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April 15, 2012

Clemson University Overall Season Record: 20-17 ACC Regular-Season Record: 9-9

Last Week: 2-3 Tue. W, Neutral* vs. Furman, 12-5 Wed. L, Home vs. Georgia, 8-7 Fri. W, Home vs. #17 N.C. State, 7-6 (12 Innings) Sat. L, Home vs. #17 N.C. State, 3-1 Sun. L, Home vs. #17 N.C. State, 6-3 * – Greenville, SC (Fluor Field)

Next Week Tue. Home vs. Charleston Southern, 6:30 PM Fri. Away vs. Maryland, 6:00 PM Sat. Away vs. Maryland, 3:00 PM Sun. Away vs. Maryland, 1:00 PM

Last Week’s Game Notes Clemson went 2-3 in five games this past week. The Tigers split a pair of midweek games before falling twice in three games at home against #17 N.C. State.

On the week, the Tigers outscored their opposition 30-28 and batted .246 with a .342 slugging percentage and .353 on-base percentage. They also totaled eight doubles, two triples, two homers, 27 walks, and nine stolen bases. Clemson fielded at a .981 clip as well.

Richie Shaffer was 9-for-17 (.529) with two doubles, four RBIs, four runs, eight walks, a .680 on-base percentage, and no errors in 19 chances at third base on the week. Thomas Brittle had his best week as a Tiger, as he was 13-for-25 (.520) with one double, one triple, one homer, six RBIs, nine runs, and three stolen bases.

The Tiger pitching staff had a 4.50 ERA and .258 opponents’ batting average on the week. The staff also allowed 46 hits and 24 walks with 37 strikeouts in 48.0 innings pitched.

In 7.1 innings pitched over two relief appearances, Scott Firth allowed just three hits (.130 opponents’ batting average) and one earned run (1.23 ERA). Mike Kent gave up only five hits, one run (1.59 ERA), and no walks with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched over two relief appearances.

Jon McGibbon went 3-for-4 with a homer, double, and five RBIs to lead Clemson to a 12-5 win over Furman at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC on April 10. McGibbon’s two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning gave Clemson a 9-0 lead. The Paladins scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth, but the Tigers added two runs in the eighth inning and one run in the ninth to cruise to the seven-run win. Brittle went 3-for-4 with a game-high four runs, while Shaffer went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI, three runs, and two walks. David Haselden pitched 1.2 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win, while Kent recorded his first career save by tossing 4.0 effective innings.

Georgia scored six runs in the fifth inning to rally from a five-run deficit and edge Clemson 8-7 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 11. The win snapped Clemson’s five-game winning streak in the series against Georgia. Clemson scored four runs in the second inning to build a 5-0 lead. But Georgia scored two runs in the fourth and six runs on four hits and four walks in the top of the fifth inning to take the lead for good. Clemson loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth, but was unable to score. Brittle went 3-for-5 with a homer, double, and three RBIs to lead Clemson, who outhit Georgia 11-8. Five of the Bulldogs’ eight runs were scored by batters who walked.

N.C. State then won two of three games over Clemson by a combined score of 15-11 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from April 13-15. The Wolfpack outhit the Tigers .223 to .214 and totaled eight steals, including seven by Trea Turner. Shaffer went 5-for-10 with five walks, while Brittle was 7-for-16 (.438) with three runs and two steals. The Tiger pitching staff had a 3.60 ERA and 22 strikeouts against 16 walks. In 12.2 innings pitched in the series, Clemson’s bullpen gave up just four hits (.105 opponents’ batting average) and one earned run (0.71 ERA).

In game-one on April 13, Brittle hit a one-out single in the 12th inning to score Tyler Slaton in a close play at the plate and give Clemson a 7-6 win over N.C. State. The Wolfpack rallied from 4-0 down to take a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning. But Slaton came off the bench to tie the score in the eighth on Brittle’s RBI fielder’s choice. Brittle went 4-for-7 with two RBIs and three runs, while Shaffer went 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs, and three walks for the Tigers, who outhit N.C. State 12-6. Firth tossed 6.1 strong innings in relief to earn the win. He allowed just two hits and one earned run. Turner had two hits and an ACC-record-tying five stolen bases.

In game-two on April 14, Carlos Rodon limited Clemson to three hits in 8.0 innings pitched to lead N.C. State to a 3-1 win. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning, but Turner’s two-out, two-run double in the seventh inning gave the Wolfpack the lead for good. After N.C. State added an insurance run in the eighth inning, the Tigers put runners at second and third base with no outs in the ninth inning, but failed to score a run in the frame. Joe Costigan came off the bench to total two of Clemson’s five hits. The Tigers scored just one of their nine baserunners.

In game-two on April 15, N.C. State broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the fifth inning and cruised to a 6-3 win over Clemson. The Wolfpack used three hits, two walks, and a Tiger error to score four runs in the fifth inning. The Tigers scored a run in the seventh inning, but it was not enough. Ryan Mathews hit a two-run double in the fifth inning and totaled a game-high three RBIs. Brittle and Shaffer had two hits apiece, while Steve Wilkerson scored a team-high two runs. Five Tiger relievers combined to allow just two hits and no runs in the final 4.2 innings pitched.

2012 Season Notes Clemson has a 20-17 overall record and 9-9 ACC mark on the season. The Tigers are still in third place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings behind Florida State (16-2) and N.C. State (11-7). Clemson is also tied with Virginia for fifth place in the overall ACC standings. Georgia Tech, Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest are in a four-way tie for seventh place at 7-11.

The Tigers, who are averaging 5.6 runs per game, are hitting .271 with a .379 slugging percentage and .363 on-base percentage thanks to 164 walks and 32 hit-by-pitches in 2012. The team has also totaled 55 doubles, nine triples, 22 homers, and 39 stolen bases. Clemson is fielding at a .969 clip as well.

Richie Shaffer leads the team with a .386 batting average, 14 doubles, one triple, seven homers, 35 RBIs, 31 runs, 39 walks, a .520 on-base percentage, and five steals. In the Tigers’ last 10 games, he has nine multi-hit games.

Joining Shaffer as the two hottest Tigers at the plate is Thomas Brittle. The junior centerfielder is hitting .345 with a team-high seven steals. He is riding a current 10-game hitting streak and is 23-for-47 (.489) during the streak. Steve Wilkerson is batting .331 with a team-high 34 runs as well.

The pitching staff has a 3.58 ERA and .264 opponents’ batting average in 337.0 innings pitched this season. It has allowed 339 hits and 138 walks with 290 strikeouts, good for a 2.10 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In Clemson’s 37 games, the pitching staff has allowed five earned runs or less in 33 games. The Tigers have not lost a game by more than five runs all season as well.

Kevin Pohle leads the weekend rotation with a 2.74 ERA and 4-2 record in 46.0 innings pitched over nine appearances (seven starts). Kevin Brady has a 2.98 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 45.1 innings pitched over nine starts.

Scott Firth has been the team’s best reliever, as he is 3-0 with an 0.80 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 33.2 innings pitched over 14 relief appearances. His scoreless innings pitched streak ended at 23 against N.C. State on Friday despite his effective outing.

Matt Campbell has a 2.14 ERA and 22 strikeouts against seven walks in 21.0 innings pitched over 11 relief appearances as well. He has not pitched since his outstanding outing against Miami (FL) on March 30 due to injury, but the Tigers hope to get him back on the mound during the upcoming week.

Clemson will return to action on Tuesday night when it hosts Charleston Southern before traveling to College Park, MD to face Maryland in a three-game series over the weekend.