Tigers Baseball Hosts Blue Devils

Tigers Baseball Hosts Blue Devils

April 12, 2001

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Clemson (22-13, 5-4 ACC, #17 BA, #17 CB, #18 BW)


Duke (17-21, 5-6 ACC, Not Ranked)

Probable Starters Friday, April 6: Matt Henrie (RHP, 3-1, 3.37 ERA) vs. Ryan Caradonna (RHP, 4-7, 3.75 ERA) Saturday, April 7: Steve Reba (RHP, 6-1, 2.28 ERA) vs. Kevin Thompson (RHP, 7-2, 3.50 ERA) Sunday, April 8: Jarrod Schmidt (RHP, 3-3, 5.34 ERA) vs. TBA or Nick Glaser (RHP, 3-1, 3.54 ERA)

Clemson vs. Duke Series Clemson and Duke have met 153 times on the diamond, dating back to 1904, a 15-8 Tiger victory. Clemson swept last year’s games in Durham to take a commanding 95-57 series lead. The Tigers won by identical scores of 8-5 in the first two games and then took the third game by a count of 12-8 to extend the win streak vs. Duke to four games. The Tigers are 15-7 vs. Duke under head coach Jack Leggett and have swept regular season meetings against the Blue Devils just twice since 1994: in 1995 and 2000. During that span, however, Duke has claimed 2-1 series wins vs. Clemson on two occasions: in 1998 and in 1996 when the Blue Devils stopped a 15-game Clemson win streak with a 7-4 win. They won the second game of the series that year with a 2-0 shutout. It was the first time in a stretch of 110 games that the Tigers had been shut out.

Clemson vs. Duke Flashback Clemson has never had a player hit two home runs in the same game from the both sides of the plate, but in the first round of the 1988 ACC Tournament against Duke, the right-handed Randy Mazey belted a solo home run from the left side.

Clemson had 7-1 lead when Mazey came to the plate in the eighth inning. He was 2 for 4 with two singles all from the right side as he had batted all season, but in his fifth at bat that day versus Duke, he batted left-handed and hit a home run for the Tigers to give them an 8-1 lead. Couple with Bert Heffernan’s three-run home run the batter before, it was a back-to-back homer. Clemson went on to a 9-1 victory and then advanced to the fifth round of the tournament, where it was eliminated on a 7-6 loss to North Carolina.

Clemson Comeback Clips Coastal Clemson scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game and send it to extra innings, where a Khalil Greene single in the bottom of the 11th gave the Tigers an 8-7 victory against Coastal Carolina Wednesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The win snapped a five-game losing skid that equaled the longest for the Tigers under head coach Jack Leggett. Clemson improved to 22-13 with the win and Coastal Carolina dropped to 20-14.

Trailing 7-2 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Khalil Greene got things started for the Tigers which had mustered just one hit in the first six innings of the game. He singled to right-center field and then scored on Jarrod Schmidt ninth home run of the season to make the score 7-4.

Chad Coder then doubled to left field and then Steve Pyzik walked. Casey Stone singled to left field and the Chanticleers intentionally walked Jeff Baker to pull Clemson within 7-5. Michael Johnson hit a two RBI single to even the score at 7-7 and send the game to extra innings.

Clemson and Coastal Carolina went scoreless in the 10th and the Chanticleers failed to score in the top of the 11th. Clemson appeared it would not score in the inning when it began with two straight foul outs. Baker drew a walk to begin the threat and then Johnson singled to second base, where Jeff Baker was safe. Greene then sent a shot into shallow left field and it fell to bring home the winning run and give Clemson an 8-7 victory.

Steve Reba, who came on after two outs in the top of the tenth inning, earned the win for the Tigers, upping his record to 6-1 this season. Justin Sturge got the loss for the Chanticleers and fell to 1-3 on the season.

Down, But Not Out The five-run hole was the largest ninth-inning deficit overcome to gain victory since April 14, 1995 when Clemson trailed N.C. State 15-4 in Raleigh. The Tigers came back to score 11 runs and then claimed a 17-15 victory.

Clemson also came back in the ninth inning earlier this season against UNLV. The Tigers trailed 6-4 going into the top of the ninth against the Rebels and responded with six runs in the inning to claim a 10-6 victory.

Tiger Basketball Also Mounted Comeback vs. Chanticleers Larry Shyatt’s men’s basketball Tigers also mounted a comeback to knock off Coastal Carolina. The two teams met late in December at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and the Chanticleers sprinted out to an 18-point lead with 5:41 to play in the first half. Clemson cut the lead to 13 at the half and then went on a 19-5 run to take the lead with 12:29 to play in the game before winning 81-68.

Win Breaks Losing Skid Clemson lost five consecutive games for just the second time under head coach Jack Leggett. After taking three games from New York Tech March 30-31 by a combined score of 51-3, Clemson dropped a game to 28th-ranked Winthrop, three games at 5th-ranked Florida State and then lost the first game to Coastal Carolina. It was the longest losing skid for the Tigers since they lost five straight games in 1998. With the Clemson comeback win against Coastal Carolina, the Tigers avoided equaling the six-game losing skid of 1983. Clemson has never lost more than eight straight games in the same season.

Clemson Swept by Florida State The Tigers dropped all three games last weekend in Tallahassee to fall to 5-4 in the ACC. Florida State won 7-4 on Friday, 7-6 on Saturday and then claimed a 6-1 win on Sunday to complete its first sweep of the Tigers since 1995.

Clemson threw undefeated pitchers in all three contests and all were charged with their first loss of the season, including the starters in the first two games that ranked one and two in the ACC in ERA. Steve Reba entered Friday night’s game with a 1.99 ERA yet allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. Matt Henrie entered the game with a 3-0 record and a 2.08 ERA but allowed six earned runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings for his first defeat. On Sunday, Nick Glaser let three earned runs score on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.

The Orange and Purple had their moments on offense. Jarrod Schmidt belted two home runs on Friday in a 2 for 3 night and then on Saturday Jeff Baker put up two homers, including a shot in the ninth that could have tied the game had Kyle Jernigan not roped in a shot to deep centerfield by Chad Coder the batter before Baker. Clemson gave up big innings on both Friday and Saturday. The Seminoles scored five runs in the sixth inning on Friday and then scored four runs in the fifth on Saturday.

Sweep Can Be Overcome The last time Clemson was swept in Tallahassee was 1995. Coincidentally, both teams advanced to the College World Series that year. The same can be said of last year’s sweep of FSU by Clemson when both teams also advanced to Omaha. Since Florida State joined the ACC in 1992, the Seminoles have swept Clemson just one other time (1995). Clemson has three series sweeps vs. Florida State, including all four meetings last year: three vs. the #2 Seminoles in Clemson and one vs. FSU in the ACC Tournament.

Leggett Selected for Western Carolina Hall of FameJack Leggett, the winningest baseball coach at Western Carolina with 302 victories in nine seasons (1983-1991), will be inducted into the Western Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame Oct. 12-13. Leggett led the Catamounts to an unprecedented five consecutive Southern Conference Championships and five straight NCAA tournament bids from 1985-89. Two of his teams, 1985 and 1987, finished the season ranked among the nation’s top 30. The 1987 squad reached the NCAA Midwest Regional championship game. Western averaged 33 wins per season during Leggett’s tenure and played in the SoCon Championship game in eight of his nine seasons. In addition to his success on the field 100 percent of the players who completed their eligibility with the Catamounts, received a degree from WCU. Three players earned Academic All-American honors, including two first-team selections.

Greene Sets HBP Records Who is the Ron Hunt of Clemson baseball? The answer is starting shortstop Khalil Greene who believes in getting on base anyway he can. Hunt set many records for being hit by a pitch in his major league career with the Mets and Expos. Greene is establishing records in that area at Clemson.

Greene has already been hit 17 times this season, equaling the single season mark of 17 set by Mike Hampton in 1994 and Gary Burnham in 1995. Greene has now been hit 43 times in his career, an all-time Clemson record. He is just in the middle of his junior year. Burnham owned the all-time record with 39 HBP recorded between 1994-97. Greene was hit five times in the New York Tech series, including a single game record three times in the first game of the series, a 24-3 win. That included being hit twice in one inning in that game, also a first in Clemson baseball history.

Greene has now been hit by a pitch 17 times and walked 15 times this season. He has a .402 on-base percentage for his 134 at bats.

Baker Leads ACC in Home Runs, RBIs Clemson third baseman Jeff Baker leads the ACC with 13 home runs going into the weekend series with Duke. He had 11 homers as a freshman a year ago. The sophomore from Woodbridge, VA has hit two home runs in four games this season, including twice in the last week. He had a two-home run game last Saturday at Florida State and again Tuesday night against Coastal Carolina. In both games, the Tigers lost.

Baker also leads the league in runs batted in. He has 49 RBIs in 35 games, an average of 1.40 a game. Baker has hovered around .400 all season and is now right at the mark to rank third in the league behind John-Ford Griffin of Florida State (.479) and Victor Menocal of Georgia Tech (.409).

Baker is riding a 13-game hit streak that dates back to the middle game, a loss, at Wake Forest. He has at least one hit in 28 games. He was a perfect 5 for 5 in the win at South Carolina. He had eight RBIs and eight hits and seven runs scored in the three games in the New York Tech series. His best game of the year took place against Ohio University on March 11 when he had a 4-4 day and drove in seven runs. He also had a six-RBI game against Richmond in the second game of the year, a contest in which he hit a pair of home runs.

Baker now has 24 home runs for his career. He led the Tigers in that category a year ago with 11. He had 64 RBIs and a .313 batting average last year also. Obviously he is going to improve on those figures this season.

Reba Leads ACC in ERA Steve Reba is clearly the best pitcher on the Tiger squad this season and is tops in the ACC in ERA. The junior from Fort Wayne, IN has a 6-1 record and a 2.28 ERA, both tops on the club. The six wins are the third best total in the league. He has gained wins over Richmond, Oregon State, Ohio, Maryland, New York Tech and picked up the win in relief Wednesday against Coastal Carolina. He has had more strikeouts than walks in every appearance and has a 47/17 strikeout/walk ratio this year.

Reba had just two starts in 19 appearances last year, but had a 3-0 record with 33 strikeouts and just 15 walks. Prior to his loss Friday at Florida State he had won nine straight decisions and had not suffered a defeat since May of 1999.

Henrie Most Improved Pitcher The “Where did he come from?” award for Clemson baseball for this year goes to Matt Henrie. The sophomore from Jupiter, FL and Cardinal Newman High School appeared in just five games in 1999 and had an ERA of 13.50. He pitched just 3.1 innings for the season. He red-shirted the 2000 season.

So far this year, Henrie has a 3-1 record and a sterling 2.08 ERA. He has won his last three starts, victories over Maryland, Wake Forest and New York Tech. During those three games he allowed just one earned run in 19 innings, had 16 strikeouts and just six walks. Henrie was named ACC Pitcher of the Week earlier this year when he shutout Maryland 7-0. He pitched six innings and allowed just three hits, no runs and struck out five of the 25 batters he faced.

Proto Makes Return Mike Proto returned to the mound for the first time this season on Wednesday in the come-from-behind victory against Coastal Carolina. He pitched the eighth inning allowing just one hit against the three batters he faced.

Proto underwent a scope of his left elbow (of his throwing arm) in early February just before the season. He actually made his 2001 debut in the first game of the March 31 doubleheader vs. New York Tech, but it was not as a pitcher. Instead, the senior from Peabody, MA entered the game in left field.

A year ago, Proto pitched 16.1 innings in 16 appearances with an 0-0 record (one save) and a 7.71 ERA. He faced 77 batters and recorded 14 strike outs.

Tigers in the ACC Rankings Third baseman Jeff Baker leads the ACC in both home runs (13) and RBIs (49) and he is third in batting average at .400 with 56 hits in 140 at bats. He is second in total bases (107) and slugging percentage (.764) and is ranked fourth in on-base percentage (.491). Baker is also ranked ninth in hitting (56).

Left fielder Casey Stone is the third-best base stealer in the ACC. The senior has stolen 18 bases, just three behind Adam Greenberg of North Carolina and two behind Karl Jernigan of Florida State. This season Stone is successful 81.8 percent of the team (18/22). Stone is also ranked fifth among conference hitters with 58 hits this season. Michael Johnson has boarded base via the walk 29 times this season and that figure ties him for the lead among ACC players. He is issued a base on balls .85 times per game, the best figure in the league. Johnson is also second in on-base percentage. Combined with the 29 walks, he has 41 hits, has been hit twice and has one sacrifice fly in 112 at bats.

Jarrod Schmidt is tied for fith in the ACC with nine home runs. Steve Reba is tops in the league with a 2.28 and his .190 batting average vs. opponents is also at the top of conference competition. His 47 strikeouts rank seventh.

Clemson Wins NY Tech Series 51-3 After a 24-3 win over the New York Institute of Technology on March 30, Clemson claimed 13-0 and 14-0 victories in a doubleheader on March 31. It marked the first time since Feb. 16, 1992 that Clemson won two games by shutout in the same day. Clemson swept Eastern Kentucky, 7-0 and 22-0 at Kingsmore Stadium that day.

Clemson outscored New York Tech 51-3 in the three-game series played over two days. It was the most runs scored in a three-game series by Clemson since 1997 when the Tigers outscored Coastal Carolina 52-16 in a three-game set. The 48-run margin over the three games was the highest combined victory margin in a three-game series since 1969 when Clemson out-scored Buffalo 61-9 in three consecutive games.

Boyd Returns, then Returns to Bench Patirck Boyd played his first game of the season March 11 in the 17-4 win over Ohio University. The senior preseason All-American sat out all of preseason practice and missed the team’s first 13 games of the season with a stress fracture in his back.

Boyd was 1 for 3 with a double and scored two runs against Ohio, but the pain continued and forced him to miss the two games with Georgia Southern. On March 14, he flew with team doctor Byron Harder to Tampa, FL to be checked out by a back specialist, who works primarily with major and minor league baseball players. He is in the fourth week of a five to six week rehabilitation process and is trying to return for the mid-week games against Western Carolina and South Carolina March 24 and 25.

Boyd was a 1999 All-American and is a 2001 preseason second-team All-American by Baseball America. He is a career .341 hitter with a .442 on-base percentage and 49 stolen bases in three seasons. The senior from Palm Harbor, FL ranks in the school’s career top-10 lists in five different categories, including walks, doubles, runs scored, hits and RBIs.

Bradley, Price Awards The Most Valuable Players of the Clemson vs. South Carolina four-game baseball series this year will be presented awards in honor of two legendary figures in each program’s history. Clemson’s Most Valuable Player of the series will be presented the Bob Bradley Award, while South Carolina’s MVP will be presented the Tom Price Award. The voting will be done by media covering the four-game series. The awards will be presented immediately after the fourth game of the series, which will be played in Clemson on April 25th.

Both gentlemen served their respective schools as sports information director for over 30 years. For the past nine years, Price has served as a consultant for the Gamecocks athletics department in the role of SID emeritus and department historian. Bradley passed away October 30 after a long bout with cancer.

Bradley served the Clemson athletic department for 45 years, 34 as Sports Information Director and 11 in an emeritus capacity. He was presented the Order of the Palmetto by Governor Jim Hodges in October for his service to the state of South Carolina. The native of Randelman, NC was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 1985 and was presented the Service of Sports Award by the State of South Carolina Hall of Fame.

Bradley was the 1976 recipient of the Arch Ward Award by CoSIDA, which is presented to the Sports Information Man of the Year. He was also inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame. He was a recipient of the Wilbur Snypp Award for excellence in promotion of college baseball.

Tom Price has spent more than half of his life associated with the University of South Carolina. A native of Augusta, GA, Tom served as USC’s Sports Information Director for 31 years, from 1961 until retiring from his post in 1992. Following his retirement from USC, Tom received the Service to Sports Award in 1993 from the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.

Price was the recipient of CoSIDA’s Arch Wade Award in 1994 and is also a member of that organization’s Hall of Fame. Price also has received the Wilbur Snypp award for excellence in the promotion of college baseball and was chosen to serve as a baseball statistician for the Games of the XXIII Olympiad in LosAngeles in 1984. Bradley authored three books on Clemson sports, while Price has authored four that deal with South Carolina sports.

Clemson, South Carolina to Play Two More Times After splitting the first two games with the visiting team getting the victory, Clemson and South Carolina will meet two more times this season. The Tigers and Gamecocks will not meet again until a midweek game on April 18 in Columbia and a week later on April 25 in Clemson. The last the teams played four times in one season was in 1996. Clemson swept the four games that season by a combined 30-7. Clemson and South Carolina regularly played four-game series from 1993-1997.

Riley Named ACC Player of the Week Clemson’s Ryan Riley earned ACC Player of the Week honors on Feb. 26 after the Tigers went 3-2 in five games in Las Vegas, NV against UNLV and Oregon State.

Riley, a senior second baseman, earned ACC Player of the Week honors after leading Clemson in a three-game series vs. Oregon State and a two-game series at UNLV. For the week, the Seattle, WA, native notched 11 hits, nine RBIs and a .524 batting average. He finished the five-game stretch with 21 at bats as well as contributing seven runs, three doubles and two home runs. Riley had at least one hit in all five contests and went 3 for 4 on two occasions and missed hitting for the cycle in the finale vs. Oregon State by a triple. He had a single, a double and an inside-the-park home run.

Advance Tickets On Sale Advance reserved tickets for the remaining baseball games against South Carolina and the three-game series versus Georgia Tech are now on sale. Each reserved ticket is $7 and orders are being taken on a first-come-first-served basis at the Clemson Athletic Ticket Office. The ticket office is located at the northwest corner of Memorial Stadium and is open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Fans may also call during those hours at 1-800-CLEMSON or (864) 656-2118.

Reserved Advanced Ticket Sales April 20 Georgia Tech 7:15 PM April 21 Georgia Tech 7:00 PM April 22 Georgia Tech 2:00 PM April 25 South Carolina 7:15 PM