Tigers to Face Mississippi State in Super Regional at Clemson

May 29, 2000

CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson (48-16) will play Mississippi State (41-18) in the Super Regional starting Friday at 7:00 PM. The two will play Saturday at 7:00 PM, and a game will be played Sunday at 2:00 PM if necessary. The tournament is the best two out of three format. Clemson will be the home team in game one, while Mississippi State will be the home team in game two. Game three’s home team will be decided by a coin flip. Clemson is making its second straight Super Regional appearance, after playing in the College Station (TX) Super Regional in 1999.

Clemson swept through its regional by a combined score of 34-6. Mississippi State went 3-1 in its regional. The Bulldogs defeated Notre Dame in the championship game on a walk-off home run by Ty Martin.

The Tigers and Bulldogs had two common opponents in 2000, South Carolina and Georgia. The Gamecocks won both games over the Tigers, one at Clemson and one at Columbia. In the game at Clemson on April 12, South Carolina downed the Tigers 6-3. At Columiba on April 19, the Gamecocks rallied twice to down Clemson 9-8 in 12 innings. Clemson also played Georgia twice, one at home and one on the road. Georgia downed Clemson 10-6 at Athens on March 29, while the Tigers downed the Bulldogs 9-7 on April 11 at Clemson. Mississippi State was swept by South Carolina at Columbia from April 7-9 by scores of 1-0, 4-3, and 7-6 (11 innings). In the SEC Tournament on May 18, Georgia eliminated Mississippi State by a 5-0 score.

Senior righthander Ryan Mottl (9-3, 3.41 ERA) will start on the mound for the Tigers on Friday. Mottl has pitched a complete game in each of his last two starts, including a shutout against Middle Tennessee on May 26. He has a career 22-2 record at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, including 6-0 record, 1.77 ERA, and .184 opponent batting average in 10 home starts this season. Game two starter has not been determined. Mississippi State will counter with senior lefthander Kevin Donovan (7-4, 3.54 ERA) Friday and junior lefthander Mark Freed (9-1, 3.89 ERA) on Saturday.

Clemson and Mississippi State have met eight times on the diamond, with the last coming in the 1991 Northeast Regional in Orono, ME. The Tigers won that game 10-9. Clemson holds a 5-3 advantage in the series dating back to 1968. Clemson also played in the 1992 Mideast Regional at Starkville, but did not play the Bulldogs in that regional. Mississippi State has never played the Tigers at Clemson, as the seven other meetings were played at Starkville. However, Mississippi State played in the 1981 Atlantic Regional at Clemson. Clemson lost to Wichita State and East Tennessee State in its only two games during the ’81 regional. The men’s basketball Bulldogs have never played a game at Clemson. In football, the two teams played in the 1999 Peach Bowl. The only time Mississippi State has played at Clemson was in 1949, when the two teams played to a 7-7 tie on the gridiron.

Jack Leggett took his Western Carolina teams to Starkville for three consecutive regionals from 1987-89. In 1987, the Catamounts eliminated the Bulldogs from the Mideast Regional by an 8-1 score. In 1988, the Bulldogs downed Western Carolina 7-4 in the opening round of the South Regional. In 1989, the Bulldogs beat Western Carolina 8-0 in the first round of the South Regional. Below is a game-by-game look at the Clemson-Mississippi State baseball series.

Date Site W-L Score Innings
3-13-68 A W 6-3 7
3-13-68 A W 2-1 7
3-18-71 A W 6-4 9
3-20-71 A L 1-2 7
3-20-71 A W 10-8 9
3-19-73 A L 1-2 7
3-19-73 A L 0-2 7
5-25-91 N W 10-9 9

A Closer Look at Mississippi State Mississippi State enters the Clemson Super Regional with a 41-18 record overall after capturing the Starkville (MS) Regional this past weekend, where it went 3-1. The Bulldogs were 17-10 in SEC play as well. The Bulldogs started the season by winning 19 of their first 21 games, but went 19-15 up to the Starkville (MS) Regional. Mississippi State, who was picked to finish fourth in the SEC West in the preseason by the league’s coaches, had a 26-3 home record and is 13-11 on opponents’ home fields in 2000. The Bulldogs are 9-5 in one-run games. In their last 10 games on opponents’ home fields, they are averaging 11.0 runs per game. Mississippi State has played in 24 NCAA Tournaments and seven College World Series in its history.

The Bulldogs are led by third-year Head Coach Pat McMahon. He has a 125-62 (.668) record at the helm of the Bulldog program. He led Mississippi State to the College World Series in his first season in Starkville in 1998. He was the Head Coach at Old Dominion for five seasons (1990-94), therefore in eight seasons, he has a 314-148 career record. In 1994, he took his Old Dominion team to Clemson to play in the NCAA East Regional, where he went 1-2. Clemson eliminated the Monarchs by a 6-1 score on May 28, 1994.

The Bulldogs sport a .313 team batting average. They have hit 69 homers and are averaging 8.6 runs per game. They have also stolen 49 bases in 62 attempts. Ty Martin, who sent Mississippi State to the Super Regional with a walk-off homer, leads the Bulldogs with a .360 batting average. Travis Chapman is hitting .356 with 22 doubles, seven homers, and 62 RBIs. Shane Kelly is 17-20 on stolen bases and has nine homers, 48 RBIs, and a .323 batting average. Jon Knott leads the Bulldogs with 16 homers and 66 RBIs along with a .305 batting average.

Defensively, Mississippi State is fielding at a .965 clip. No Bulldog has more than 13 errors. Bulldog catcher Ryan McGrath has thrown out 14 of 78 base stealers.

Mississippi State has a 4.63 team ERA and .261 opponent batting average. The staff has a 2.02 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Lefty Kevin Donovan (7-4, 3.54 ERA) leads the Bulldog rotation, as he has made 15 starts and two relief appearances. He closed out the Fighting Irish in 1.2 innings of relief work to get the win in the Starkville (MS) Regional championship game. He has a .241 opponent batting average along with 96 strikeouts against 39 walks in 94.0 innings pitched. Lefthander Mark Freed (9-1, 3.89 ERA) has made 15 starts for a total of 90.1 innings pitched. He has 85 strikeouts and a .256 opponent batting average against 38 walks. Righty Jeff Hunter has a team-best 3.16 ERA along with a 6-2 record in 12 starts and two relief appearances. Righthander Adam Larson has 12 saves in 28 relief apperances. Larson has a .226 opponent batting average as well. Below is a statistical comparison of Clemson and Mississippi State.

Category Clemson Mississippi State
Record 48-16 41-8
Batting Average .304 .313
Runs per Game 7.47 8.56
Homers 36 69
Slugging % .435 .500
On-Base % .397 .409
Stolen Bases 105-139 49-62
Fielding % .969 .965
ERA 3.96 4.63
Hits per 9 IP 8.95 9.06
K/BB Ratio 1.73 2.02
Opp. Batting Avg. .261 .261
Wild Pitches 35 52

Super Regional Tickets Available at Clemson Ticket Office The Clemson ticket office will begin selling Super Regional tickets Tuesday, May 30. Each reserve seat Super Regional pass is $30 and can be purchased through the ticket office between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM at the Clemson Ticket office at Clemson Memorial Stadium. General admission indiviual game tickets will be sold for $10 for adults and $7 for students high-school age or younger along with Clemson and Mississippi State students who present idenfification. For more information, call 1-800-CLEMSON or 864-656-2118.

Doug Kingsmore Stadium’s official capacity is 5,000, but over 6,000 fans packed the stadium for the South Carolina game earlier this season. The Clemson single-game attendance record is 6,223 against North Carolina on April 1, 1995. The record crowd for a regional at Clemson is 5,879 against Auburn on May 28, 1994. Clemson averaged 4,032 fans per game during the Clemson Regional in the three games in which the Tigers played.

Clemson’s NCAA Tournament History Clemson (48-16) enters the Super Regional against Mississippi State with more wins already than its totaled since 1996, when Clemson finished 51-17. The Tigers have now participated in 26 NCAA Tournaments overall and 14 in a row. Clemson has also won at least one game in all 14 of the regionals. Only Miami (FL), Florida State, and Oklahoma State have longer current streaks. Clemson’s 26 appearances also ranks seventh in the nation, while the 14-year run ranks tied for sixth all-time in NCAA history. Clemson has a 67-53 (.558) all-time record in the tournament, including a 38-27 (.585) record during the 14-year run. Jack Leggett has a 22-13 (.629) record in NCAA Tourney play as the Tiger Head Coach as well. Leggett was 4-10 in the tourney at Western Carolina in five years (1985-89), therefore is 26-23 (.531) in his career in 11 NCAA Tournaments.

Clemson, who hosted for the first time in the new regional format, has hosted six times previously, with the last coming in 1998. Clemson went 1-2 in that regional and fell to eventual National Champion Southern California. The Tigers also hosted in 1980 (3-0), 1981 (0-2), 1994 (2-2), 1995 (4-0), and 1996 (4-0). Therefore, Clemson has a 17-6 (.739) record in tournament play as the host school. Clemson advanced to the College World Series in three of the previous six host seasons (1980, 1995, 1996). Clemson has played in the College World Series eight times in its history.

Last season, Clemson lost in the opening round of the Fayetteville (AR) Regional to Southwest Missouri State by a 23-5 score. But in the next two days, Clemson won four games, including two over Southwest Missouri State to advance to the Super Regional at College Station (TX), hosted by Texas A&M. After getting blitzed in the first game 20-3, Clemson won game two 10-3 and led in game three 4-3 entering the top of the ninth inning, but two solo homers off Tiger star closer Chris Heck ended the Tiger season.

Down to the Sweet 16 For the second year in a row, Clemson will participate in a Super Regional at a site to be announced on Monday at 3:00 PM. Clemson hosted last in 1998 and also hosted from 1994-96. Clemson played in the College State (TX) Super Regional in 1999, falling to the Aggies in two of three games. This season, Clemson is playing host to a Super Regional against Mississippi State. Seven of the top national eight seeds will host a Super Regional as well. Clemson is 6-6 against teams in the Super Regional. The eight Super Regional sites and the two teams in each are listed below.

Location Host Team (Record) Visiting Team (Record)
Columbia, SC 1 South Carolina (55-8) Louisiana-Lafayette (45-17)

Baton Rouge, LA2Louisiana State (46-17)UCLA (38-24)Atlanta, GA3Georgia Tech (50-14)Southern California (41-18)Clemson, SC4Clemson (48-16)Mississippi State (41-18) Houston,TX5Houston (47-16)San Jose State (39-21) Tallahassee, FL6FloridaState (49-16)Miami (FL) (40-17-1) Palo Alto, CA8Stanford(45-14)Nebraska (50-15) Austin, TXTexas (44-19)Penn State (45-17)

Note: National seeds are listed as superscripts

Individual Perfomers in the NCAA Tournament in Their Careers Patrick Boyd leads Clemson in NCAA Tournament play with a .452 batting average and 13 RBIs in 14 games. Khalil Greene is hitting .372 with seven doubles and 12 RBIs in 11 games. Justin Singleton is hitting .333 with five doubles, 14 runs scored, and 15 RBIs in 14 games. Henr’ Stanley is hitting .340 with seven stolen bases and a ..492 on-base percentage as well. In six NCAA Tourney games (five starts), Ryan Mottl is 2-1 with two complete games, a .248 opponent batting average, and a 3.94 ERA in 32.0 innings pitched.

Three ACC Teams Advance to Super Regionals Three ACC teams are in the top six in the country according to the tournament selection committee. Georgia Tech is the #3 national seed, Clemson is the #4 national seed, and Florida State is the #6 national seed., and all have advanced to the Super Regionals. Wake Forest and North Carolina earned #2 seeds in their respective regionals, but fell in each of their championship games.

Clemson 39-16 Against SEC Teams Under Leggett 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 39-16 (.709), including 16 wins against top-25 teams. Leggett has at least a .500 record against all seven SEC schools he has faced while at Clemson. Below is a list of Leggett’s record at Clemson against each of the seven SEC member schools he has faced:

SEC Leggett’s Record Winning
Opponent at Clemson Percentage
Alabama 2-0 1.000
Arkansas 1-0 1.000
Auburn 1-1 .500
Georgia 10-4 .714
Kentucky 3-0 1.000
South Carolina 13-8 .619
Tennessee 9-3 .750
Totals 39-16 .709

Tigers Up to #5 in Collegiate Baseball Poll The Tigers jumped three spots to #5 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball Poll after capturing the Clemson Regional Championship with a 3-0 record. The Baseball America poll will be released Tuesday, while the USA Today Baseball Weekly poll is not being done this week.