March 25, 2002
Clemson, SC –
Thanks to its best start since 1995, Clemson (18-1) has earned a #1 ranking by Collegiate Baseball and ESPN/Baseball Weekly. It is the first #1 ranking in baseball since the March 27, 2000 Collegiate Baseball poll that had the Tigers ranked #1. The last time the coaches’ poll ranked the Tigers #1 was midway through the 1995 season, when Clemson finished 54-14 and made an appearance in the College World Series after starting the season with a 25-1 record.
“It’s a compliment to how hard our players and assistant coaches have been working,” states Head Coach Jack Leggett. “There’s a lot of responsibility being ranked #1 in the country. We have to go out and practice hard every day and be ready every time we come out on the field. I think the ranking will be a good motivator for us. We still have to take one game at a time. We can’t leave our guard down if we want to stay #1.”
The #1 ranking marks the ninth time a Tiger team has been ranked #1 by one of the three baseball polls. The 1977 team was ranked #1 for a two-week, one-poll span in March by Collegiate Baseball, when it opened the season 26-0. In 1994, Collegiate Baseball ranked the Tigers #1 for four consecutive weeks late in the season, while the coaches’ poll had the Tigers #1 for three weeks, and Baseball America for two weeks. Clemson was ranked #1 by all three polls in the March 27, 1995 poll and was last ranked #1 by Collegiate Baseball for two straight weeks in mid-2000. Clemson is ranked #2 in this week’s Baseball America poll, trailing only Stanford.
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