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Tigers Head Out West to Play in the UNLV/Coors Desert Classic

February 21, 1999

UNLV/Coors Desert Classic Preview Clemson returns to the 19th annual UNLV/Coors Desert Classic in Las Vegas, NV to play five games from Feb. 25-28. The Tigers will play in the tourney for the fourth time, all since 1991. The Tigers were 3-1 in 1991 and 3-2 in both the 1994 and 1997 tournaments. The Tigers (3-0) will face Washington in the first game on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 4:30 EST. Clemson will then play back-to-back games on Friday, Feb. 26. The Tigers will face Creighton, who beat the Tigers twice in the 1990 Central Regional and once in the 1991 College World Series, at 4:30 EST and host UNLV at 8:00 EST. The Tigers will then play the next morning at 1:00 EST against Nevada, who Clemson defeated in the 1997 Central Regional. Clemson will conclude the tournament at 8:00 EST on Sunday, Feb. 28 with another matchup with Creighton. Ryan Mottl is scheduled to pitch the first game, and Brian Adams and Mike Paradis are scheduled to start the next two. The last two starters will be determined at a later date. Below is a list of Clemson’s record against the field:

Opponent    Record   Winning %Creighton   0-3        .000Nevada      1-0       1.000UNLV        2-1        .667Washington  1-1        .500Totals      4-5        .444

Tigers Sweep Kansas State To Open ’99 Season Clemson opened its 1999 schedule against Big XII opponent Kansas State with a three-game sweep at a chilly Tiger Field from Feb. 12-14. Clemson stole 10 bases and Kansas State committed 16 errors as the Tigers outscored the Wildcats 31-14 in the three games. Clemson only committed two errors, both by pitchers, in the series. Clemson (1-0) withstood a furious Kansas State (1-3) rally to defeat the Wildcats 10-7 in game one of a three-game series at Tiger Field. The Tigers took an 8-0 lead after four innings. Brian Ellis led off the season with a home run after hitting just two homers in ’98. But the Wildcats rallied with five runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to narrow the Tigers’ lead to 8-7. The Wildcats, who committed eight errors, would get no closer as Clemson added two insurance runs in the eighth inning. Freshman lefty Thomas Boozer (1-0) picked up the win in 4.1 innings of relief. Brandon Peck (0-2) took the loss for Kansas State.

Game two saw the Tigers rally from an early 3-0 deficit with eight runs in the fifth inning, as Clemson (2-0) defeated Kansas State (1-4) 10-4. Matt Additon (1-0) allowed one (unearned) run to pick up the win in relief of starter Brian Adams. Starter Derek Andersen (0-2) suffered the loss for the Wildcats, who committed four more errors. The eight-run fifth inning was highlighted by a pair of three-run home runs by Patrick Boyd and Henr Stanley. Boyd had two hits and three runs scored in five at bats, while Kurt Bultmann went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two doubles. The game was Head Coach Jack Leggett’s 1,000th of his coaching career.

In the series finale, Clemson (3-0) scored nine runs in the first four innings and defeated Kansas State 11-3. The Wildcats (1-5) committed four more errors. Junior Mike Paradis (1-0) allowed just four hits, one walk, and one (unearned) run to pick up the win. Starter Jason Wells (1-1) took the loss. Kurt Bultmann had his second straight three-hit game, one of which was his first homer of the season. Patrick Boyd and Casey Stone added two hits apiece.

Patrick Boyd Has Shoulder Surgery Entering this season, Clemson returned just one of its starting outfielders from ’98. Now the Tigers will be without its lone returnee in Patrick Boyd for an unspecified time, as he had orthroscopic surgery on his shoulder on Feb. 15, 1999. He is expected to be back before the end of the season. Despite the eminent surgery, Boyd played in all three games against Kansas State (Feb. 12-14) and went 5-for-10 with a homer, three RBIs, and a team-best six runs scored as a designated hitter. Boyd along with Ryan Mottl played for the USA National Team this past summer in the World Championships in Italy. Boyd hit .264 in 39 games while Mottl was 3-0 with a 3.45 ERA in 44.1 innings pitched.

Bultmann Moving Up In Tiger Charts 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. He has 61 career doubles, good for fourth place, and 32 career home runs, tied for eighth best. He also has shown why Baseball America listed him as the best defensive second baseman in the ACC. Bultmann has gone 27 consecutive games (dating back to last season) without committing an error (120 chances). He 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)                 Doubles1.   Gary Burnham (1994-97)       772.   Bert Heffernan (1985-88)     633.   Chuck Baldwin (1984-87)      624.   Kurt Bultmann (1996-present) 615.   Shane Monahan (1993-95)      60

Tigers Off To Fast Starts Under Leggett Under Head Coach Jack Leggett, Clemson has gotten off to some fast starts. In over five seasons at Clemson, Leggett has amassed a 44-7 record (.863). That record includes seven wins over ranked teams. The Tigers are also 29-2 in their last 31 games in the month of February dating back to 1996. Ironically, one of those two losses came at the hands of UNLV on Feb. 28 in the 1997 Desert Classic. Leggett coached in his 1,000th game on Feb. 13, 1999 against Kansas State. He has reached that plateau before his 45th birthday and currently has a 626-375 record (.625) in 19 seasons (five at Vermont, nine at Western Carolina, and five-plus at Clemson). Legendary Tiger coach Bill Wilhelm, who won 1,161 career games at Clemson, coached in 1707 games in 36 seasons.

At Clemson, Leggett has won 246 games in his first five seasons. The 49.2 wins per year is the fifth best mark in the country, behind only Florida State (260), Wichita State (259), Louisiana State (250), and Miami (FL) (249). His next win will be his 250th at Clemson. Leggett’s current record in Tigertown is 249-88 (.739).

1999 Preseason HonorsClemson

* #21 recruiting class by Collegiate Baseball

#24 Patrick Boyd

#1 college prospect for 2000 Major League Draft by BaseballAmerica First-Team All-American by Baseball America ACCPlayer-of-the-Year by Baseball America Best defensive outfielder inthe ACC by Baseball America First-Team All-ACC by Baseball America

#18 Kurt Bultmann

Best defensive second baseman in the ACC by Baseball AmericaFirst-Team All-ACC by Baseball America

#27 Ryan Mottl

#29 college prospect for ’99 Major League Draft by BaseballAmerica #3 prospect in ACC for ’99 Major League Draft by BaseballAmerica

#30 Mike Paradis

#42 college prospect for ’99 Major League Draft by BaseballAmerica #7 prospect in ACC for ’99 Major League Draft by BaseballAmerica