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Clemson Takes On South Carolina

March 2, 2001

Live Broadcast

South Carolina Series Saturday’s game marks the 248th meeting between Clemson and South Carolina. The Tigers hold a 148-99 edge in the series that dates back to 1899. The Gamecocks won both meetings last year, but Clemson has won 12 of the last 16 meetings and is 13-8 under head coach Jack Leggett. Clemson’s last victory in the series was a 5-4 win April 21, 1999 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

About South Carolina South Carolina is off to a 12-0 start and is ranked as high as fourth in the most recent college baseball polls. The Gamecocks are ranked seventh by Baseball America, fourth by Collegiate Baseball and sixth by Baseball Weekly/ESPN. South Carolina enters the game with 3-game series wins over Delaware St. and George Mason. The Gamecocks also have wins over Wofford (2), Coastal Carolina, Virginia Commonwealth, Richmond and Old Dominion. Bryon Jeffcoat is batting .500 (15-30) with four doubles and three home runs. Kip Bouknight is expected to start Saturday. He is 3-0 on the season with a 3.22 ERA. He has given up eight runs off 19 hits in 22.1 innings with four walks and 20 strike outs.

Clemson, South Carolina to Play Four Times in 2001 This weekend’s games are the first two of four between Clemson and South Carolina in 2001. Saturday, the two teams will play at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson and then Sunday, the two will meet again at Sarge Frye Field in Columbia.

The Tigers and Gamecocks will not meet again until a midweek game on April 18 in Columbia and a week later on April 25 in Clemson. The last the teams played four times in one season was in 1996. Clemson swept the four games that season by a combined 30-7. Clemson and South Carolina regularly played four-game series from 1993-1997.

Leggett Against the SEC In seven seasons under Head Coach Jack Leggett, Clemson has had tremendous success against the Southeastern Conference. Leggett’s record against the SEC as the Tigers’ skipper is 41-16 (.719), including 18 wins against top-25 teams. Leggett also has at least a .500 record against all eight SEC schools he has faced while at Clemson. The Tigers won nine straight games against SEC competition between 1997-99.

Bradley Award This year the Clemson most valuable player of the Clemson vs. South Carolina series will win the Bob Bradley Award. The award will be given to the top player from Clemson over the four game series between the two teams each year. South Carolina’s top player will be presented the Tom Price Award.

Both Bradley and Price had a tremendous positive influence on the baseball programs at Clemson and South Carolina as the school’s sports information directors. Bradley passed away this past Oct. 30. He had served as Clemson’s baseball SID for 45 years and still served as Clemson’s official scorer for most of the 2000 season. Price continues to serve the South Carolina baseball program in an emeritus capacity.

Tigers Take 7-4 Win from Furman Clemson had 15 hits, including five for extra bases, as the Tigers handed Furman a 7-4 loss at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Wednesday afternoon.

The Tigers scored in each of the first three innings to build a 6-0 lead over the Paladins. Jeff Baker, who played third base on Wednesday, had a base hit in the bottom of the first inning to score Casey Stone, who received a free pass with a walk two batters earlier. Clemson then added three runs in the second inning thanks to a two-run homer by designated hitter Michael Johnson and doubles by catcher Casey Stone.

In the third inning Baker doubled to start the inning and was batted in by Kyle Frank who also doubled two batters later. First baseman Jarrod Schmidt single to knock in Frank.

Stone and Schmidt each finished the day 3 for 4 and one run scored. Johnson was 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Five Tiger batters had multiple hits as Clemson won its 27th game in a row against Furman in a series that dates back to 1896 when the two teams met in Clemson’s first-ever baseball game.

Clemson received a great effort from freshman right-handed pitcher Steven Jackson, who went 6.0 innings allowing just four runs, two of which were earned. He also had seven strikeouts in picking up his first career win at Clemson. He was relieved by Matt Henrie and Josh Cram, who picked up the save.

Leaving Las Vegas Clemson concluded its four-day, five-game trip to Las Vegas 3-2, having split two games with UNLV and taking 2 of 3 from Oregon State. The Tigers opened the trip with a 10-6 victory against UNLV and followed it up with a 9-5 win against Oregon State. The Rebels took the re-match 14-6 and the Beavers got revenge 10-9 before the Tigers battled back for a 13-2 triumph against Oregon State in a game that was halted after the seventh inning by the 10-run rule.

Two Tigers hit at least .500 in the five games off “The Strip.” Ryan Riley hit .524, getting 11 hits in his 21 at bats on the trips with three double and two home runs. Jarrod Schmidt hit .500 with eight hits in 16 at bats with a double and a home run.

Riley Named ACC Player of the Week Clemson’s Ryan Riley earned Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Player of the Week honors on Feb. 26.

Riley, a senior second baseman earns ACC Player of the Week honors after leading Clemson in a three-game series versus 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.

Boyd Still Out Patrick Boyd returned to practice this week after sitting out most of preseason practice and the first two weeks of the season with a stress fracture in his back. He will likely not return this weekend vs. South Carolina, but could return next week vs. the College of Charleston on Wednesday or for the weekend series vs. Ohio University. Boyd 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.

Coder Capable Replacement Sophomore transfer Chad Coder has been playing center field in the absence of Patrick Boyd. Coder’s presence is being felt at the plate as he is second in the team in batting through the first nine games of the season.

The transfer from Edmonds CC is hitting .457 with 16 hits in 35 at bats. He has at least one hit in all nine games this season. He has at least two hits in four games and at least three hits in three games. Coder has three doubles and two homers and is leading the team in runs scored with 12 and total bases with 25. In the field, he has recorded 10 putouts with one assist and two errors.

Schmidt Leads Team While the right-handed pitcher Jarrod Schmidt was one of Clemson’s most successful pitchers last season with a perfect 9-0 record, this season he is leading the team in offense. The freshman All-American in 2000 is doing the job at the plate, leading the team in hitting with a .484 batting average.

He has 15 hits in 31 at bats with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs. The sophomore from Marietta, GA has at least one hit in every game in which he has batted, including 3-4 efforts in the loss to Oregon State and the win on Wednesday against Furman. On the mound, he is 1-1 with a 5.59 ERA.

Opening Weekend Clemson took two of three games from Richmond to open the season at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Feb. 16-18. With a 10-5 setback to Richmond, the Tigers dropped their season opener for the first time since 1995 when they lost to Oklahoma State to begin the season in Arlington, TX. Clemson had not lost its home opener since 1985 when Charlotte squeaked past the Tigers 4-3 in the seventh game of the season.

At Doug Kingsmore Stadium Clemson was 37-5 at home last year and is off to a 3-1 start this season after taking two of three games last weekend against Richmond and Wednesday’s game against Furman.

Clemson has been outstanding at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in terms of its record, as the Tigers have accumulated a 216-37 (.854) record overall and 68-14 (.829) record against the ACC in the friendly confines the last seven seasons. That success can be attributed in part to the tremendous fan support the Tiger faithful has shown. Clemson has finished each of the last seven seasons ranked in the top 20 in the nation in attendance.

Clemson drew an average of 2,833 fans for its 39 home dates in 2000. That average was good for 11th best in the country. The 2000 season marked the fifth straight season ticket sales surpassed the 1,000 mark. The loyal fan support has also helped Clemson host a regional five of the last seven seasons.

The Tiger regular season single-game record for attendance came against North Carolina on Saturday, April 1, 1995 when 6,223 fans saw the Tigers pummel the Tar Heels 20-1. The overall attendance record was set at the 2000 super regional against Mississippi State. That June 3 night the attendance stood at 6,392.

Clemson’s next home action is Wednesday, March 7 against the College of Charleston. First pitch is at 3:00 PM.

Outfield Fences Moved In In the off-season Clemson moved the outfield fences at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in by 10 feet. This decision was the result of NCAA changes in bat construction.

Clemson hit just 17 home runs at Kingsmore Stadium last year in 42 games. The team hit just three after April 18 and they were by the same player (Jeff Baker). The new dimensions are 320 down the left field line, 330 down the right field line, 370 to left-center, 375 to right-center and 400 to center field. The old fences are still in place just in front of the large hedge.

Through four home games so far this season, Clemson has six home runs. Of those six homers, five have cleared both sets of fences while just one home run cleared the new wall.

Advance Tickets On Sale Advance reserved tickets for the remaining baseball games against South Carolina and the three-game series versus Georgia Tech are now on sale. Each reserved ticket is $7 and orders are being taken on a first-come-first-served basis at the Clemson Athletic Ticket Office. The ticket office is located at the northwest corner of Memorial Stadium and is open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Fans may also call during those hours at 1-800-CLEMSON or (864) 656-2118.

Tigers Ranked in Street & Smith’s Clemson has been ranked seventh in the Street & Smith’s preseason baseball poll. The poll, which was released Tuesday picks Georgia Tech as its preseason #1, followed by Southern California, South Carolina, Arizona State, LSU and Rice. The Tigers are next followed by Miami (FL), Nebraska and Stanford.

Preseason All-Americans In its Feb. 20 edition, Street & Smith named Nick Glaser a preseason All-American. He was one of 11 pitchers recognized by the publication. Glaser had 15 saves last season, which ranks 15th in school history. It was the sixth best total in the NCAA in 2000. Glaser was also selected a second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. He will likely move into the starting rotation this season. Collegiate Baseball also list Patrick Boyd to its preseason third-team list. Baseball America named Boyd and Khalil Greene preseason second-team All-Americans. Boyd was a 1999 All-American and Greene is the ninth-best hitter in Clemson history by percentage.

Top of Their Class Four Tigers have been ranked among the best in their respective class by Baseball America. Patrick Boyd has been named the third best senior in the nation entering the 2001 season while Jeff Baker has been named the seventh-best sophomore. Jarrod Schmidt was named the 11th-best sophomore and Khalil Greene was selected the 23rd-best junior.

Boyd On Rotary Smith Watch List Clemson senior center fielder Patrick Boyd has been named to the 2001 Rotary Smith Watch List, the Rotary Club of Houston announced Jan. 31. The 14th annual Rotary Smith Award will be handed out in Houston on June 28.

The preliminary watch list was compiled after submissions by sports information personnel at all of the NCAA Division I baseball schools. Additional nominations may be added to the list until the first round of voting begins in May.

Boyd, a senior from Palm Harbor, FL, is a second-team preseason All-American by Baseball America and is ranked as the third-best senior in the nation by the publication. He is a career .341 hitter with a .442 on-base percentage and 49 stolen bases in three seasons. He ranks in the school’s top 10 in career doubles (seventh), career runs scored (ninth), career hits (ninth) and career RBIs (ninth). Boyd was a second team All-America selection in 1999 and was drafted in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in last year’s amateur draft.

Voting to determine the list of 12 semifinalists will begin in May and the list will be announced at the conclusion of the regular season. Three finalists will be announced prior to the start of NCAA Super Regional Action, the week of June 1-3.

Clemson Made Ninth Trip to College World Series Clemson made its ninth trip to the College World Series in its history in 2000, and its first since 1996. Clemson also made it to Omaha in 1995 and 1991. In 1996, Clemson went 2-2, including dramatic wins over Oklahoma State and Alabama. The 1996 team featured the likes of National Player-of-the-Year Kris Benson and All-American Billy Koch.

The 2000 year’s team was quite a contrast from the 1996 team. There were no players whose numbers jump out. There were even no 2000 first-team all-conference players on the squad. But there was a tenacious desire of 25 players and four coaches, in particular Jack Leggett, to make it back to Omaha.

Clemson is 7-18 all-time in Omaha. The Tigers made it to Omaha in Bill Wilhelm’s first two seasons at Clemson, 1958 and 1959. He also guided Clemson to Omaha in 1976, 1977, 1980, and 1991. Wilhelm was 4-12 in the College World Series. Jack Leggett has taken Clemson to three previous College World Series, 1995, 1996, 2000. He owns a 3-6 record in Omaha. Leggett was a member of Maine’s baseball team that played in the College World Series in 1976.

OMAHA On the back of Clemson’s caps in 2000 was the word “OMAHA” on the Tiger Paw in small letters. In past years, Leggett created a slogan to put on the back of the hats. One season it was “TEAM”. But Leggett had a great feeling about the 2000 team, so he put “OMAHA” on the caps. He did that knowing full well that the last time “OMAHA” was on the caps was in 1996, Clemson’s last College World Series appearance. The word appears on the back of the caps again in 2001. The five-letter word is spoken every day at practice and in pep-talks. There is even an Omaha Four-Lapper and an Omaha Challenge, which is an off-season conditioning test. Just inside Clemson’s dugout is the home plate from the 1995 College World Series as well. It’s no secret what drives the coach who once played in the College World Series with Maine in 1976.

Clemson’s NCAA Tournament History The Tigers have participated in 26 NCAA Tournaments overall and 14 in a row. Only Miami (FL), Florida State have better streaks. Clemson has also won at least one game in all 14 of the regionals. Clemson’s 26 appearances also ranks seventh in the nation, while the 14-year run ranks tied for sixth all-time in NCAA history. Clemson has a 70-55 (.560) all-time record in the tournament, including a 41-29 (.586) record during the 14-year run. Jack Leggett has a 25-15 (.625) record in NCAA Tourney play as the Tiger Head Coach as well. Leggett was 4-10 in the tourney at Western Carolina in five years (1985-89), therefore is 29-25 (.537) in 11 career NCAA Tourneys.

Tigers Reached 50-Win Plateau for Ninth Time With its 9-4 win against #10 Mississippi State that clinched a trip to the College World Series, it also marked the team’s 50th win. It was the ninth time in school history and first time since 1996, when Clemson was 51-17, that Clemson reached the half-century mark. Clemson has won 50 or more games under Head Coach Jack Leggett four times in his seven seasons. Clemson won 57 games in 1994 and 54 games in 1995 in Leggett’s first two seasons at Clemson.

Tiger Streaks Rank Third Best in the Country Clemson has won at least 40 games for 15 straight seasons. The Tigers reached that mark against #4 Florida State on May 8, 2000, a 7-4 Tiger win. Clemson also participated in its 14th straight NCAA Tournament. Both marks rank in the top-three in the country currently. Clemson is tied for third in the nation in consecutive tournament appearances, trailing only Miami (FL) (28) and Florida State (23). Wichita State also has a 14-year run in the tournament. As far as consecutive 40-win seasons, Clemson is third in the country with its 15-year streak. The Tigers trail only Florida State (23) and Wichita State (23) in that area.