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Clemson Baseball Weekly Wrapup

April 12, 2010

Clemson University Overall Season Record: 23-10 ACC Regular-Season Record: 10-5

Last Week: 3-2 Tue. W, Away vs. Georgia, 15-5 Wed. W, Home vs. Georgia, 14-6 Fri. L, Away vs. Duke, 10-9 Sat. W, Away vs. Duke, 11-5 (11 Innings) Sun. L, Away vs. Duke, 7-2

Next Week Wed. Home vs. Western Carolina, 6:30 PM Fri. Away vs. Georgia Tech, 7:00 PM Sat. Away vs. Georgia Tech, 1:00 PM (RSN TV) Sun. Away vs. Georgia Tech, 1:00 PM

Notes The #11 Clemson Tigers went 3-2 in five games this past week. The Tigers swept Georgia in a home-and-home midweek series, then Duke took two of three games over the Tigers in Durham over the weekend.

Clemson won both games of a home-and-home midweek series against Georgia by a combined score of 29-11 on April 6,7. Clemson outhit the Bulldogs .400 to .264 and totaled 28 hits, 14 walks, a .494 on-base percentage, and five steals along with going 15-for-25 (.600) with runners in scoring position. John Hinson went 5-for-8 (.625) with two homers, eight RBIs, five runs, one walk, and two steals, while Mike Freeman totaled five hits, two doubles, six RBIs, and three runs.

In game-one on April 6, Hinson went 2-for-3 with a grand slam and five RBIs to lead Clemson to a 15-5 win over Georgia at Foley Field. Hinson’s first career grand slam in the eighth inning put the game out of reach. The Tigers scored three runs in the first inning and six runs in the second inning to take a 9-0 lead and never looked back. Jeff Schaus went 2-for-4 with a double, three RBIs, three runs, and two walks to lead Clemson’s 15-hit attack. Starter Dominic Leone pitched 6.0 strong innings of four-hit ball with seven strikeouts to earn the win.

In game-two on April 7, Freeman went 3-for-5 with six RBIs against his former team to lead Clemson to a 14-6 win over Georgia at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Georgia jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but Clemson scored three runs in the third, four runs in the fourth, five runs in the fifth, and two runs in the sixth to pull away. The Tigers, who had 13 hits, were led at the plate by three players with three hits apiece. Hinson went 3-for-5 with a homer, three RBIs, and three runs, while Will Lamb went 3-for-3 with a triple, three RBIs, and two runs.

Duke won two of three games over Clemson at Durham Bulls Athletic Park from April 9-11. Both teams scored 22 runs in the series, while the Tigers put 60 batters on base and Duke put 44 batters on base. Duke outhit the Tigers .317 to .295, while Clemson had a .421 on-base percentage thanks to 21 walks and five hit-by-pitches. But Clemson left 31 runners on base to Duke’s 14 in the series. Hinson led Clemson by going 8-for-16 with three doubles and four RBIs, while Schaus added a homer, double, and five RBIs.

In game-one on April 9, Duke scored five runs in the eighth inning and held on for a 10-9 win over Clemson. The back-and-forth game saw the Blue Devils score four runs in the third to take a 4-3 lead, then the Tigers held an 8-5 lead entering the bottom of the eighth inning. But Duke scored five runs in the eighth, including four with two outs, and Clemson struck out twice with runners on second and third in the ninth to end the game. Hinson went 4-for-5, while John Nester and Kyle Parker both hit three-run homers. Both teams had 12 hits, while Duke was 6-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

In game-two on April 10, Clemson scored six runs in the 11th inning to defeat Duke 11-5. Will Currier’s grand slam in the sixth inning erased the Tigers’ 3-0 lead, but Clemson scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to tie the score. Duke scored a run in the bottom of the ninth, but Clemson worked out of jams in the ninth and 10th inning to stay alive. In the 11th, Clemson took advantage of a costly Duke error and scored six runs on only two hits, including two-run hits by Schaus and Hinson. Tomas Cruz allowed just one run in 4.0 innings pitched to earn the win and Clemson overcame 16 runners left on base, including 12 left in scoring position.

In game-three on April 11, freshman righthander Chase Bebout pitched 7.1 strong innings to lead Duke to a 7-2 win over Clemson. Currier hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Duke never gave up the lead. Both teams put 14 batters on base, but Clemson was 0-for-7 with two outs. Freeman had a team-high two hits and a double to lead Clemson, who totaled nine hits and five walks in the game. Duke turned three key double plays as well.

During the week, the Tigers hit .335 with a .495 slugging percentage, .450 on-base percentage, 51 runs, 12 doubles, one triple, five homers, 35 walks, seven hit-by-pitches, and nine stolen bases. The pitching staff had a 6.60 ERA and .295 opponents’ batting average along with 32 strikeouts against 14 walks in 45.0 innings pitched.

For the second week in a row, Hinson led the Tigers at the plate. He went 13-for-24 (.542) with two homers, three doubles, 12 RBIs, seven runs, one walk against only one strikeout, two steals, and did not commit an error in 15 chances in the field. Epps was 5-for-13 (.385) with seven runs, eight walks, two hit-by-pitches, and a .652 on-base percentage. Schaus added nine hits, including a homer and two doubles, eight RBIs, and eight runs.

In two relief appearances during the week, Cruz allowed just one run and no walks with three strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched in two Tiger victories.

On the season, the Tigers sport a 23-10 overall record, including an 18-4 home record, 4-5 road mark, and 1-1 neutral-site record. The Tigers, who are 10-5 in the ACC, are tied for the ACC Atlantic Division lead with Florida State, who swept Wake Forest on the road over the weekend. Georgia Tech (12-3) leads the overall ACC standings, while Miami (FL) is second at 11-4.

Clemson is hitting .307 with a .492 slugging percentage and .421 on-base percentage thanks to more walks (214) than strikeouts (212) in 33 games. The Tigers have also accumulated 43 homers, 70 doubles, seven triples, 61 steals, and are averaging 9.0 runs per game.

Hinson, who is riding a current 13-game hitting streak, leads the team and is in the top-five in the ACC in batting average at .396. In just 30 games (20 starts), he has 38 hits, four homers, five doubles, 34 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases along with a .950 fielding percentage. Parker is batting .375 with 12 homers and 32 RBIs along with a .714 slugging percentage and .500 on-base percentage, while Schaus has added a .324 batting average, seven home runs, and 45 RBIs.

Epps is hitting .236, but he has an outstanding .438 on-base percentage thanks to 36 walks. Epps, who also has a team-high 14 stolen bases, had a streak of seven straight games reaching base at least three times snapped on Sunday when he made just two plate appearances (he reached base in both of those plate appearances). Therefore, he has reached base at least twice in eight consecutive games.

The pitching staff has a 4.43 ERA and .262 opponents’ batting average along with 227 strikeouts against 113 walks in 298.1 innings pitched on the season. In eight starts (49.0 innings pitched), Harman is 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA and .199 opponents’ batting average.

The Tigers will host Western Carolina on Wednesday night before they travel to Atlanta, GA to take on ACC-leader Georgia Tech in a three-game series over the weekend.