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April 8, 2012

Clemson UniversityOverall Season Record: 18-14 ACC Regular-Season Record: 8-7

Last Week: 4-1 Tue. W, Home vs. Winthrop, 11-0 Wed. L, Home vs. Western Carolina, 13-8 Fri. W, Away vs. Duke, 4-1 (11 Innings) Sat. W, Away vs. Duke, 11-5 Sun. W, Away vs. Duke, 4-2

Next Week Tue. Neutral* vs. Furman, 7:00 PM Wed. Home vs. Georgia, 7:00 PM (CSS) Fri. Home vs. N.C. State, 6:30 PM (ESPN3) Sat. Home vs. N.C. State, 12:00 PM (RSN) Sun. Home vs. N.C. State, 1:00 PM (ESPN3) * – Greenville, SC (Fluor Field)

Last Week’s Game Notes Clemson went 4-1 in five games this past week. The Tigers split a pair of midweek home games before sweeping Duke on the road.

On the week, the Tigers outscored their opposition 38-21 and batted .323 with a .439 slugging percentage and .399 on-base percentage. They also totaled seven doubles, three triples, three homers, 23 walks, and three stolen bases. Clemson fielded at a .970 clip as well.

Richie Shaffer led Clemson at the plate by going 12-for-21 (.571) with one homer, one double, seven RBIs, four runs, three walks, and three steals. Spencer Kieboom was 8-for-16 with three walks, while Thomas Brittle was 10-for-22 (.455) with one double, two triples, nine RBIs, and six runs. Jay Baum and Phil Pohl added five RBIs apiece as well.

The Tiger pitching staff had a 3.26 ERA and .279 opponents’ batting average on the week. The staff also allowed 51 hits and 16 walks with 41 strikeouts in 47.0 innings pitched.

In 9.0 innings pitched over two appearances (one start), Daniel Gossett earned a win and a save. He allowed just five hits, no runs, and no walks with 15 strikeouts.

Shaffer, Pohl, and Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 3. Pohl’s three-run homer highlighted the Tigers’ six-run fourth inning that gave Clemson a 9-0 lead. Shaffer went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs to lead the Tigers’ 14-hit attack. In his first career start at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Gossett pitched 7.0 scoreless innings to earn the win. Gossett, who retired the first 15 batters, allowed just three hits and no walks with 13 strikeouts.

Western Carolina totaled 22 hits in its 13-8 victory over Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 4. The Tigers took an 8-5 lead with four runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by Brittle’s three-run triple. But a two-out error led to four unearned runs for the Catamounts in the sixth inning, then they added four more runs in the seventh inning to pull away. Every Catamount starter had at least one hit and eight of the nine starters had at least two hits. Shaffer went 3-for-5 with two RBIs to lead the Tigers’ 13-hit attack.

Clemson then swept Duke by a combined score of 19-8 at Jack Coombs Field from April 6-8. Clemson outhit the Blue Devils .296 to .245 and committed just two errors in the series. Shaffer went 7-for-13 (.538) with a double and three RBIs to lead Clemson, while Kieboom went 6-for-12. Brittle added seven hits, five RBIs, and three runs. The Tiger pitching staff had a 2.48 ERA and 21 strikeouts against nine walks.

In game-one on April 6, Jon McGibbon hit a leadoff triple in the 11th inning and scored the first of three runs in the frame to lead Clemson to a 4-1 win over Duke. McGibbon scored on Brad Felder’s single, while Baum also scored on the play on Duke’s fourth error of the game. Scott Firth pitched 5.0 scoreless innings to close the game and earn the victory, as he pitched out of several jams to send the game into extra innings. Shaffer went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two steals to lead the Tigers, who outhit Duke 10-7.

In game-two on April 7, Brittle went 4-for-6 with five RBIs and three runs to lead Clemson’s 15-hit attack in its 11-5 win over Duke. Shaffer went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, and a walk, while Garrett Boulware added two hits. The Tigers held a 6-2 lead before Duke scored three runs in the seventh inning. But Clemson erupted for five runs in the ninth inning, highlighted by Brittle’s three-run double, to put the game out of reach. Dominic Leone struck out nine in 6.1 innings pitched to earn the win, while Patrick Andrews recorded the save.

In game-three on April 8, Baum’s three-run double in the eighth inning gave Clemson a 3-2 lead and the Tigers held on for a 4-2 win over Duke. The Blue Devils scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings before Clemson loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth inning. Baum’s opposite-field double gave Clemson the lead for good, then he scored an insurance run on Kieboom’s sacrifice fly. Kevin Pohle, who retired the first 15 batters of the game, pitched 7.0 strong innings of four-hit ball to earn the win, while Gossett tossed 2.0 scoreless innings with two strikeouts to record the save.

2012 Season Notes Clemson has an 18-14 overall record and 8-7 ACC mark on the season. The Tigers moved into sole possession of third place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings behind Florida State (14-1) and N.C. State (9-6) thanks to their sweep over Duke. Clemson is also in sixth place in the overall ACC standings.

The Tigers, who are averaging 5.5 runs per game, are hitting .275 with a .385 slugging percentage and .365 on-base percentage thanks to 137 walks and 28 hit-by-pitches in 2012. The team has also totaled 47 doubles, seven triples, 20 homers, and 30 stolen bases. Clemson is fielding at a .967 clip as well.

Richie Shaffer leads the team with a .365 batting average, 12 doubles, one triple, seven homers, 31 RBIs, 27 runs, 31 walks, a .493 on-base percentage, and five steals. Steve Wilkerson, who saw his 19-game hitting streak come to an end on Sunday, is batting .357 with 17 RBIs and five steals. Phil Pohl, who is riding an 11-game hitting streak, is hitting .306 with five homers and 31 RBIs.

The pitching staff has a 3.43 ERA and .265 opponents’ batting average in 289.0 innings pitched this season. It has allowed 293 hits and 114 walks with 253 strikeouts, good for a 2.22 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In Clemson’s 32 games, the pitching staff has allowed five earned runs or less in 29 games.

Kevin Pohle leads the staff with a 1.94 ERA and 4-1 record in a team-high 41.2 innings pitched over eight appearances (six starts). Kevin Brady has a 2.72 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 39.2 innings pitched over eight starts.

Scott Firth has been the team’s best reliever, as he is 2-0 with an 0.68 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 26.1 innings pitched over 12 relief appearances. In his last 21.2 innings pitched over nine relief appearances, Firth has allowed just 13 hits and no runs with 17 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 the diamond with midweek games against Furman (at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC) on Tuesday night and at home against Georgia on Wednesday night before it hosts N.C. State over the weekend. The upcoming five-game week is Clemson’s last of four straight five-game weeks.