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Clemson Climbing Baseball America Poll

Clemson Climbing Baseball America Poll

Feb. 8, 2000

Clemson Moves Up in Poll, Faces Old Dominion Next Clemson moved up five spots to #19 in the Baseball America poll this week. Both Collegiate Baseball and USA Today Baseball Weekly did not release polls on Feb. 7. Clemson was ranked #11 and #15, respectively, in those preseason polls. The Tigers next games will be from Feb. 18-20 against Old Dominion at Doug Kingsmore Stadium (formerly known as Tiger Field). Game times are 3:00, 2:00, and 2:00, respectively. The games will be the first of a 23-game homestand for the Tigers. Old Dominion opens its season this weekend in the Franklin Life Classic at Charleston, SC.

Tigers Down #4 and #7 Ranked Teams in ACC Disney Blast Clemson (2-1) opened the 2000 season in the ACC Disney Blast at Lake Buena Vista, FL with wins over #7 Rice, and #4 and defending national champion Miami (FL) from Jan. 28-30.

Senior righthander Ryan Mottl had his best outing since his sophomore season to get the win, as Clemson downed Rice 3-1. Mottl pitched 6.0 innings, allowing just three hits, one run, and one walk while striking out five. Khalil Greene’s two-out, two-run double in the first inning gave the Tigers all the runs they would need. Junior college transfer Nick Glaser picked up the save in his first outing as a Tiger.

The Tigers then upset Miami (FL) 4-0, ending the Hurricanes’ 13-game winning streak, the longest in the country at the time. Senior transfer Scott Berney was masterful, allowing three hits, no runs, and no walks while striking out eight to get the win. Jeff Baker’s two-run infield single in the eighth inning padded the Tigers’ lead, as Glaser closed out the game once again.

#23 Central Florida handed the Tigers their first loss of 2000 with 5-0 win. Virginia transfer Casey Kennedy pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out nine. It was the first shutout by an opposing pitcher since the ’97 ACC Tournament (Chris Chavez of Florida State).

Berney, Greene Named to ACC Disney Blast All-Tournament Team One new face and one familiar face represented Clemson on the ACC Disney Blast All-Tournament Team. Scott Berney (Hamden, CT), a senior transfer from the University of Connecticut, shut down the #4 Hurricanes with pinpoint control. Berney, who had a 2.45 walks per nine innings pitched mark and threw just four wild pitches in three seasons (179.2 IP) at Connecticut, did not walk a batter and allowed just three hits while striking out eight Hurricanes. Sophomore third baseman Khalil Greene’s (Key West, FL) also made the all-tournament team by going 5-for-11 (.455) with a double and three RBIs.

Jeff Baker’s Picked Atop His Class Freshman shortstop Jeff Baker’s (Woodbridge, VA) was a key reason Baseball America ranked the Tigers’ 1999 recruiting class #1 in the nation. Baker, who possesses a slick-fielding glove and aggressive approach at the plate, was also tabbed as the nation’s top freshman prospect by Baseball America. Baker batted in the cleanup spot in the first two games of the season, and batted third in the lineup against Central Florida. Baker batted .333 (4-for-12) with two RBIs in the three-game tournament, including a 3-for-4 performance in his first collegiate game against #7 Rice. Also among the best in their respective class are utility player Jarrod Schmidt (#12 freshman prospect), outfielder Patrick Boyd (#2 junior prospect), and righthander Ryan Mottl (#15 senior prospect).

Patrick Boyd Primed for Stellar Junior Season Junior centerfielder Patrick Boyd (Palm Harbor, FL) is coming off an All-America season in ’99 where he hit .390 with 17 homes, 70 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases, all with a sore shoulder most of ’99. He has been tabbed a preseason First-Team All-American by NCBWA and Baseball America. Baseball America also picked Boyd as the #3 college and #1 ACC prospect for the 2000 draft.

Tigers Picked to Finish Third in ACC by Coaches Defending ACC regular-season champions Florida State has been chosen to finish in the conference’s top spot in 2000 according to the nine ACC head coaches. The Seminoles, who were the runner-ups to Miami (FL) in the National Championship game in 1999, return seven starters. The Seminoles received seven of the nine first-place votes. Georgia Tech, who failed to make the NCAA Tournament field for the first time in over a decade last season, received 67 points to place second. With 66 points, Clemson placed third. The Tigers received one first-place vote, as did defending ACC Champion Wake Forest, who placed fourth with 53 points.

2000 ACC Coaches Predicted Order of Finish

Rk Team (1st place votes) Points
1. Florida State (7) 79
2. Georgia Tech 67
3. CLEMSON (1) 66
4. Wake Forest (1) 53
5. North Carolina 48
6. N.C. State 31
Virginia 31
8. Maryland 16
9. Duke 14

Clemson’s 288 Wins Since ’94 Fifth In The Nation The barometer of a great season in college baseball is getting to Omaha and winning 50 games. Since Jack Leggett took over as Clemson’s head coach in 1994 and entering the 2000 season, the Tigers have won 288 games for an average of 48 per season. Leggett has led Clemson to three 50-win seasons and two appearances in the College World Series in five seasons. Included in that total is 73 wins over top-25 teams and a 38-13 (.745) record against SEC teams.

Tiger Field Renamed Doug Kingsmore Stadium Former Clemson baseball star and current Board of Trustees member Doug Kingsmore gave the Clemson athletic department a $1 million gift towards renovation of Clemson’s baseball stadium, formerly known as Tiger Field. George Bennett, executive director of IPTAY, made the announcement on January 28, 2000 at a dinner at the Madren Center on the Clemson campus. Bennett also announced that the facility would be called Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

In accepting the honor Kingsmore said, “Life has been all I could have asked for and more. I’ve been blessed to have the business and professional opportunities afforded me and doubly blessed with a family that’s truly loving and supportive. With Clemson’s strong legacy and promising future, it’s a pleasure to give something back that will affect the lives of many who participate and become part of the Clemson family in the future.”

Kingsmore played for the Tiger varsity squad from 1952-54. An All-ACC and All-District III outfielder in 1954, Kingsmore became the first Clemson player in history to hit 10 home runs in a season. He did that in 1954 while playing in just 24 games. He led the ACC in home runs and runs scored (25) that year, and led the Tigers in batting average (.371), slugging percentage (.742), and RBIs (27).

Kingsmore played three years of professional baseball in the Baltimore Oriole organization before beginning a successful business career. He is currently president and chief executive of the Graniteville Company in Aiken, SC. He is serving in his third term on the Clemson University Board of Trustees and will become Trustee Emeritus when his current elected term expires in 2002.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about this announcement,” said Head Coach Jack Leggett. “This will be a great lift to our program. Everyone in our program is appreciative and it means so much to come from a former Clemson baseball player, and a man who has meant so much to Clemson University.”

Corbin Named USA National Team Assistant Coach Assistant Head Coach Tim Corbin was named one of four assistant coaches for the USA National Team on February 1. The team, headed by Southern California Head Coach Mike Gillespie, will play on the US WEST Red, White, and Blue Summer Tour in 2000.

Corbin, Clemson’s recruiting coordinator, is in his seventh season as Jack Leggett’s top assistant. Corbin’s 1999 recruiting class was ranked #1 in the nation by Baseball America and he is a major reason Clemson has won 288 games (fifth most in the country) during his six seasons at Clemson.

Corbin, 38 and a 1984 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan, joins Southern California pitching coach John Savage, Louisville Head Coach Lelo Prado, and Loyola Marymount Head Coach Frank Cruz on the USA National Team coaching staff.