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April 1, 2012

Clemson University Overall Season Record: 14-13 ACC Regular-Season Record: 5-7

Last Week: 3-2 Tue. W, Away vs. #18 Georgia, 10-5 Wed. L, Home vs. Presbyterian College, 8-4 Fri. W, Home vs. #7 Miami (FL), 3-1 Sat. W, Home vs. #7 Miami (FL), 3-1 Sun. L, Home vs. #7 Miami (FL), 4-2

Next Week Tue. Home vs. Winthrop, 6:30 PM Wed. Home vs. Western Carolina, 6:30 PM Fri. Away vs. Duke, 6:00 PM Sat. Away vs. Duke, 2:00 PM Sun. Away vs. Duke, 1:00 PM

Last Week’s Game Notes Clemson went 3-2 in five games this past week, which included four games against top-20 ranked teams. The Tigers went 3-1 in those four games. The Tigers split a pair of midweek games, at #18 Georgia (10-5 win) and at home against Presbyterian College (8-4 loss), before winning two of three close games against #7 Miami (FL) over the weekend.

On the week, the Tigers outscored their opposition 22-19 and batted .266 with a .355 slugging percentage and .345 on-base percentage. They also totaled seven doubles, one triple, two homers, 18 walks, and eight stolen bases. Clemson fielded at a .959 clip as well.

Phil Pohl led Clemson at the plate by going 8-for-20 (.400) with four RBIs, while Steve Wilkerson went 8-for-21 (.381) with two doubles, two RBIs, and six runs. Richie Shaffer also had a productive week, as he was 6-for-18 (.333) with three doubles, two homers, seven RBIs, three runs, and five walks in five games.

The Tiger pitching staff had a 2.80 ERA and .232 opponents’ batting average on the week. The staff also allowed 39 hits and 16 walks with 40 strikeouts in 45.0 innings pitched.

In two relief appearances, Matt Campbell pitched 5.1 scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit and no walks with seven strikeouts. Scott Firth also pitched 4.0 scoreless innings over two relief appearances.

Clemson totaled 16 hits en route to a 10-5 win against Georgia at Foley Field on March 27. The Tigers had at least one hit in all nine innings and scored in seven innings. Shaffer went 3-for-6 with a homer, two doubles, three RBIs, and two runs. His two-run homer in the second inning gave Clemson the lead for good. Pohl added three hits, while Wilkerson, Brad Felder, Jay Baum, and Tyler Slaton all accumulated two hits apiece. Jon McGibbon amassed three RBIs as well. Daniel Gossett pitched 5.0 innings in a starting role to earn the win.

Presbyterian College took advantage of four costly Tiger errors and eight timely hits in its 8-4 win over Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on March 28. The Blue Hose scored four unearned runs in the sixth inning to build a 5-0 lead. Shaffer’s two-run homer in the eighth inning cut Presbyterian College’s lead to 6-3, but the Blue Hose responded with two runs in the ninth inning to put the game away. Three Blue Hose pitchers combined to hold the Tigers to only six hits. The Clemson pitching staff surrendered eight hits and eight runs, including seven runs with two outs, but only three of the runs were earned.

Clemson then won two of three games over Miami by a combined score of 8-6 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from March 30 to April 1. Both teams batted .240 in the series, while the Tigers totaled five stolen bases. Wilkerson went 5-for-12 (.417) with three runs to lead the Tigers, while Phil Pohl went 4-for-10 with three RBIs. The Tiger pitching staff had a 2.00 ERA and held the Hurricanes to just 3-for-25 (.120) with runners in scoring position in the series. Firth did not allow a run in 4.0 innings pitched over two relief appearances.

In game-one on March 30, Campbell and Firth combined to limit Miami to one hit and no runs with nine strikeouts in the final 5.2 innings pitched to lead Clemson to a 3-1 win. The Tigers scored two runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by Thomas Brittle’s sacrifice fly, to give the Tigers the lead for good, then Campbell and Firth shut the door on the Hurricanes, who totaled just four hits and failed to put a leadoff batter of an inning on base in the game. Campbell pitched 4.0 innings, allowing one hit, no runs, and no walks with seven strikeouts to earn the win, while Firth recorded his first career save by pitching 1.2 perfect innings with two strikeouts.

In game-two on March 31, Shaffer’s two-out, two-run double in the seventh inning lifted Clemson to a 3-1 victory over Miami. Wilkerson went 2-for-4 with a run to lead Clemson, who totaled eight hits. Dominic Leone pitched 7.0 strong innings to earn the win. The starter allowed six hits, one run, and three walks with six strikeouts. Patrick Andrews recorded his first career save by tossing 2.0 scoreless innings of one-hit ball. Leone and Andrews combined to face just five batters over the minimum. The Tigers were aided by catcher Spencer Kieboom’s two pickoffs of runners at third base and three double plays.

In game-three on April 1, Dale Carey’s two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning gave Miami a one-run lead in its 4-2 victory over Clemson. The Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning, but they managed just one run despite four hits and two walks in the frame. Every Hurricane starter totaled at least one hit in the game, while Miami outhit the Tigers 12-7. Five Miami pitchers combined to allow just two of Clemson’s 13 baserunners to score. Pohl went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the Tigers. Kevin Pohle pitched 6.0 strong innings, allowing just one run.

2012 Season Notes Clemson has a 14-13 overall record and 5-7 ACC mark on the season. The Tigers are in a three-way tie for seventh place in the overall ACC standings and tied for third in the ACC Atlantic Division standings.

The Tigers, who are averaging 5.1 runs per game, are hitting .266 with a .374 slugging percentage and .358 on-base percentage thanks to 114 walks and 25 hit-by-pitches in 2012. The team has also totaled 40 doubles, four triples, 17 homers, and 27 stolen bases. Clemson is fielding at a .966 clip as well.

Clemson’s outcomes have been a direct result of its ability or inability to tally hits. In its 14 wins, Clemson is hitting .314 with a .405 on-base percentage. But in its 13 losses, it is hitting just .214 with a .306 on-base percentage. The Tigers are 10-1 when scoring six runs or more and 4-12 when scoring five runs or less in 2012. Two of those four wins came in the Miami series.

Steve Wilkerson leads the team with a .390 batting average along with seven doubles, one triple, 22 runs, and five steals. The sophomore second-baseman is also riding a 15-game hitting streak and has registered a hit in his first plate appearance of a game in six of the last seven contests.

Phil Pohl is batting .323 with four homers, four doubles, and a team-high 26 RBIs. Richie Shaffer is hitting .319 with six homers, 11 doubles, one triple, 24 RBIs, 23 runs, and a .472 on-base percentage thanks to 28 walks.

The pitching staff has a 3.46 ERA and .263 opponents’ batting average in 242.0 innings pitched this season. It has allowed 242 hits and 98 walks with 212 strikeouts, good for a 2.16 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Kevin Pohle leads the staff with a 1.82 ERA and 3-1 record in a team-high 34.2 innings pitched over seven appearances (five starts). Kevin Brady has a 2.94 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 33.2 innings pitched over seven starts.

Scott Firth has been the team’s best reliever, as he is 1-0 with an 0.84 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 21.1 innings pitched over 11 relief appearances. In his last 16.2 innings pitched over eight relief appearances, Firth has allowed just 10 hits and no runs with 15 strikeouts.

Matt Campbell has a 2.14 ERA and 22 strikeouts against seven walks in 21.0 innings pitched over 11 relief appearances as well.

Clemson will return to action with midweek home games against Winthrop (Tuesday) and Western Carolina (Wednesday) before traveling to Jack Coombs Field to face Duke over the weekend in a three-game series. The upcoming five-game week is Clemson’s third of four straight five-game weeks.