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Tigers Battle Red-Hot Wake Forest This Weekend In Pivotal ACC Baseball Series

Tigers Battle Red-Hot Wake Forest This Weekend In Pivotal ACC Baseball Series

April 13, 2000

CLEMSON, S.C. – Sixth-ranked Clemson (29-8, 6-3) plays host to #11 Wake Forest (31-9-1, 11-4) this weekend in a pivotal ACC series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Demon Deacons are winners of 11 games in a row and have won seven straight conference games. Game times are 7:15 Friday, 4:30 Saturday, and 2:00 Sunday. All three games will be broadcast on the Clemson Sports Network, however, none of the games will be aired on College Sports Southeast (television) as originally scheduled.

Clemson leads the all-time series 92-40-1 dating back to 1901, but the Demon Deacons have won six in a row over the Tigers, including winning all five games in 1999. Wake Forest downed Clemson twice in the ’99 ACC Tournament, including in the Championship game. Wake Forest is the two-time defending ACC Champion.

Wake Forest, led by 13th-year Head Coach George Greer, is in second place in the ACC at 11-4, only a half-game behind first-place Georgia Tech. The Demon Deacons have been outstanding on opponents’ home fields with their 13-5 record. They also feature the league’s best fielding percentage of .971 and are hitting .322 as a team. Wake Forest is averaging 9.3 runs per game as well.

The Demon Deacon’s 11-game winning streak started on March 29 with a 10-3 win over Appalachian State. Wake Forest swept Duke at Durham later that weekend and swept North Carolina this past weekend by a combined four runs. Wake Forest is coming off a win at UNC Greensboro (2-0) Tuesday and a win at Virginia Tech (10-3) Wednesday. Wake Forest has played 18 games at home and 18 games on opponents’ home fields this year.

Junior centerfielder Cory Sullivan leads the squad with a .379 batting average along with 51 runs scored, 34 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases. Shortstop Chase Voshell, who has been hampered by a sore shoulder, is hitting .356 with 45 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Third baseman Cory Slavik, who has made many outstanding defensive plays against Clemson in the past, is hitting .350 with seven homers and a team-best 50 RBIs. Catcher Dan Conway is hitting .321 with 12 homers and 46 RBIs, while first-baseman Danny Borrell is hitting .312 with nine homers and 45 RBIs.

Wake Forst features a veteran staff with a 3.85 ERA and .243 opponent batting average. Junior righthander Scott Siemon (8-1, 2.43 ERA) will start game one. He has thrown three complete games, including two shutouts, in 10 starts (63.0 innings pitched) this season. Borrell (3-1, 7.29 ERA), a junior lefthander, will start game two. He has made seven starts and four relief appearances this season. Senior righthander Eric Schmitt (5-0, 3.05 ERA) will start game three. He has made six starts and five relief apperances for a combined 44.1 innings pitched. Schmitt has struck out 45 while walking just 12. Schmitt started against UNC Greensboro on Tuesday and went 6.0 innings to earn the win. David Bush (2-1, 3.09), who stifled Clemson a season ago in the ACC Championship game in relief, has five saves out of the bullpen in 22 appearances.

Clemson will start senior righthander Ryan Mottl (6-2, 2.26 ERA) in game one. Mottl needs one more win to move into sole possession of third place, ahead of Kris Benson, in wins in Clemson history. Mottl has 29 entering this weekend. Mottl was ACC Pitcher-of-the-Week last week thanks to his one-hit performance over 7.0 innings against N.C. State last Saturday. Freshman righthander Jarrod Schmidt (5-0, 1.95 ERA) will start game two. Schmidt has earned the win in each of his last five starts. He has yet to allow a homer and will face a team that has hit 52 homers through 41 games. Senior righthander Scott Berney (7-3, 2.03 ERA), who started and suffered the loss against #2 South Carolina on Wednesday, will start game three. Berney has suffered the loss in each of his last three starts. Berney still is allowing just a .201 opponent batting average. Senior closer and righthander Nick Glaser ranks in the top-five in the nation in saves with 10. Clemson sports a 2.89 ERA and .234 opponent batting average. Clemson is also 26-4 at home this season.

Clemson’s bats are led by freshman shortstop Jeff Baker. Baker is hitting .366 with 35 RBIs and 18 multi-hit games. Khalil Greene is hitting .341 with 30 RBIs as well. Clemson has a .283 team batting average and .969 fielding percentage. Clemson is 9-1 in games decided by two runs or less.