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Tigers and Bulldogs Renew Rivalry with Two Games This Week

Tigers and Bulldogs Renew Rivalry with Two Games This Week

March 28, 2006

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Clemson (16-6), ranked as high as #9 in the country, will travel to Athens to take on #19 Georgia (17-5) at Foley Field on Tuesday at 7:00 PM. The two teams will then play at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Wednesday at 7:00 PM. Tuesday’s game will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will also be available at for the game.

The SeriesClemson and Georgia have met 208 times on the diamond, with the Bulldogs holding a 113-93-2 lead in the series that dates back to 1900. Georgia is Clemson’s second-most played rival in school history, trailing only South Carolina (273). Last year, Georgia won both meetings despite the Tigers out-hitting the Bulldogs in each contest. At Foley Field, the Bulldogs rallied from a 5-0 deficit to down the Tigers 11-10. At Doug Kingsmore Stadium the following day, Georgia beat Clemson 4-1 despite Stephen Faris’ complete-game five-hitter.

The Bulldogs lead 66-39 in games played at Georgia, including winning seven of the last nine meetings at Foley Field. Jack Leggett is 16-11 against Georgia as Clemson’s head coach, including 6-10 in Athens.

The Starting PitchersGeorgia will start freshman righthander Ben Jeffers (0-1, 9.53 ERA) on the mound Tuesday. The Danielsville, GA native will be making his first career start on Tuesday, as he has previously made five relief appearances for a total of 5.2 innings pitched. He has allowed seven hits and seven walks with seven strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with sophomore righty David Kopp (1-0, 4.09 ERA) on Tuesday. The Margate, FL native has made three starts and one relief appearance this season. In 11.0 innings pitched, he has yielded 12 hits (11 singles, one homer) and five walks with six strikeouts. He has never faced the Bulldogs.

The BulldogsGeorgia, led by fifth-year Head Coach David Perno, enters Tuesday’s game against #9 Clemson with a 17-5 overall record and 3-3 SEC mark after taking two of three games at #10 Arkansas over the weekend. The Bulldogs’ impressive schedule has included three wins over #8 San Diego, a win at Southern California, and three wins over Louisville.

The Bulldogs are 13-2 at home, with both losses coming to Alabama, and 6-2 in one-run games. They have a .297 team batting average and .369 on-base percentage, and have hit 29 homers in 22 games. They have also stolen 21 bases in 27 attempts.

Matt Robbins, brother of current Georgia Tech slugger Whit Robbins, has a team-high .382 batting average, two homers, and 18 RBIs. Josh Morris leads the club with seven homers along with 20 RBIs, while Gordon Beckham, son of a former South Carolina quarterback (also named Gordon) from 1979-82, has a team-best 21 RBIs.The pitching staff has a 3.53 ERA and .244 opponents’ batting average. The team has surrendered just eight homers as well. Sophomore righthander Joshua Fields has five saves in 10 relief appearances, both team highs, while allowing just seven hits and two walks with 24 strikeouts in 16.1 innings pitched. The team sports a .957 fielding percentage as well.

The TigersClemson enters Tuesday’s game at #19 Georgia with a 16-6 overall record and 3-3 ACC mark after sweeping #12 N.C. State in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium over the weekend. The Tigers are 1-4 on the road, 6-2 against top-25 ranked teams, and 4-0 in night games this season. Clemson is hitting .280 with a .366 on-base percentage. In five games last week, Clemson stole 14 bases, therefore has 32 in 38 attempts overall in 2006. The team also has 22 sacrifice bunts.

Tyler Colvin leads the squad with a .342 batting average, eight doubles, five homers, 19 RBIs, and seven stolen bases. Herman Demmink is hitting .333 with a team-best .440 on-base percentage and eight steals in eight attempts. Andy D’Alessio has added five long balls and a team-best 21 RBIs as well. Rightfielder Travis Storrer only played in one game last week (off the bench) after suffering an abdominal strain. Freshman D.J. Mitchell filled in nicely with four hits and two stellar catches in starting all five games.

The pitching staff has a 2.69 ERA and .227 opponents’ batting average. It has also allowed just eight homers and 21 doubles in 22 games. Steve Richard has a team-best four saves, while Daniel Moskos has added two saves and a 1.42 ERA in a team-high 10 relief appearances. Freshman lefty Alex Martin has also given Clemson a boost recently, as he has not given up a run in 8.1 innings pitched this season. The Tigers sport a .971 fielding percentage as well.

Worth Noting* Clemson has 599 all-time ACC regular-season victories, more than any other school.

Clock ManagementThrough 22 games, Clemson has yet to play a game lasting three hours. In fact, the longest game the Tigers have played in this year lasted two hours and 53 minutes, which was against James Madison on February 19. The relatively quick games can be attributed to the fact that Clemson hurlers like to work fast on the mound.

Outfield Defense Not Going UnnoticedStats can be deceiving, but in the case of outfield defense, there are not many stats to measure it at all. However, this area has been a strength of the Tiger team in 2006. The outfield of Tyler Colvin (LF), Travis Storrer (RF) along with recent starter D.J. Mitchell (RF) have saved many runs with outstanding running catches. The four have combined for eight outfield assists as well.

Thievery on the RiseAggression on the basepaths has become a focal point of the Tiger team in recent weeks. And in five games last week, Clemson stole 14 bases to up its season total to 32 in 38 attempts through 22 games. Tyler Colvin is 7-8. Even senior catcher Adrian Casanova has gotten into the act, as he had his first career stolen base against #12 N.C. State on March 26.

Tigers Quiet Wolfpack in Series SweepClemson swept N.C. State by a combined score of 19-9 from March 24-26 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers outhit N.C. State, who entered the series hitting .367, by 91 points (.305 to .214) and stole six bases. Clemson’s pitching staff had a 2.67 ERA, as all three Tiger starting pitchers earned victories. Tyler Colvin was 5-for-11 (.455) with three doubles, a triple, and four RBIs to lead Clemson.

In game one, Clemson scored nine runs in the first two innings and held on for a 9-5 win over N.C. State on March 24. Andy D’Alessio hit a grand slam in the first inning, as the Tigers totaled 11 of their 12 hits in the first two innings. The Wolfpack chipped away with two runs in the fifth inning and three runs in the sixth inning, but Steve Richard also struck out the only batter he faced and picked up the save. Josh Cribb pitched 5.1 innings with eight strikeouts to earn the win. N.C. State stranded 12 runners on base, including at least one in every inning, and struck out 13 times in the game.

In game two, Clemson scored four runs in the fourth inning and pitched its way through the latter stages of the game to come away with a 4-2 win over the Wolfpack on March 25. Triples by Daniel Moskos pitched 2.0 scoreless innings to pick up the save. The Tigers overcame three defensive errors and stranded nine Wolfpack players on base.

In game three, the Tigers defeated N.C. State 6-2 to sweep the series. Clemson, who scored in only three different innings in the first two games of the series, scored in five different innings in game three, totaling 10 hits as well. Stephen Faris pitched 8.0 shutout innings, allowing only four hits and no walks with five strikeouts, to earn the victory. Colvin went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two walks, and two RBIs, while Stan Widmann went 2-for-3. Clemson scored three unearned runs thanks to two errors by first-baseman Aaron Bates, while the Tigers did not commit an error. Clemson also walked eight times and stole five bases.