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Clemson Baseball Weekly Wrapup

March 9, 2009

Clemson University Overall Season Record: 6-4 ACC Regular-Season Record: 1-2

Last Week: 2-3 Tue. L, Home vs. Furman, 4-2 (14 Innings) Wed. W, Home vs. UNC Asheville, 17-2 Fri. W, Away vs. #2 North Carolina, 5-4 (10 Innings) Sat. L, Away vs. #2 North Carolina, 5-2 Sun. L, Away vs. #2 North Carolina, 9-8

Next Week Tue. Home vs. Michigan State, 4:00 PM Wed. Neutral* vs. Michigan State, 7:00 PM Fri. Home vs. Wake Forest, 4:00 PM Sat. Home vs. Wake Forest, 2:00 PM Sun. Home vs. Wake Forest, 1:00 PM * – Greenville, SC (Fluor Field)

Notes Clemson, ranked #19 in the nation, went 2-3 in five games this past week, which included a loss at home to Furman on Tuesday, a 17-2 win at home against UNC Asheville on Wednesday, and one win in three close games at #2 North Carolina over the weekend.

Furman scored two runs in the 14th inning to defeat Clemson 4-2 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on March 3. In the ninth inning, the Tigers were one strike away from pitching a no-hitter, but an infield single broke up the no-hit bid. On the next pitch, Brian Harrison blasted a two-run homer to tie the score. After Clemson squandered several opportunities in extra innings, Reese Wade’s RBI fielder’s choice in the 14th inning gave Furman the lead, then the Paladins added an insurance run. Both teams managed just six hits, while neither team committed an error. Chris Dwyer, Scott Weismann, Will Lamb, and Ben Paulsen had a game-high three hits for the Tigers, who left 10 runners on base.

Behind 15 hits, Clemson slugged UNC Asheville 17-2 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on March 4. The Tigers scored seven runs, all with two outs, in the first two innings and five more runs in the third inning. Clemson walked 14 times and struck out just once. Paulsen, one of 10 Tigers with a hit, went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Kyle Parker added three RBIs. Brad Miller also scored three runs and walked four times. Eleven different Tigers scored a run as well. Seven Tiger pitchers combined to allow just four hits, while the Bulldogs sent out nine different pitchers to the mound. Justin Sarratt pitched an inning in relief to earn the win.

Clemson went 1-2 in a three-game series against #2 North Carolina at Boshamer Stadium from March 6-8. North Carolina outscored the Tigers 18-15 and outhit them .250 to .206. All three games were decided by three runs or less, including two one-run games. Jeff Schaus led the Tigers by going 4-for-9 (.444) with two homers and five RBIs. Matt Sanders added four hits, including two doubles, and three RBIs. The Tiger pitching staff had a 4.78 ERA and 21 strikeouts. Clemson pitchers allowed just three extra-base hits in the series as well.

In game-one on March 6, Sanders’ sacrifice fly in the 10th inning lifted Clemson to a 5-4 win over North Carolina. The Tigers used five consecutive hits in the top of the second inning to score four runs, two of which came on Schaus’ homer, then North Carolina responded with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Levi Michael tied the score in the seventh inning with a solo homer, but Tiger relievers Casey Harman and Tomas Cruz kept the Tar Heels at bay by allowing just one run on two hits in the final 7.1 innings. Clemson outhit North Carolina 9-7, including two hits apiece by Parker and Sanders.

In game-two on March 7, North Carolina scored four runs, all on bases-loaded walks, in the third inning and cruised to a 5-2 win over Clemson. Both teams scored one run in the first inning, then North Carolina took a four-run lead with four runs in the third inning. The Tigers added a run in the sixth on a balk and Wilson Boyd hit a deep flyball to right-center in the ninth inning, but Garrett Gore robbed Boyd of a potential two-run homer by making a leaping catch. Starter Adam Warren earned the win by pitching 7.0 innings, allowing three hits and two unearned runs with eight strikeouts. Lamb and Weismann combined to allow just two hits and no runs in the final 5.2 innings. In game-three on March 8, Clemson rallied from a 7-1 deficit to score five runs in the top of the ninth inning and take an 8-7 lead, but North Carolina capitalized on a costly Tiger error and scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Tigers 9-8. Clemson scored two runs in the eighth inning and trailed 7-5 with two outs in the ninth before Schaus hit a towering three-run homer to right field to give the Tigers the lead. But a bloop single by Kyle Seager, who was 4-for-4 with four runs, and a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third with no outs. Two of the next three Tar Heels singled past a drawn-in infield, capped by pinch-hitter Greg Holt’s walkoff single up the middle in Jack Leggett’s 1,000th game as Clemson’s head coach.

During the week, the Tigers hit .230 with a .338 on-base percentage. The pitching staff had a 3.47 ERA and .197 opponents’ batting average.

Schaus led Clemson by going 6-for-15 (.400) with one double, two homers, seven RBIs, seven walks, and a .609 on-base percentage. Paulsen went 9-for-23 (.391), while Sanders was 6-for-18 (.333) with five RBIs. In two relief appearances, Lamb pitched 5.2 innings, allowing just one hit and no runs.

The Tigers sport a 6-4 overall record and 1-2 ACC mark on the season. Of the Tigers’ first 10 games, seven have been against teams that played in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

Clemson is hitting .235 with a .337 slugging percentage and .346 on-base percentage in 10 games. Paulsen is hitting a team-best .390 with one homer and eight RBIs. Schaus has raised his batting average to .310 and has two homers along with a team-high 11 RBIs. He also has 12 walks against only four walks and has a team-high .524 on-base percentage.

The pitching staff has a 3.02 ERA and .217 opponents’ batting average on the season. The team is fielding at a .970 clip as well.

Chris Dwyer is 1-0 with a 1.72 ERA and .118 opponents’ batting average in 15.2 innings pitched. Harman has a 2.45 ERA and .154 opponents’ batting average along with 14 strikeouts against only two walks in 11.0 innings pitched over five relief appearances.

The Tigers will return home on Tuesday to face Michigan State at Doug Kingsmore Stadium before playing the Spartans at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC on Wednesday. It will be the first meetings between the two since 1958. Then over the weekend, Clemson will host Wake Forest in a three-game series.