clemson to a 4-3 win over #4 North Carolina. The Tar Heels tied the score in the ninth with a run and had scoring chances in the 10th and 11th innings, but each time Clemson worked out of trouble. Freeman, who earlier homered and had four hits, hit a one-out single in the 11th and moved to third on the play on an error. After two intentional walks and a strikeout, Boyd belted a 3-2 pitch off the wall in left for the walkoff win. Starter Casey Harman pitched 7.1 innings, allowing just two runs and one walk with 10 strikeouts, while Graham Stoneburner earned the win.
The Tigers sport a 40-19 overall record and 19-11 ACC mark on the season. The Tigers finished the regular season second in the ACC Atlantic Division standings and third in the overall standings behind Florida State (19-9) and North Carolina (19-10). In fact, Clemson tied for the most ACC wins this year. Clemson also has a 27-8 home record, 10-9 road record, and 3-2 neutral-site mark.
The Tigers have won eight of their last 11 games, 12 of their last 16 games, and 15 of their last 20 games. As of Saturday night, the Tigers were #7 in the nation in the unofficial RPI according to WarrenNolan.com.
On the season, Clemson is hitting .301 with a .452 slugging percentage and .390 on-base percentage in 59 games. Ben Paulsen is hitting a team-best .368 with 16 doubles, four triples, 11 homers, and 55 RBIs, while Boyd is hitting .348 with 12 doubles, three triples, three homers, 41 RBIs, and 24 walks against only 12 strikeouts in 155 at-bats. Boyd is riding a current 10-game hitting streak, tied for the longest by a Tiger in 2009. During his streak, he is 22-for-39 (.564) with five doubles, two triples, 13 RBIs, and eight runs. Jeff Schaus is hitting .329 with 12 doubles, one triple, 11 homers, 43 RBIs, a .431 on-base percentage thanks to 38 walks against only 22 strikeouts, and nine stolen bases. Kyle Parker has added a team-high 12 homers and 50 RBIs as well.
The pitching staff has a 3.68 ERA and .253 opponents’ batting average along with 494 strikeouts against 182 walks in 533.1 innings pitched this season. The Tigers are fielding at a .967 clip as well.
Stoneburner is 6-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 65 strikeouts against only 17 walks in 57.1 innings pitched over 18 appearances (seven starts). Harman is 7-3 with a 3.86 ERA and 77 strikeouts against only 12 walks in 20 appearances (11 starts). Scott Weismann is 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 28.2 innings pitched over 16 appearances (two starts), while Vaughn is 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA and four saves in 19 relief appearances.
Clemson will await word from the NCAA Baseball committee on the 16 NCAA Regional host sites on Sunday at approximately 3:30 PM on the BottomLine of the ESPN networks and online at NCAA.com. Then on Monday at 12:30 PM, the 64-team field will be announced on ESPN.
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