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Clemson Baseball Weekly Wrapup

May 10, 2009

Clemson University Overall Season Record: 34-17 ACC Regular-Season Record: 16-11

Last Week: 2-1 Fri. W, Home vs. UNC Wilmington, 13-2 Sat. W, Home vs. UNC Wilmington, 11-3 Sun. L, Home vs. UNC Wilmington, 4-3

Next Week Mon. Neutral* vs. Furman, 4:00 PM Tue. Home vs. College of Charleston, 6:30 PM Thu. Away vs. N.C. State, 6:30 PM Fri. Away vs. N.C. State, 6:30 PM Sat. Away vs. N.C. State, 1:00 PM

* – Greenville, SC (Fluor Field)

Notes Clemson, ranked as high as #19 in the nation, went 2-1 in three games this past week, all games against UNC Wilmington at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from May 8-10. Clemson outscored the Seahawks 27-9 and outhit them .350 to .243. Wilson Boyd went 5-for-8 (.625) with four runs and three walks, while Chris Epps went 5-for-11 (.455) with two doubles and three RBIs in the series. Jeff Schaus added five hits, including two doubles and a homer, along with seven RBIs. The Tiger pitching staff had a 2.67 ERA and 21 strikeouts against only five walks as well.

In game-one on May 8, Clemson totaled 12 hits and 12 walks en route to a 13-2 victory over UNC Wilmington. The Tigers scored three runs in the second inning and five runs in the fifth inning to break the game open. Epps went 3-for-3 with two doubles, three RBIs, and a walk, while John Nester went 2-for-3 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs. Starter Trey Delk, who received his pyschology degree earlier in the day, earned the win, as he allowed one run on five hits in 5.0 innings pitched. The Seahawks put 14 batters on base, but they scored only two runs and left 10 runners on base.

In game-two on May 9, Clemson scored eight runs on eight consecutive hits in the third inning on its way to an 11-3 win over UNC Wilmington. Already ahead 3-0, Clemson used two homers, three doubles, and three singles to score eight runs in the third inning. Kyle Parker started the scoring in the third with a long solo homer, then Schaus capped the scoring with a three-run home run. Every Tiger starter had at least one hit before the third inning ended. Schaus went 2-for-5 with a double, homer, four RBIs, and two runs to lead Clemson’s 14-hit attack. Casey Harman allowed six hits, one earned run, and one walk with nine strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched to earn the victory.

In game-three on May 10, UNC Wilmington took the lead with a run in the sixth inning and held on for a 4-3 win over Clemson. Schaus’ two-run double in the fifth inning tied the score, but Michael Rooney’s sacrifice fly in the sixth gave the Seahawks the lead. The Tigers put their leadoff batter on base in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings but failed to score each time. Relievers Stephen Harrold, Ryan Walker, and Bryan Booth limited Clemson to two hits and no runs in the final 4.2 innings. They were big reasons the Tigers were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base. Boyd went 3-for-3 for Clemson, who outhit the Seahawks 10-8.

The Tigers sport a 34-17 overall record and 16-11 ACC mark on the season, good for second place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings behind first-place Florida State (19-9), who has finished its ACC regular-season schedule. The Seminoles will either be the #1 or #2 seed in the ACC Tournament, while the Tigers can be anywhere from the #3 to #7 seed in the ACC Tourney depending on next weekend’s results. Clemson also has a 26-8 home record, 7-9 road record, and 1-0 neutral-site mark.

Clemson has been in many close games in 2009. Of its 51 games, 33 have been decided by four runs or less and 28 have been decided by three runs or less. The Tigers are 17-1 in games decided by five runs or more and 17-16 in games decided by four runs or less. That means that of the Tigers’ 17 losses, an incredible 16 have been by four runs or less and 14 have been by three runs or less.

Clemson is hitting .299 with a .453 slugging percentage and .390 on-base percentage in 51 games. Ben Paulsen is hitting a team-best .373 with 15 doubles, four triples, 10 homers, and 51 RBIs, while Schaus is hitting .337 with 12 doubles, one triple, 10 homers, 41 RBIs, a team-high .437 on-base percentage thanks to 32 walks against only 17 strikeouts, and seven stolen bases. Parker has added 11 homers and 48 RBIs, while Mike Freeman is 15-for-32 (.469) with nine walks during his current nine-game hitting streak to raise his season batting average to .320.

The pitching staff has a 3.54 ERA and .250 opponents’ batting average along with 426 strikeouts against 153 walks in 460.1 innings pitched this season. The Tigers are fielding at a .967 clip as well.

Harman is 6-3 with a 3.61 ERA and 59 strikeouts against only 11 walks in 62.1 innings pitched over 18 appearances (nine starts). Graham Stoneburner has 62 strikeouts in 54.2 innings pitched, while Chris Dwyer has 68 strikeouts in 64.2 innings pitched. Tomas Cruz and Matt Vaughn are tied for the team-lead with three saves apiece. Delk is 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA in eight starts as well.

The Tigers will continue their five-games-in-five-days stretch on Monday when they travel to Greenville, SC to take on Furman at Fluor Field at 4:00 PM. The Tigers will be the designated visiting team for the neutral-site contest. Clemson will play its last regular-season home game of the season on Tuesday night against College of Charleston, who has won 10 games in a row. Then over the weekend, Clemson will conclude its regular-season slate with a three-game series at N.C. State from Thursday to Saturday. For N.C. State to make the eight-team ACC Tournament, it must win three games against the Tigers, have North Carolina win three games at Boston College, and have Virginia Tech win less than three games at home against Virginia next weekend. Furthermore, 10 teams are still in the hunt to make the 2009 ACC Tournament at Durham, NC.