Clemson to Face #5 North Carolina in CWS Sunday

Clemson to Face #5 North Carolina in CWS Sunday

June 17, 2006

Series Notes vs. North Carolina

For the first time since 1950, #2 Clemson (53-14) and #5 North Carolina (51-13) did not play each other during the regular season. But the two teams will face off on Sunday at 6:00 PM CDT on ESPN2 in the College World Series, meaning the two teams will play each other at least once for the 56th consecutive season. The two teams both won their respective ACC divisions, but they did not play each other due to the newly-expanded 12-team league.

Clemson leads the Tar Heels 93-70-1 in the 164-game series that dates back to 1901. The two have never faced off in the NCAA Tournament. Clemson is 28-14 against North Carolina under Head Coach Jack Leggett. In the most recent matchup, a three-game series at Clemson, the Tigers fell by a score of 2-1 in the series-opener, then won the final two games by scores of 9-1 and 7-3. In 2004, the Tigers also won two of three games at Chapel Hill.

Faris on the Hill

Junior righthander Stephen Faris (Richmond, VA) will get the starting nod on the mound for the Tigers against #5 North Carolina on Sunday. He has a 9-2 record and team-best 2.37 ERA in 95.0 innings pitched over 17 starts this season. He also has 81 strikeouts against only 19 walks, good for a 4.26 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That mark is sixth-best in a season in school history. Faris is holding opponents to a .208 opponents’ batting average as well.

In 234.0 innings pitched in his career, he has allowed just 55 walks with 184 strikeouts. His 3.35 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his career is fourth-best in Tiger history, while his 2.12 walks per nine innings pitched mark is second-best in Clemson history.

He has made one start and one relief appearance against the Tar Heels in his career. As a freshman in 2004, he started at North Carolina, and allowed four hits, one run, and three walks with no strikeouts in 2.1 innings pitched (no-decision). Then in 2005, he pitched 1.1 innings in relief, allowing no hits, no runs, and no walks with three strikeouts.

CWS Game One Success

For the third time in a row, Clemson won its CWS opener with an 8-4 win over #4 Georgia Tech on Friday. The Tigers also won their CWS opener in 2000 (San Jose State) and 2002 (Nebraska). Clemson improved to 5-6 in CWS openers and 10-20 all-time in the College World Series.

Rally Time

Clemson has won each of its last four games (one vs. Mississippi State, two vs. Oral Roberts, and one vs. Georgia Tech) after trailing at some point after six innings in all four games. Clemson trailed Mississippi State 5-4 after six innings before rallying for an 8-6 win in the Clemson Regional. In the first game against Oral Roberts in the Clemson Super Regional, the Tigers trailed 8-7 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning before Tyler Colvin hit a walkoff grand slam, the first by a Tiger in history. In the second game against Oral Roberts, the Tigers were behind 5-3 after seven innings before Clemson scored three runs in the eighth for a 6-5 win. Then against the Yellow Jackets in the College World Series, the Tigers scored eight runs on seven hits in the eighth inning after trailing 4-0 entering the bottom of the eighth for the 8-4 win.

Crazy 8s

Clemson scored all eight of its runs in the eighth inning in the 8-4 win over Georgia Tech on Friday. It was not the first time the Tigers posted an eight-spot on the scoreboard against the Yellow Jackets in Omaha. In fact, in Clemson’s last win in Omaha, in its second game of the CWS against the Yellow Jackets in 2002, Clemson scored eight runs in the second inning and held on for a 9-7 win. In the third meeting with the Yellow Jackets in the 2006 ACC Tournament, the Tigers scored 10 runs in the ninth inning in a 16-11 win as well.

53 Wins

Clemson improved to 53-14 on the season win the win over Georgia Tech. The 53 wins are the most in a season by Clemson since it went 54-17 in 2002. The 53 wins are also the seventh-most in a season in school history. Only twice has a Tiger team won more than 54 games as well.

Hitting Streaks

Tyler Colvin and Brad Chalk both upped their hitting streaks against Georgia Tech. Colvin has hit safely in 26 straight games, while Chalk has a 14-game hitting streak. The 26-game streak by Colvin is fourth-best in school history. Chalk has also hit safely in 24 of his last 25 games. In the game he was hitless, he reached base via a walk, therefore has reached base via a hit or walk in 25 straight games.

Worth Noting

– Clemson has won 25 of its last 26 games. – Clemson is 26-7 against top-25 ranked teams this season. The previous school record for top-25 wins in a season was 19. – With his home run and three RBIs on Friday, Andy D’Alessio now has 23 homers and 83 RBIs in 2006. The 23 homers rank tied for seventh-most in a season in school history, while the 83 RBIs are fourth-most in a season and most-ever by a lefthanded batter in Clemson history.