May 22, 2000
CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson drew the No. 4 national seed and will be the No. 1 regional seed when it plays host to the Clemson Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this weekend in the NCAA Baseball Tournament, the NCAA Baseball Committee announced Monday.
Old Dominion (33-22-1) comes to eighth-ranked Clemson (45-16) as the No. 2 seed, while Illinois (40-21) will be the third seed and Middle Tennessee State (37-21) is the fourth seed.
“We are excited to play host to a regional,” said Clemson head coach Jack Leggett, who has now led the Tigers to seven tournament berths and two College World Series appearances. “This looks to be a strong regional. Illinois has been playing well of late and is coming off a Big Ten Tournament Championship. Middle Tennessee State will give us all we can handle in the first round. They come here on a seven-game winning streak and just won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. We played them when I coached at Western Carolina and they always had a strong program.”
The tournament is a double-elimination format with games being played on Friday at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM, on Saturday at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM, and on Sunday at 2:00 PM and at 7:00 PM (if necessary).
Old Dominion will face Illinois on Friday at 2:00 PM, while Clemson and Middle Tennessee State will meet on Friday at 7:00 PM. The two losers of Friday’s games will meet in Saturday’s 11:00 AM game, while the winners will play Saturday at 3:00 PM. Saturday’s 7:00 PM game will pit the winner of the 11:00 AM game vs. the loser of the 3:00 PM game. The winner of the 3:00 PM game on Saturday advances to Sunday’s 2:00 PM game to meet the winner of Saturday’s 7:00 PM game. Sunday’s 7:00 PM will only be played if a team in the day’s earlier game was undefeated at the beginning of the day.
Of the three teams selected to play in the Clemson Regional, only Old Dominion appeared on Clemson’s 2000 schedule. The Tigers took three games from the Monarchs at home, winning 5-0, 3-1 and 10-2 in mid-February. Clemson is 26-5 all-time vs. ODU. Clemson is 2-0 vs. Illinois, but hasn’t played the Illini since 1986. The Tigers have never played Middle Tennessee State.
Clemson will be making its 26th appearance in the NCAA Baseball Tournament, the seventh-best total in the nation. It marks the 14th consecutive selection for the tournament. The Tigers are 64-53 all-time in the NCAA tournament with eight appearances in the College World Series. Clemson finished as the regular season and tournament runner-up in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season behind Georgia Tech. Clemson was 17-7 in ACC action and 45-16 overall, including a 32-5 mark at home.
Clemson enters the tournament led by third baseman Khalil Greene who has a team-best .376 batting average and a team-best 59 RBIs. Outfielder Casey Stone has a .359 average, while shortstop Jeff Baker is the top home run hitter with nine. Ryan Mottl, a senior right hander with an 8-3 record, is expected to start in the opener against Middle Tennessee State.
Old Dominion, which received an at-large berth to qualify for its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance, had just two wins in its first 12 games. But led by CAA Player of the Year Tim Hummel, the Monarchs rebounded to win 25 of its next 32 contests. The Monarchs were 33-22-1 overall and 14-7 in the Colonial Athletic Association and earned the top seed for the 2000 CAA Baseball Tournament where it was 0-2, losing to Virginia Commonwealth and William & Mary.
Illinois earned a berth in the NCAA tournament by winning the Big Ten Tournament. The Illini were the fourth seed in the tournament after going 17-11 in the regular season, but went 4-1 through the Big Ten bracket, beating Penn State for the championship. In the tournament, all five starting Illini pitchers pitched complete games.
Middle Tennessee State finished 17-6 to earn the third seed in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. The Blue Raiders beat Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky and Southeast Missouri twice to earn the OVC’s automatic berth. Former Clemson pitcher Jeff Parsons is a pitcher at MTSU. He has a 5-5 record and a 4.17 ERA. He played his freshman season at Clemson and got a win over Nevada in the 1997 regional at Texas Tech.
The 2000 Clemson Regional marks the seventh time Clemson has been the site of the NCAA tournament. The Tigers also played host in 1980, 1981, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1998. The Tigers are 14-6 in regionals in Clemson and have advanced to the College World Series from its own regional three times.
The winner of the Clemson Regional will move on to play the victor of the Mississippi State Regional in a Super Regional at a site to be determined Monday, May 29. Mississippi State, Tulane, Notre Dame and South Alabama will play this weekend in Starkville, MS. The winner of the Super Regional will advance to Omaha, NE for the College World Series.
The Schedule: Friday, May 26
Saturday, May 27
Sunday, May 28
2000 CLEMSON REGIONAL QUICK FACTS
Stadium Information: Name: Doug Kingsmore Stadium Built:1970 Capacity: 6,500 (including standing room) Record Crowd: 6,223 vs. North Carolina on April 1, 1995 Record Crowd for a Regional: 5,879 vs. Auburn on May 28, 1994 Largest Crowd in 2000: 6,134 Average Crowd in 2000: 2,520 Clemson Home Record: 32-5 Dimensions: From left: 328-380-400-385-338 (Note: The field at Kingsmore Stadium features a terrace in the outfield instead of a warning track, similar to the one in the old Crosley Field) Surface: Natural grass (Bermuda Rye)
Clemson NCAA Tournament History: Overall Record: 64-53 Regionals at Clemson: Seventh (1980, 1981, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000) Record in Clemson Regionals: 14-6 College World Series Appearances: Eight (1958, 1959, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1991, 1995, 1996) Consecutive Years in Field: 14th, every year since 1987 (35-27 in previous 13 years with three appearances in College World Series)
Clemson Coach Jack Leggett:
Overall Record: 710-418 (.629), 21st season At Clemson: 333-131 (.718), seventh season NCAA Record: 23-23 (.500), 11 tournaments At Western Carolina: 4-10 (.286), five tournaments, 1985-89 At Clemson: 19-13 (.594), six tournaments, two CWS appearances
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