June 3, 2002
Coach Leggett’s Monday Teleconference Audio
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Clemson Advances to Super Regional Clemson (50-14), the #2 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, will play host to Arkansas (34-26) in Super Regional action beginning Friday, June 7 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The games Friday and Saturday will both start at 7:15 PM, while Sunday’s game (if necessary) will start at 2:00 PM. The winner of the best-of-three series will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, NE from June 14-22. The winner of the Clemson (SC) Super Regional will face the winner of the Lincoln (NE) Super Regional in the opening round in Omaha. Nebraska is playing host to Richmond.
All of the Super Regional games will be broadcast on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Properties and can be heard live via the internet at www.clemsontigers.com. Live stats will also be available on Clemson’s website.
Scouting Arkansas Arkansas (34-26) enters the Super Regional after three straight wins in the Wichita (KS) Regional. The Razorbacks beat Oklahoma in their first game 8-5, then won two straight games over Oral Roberts 7-6 and 11-6. Arkansas was 13-14 in SEC regular-season play, good for fifth place in the SEC West.
The Razorbacks lost two of three games in the SEC Tournament, both losses coming to South Carolina. Earlier in the season, Arkansas swept the Gamecocks in a rain-shortened series in Fayetteville, AR. Arkansas also was 3-1 against Auburn and 1-2 at Georgia earlier this season.
The two teams have met just three times. Arkansas downed the Tigers 6-5 in the 1987 NCAA South Regional at Huntsville, AL on May 23. The next day, Arkansas bounced Clemson from the tournament with a 4-2 win. In 1999, the two teams met again in the Fayetteville (AR) Regional. Clemson had beated Delaware earlier that day, while Arkansas had just lost to Southwest Missouri State in the previous game. The Tigers, behind 6.2 solid innings pitched by Steve Reba, defeated Arkansas 12-4. Reba struck out six, walked one, and allowed three earned runs in picking up the win. Khalil Greene, the only other current Tiger who has faced Arkansas, went 4-for-5 with three doubles and three RBIs in the game. Greene became just the second Tiger to ever hit three doubles in an NCAA Tournament game. No current Razorback played in that game.
Arkansas, led by 33rd-year Head Coach Norm DeBriyn, is 11-11 on opponents’ home fields. The Razorbacks sport a .279 team batting average, led by Scott Bridges at .315. Michael Conner is their leading power hitter, with 15 homers and 46 RBIs. They also have a .966 team fielding percentage.
The Arkansas pitching staff has a 4.28 ERA and a .280 opponents’ batting average. Scott Woods leads the staff with a 6-2 record and 2.62 ERA in 17 appearances.
Clemson’s NCAA Tournament History The 2002 season marks Clemson’s 28th trip to an NCAA Regional dating back to the 1947 season. That year, Clemson actually advanced to the Final Eight of the NCAA Tournament, but it is not considered a College World Series season because only four teams went to the CWS in those days.
Clemson won the District III Tournament in Charlotte that year by coming through the losers bracket. The Tigers, coached by Randy Hinson, lost in the first round to Alabama 8-2, then came back with a win over Auburn and two wins over Alabama to advance. Clemson’s season ended when a Yale team, led by future President George Bush, defeated the Tigers in New Haven, CT, 7-3. Bush was 1-for-3 as the starting first baseman.
Clemson made its first trip to the College World Series in 1958 when the Tigers again came through the losers bracket. After losing to Florida in the first round, Clemson came back to defeat George Washington, Florida State, and Florida twice to advance under first year coach Bill Wilhelm. Clemson defeated Florida 15-14 and 3-1 on June 9 to advance. Harold Stowe struck out 17 in that second game on June 9 and that is still a Clemson single-game record for strikeouts in an NCAA Tournament game.
The Tigers advanced to the CWS in 1959, this time with three easy wins; one over Georgia Tech and two over Florida State. One of the wins over the Seminoles was a 24-2 victory in Gastonia, NC. That is still tied for the most runs scored by Clemson in an NCAA Tournament game.
That was Clemson’s last trip to Omaha until 1976. In fact, Clemson made just one NCAA Tournament appearance between 1960 and 1974. That was in 1967 when Clemson reached the Regional Championship, but lost to Auburn 6-5.
Clemson made it to Omaha three out of five years between 1976-80. Clemson won a regional in Columbia, SC in 1976 with three straight wins, then came through the losers bracket in Miami (FL) in 1977 to advance to Omaha. The 1980 season was the first year Clemson played host to a Regional, as Clemson swept three games by scoring 45 runs, including 17 in a 17-12 win over South Carolina.
The Tigers have been to the NCAA Tournament every year since 1987, making College World Series appearances in 1991, 1995, 1996, and 2000. Clemson’s streak of 16 consecutive regionals is the third-longest active streak in the country behind Miami’s (FL) 30 and Florida State’s 25 in a row. Clemson’s streak of 16 in a row is the fifth-longest streak in college baseball history.
Overall, Clemson has been to 28 regionals (including this year), sixth-best all-time. Clemson’s overall record in NCAA play is 76-59, a .563 winning percentage.
Clemson is 31-17 (.646) under Jack Leggett in NCAA Tournament play, including a 22-4 record in home NCAA Tournament games. Leggett has taken Clemson to a Regional all nine years he has been Clemson’s head coach, including the College World Series three times. Leggett has taken Clemson to the Super Regional each of the four years that format has been in existence. Clemson is one of six teams nationally to go to four straight Super Regionals.
Clemson’s College World Series Seasons
Coming Through Losers Bracket Coming through the losers bracket to advance in the NCAA Tournament is something Clemson has not done a great deal. However, the Tigers have done it three times in history, with the most recent occurrence coming in 1999 when Clemson defeated Southwest Missouri State twice on May 30 to advance to a Super Regional at Texas A&M.
Jack Leggett’s team defeated Southwest Missouri State 8-7 and 7-5 after losing earlier in the tournament to the same team by a 23-5 score. The Tigers nearly duplicated the feat in College Station. After losing game one 20-3, Clemson defeated the Aggies 10-3 in the second game. Clemson held a 4-3 lead going into the ninth inning in the third game, but Texas A&M hit two solo homers and won 5-4.
The other two times Clemson has beaten a team twice on the last day to advance took place in 1947 and 1958. The 1947 wins over Alabama sent Clemson to the Final Eight of the NCAA Tournament, but not the College World Series. The two wins over Florida on June 9, 1958 did send Clemson to Omaha.
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