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Duke Visits Tiger Field In Baseball’s ACC Home Opener

April 15, 1999

Clemson (21-16, 3-5 ACC) hosts Duke (20-20, 109 ACC) this weekend in a three-game series beginning Friday night at 7:15. It is the first ACC home series for the Tigers, who have played all eight conference games on the road. Game times on Saturday and Sunday are 7:00 and 2:00, respectively. The Blue Devils, who will travel just 17 players due to several players who have season ending injuries, defeated Clemson twice in three games last season at Jack Coombs Field. Clemson leads the all-time series 90-56-1 (.616) dating back to 1904.

The Tigers will start righthander Mike Paradis (4-0, 3.08 ERA) in game one. The starters for the other two games will be determined at a later date. Duke will start righthanders Brad Dupree (3-4, 6.75 ERA) and Stephen Cowie (6-6, 5.56 ERA) on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Lefty Chris Capuano (5-3, 4.78 ERA) will start on Sunday. All three Blue Devil starters factored in decisions in the three games in ’98. Cowie pitched a complete game, allowing just two runs, in earning the win in game three of ’98. Cowie leads the ACC with 92 strikeouts and Capuano leads the ACC with two shutouts. Dupree also picked up the win in relief in game two.

Duke is led at the plate by First-Team Preseason All-American Vaughn Schill, who is hitting .381 with five homers, 16 doubles, and 29 RBIs in 40 games. Duke, who is 2-6 on opponents’ home fields and 0-2 in neutral contests, is hitting .303 as a team, but has only hit 21 home runs and stolen 14 bases in 26 attempts. The Blue Devils have a 5.82 team ERA, but have an impressive 2.8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Righthander Teddy Sullivan (0-1, 2.78 ERA) has five saves in 23 appearances out of the bullpen. Duke has been without J.D. Alleva and Jeff Becker for most of the season. Both had season-ending injuries earlier this season. Both Alleva, who was third on the team with a ..346 average in ’98, and Becker, who was second on the team with a .366 average in ’98, started all 58 games last season.

1999 Clemson Baseball Promotional Dates

Date    Day Opponent                Time    Promotion(s) Apr. 17 Sat.    Duke               7 p.m.  *Family Night Apr. 18 Sun.    Duke               2 p.m.  #Senior Citizens Special Apr. 21 Wed.    South Carolina  7:15 p.m.   Secretaries Day SpecialApr. 25 Sun.    Georgia Tech       2 p.m.  +Purple DaySpecial/#Senior Citizens Special May 2   Sun.    Virginia (DH)    12 noon   #Senior Citizens Special May 9   Sun.    North Carolina     4 p.m.  #Senior Citizens Special 

* – bring whole family for $5 with coupon in the Journal/Tribune or The Messenger + – wear purple shirt or jacket receive $3 off adult admission # – present AARP card and receive free admission – secretaries/administrative assistants receive free admission when accompanied by a supervisor or employer who is paying full admission price

Wild Pitch Lifts Tigers Over Gamecocks 8-7 In Columbia Brian Ellis scored on a Lee Gronkiewicz’s wild pitch to give Clemson (21-16) an 8-7 victory over arch-rival South Carolina (24-12) on April 14 in Columbia. The Gamecocks, who were just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, battled back from a 7-2 deficit, scoring five runs in the sixth inning to tie the game. Brian Adams (4-5) pitched 3.1 innings in relief, allowing no run and two hits to earn the win. Clemson took a 5-0 lead in the third inning thanks to a passed ball and a throw that hit Patrick Boyd in the back on his way to home plate that ended up in the Gamecock dugout, allowing Jason Harris to score as well. The win was Clemson’s 11th in the last 13 meetings against South Carolina.

Tigers 36-13 Against SEC Under Leggett In six 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 36-13 (.735), including 14 wins against top-25 teams. Leggett also has at least a ..500 record against all six SEC schools he has faced while at Clemson. Since getting blown out 38-16 at South Carolina in 1997, the Tigers have won seven straight games against SEC foes. Below is a list of Leggett’s record at Clemson against each of the six SEC member schools he has faced:

SEC Leggett's   Record    Winning Opponent     at Clemson  Percentage Alabama          2-0        1.000 Auburn           1-1         .500 Georgia          9-3         .750 Kentucky         3-0        1.000 South Carolina  12-6         .667 Tennessee        9-3         .750 Totals         36-13         .735 

Makeup Games Announced Due to two rainouts (Maryland on March 21 and Coastal Carolina on March 9), Clemson has scheduled makeup games against Western Carolina and Coastal Carolina. The Catamounts will travel to Tiger Field to take on Clemson on May 4 at 7:15 and Coastal Carolina will also travel to Tigertown on May 8 at 7:00. With the addition of the two games, Clemson will have a month-long 16-game homestand from April 16-May 11.

Sixteen-Game Homestand After 16 Road Games Clemson recently completed a stretch of 21 games in which 16 of the games were away from home. Clemson was 6-10 in the 16 games. The Tigers lost two games at East Carolina, who is currently ranked #21 in this week’s Baseball America poll, and three games at Wake Forest, who has been ranked in or near the top 25 all season. Clemson faced #6 Miami (FL) in Fort Mill, SC in neutral contests from April 2-4. Clemson’s last of four straight weekends on the road was against Florida State, who has been ranked #1 almost all of ’99 and had won 20 straight games entering the season. Clemson won one game in both the Miami (FL) and Florida State series. The Tigers final road game of the stretch was at arch-rival South Carolina, who has also been ranked many times this season. Therefore of the 16 games, 12 were against teams that have been ranked in 1999. The Tigers have played just 16 games at home compared to 21 games away from the friendly confines of Tiger Field.

The Tigers begin a 16-game homestand, including four straight home weekends against ACC teams after playing their first three ACC series on the road, beginning with Duke from April 16-18. Clemson is 13-3 at home and 8-13 away from home in ’99.

Night Time Is Right Time Clemson hasn’t had any trouble under the lights in ’99. At night, the Tigers are 8-3 compared to 13-13 in day games. In the last three night games, Clemson defeated #1 Florida State 8-4 in Tallahassee, Furman 12-9 at Tiger Field, and South Carolina 8-7 in Columbia. Clemson has an abundance of night games in upcoming games. In the Tigers 16-game homestand from April 16-May 11, 11 games are at night.

Pitching In The Clutch One area Jack Leggett would like to see improvement in is getting batters out with runners in scoring position. Tiger pitchers are allowing opponents to hit .331 with runners in scoring position. That stat was improved upon against South Carolina on April 14. Tiger pitchers held South Carolina to one hits in eight at bats with runners in scoring position in Clemson’s 8-7 thrilling win. Clemson pitchers have been more effective with two outs, holding opponents to a .267 average.

Tigers Off To Fast Starts In First Innings The Tigers have not had a problem in ’99 getting early leads, as they hold a 55-15 advantage (40 run difference) in scoring in first innings of games. In no other inning has Clemson outscored its opponents by more than 18 runs. The Tigers have scored 343 runs in the 37 games of ’99, an average of 9.3 runs per game. Below is a list of

inning-by-inning scoring:

Team        1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   Ex  Total CLEMSON     55  36  36  36  61  42  34 32   9   2   343 Opponents   15  34  32  30  43  28  28 31  17   4   262 

Bultmann Nearing Tiger, ACC Doubles Record Senior second baseman Kurt Bultmann gets the most out of his 5′-8″ frame. He showed he belonged when he hit .471 in the College World Series as a freshman after hitting just .243 in the first 41 games of his career. Then he hit a school record 31 doubles and 48 extra base hits as a sophomore. Now he is rising to the top of the Tiger career doubles and home run lists. The Seminole, FL native has 75 career doubles, good for second place, and 37 career home runs, fifth best. The 75 doubles is also approching the ACC record of 82 held by Yellow Jacket Jason Varitek (1991-94). Bultmann, who has 186 career RBIs and has scored 203 runs, is also vying to become just the third player in Clemson history to score 200 runs and drive in 200 runs. He is already just the fifth Tiger to score 200 career runs.

He had one of his best games against #24 Washington on Feb. 25 when he was 3-for-5 with two homers (grand slam and three-run) and eight RBIs. He also has shown why Baseball America listed him as the best defensive second baseman in the ACC. Bultmann went 29 consecutive games (dating back to last season) without committing an error (127 chances) before his streak ended on Feb. 26 at UNLV. He also had a streak of not committing an error in 15 games in March to early April of ’99. Bultmann has seen his fielding percentage rise to .964 in ’99 after fielding at a .979 clip in ’98. He is a career .393 hitter (22-for-56) in NCAA Tournament play as well. All this for a player who was all but resigned to attending junior college out of high school. Below is a list where Bultmann ranks in the all-time Tiger doubles list:

Clemson Career DOUBLE Leaders

Rk. Name             (Years)        Doubles 1.  Gary Burnham    (1994-97)         77 2.  Kurt Bultmann   (1996-present)    75 3.  Bert Heffernan  (1985-88)         63 4.  Chuck Baldwin   (1984-87)         62 5.  Shane Monahan   (1993-95)         60 

Bultmann has returned to his form of ’97 as he is hitting .345 with 16 doubles, a triple, six homers, 44 RBIs, and four stolen bases in 36 games in ’99.

Roper Making Most Of Opportunity Junior Doug Roper (Vidalia, GA) struggled earlier this season at the plate. And with the emergence of Bradley LeCroy at shortstop, Roper’s playing time at shortstop was diminishing. So Roper, who started almost every game at shortstop in ’98 and is hitting just .178 this season, took advantage of an opportunity afforded to him by Coach Leggett. The idea was for Roper, who had pitched just 7.0 innings in his Tiger career in “mop-up” roles, to move to the bullpen on a full-time basis. The switch has paid off as Roper has a 3.64 ERA in 12.1 innings (six appearances) since the change. He pitched in two of three games #6 Miami (FL) and entered the game against #1 Florida State in a crucial situation, evidence of Leggett’s confidence in Roper’s ability. Roper earned his first career save against Furman by pitching 4.0 innings allowing just two hits, one run, and one walk while striking out three batters on April 13. Roper, who stands 5-9 and weighs just 145 pounds, has a 4.40 ERA (second best on team) in 14.1 innings pitched to go along with 11 strikeouts against just four walks.

Harris Garners ACC Player-Of-The-Week Honor Senior co-captain and first baseman Jason Harris (Hickory, NC) went 10-for-20 in two games against Western Carolina (April 6-7) and three against #1 Florida State (April 9-11) to earn ACC Co-Player-of-the-Week honors. He was the first Tiger to be so honored in ’99. Harris is currently riding a nine-game hitting streak and has upped his batting average to .353 to go along with six homers, seven doubles, 44 RBIs, a .471 on base percentage, and 13 stolen bases. Harris has also started all 96 games as a Tiger.

Tigers Withstand Furman Comeback Clemson (20-16) jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the second inning and held on to beat Furman 12-9 on April 13 at Tiger Field. Kurt Bultmann became just the fifth Tiger to score 200 career runs. He was 2-for-3 with a homer and four runs scored. Steve Reba (3-3) picked up the win in relief and Doug Roper pitched 4.0 innings allowing just two hits and a run to earn his first career save. Furman (15-18) scored five runs in the fourth inning, thanks to six hits to open the inning, to tie the game 6-6, but Clemson added three runs each in the fourth and fifth innings. Henr Stanley and Jason Harris both hit three-run homers as well.