Clemson Hosts North Carolina At Doug Kingsmore Stadium

Clemson Hosts North Carolina At Doug Kingsmore Stadium

April 27, 2001

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Clemson (29-16, 10-5 ACC) vs. North Carolina (26-21, 6-12 ACC) April 27-29, 2001 Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Clemson, SC Friday: 7:15 PM (CTN) * Saturday: 7:07 PM (CTN,CSSE) * Sunday: 2:00 PM (CTN)

Probable Starting Pitchers Fri., April 27: Jarrod Schmidt (RHP, 5-3, 4.40 ERA) or Thomas Boozer (LHP, 1-0, 3.04 ERA) vs. Dennis Robinson (RHP, 3-4, 5.86 ERA) or Daniel Moore (LHP, 4-4, 5.36 ERA)

Sat., April 28: Matt Henrie (RHP, 4-2, 3.20 ERA) or Boozer vs. Ralph Roberts (RHP, 2-1, 3.67 ERA)

Sun., April 29: Steve Reba (RHP, 8-2, 1.87 ERA) vs. Scott Autrey (RHP, 1-3, 5.57 ERA)

Clemson vs. North Carolina Friday’s game will mark the 146th meeting between the two schools. Clemson holds an 81-63-1 lead in the series and the Tigers are 16-7 under head coach Jack Leggett. North Carolina took two of three games last season.

Last year, North Carolina claimed the season series for the first time since 1990, blanking #1 Clemson 6-0 in the first game. Clemson responded with a 10-2 win in game two, but the Tar Heels took the rubber game 5-2. Clemson starters allowed just five earned runs in 19.2 innings, despite tallying a 1-2 record. North Carolina, who entered the series with a .340 team batting average, hit just .232.

Boyd Set to Return vs. UNC Clemson has been without the services of senior preseason All-American Patrick Boyd for all but one game this season because of a stress fracture in his back. Boyd missed all of preseason practice and missed the team’s first 13 games of the season before returning March 11 in the Tigers’ 17-4 win over Ohio University.

Boyd was 1 for 3 with a double and scored two runs against Ohio, but the pain continued and forced him to miss the two games with Georgia Southern. On March 14, he flew with team doctor Byron Harder to Tampa, FL to be checked out by a back specialist, Dr. Tom Tolli, who works primarily with major league baseball players, including Jose Canseco. Boyd immediately began a six-week rehabilitation process and has been cleared to play in this weekend’s series with North Carolina. Boyd, who returned to Clemson for his senior year after getting drafted in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates last year, was a 1999 All-American and is a 2001 preseason second-team All-American by Baseball America. He is a career .341 hitter with a .442 on-base percentage and 49 stolen bases in three seasons. The senior from Palm Harbor, FL ranks in the school’s career top-10 lists in five different categories, including walks, doubles, runs scored, hits and RBIs.

South Carolina Overcomes Rain, Clemson for 2-1 Win Drew Meyer hit a home run and Lee Gronkiewicz pitched 2 2/3 innings of one-hit relief to lead South Carolina to a 2-1 rain-delayed victory over Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The win improved South Carolina to 32-13 for the year, while Clemson fell to 29-16. South Carolina won the season series 3-1.

The two teams battled to a scoreless tie through the first three innings. Clemson starter Steve Reba allowed just one hit through the first three frames, while South Carolina starter Chris Spigner allowed just two hits. South Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth, the first run allowed by Reba in 14 innings. Drew Meyer homered to right center to open the inning, his third career home run at Kingsmore Stadium in three games. Reba later got out of the inning by inducing Tim Whittaker to ground into a double play.

Clemson tied the game with a run in the bottom of the fourth, but could have scored more. Kyle Frank opened the inning with a walk and was followed by Jeff Baker, who singled to center. It was the eighth hit in four games against the Gamcocks by Baker, who had missed some games due to injury.

Michael Johnson came to the plate and grounded back to Spigner, but the pitcher threw wide of third base, allowing Frank to score. Johnson advanced to second and Baker to third. South Carolina brought in Blake Taylor with the runners on second and third and no out. But, the South Carolina pitcher set the Tigers down on two strikeouts and a pop up.

South Carolina took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth. With one out, Michael Floyd singled to left. He then stole second and remained at that base as Tripp Kelly walked. Chris Plummer then attempted to move the runners up on a sacrifice, but Reba’s throw to first was errant, allowing Floyd to score.

Clemson got a single in the bottom of the fifth from leadoff hitter Casey Stone, but could not advance him past second.

Prior to the top of the sixth, at 8:36 PM, rain and lightning became too prevalent and the umpires called for the tarp, causing a two-hour and one-minute delay.

Both teams failed to score after the delay. South Carolina had outstanding pitching from David Marchbanks and Lee Gronkiewicz. The latter pitched the final 2 2/3 innings and struck out four, he allowed just one hit. He came on in the seventh with Clemson runners on second and third and just one out. But, he retired the Tigers, then gave up just one hit in the final two innings.

Clemson went to Patrick Hogan after the rain delay. He was outstanding, allowing just two hits in four innings. He struck out six and walked just one. Blake Taylor got the win for South Carolina to improve to 3-2 for the season, while Reba took the loss to drop to 8-2.

Jeff Baker Wins Bob Bradley MVP Award Jeff Baker was awarded the first-ever Bob Bradley Award following Wednesday’s game against South Carolina. The award goes to the Clemson MVP in the annual series versus the Gamecocks and is named for the school’s longtime sports information director. Drew Meyer was selected South Carolina’s MVP and was presented the Tom Price Award, named for the Gamecocks former sports information director. Voting was done by the media.

Baker batted .615 (8 for 13) in his three games vs. South Carolina this season. He was a perfect 5 for 5 in the first meeting in Columbia on March 4, a game Clemson won 7-4. It was South Carolina’s first loss of the season against 13 victories. Baker missed the second game in Columbia on April 18 with a head cold. For the series, he hit two home runs, batted in three teammates and scored fvie times. Meyer was 7 for 15 (.467) with two doubles and two home runs that scored four.

Baker and Schmidt Hit Homers in 8-2 Win Over Western Carolina Jarrod Schmidt each had a home run as Clemson defeated Western Carolina 8-2 Tuesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson improved to 29-15 overall while Western Carolina dropped to 21-22 on the season.

Baker, who missed the last two games after being hit on the wrist by a foul ball, hit a two-run blast to center field in the fifth inning to push his team-leading home run total to 14. Schmidt reclaimed a tie for the top spot when he hit a solo shot in the seventh inning for his 14th of the season.

The Tigers jumped out to an early lead after Baker’s infield single scored Casey Stone in the first inning. Baker later scored on Western Carolina catcher Matt Price’s throwing error, one of five Catamount miscues on the night. Western Carolina responded with a run in the third inning and tied the score at two when designated hitter Brian Sigmon scored on a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning.

Clemson scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-2 lead. Khalil Greene crossed home plate after a balk by Western Carolina starter Robbie Hoover and Steve Pyzik’s double scored Schmidt. The Tigers then put up runs in each of the next three innings to pull away and seal the win.

Baker led the offense with three RBIs and a 2-5 performance from the plate. Four other Tigers posted two hits, including Schmidt, Stone, Kyle Frank and Ryan Riley. Kevin Lynn (2-1) earned the win for the Tigers and struck out six batters over six innings. Clemson received scoreless relief appearances from Ryan Childs, B.J. LaMura and Steven Jackson. Hoover (2-4) got the loss for Western Carolina despite a career-high six strikeouts.

Clemson Wins Georgia Tech Series 2-1 The Tigers got back to back complete games from Steve Reba on Friday and Jarrod Schmidt on Saturday as Clemson took 3-0 and 5-1 victories against Georgia Tech last weekend to remain in second place in the ACC standings.

Reba struck out seven in Clemson’s first complete game shutout in ACC play since 1996. Last Friday’s effort came against the seventh-ranked Yellow Jackets, who entered the game with a .352 team batting average, the best in the nation. The right hander improved to 8-1 and kept the Tech hitters off-balanced and gave up only an infield single in the first five innings.

Schmidt produced his best outing of the season as Clemson defeated Georgia Tech 5-1 last Saturday night. The right hander allowed five hits and one run while striking out four over nine innings. Schmidt helped his own cause in the eighth inning with a blast over the left field fence for a 5-0 lead.

On Sunday, Georgia Tech used a solid pitching effort from Kyle Bakker and 11 hits by its offense to take a 5-3 victory against the Tigers. Bakker scattered seven hits over eight innings and gave up three runs, none of which were earned.

The First Complete Game Shutout Since… Steve Reba struck out seven Friday night in Clemson’s first complete game shutout in ACC play since Ken Vining’s 2-0 win over Florida State on May 6, 1996. Friday’s effort came against the seventh-ranked Yellow Jackets, who entered the game with a .352 team batting average, the best in the nation. The complete game was the first in Reba’s career.

Back-to-Back Complete Games Jarrod Schmidt performance on Saturday followed Steve Reba complete game shutout of the Yellow Jackets on Friday. The feat of back-to-back complete games was last accomplished in the NCAA Atlantic Regional at Clemson in 1996. Billy Koch pitched in a 5-1 victory over Old Dominion on May 24 and Ken Vining defeated West Virginia 6-3 a day later.

Clemson had just three complete games in all of 2000. Ryan Mottl pitched complete games in the 8-4 win over Florida State (5/18) in the ACC Tournament and then again in the 4-0 victory against Middle Tennessee (5/26) in the Clemson Regional. Mottl’s pair of complete games were in back-to-back starts. Schmidt had the first of his career at North Carolina (4/1) in a 10-2 victory.

Tigers Up Three Spots in Coaches Poll After taking two of the three games with Georgia Tech over the weekend, the Clemson baseball team ascended in two of the three coaches polls released Monday.

Clemson remained 12th in the Baseball America poll and moved up one spot, from 13th to 12th, in the Collegiate Baseball poll and vaulted three spots, from 18th to 15th, in the Baseball Weekly/ESPN coaches poll.

The Tigers started the week with a 10-4 win over Georgia before falling 9-3 at South Carolina. Clemson recouped to win the first two games against Georgia Tech, both by complete game pitching performances (3-0 and 5-1), before losing the series finale 5-3 to the Yellow Jackets.

Reba Grabs ACC Weekly Pitching Honors Clemson’s Steve Reba earned Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week honors while Virginia’s Dan Street was selected the ACC Player of the Week honors, the conference office announced Monday.

Pitcher of the Week honors were claimed by Reba, a junior right-handed pitcher for the Tigers. The Fort Wayne, IN native threw a complete game shutout of seventh-ranked Georgia Tech to open the series with a 3-0 win over the Yellow Jackets. In nine innings, Reba faced 33 batters, striking out seven and allowing just three hits and one walk. He held the Jackets to a .097 batting average and was the first Clemson complete game shutout versus an ACC opponent since Ken Vining took home a 2-0 victory against Florida State in 1996.

Hit Streaks Short stop Khalil Greene went 0 for 2 and walked Tuesday night against Western Carolina. The performance ended his hit streak at 10 games. The longest streak on the team now belongs to left fielder Casey Stone, who has a hit in each of the last three games and 18 of his last 19 outings.

The longest hit streak of the year was by Jeff Baker, who went 15 straight games with a hit from March 24 until it ended April 15 vs. Duke. Stone’s streak ended at 14.

Greene Sets HBP Records Who is the Ron Hunt of Clemson baseball? The answer is starting shortstop Khalil Greene who believes in getting on base anyway he can. Hunt set many records for being hit by a pitch in his major league career with the Mets and Expos. Greene is establishing records in that area at Clemson.

Greene was hit for the 18th time this season Tuesday night against Western Carolina to set the school season record. Greene had been tied for two weeks with Mike Hampton in 1994 and Gary Burnham in 1995. Greene had not been hit since the series at Florida State April 6-8. Greene has now been hit 44 times in his career, an all-time Clemson record. He is just in the middle of his junior year. Burnham owned the all-time record with 39 HBP recorded between 1994-97.

Greene was hit five times in the New York Tech series, including a single game record three times in the first game of the series, a 24-3 win. That included being hit twice in one inning in that game, also a first in Clemson baseball history.

Greene has now been hit by a pitch 18 times and walked 18 times this season. He has a .417 on-base percentage for his 166 at bats.

The Long Ball Clemson now has 58 home runs as a team this season. The Tigers hit only 37 home runs a year ago, paced by Jeff Baker 11. Fifteen of the 37 homers came at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, while this year Clemson has doubled the total having hit 31 out of Kingsmore Stadium.

Jarrod Schmidt hit the only home run of the Georgia Tech series on Saturday to pull even with teammate Jeff Baker. Both hit their 14th home run of the season Tuesday night against Western Carolina and are now tied for second in the ACC behind Virginia’s Jon Benick, who has 16. First baseman Michael Johnson is tied for fifth in the ACC with 11 home runs.

The Tigers have three players with double-digit totals in home runs this season: Baker (14), Schmidt (14) and Johnson (11). The three have combined for 39 home runs this season (67.2 percent of Clemson’s home runs). Only Jeff Baker had a double-figure total in 2000 with his 11 round-trippers. Clemson had three players in the 1999 season with 10 or more home runs. Patrick Boyd led the Tigers that year with 17 home runs, followed by Kurt Bultmann’s 12 and Jason Harris’ 10. Clemson hit 72 homers that season. That trio ended the year with 39 home runs, the same as this year’s trio currently has.

With 14 dingers this season, Baker and Schmidt are still two home runs away from cracking the top-10 list for home runs in a season by a Tiger. Four Tigers, Chuck Baldwin (1986), Ray Williams (1986), Jerry Brooks (1988) and Kurt Bultmann (1997), are tied with 16. The Clemson season record is 24 by Eric Macrina (1991) and Matthew LeCroy (1997).

Seeing Double Clemson has had the same player hit two home runs in the same game eight times this season paced by Jeff Baker four (Richmond, Ohio, Florida State and Coastal Carolina). Michael Johnson has hit two home runs in the same game twice (New York Tech and Duke) and Jarrod Schmidt hit two home runs April 6 at Florida State and again April 14 vs. Duke.

Back-to-Back First baseman Khalil Greene hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning the April 17 10-4 win over Georgia. It marked the third time this season that Clemson has launched consecutive home runs. The Tigers did it in the very first game of the year when Jarrod Schmidt hit homers in the bottom of the first against Richmond. The Tigers did it again in the series finale at Wake Forest as Ryan Riley and Schmidt belted blasts in the third inning en route to a 9-1 victory and series win.

Pitching Paces Tigers Clemson ranks second in the ACC in pitching with a 4.17 team ERA. Florida State owns the best team ERA with 3.30, while Georgia Tech is third with a 4.25 ERA. In ACC games only, Clemson has a 3.09 ERA top top the league. Florida State is just behind with a 3.15 ERA, while Georgia Tech is third with a 5.13 ERA.

Right handed pitcher Steve Reba owns the best ERA in the ACC. The junior from Fort Wayne, IN sports a 1.87 ERA and also leads the league with an 8-2 record and opponents batting average. The ACC Pitcher of the Week this week is holding opposing batters to a measly .171. Reba is second in the league in strike outs with 67, just three behind Florida State’s Blair Varnes.

Reba, who got the loss against South Carolina on Wednesday, pitched his first complete game in his last ACC outing, a 3-0 shut out of Georgia Tech last Friday. Against Duke on April 14, Steve Reba struck out a career-high 12 batters to lead Clemson to a 10-1 victory over the Blue Devils. Reba went six innings, allowed just two hits and one run. He struck out 12 and walked just three. His strikeout total was the high mark by a Clemson pitcher since Ryan Mottl had 12 in a loss to Virginia on April 4, 1998.

Schmidt followed Reba’s performance from Friday with a complete game of his own on Saturday against the Yellow Jackets. In his second complete game of his career, the sophomore showed his form from a year ago when he amassed a perfect 9-0 record. On Saturday against Georgia Tech, he did not allow Tech to score a run until the ninth inning. The previous Sunday vs. Duke, he got the win in 5 1/3 innings allowing just four runs (three earned) off eight hits. He improved to 4-3 on the year and struck out four batters. Schmidt had an even bigger bat in the five games last week. The sophomore hit .455 (10 for 22) with four home runs and 11 RBIs.

Henrie Most Improved Pitcher The “Where did he come from?” award for Clemson baseball for this year goes to Matt Henrie. The sophomore from Jupiter, FL and Cardinal Newman High School appeared in just five games in 1999 and had an ERA of 13.50. He pitched just 3.1 innings for the season. He red-shirted the 2000 season.

So far this year, Henrie has a 4-2 record and a 3.20 ERA (fourth in the ACC) after getting the loss April 18 at South Carolina. Prior to that loss, he had won four of his five previous starts, victories over Maryland, Wake Forest, New York Tech and Duke. During those wins he allowed just one earned run in 26 1/3 innings, had 23 strikeouts and just seven walks. He gave up three earned runs in 3 1/3 in the 9-3 loss to the Gamecocks. He is holding opposing batters to a .219 average, tying him with Wake Forest’s Dave Bush for second in the ACC. Henrie was named ACC Pitcher of the Week earlier this year when he shutout Maryland 7-0. He pitched six innings and allowed just three hits, no runs and struck out five of the 25 batters he faced.

Clemson Comeback Clips Coastal After five consecutive defeats, Clemson got back in the win column on April 11 against Coastal Carolina. But it wasn’t just any old win Clemson needed a five-run ninth inning and then extra innings to put an end to the longest losing skid for the Tigers under head coach Jack Leggett. Clemson scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game and send it to extra innings, where a Khalil Greene single in the bottom of the 11th gave the Tigers an 8-7 victory against Coastal Carolina.

Trailing 7-2 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Khalil Greene got things started for the Tigers which had mustered just one hit in the first six innings of the game. He singled to right-center field and then scored on Jarrod Schmidt ninth home run of the season to make the score 7-4.

Steve Pyzik’s walked. Casey Stone singled to left field and the Chanticleers intentionally walked Jeff Baker to pull Clemson within 7-5. Michael Johnson hit a two RBI single to even the score at 7-7 and send the game to extra innings.

Clemson and Coastal Carolina went scoreless in the 10th and the Chanticleers failed to score in the top of the 11th. Clemson appeared it would not score in the inning when it began with two straight foul outs. Baker drew a walk to begin the threat and then Johnson singled to second base, where Jeff Baker was safe. Greene then sent a shot into shallow left field and it fell to bring home the winning run and give Clemson an 8-7 victory.

Steve Reba, who came on after two outs in the top of the tenth inning, earned the win for the Tigers.

Tigers in the ACC Rankings Jarrod Schmidt and Jeff Baker each have 14 home runs to rank second in the ACC, just two behind Virginia’s Jon Benick (16). Both reached 14 home runs Tuesday night vs. Western Carolina. Schmidt’s eight home runs in ACC games is best in the league. First baseman Michael Johnson ranks fifth in the home run race with 11.

Jeff Baker is atop the ACC in RBIs with 54. Baker’s 1.29 RBIs per game average is best in the conference. Baker is second in slugging percentage (.726), third in total bases (119) and fourth in on-base percentage (.469). Baker is third in the individual batting race with a .384 average and Casey Stone is fourth with a .382 average.

Casey Stone is tied for fourth in the ACC in stolen bases. He is averaging .47 stolen bases per game and is 20 of 24 (.833) on the base paths this season. Chad Coder is eighth in the stolen base department and is perfect on the season in all 15 stolen base attempts.

Johnson is tied for seventh in walks. He has boarded base 29 times this season by bases on balls. Johnson also ranks eighth in slugging percentage (.614).

In the pitching department, Steve Reba is tops in wins (eight), ERA (1.87) and opponents’ batting average (.171). He is second in strike outs with 67.

Joining Reba to rank among the leads best against batters, Matt Henrie is second versus opposing batters who have a .219 average against Henrie. Schmidt is hold batters to an average of .253, good enough for sixth in the league. Henrie’s ERA of 3.20 is fourth best in the league behind Reba and Virginia’s Dan Street (2.32) and Wake Forests’s Dave Bush (3.06).

As a team, Clemson leads the ACC in fielding with a .966 fielding percentage. The Tigers are third in batting with a .307 average, behind Georgia Tech (.341) and Wake Forest (.327) and are second in pitching with a 4.17 ERA behind Florida State (3.30).

Leggett Selected for Western Carolina Hall of FameJack Leggett, the winningest baseball coach at Western Carolina with 302 victories in nine seasons, will be inducted into the Western Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame Oct. 12-13. Leggett led the Catamounts to an unprecedented five consecutive Southern Conference Championships and five straight NCAA tournament bids from 1985-89. Two of his teams, 1985 and 1987, finished the season ranked among the nation’s top 30. The 1987 squad reached the NCAA Midwest Regional championship game. Western averaged 33 wins per season during Leggett’s tenure and played in the SoCon Championship game in eight of his nine seasons. In addition to his success on the field 100 percent of the players who completed their eligibility with the Catamounts, received a degree from WCU. Three players earned Academic All-American honors, including two first-team selections.

Riley Named ACC Player of the Week Clemson’s Ryan Riley earned ACC Player of the Week honors on Feb. 26 after the Tigers went 3-2 in five games in Las Vegas, NV against UNLV and Oregon State.

Riley, a senior second baseman, earned ACC Player of the Week honors after leading Clemson in a three-game series vs. Oregon State and a two-game series at UNLV. For the week, the Seattle, WA, native notched 11 hits, nine RBIs and a .524 batting average. He finished the five-game stretch with 21 at bats as well as contributing seven runs, three doubles and two home runs. Riley had at least one hit in all five contests and went 3 for 4 on two occasions and missed hitting for the cycle in the finale vs. Oregon State by a triple. He had a single, a double and an inside-the-park home run.