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Tigers Prep for Visiting Yellow Jackets

April 22, 1999

Yellow Jackets Visit Tigertown This Weekend Georgia Tech, who is ranked as high as #19, will travel up I-85 to take on Clemson (24-17, 5-6 ACC) at Tiger Field beginning Friday night at 7:15. The two will also square off on Saturday at 7:00 and Sunday at 2:00. Sunday’s game will Purple Day and Senior Citizens’ Day, meaning any fan who wears a purple shirt or jacket will receive $3 off adult admission. Also, senior citizens who present their AARP cards will receive free admission.

The series, which dates back to 1902 and the days of John Heisman, is deadlocked at 76-76-3. The Yellow Jackets (29-12, 9-6 ACC) defeated Clemson four times in as many games a season ago. In three game in Atlanta, where Georgia Tech won by 7-6, 9-7, and 14-5 scores, the Tigers left 34 runners on base. Clemson also fell to Georgia Tech 10-6 in the ACC Tournament. The Tigers hold a 14-8 advantage over the Yellow Jackets at Tiger Field. But that is the best record any ACC team has managed. The two split games at Tiger Field in a rain-shortened series in ’97.

The 1999 Yellow Jacket squad is led at the plate by freshman sensation Mark Teixeira, who is hitting a robust .428 with nine homers and 52 RBIs to go along with a .523 on base percentage. Jason Basil (.365) and Brad Stockton (.355) are two more Yellow Jackets have solid seasons. Lefthander Chuck Crowder (8-2, 2.76 ERA), who will start game one, is the ace of the staff. He enters the series with 92 strikeouts in 81.2 innings pitched. Lefties Simon Young (7-3, 4.00 ERA) and Cory Vance (6-2, 5.17 ERA) will start games two and three, with the exact order to be determined at a later date. The trio has combined to pick 13 runners off base and allowed just over a 50-percent success rate for runners attempting to steal in ’99. The Georgia Tech bullpen has tallied 11 saves while the whole pitching staff has done a good job of stranding runners on base. Georgia Tech, who is hitting .319 as a team, has left 22 fewer runners on base than its opponents.

The Tigers will start righthander Mike Paradis (5-0, 2.75 ERA) in game one. Righty Ryan Mottl (2-4, 6.67 ERA) will start game two. The game three starter has not been determined.

1999 Clemson Baseball Upcoming Promotional Dates

Date     Day   Opponent           Time  Promotion(s) Apr. 25  Sun.  Georgia Tech      2 p.m. +Purple Day Special/#Senior Citizens Special May 2    Sun.  Virginia (DH)   12 noon  #Senior Citizens Special May 9    Sun.  North Carolina    4 p.m. #Senior Citizens Special 

+ – wear purple shirt or jacket receive $3 off adult admission # – present AARP card and receive free admission

Ninth-Inning Rally Lifts Clemson Over South Carolina 5-4 Brian Ellis’ two-out, two-run infield single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Clemson (24-17) over #20 South Carolina 5-4 on April 21 at Tiger Field. The Tigers trailed 4-3 entering the ninth. Bradley LeCroy led off with an infield single. The next two Tiger batters were retired. Then Kurt Bultmann kept Tiger hopes alive with a single to left. Jason Harris then walked for the fourth time in the game and ninth time in the last two games to load the bases for Ellis. Ellis, who was 0-for-4 up to that point, was down 0-2 in the count but took three consecutive pitches in the dirt from closer Jason Pomar to set the stage. Ellis hit a ground ball just out of the reach of Pomar. Second baseman Jay Lambert made a diving stop to keep the ball in the infield, but since the runners were running on the pitch, Bultmann was able to score from second base and give Clemson the thrilling 5-4 win. Clemson was 0-11 in ’99 when it scored less than seven runs. It was also the 12th win over South Carolina (28-13) in the last 14 meetings.

Kurt Bultmann set the Tiger career record for doubles (78) with an opposite-field two-bagger in the fifth inning. Bultmann was 3-for-5 on the evening including hitting a solo home run. Senior transfer Chris Heck (1-0) earned his first win as a Tiger by pitching 2.1 hitless and scoreless innings while striking out four. Tiger pitchers struck out a season-high 16 batters.

Tigers 37-13 Against SEC Under Leggett In six seasons under Head Coach Jack Leggett, Clemson has had tremendous success against the Southeastern Conference. Leggett’s record against the SEC as the Tigers’ skipper is 37-13 (.740), including 15 wins against top-25 teams. Leggett also has at least a .500 record against all six SEC schools he has faced while at Clemson. Since getting blown out 38-16 at South Carolina in 1997, the Tigers have won eight straight games against SEC foes. Below is a list of Leggett’s record at Clemson against each of the six SEC member schools he has faced:

SEC          Leggett's Record     Winning Opponent        at Clemson      Percentage Alabama              2-0           1.000 Auburn               1-1            .500 Georgia              9-3            .750 Kentucky             3-0           1.000 South Carolina      13-6            .684 Tennessee            9-3            .750 Totals             37-13            .740 

Bultmann Sets Tiger Doubles Record, Nearing ACC Best Senior 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 has risen to the top of the Tiger career doubles list and is climbing the home run list as well. The Seminole, FL native hit his 78th career double against South Carolina on April 21 to set the record, surpassing Gary Burnham (1994-97). It was a memorable night for Bultmann, who also hit a home run, had a ninth-inning single with two outs, and scored the winning run in Clemson’s thrilling 5-4 win over the rival Gamecocks. He also has hit 38 career home runs, fifth best. The 78 doubles is also approching the ACC record of 82 held by Yellow Jacket Jason Varitek (1991-94). Bultmann, who has 191 career RBIs and has scored 209 runs, is also vying to become just the third player in Clemson history and ninth in ACC history to score 200 runs and drive in 200 runs. He is already just the fifth Tiger to score 200 career runs. The pressure he has endured has not effected Bultmann of late, as he is 15-for-33 (.455) in the last eight games. Bultmann is also coming through with the bases loaded (5-for-7).

He had one of his best games against #24 Washington on Feb. 25 when he was 3-for-5 with two homers (grand slam and three-run) and eight RBIs. He also has shown why Baseball America listed him as the best defensive second baseman in the ACC. Bultmann went 29 consecutive games (dating back to last season) without committing an error (127 chances) before his streak ended on Feb. 26 at UNLV. He also had a streak of not committing an error in 15 games in March to early April of ’99. Bultmann has seen his fielding percentage rise to .967 in ’99 after fielding at a .979 clip in ’98. He is 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)                   Doubles  1.  Kurt Bultmann (1996-present)      78  2.  Gary Burnham (1994-97)            77  3.  Bert Heffernan (1985-88)          63  4.  Chuck Baldwin (1984-87)           62  5.  Shane Monahan (1993-95)           60 

Bultmann has returned to his form of ’97 as he is hitting .360 with 19 doubles, two triples, seven homers, 49 RBIs, and four stolen bases in 40 games in ’99.

Additon Mowin-em Down Junior reliever and righthander Matt Additon (Turner, ME) has been the “go-to guy” in the bullpen in ’99. He doesn’t bring a blazing fastball to the mound, but rather throws an array of offspeed pitches from different arm angles to not only get batters out, but strike them out. In 35.0 innings pitched this season, he as struck out 48 batters compared to 14 walks. His 12.34 strikeouts per nine innings pitched figure is better than Kris Benson or Billy Koch ever had in a season. He has also been tremendous against ACC competition, as he has struck out 16 without walking a batter in 11.1 innings. He has stepped up against top-notch competition, registering a win against #6 Miami (FL) by pitching 2.2 hittless and scoreless innings while striking out four on April 3. He also struck out four batters and allowed just one run on three hits in 3.0 innings to pick up the save against #1 Florida State on April 10. Additon, despite being the tough-luck loser, pitched a career-high 6.1 innings against Duke on April 17, striking out nine without allowing a free pass. Against #20 South Carolina on April 21, he accomplished the rare feat of striking out four batters in one inning.

Harris Walking Into Recordbooks Senior co-captain and first baseman Jason Harris (Hickory, NC) has walked an incredible nine times in the last two games. He walked five times, tying a Tiger record, in five plate appearances against Duke on April 18 and four more times against #20 South Carolina on April 21. His biggest walk was the last of the nine, which came in the ninth inning against South Carolina. “Inky” fouled off pitches and drew a walk on a full count that allowed Brian Ellis to follow with the game-winning hit. Harris has walked 42 times in ’99. The Tiger single-season record is 62 held by Bert Heffernan (1988). Thanks to , Harris’ on base percentage has climbed to an incredible .503.

Harris went 10-for-20 in two games against Western Carolina (April 6-7) and three against #1 Florida State (April 9-11) to earn ACC Co-Player-of-the-Week honors. He was the first Tiger to be so honored in ’99. Harris has upped his batting average to .357 to go along with six homers, seven doubles, 49 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. In ACC games, Harris is hitting .417 with a .580 on base percentage. Harris has also started all 100 games as a Tiger.