Tigers Prepare For Bulldogs

Tigers Prepare For Bulldogs

April 16, 2001

Tuesday’s game will be the 197th meeting between the Tigers and Bulldogs and the second meeting this season. Georgia claimed an 8-4 win in Athens on March 28. Clemson trails the overall series with the Bulldogs 107-87-2, though the Tigers have won 10 of the 15 meetings under current head coach Jack Leggett.

Clemson and Georgia Have Played Every Year Since 1959 The Tigers and Bulldogs have met every year on the diamond since 1959 (a span of 43 season and 97 games), the second year under former head coach Bill Wilhelm.

Since the two teams began playing one another in 1900, there have been just 14 season that the two have not played, including the 1944 season, when Clemson did not field a team. The other seasons were 1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1940 and an eight-year span between 1951 and 1958.

Last Time vs. Georgia March 28, 2001 Georgia got eight runs on 15 hits to beat Clemson 8-4 on March 28 at Foley Field in front of a crowd of 1,515.

Andy Neufeld was 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs and also scored two runs. Jeff Keppinger was 3 for 3 with 2 RBI and two runs scored. Both RBIs were from a two-run homer in the seventh inning. In all five Bulldogs had multiple hits. For Clemson, Casey Stone and Khalil Greene were both 2 for 5. Greene had 2 RBIs and scored one run.

Clemson struck first in the top of the first inning. Stone doubled to lead off the game and Greene singled to knock in Stone. Jeff Baker singled and Michael Johnson walked to load the bases before two strikeouts by Georgia starter Jody Friedman and a fly out ended the inning and the Tigers’ scoring threat.

Stone singled in Zane Green to give Clemson a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning before Georgia tied the game in bottom of the inning. The Bulldogs then took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Clemson starter Jarrod Schmidt walked Mark Thornhill with the bases loaded to bring in Georgia’s first run of the inning. The Bulldogs added two more runs on an error by Baker at third base to take a 5-2 advantage.

Clemson short stop Khalil Greene led off the Tiger fifth inning with a home run over the left field fence to pull Clemson within two runs and then in the sixth Chad Coder scored from second on a shot up the middle by Steve Pyzik to make the score 5-4. Georgia scored three times in the bottom of the seventh to earn the 8-4 final.

Clemson Plays Two SEC Teams This Week Tuesday’s game vs. Georgia marks the first of two games for the Tigers against schools from the Southeastern Conference. It will also be the fourth of six total meetings against schools from that league. Clemson is 1-2 vs. the SEC this year, having dropped the game at Georgia on March 28 and having split the first pair of meetings vs. South Carolina March 3-4. The Bulldogs beat Clemson 8-4, South Carolina won at Clemson on March 3 by a score of 21-8 and then the Tigers won 7-4 in Columbia on March 4, handing the Gamecocks their first loss of the season.

Jack Leggett vs. SEC In seven 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 42-18 (.700), including 19 wins against top-25 teams. Leggett also has at least a .500 record against all eight SEC schools he has faced while at Clemson. The Tigers won nine straight games against SEC competition between 1997-99.

Leggett vs. the SEC as Clemson’s Head Coach

Opponent      Record     Winning %Alabama           2-0    1.000Arkansas          1-0    1.000Auburn            1-1     .500Georgia          10-5     .667Kentucky          3-0    1.000Mississippi State 2-0    1.000South Carolina   14-9     .609Tennessee         9-3     .750Totals           42-18    .700

Tigers Jump in Polls Clemson moved up in two of the three college baseball polls on Monday after going 4-1 in five games last week against Coastal Carolina and Duke. The Tigers are ranked 12th by Baseball America and 13th by Collegiate Baseball, but did not move up in the Baseball Weekly/ESPN coaches poll and are ranked 18th for the second straight week. The Tigers split two games with Coastal Carolina to start the week. The Chanticleers claimed a 10-5 victory on Tuesday and then gave up five Clemson runs in the bottom of the ninth inning before the Tigers went on to claim an 8-7 win in 11 innings on Wednesday. Clemson then swept the three-game series against Duke over the weekend by scores of 10-1, 10-2 and 6-4.

Clemson plays nine of its next 10 games at home and is facing one of its more challenging weeks of the season beginning Tuesday with a 7:15 PM meeting with Georgia, which is ranked 29th by Collegiate Baseball and 30th by Baseball Weekly/ESPN. Wednesday, the Tigers then travel to Columbia for the third game of the season versus South Carolina. The Gamecocks are ranked 16th by Baseball America, 19th by Collegiate Baseball and 12th by Baseball Weekly/ESPN.

Georgia Tech will be in Clemson this weekend for a three-game ACC series. The Yellow Jackets dropped two of three games this past weekend to Wake Forest and are now fourth in the ACC standings. With Clemson’s sweep of Duke over the weekend, the Tigers are second in the conference. Georgia Tech, the preseason number one in all three polls, is now ranked ninth by Baseball America, 11th by Collegiate Baseball and seventh by Baseball Weekly/ESPN.

Tigers Complete 3-Game Sweep of Duke Clemson scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on its way to a 6-4 victory and a three-game sweep of the Duke Blue Devils Sunday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Clemson’s three-game sweep coupled with Wake Forest’s 2-1 series win over Georgia Tech vaulted the Tigers from fourth place in the ACC standings on Friday into second place behind only Florida State on Sunday. The Seminoles, who swept Clemson, April 6-8, are 14-1 in first place, followed by Clemson (8-4), Wake Forest (11-7) and Georgia Tech (9-6).

Duke, which had failed to score a run before the fourth inning in either of the two previous games, scored one run in the first inning on Sunday. The Blue Devils added a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 3-0 lead.

Clemson scored five runs on four hits in the fifth inning to go on top 5-3. Casey Stone led off with a double and then Ryan Riley was hit by Duke starter Justin Dilucchio. Michael Johnson followed with a single to score Stone and then Khalil Greene doubled to score Riley. Schmidt tied the game with a base hit that scored Johnson. The Tigers added two runs on a throwing error by Alleva at third base. Duke got one run back in the top of the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by Scott Grossi that scored Kevin Kelly, but Clemson added an insurance run in the eighth on a base hit by Riley that scored Steve Pyzik.

Big Inning Fuels Offense The Tigers fell in an early hole against Duke on Sunday, trailing 3-0 before a five-run, fifth inning that gave them the lead. It was the fourth time in as many games that Clemson put up five runs in one inning. The Tigers scored five runs in the ninth inning in a come-from-behind extra inning win over Coastal Carolina. Clemson scored five in the fifth inning against the Blue Devils on Friday and then scored five in the first inning on Saturday.

The Long Ball Clemson now has 53 home runs as a team this season. The Tigers hit only 37 home runs a year ago, paced by Jeff Baker 11. Fifteen of the 37 homers came at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, while this year Clemson has hit 28 out of Kingsmore Stadium.

With home runs by Jarrod Schmidt (1) against Duke on Friday, the Tigers now have three players with double-digit totals in home runs this season. Johnson and Schmidt join ACC leader Jeff Baker with double figure tallies. Baker went homer-less this weekend to keep his total at 13, which is tied for the lead in the ACC with Virginia’s Jon Benick. Schmidt had two home runs on Saturday to extend his tally to 12, while Johnson has 10 for the season. Schmidt is tied for third in the ACC home run race and Johnson is tied for sixth.

Only Jeff Baker had a double-figure total in 2000 with his 11 round-trippers. Clemson had three players in the 1999 season with 10 or more home runs. Patrick Boyd led the Tigers that year with 17 home runs, followed by Kurt Bultmann’s 12 and Jason Harris’ 10. Clemson hit 72 homers that season.

With 13 dingers this season, Jeff Baker is still three home runs away from cracking the top-10 list for home runs in a season by a Tiger. Four Tigers, Chuck Baldwin (1986), Ray Williams (1986), Jerry Brooks (1988) and Kurt Bultmann (1997), are tied with 16. The Clemson season record is 24 by Eric Macrina (1991). Baker would have to equal is total of 11 last year as a freshman to tie the record.

Seeing Double Clemson has had the same player hit two home runs in the same game eight times this season paced by Jeff Baker four (Richmond, Ohio, Florida State and Coastal Carolina). Michael Johnson has hit two home runs in the same game twice (New York Tech and Duke) and Jarrod Schmidt hit two home runs last Friday at Florida State and again Saturday night vs. Duke.

Pitching Paces Tigers Clemson had gone 11 straight games without a starter reaching the seventh inning, and that was Friday’s night’s starter vs. Duke when he went 8.0 innings in the win over Wake Forest March 25. Henrie responded against the Blue Devils on Friday. The sophomore pitched 7.0 innings allowing just one unearned run to score on three hits. He also had seven strikeouts. He did not allow a fly out until the sixth inning and has the best fly out to ground out ratio on the team at 0.2. His batters have flied out 13 times, compared to 75 times his batters have grounded out.

On Saturday, Steve Reba struck out a career-high 12 batters to lead Clemson to a 10-1 victory over Duke. Reba went six innings, allowed just two hits and one run. He struck out 12 and walked just three. His strikeout total was the high mark by a Clemson pitcher since Ryan Mottl had 12 in a loss to Virginia on April 4, 1998. Reba gained his second victory this week and is now 7-1 for the season. He is tied for the ACC lead in pitching victories.

Schmidt got the win on Sunday in 5 1/3 innings allowing just four runs (three earned) off eight hits. He improved to 4-3 on the year and struck out four batters. Schmidt had an even bigger bat in the five games last week. The sophomore hit .455 (10 for 22) with four home runs and 11 RBIs.

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.

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.

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 16 times this season. He has a .418 on-base percentage for his 145 at bats. He has not been hit by a pitch since April 7 at Florida State.

Baker Leads ACC in Home Runs Clemson third baseman Jeff Baker is tied for the lead in the ACC with 13 home runs going following 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 last week. He had a two-home run game April 7 at Florida State and again April 10 against Coastal Carolina.

Baker is second in the league in runs batted in. He has 50 RBIs in 38 games, an average of 1.32 a game. Baker has hovered around .400 all season and but has slipped to .391 to rank fourth in the league behind John-Ford Griffin of Florida State (.477), Victor Menocal of Georgia Tech (.397) and Cory Sullivan of Wake Forest (.397).

With an 0 for 3 performance Sunday vs. Duke, Baker snapped a 15-game hit streak that dates back to the middle game, a loss, at Wake Forest. He has at least one hit in 30 games this season. 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 for 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.

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 7-1 record and a 2.19 ERA, both tops on the club. The seven wins is also the best total in the league. He has gained wins over Richmond, Oregon State, Ohio, Maryland, New York Tech, Coastal Carolina and Duke. He has had more strikeouts than walks in every appearance and has a 59/20 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 April 6 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.

Tigers in the ACC Rankings Third baseman Jeff Baker leads the ACC in home runs (13) and he is fourth in batting average at .391 with 59 hits in 151 at bats. He is second in total bases (111) and slugging percentage (.735) and is ranked fourth in on-base percentage (.481). Baker is also ranked eighth in hitting (59).

Left fielder Casey Stone is the tied for second in stolen bases in the ACC. The senior has stolen 20 bases, just one behind Adam Greenberg of North Carolina. This season Stone is successful 83.3 percent of the team (20/24). Stone is also ranked fifth among conference hitters with 58 hits this season.

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