April 14, 1999
Clemson (20-16, 3-5 ACC) travels to Columbia Wednesday night to take on arch-rival South Carolina (24-11, 8-7 SEC) at 7:00 in the first of two games between the two. The two teams met only once in ’98, as Clemson came away with a thrilling 6-4 win thanks to Doug Roper’s late-inning home run. Ironically, Roper has since moved to the bullpen and is available to pitch in relief. Clemson leads the all-time series 146-97-2 (.600) dating back to 1899.
The Tigers will start righthander Ryan Mottl (2-4, 6.75 ERA) in a rare mid-week start for the two-time All-ACC pitcher. South Carolina, who is in first place in the SEC East, is scheduled to start righthander Kip Bouknight (5-2, 3.63 ERA).
Leggett 35-13 Against SEC Teams While At Clemson 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 35-13 (.729), including 14 wins against top-25 teams. Leggett also has at least a ..500 record against all six SEC schools he has faced while at Clemson. 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 11-6 .647 Tennessee 9-3 .750 Totals 35-13 .729
Tigers Withstand Furman Comeback Clemson (20-16) jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the second inning and held on to beat Furman 12-9 on April 13 at Tiger Field. Kurt Bultmann became just the fifth Tiger to score 200 career runs. He was 2-for-3 with a homer and four runs scored. Steve Reba (3-3) picked up the win in relief and Doug Roper pitched 4.0 innings allowing just two hits and a run to earn his first career save. Furman (15-18) scored five runs in the fourth inning, thanks to six hits to open the inning, to tie the game 6-6, but Clemson added three runs each in the fourth and fifth innings. Henr Stanley and Jason Harris both hit three-run homers as well.
Tigers On Road A Lot Lately, Facing Stiff Competition The Tigers are at the end of a 21 game stretch in which 16 of the games are away from home. The Tigers lost two games at East Carolina, who is currently ranked #21 in this week’s Baseball America poll, and three games at Wake Forest, who has been ranked in or near the top 25 all season. Clemson faced #6 Miami (FL) in Fort Mill, SC in neutral contests from April 2-4. Clemson’s last of four straight weekends on the road was against Florida State, who has been ranked #1 almost all of ’99 and had won 20 straight games entering the season. Clemson won one game in both the Miami (FL) and Florida State series. The Tigers final road game of the stretch is at arch-rival South Carolina, who has also been ranked many times this season. Therefore of the 16 games, 12 are against teams that have been ranked so far in 1999. After the South Carolina game, the Tigers will have played just 16 games at home compared to 20 games away from the friendly confines of Tiger Field.
The Tigers will come home for a 16-game homestand after the South Carolina game, including four straight home weekends against ACC teams after playing their first three ACC series on the road. Clemson is 13-3 at home and 7-13 away from home in ’99.
Bultmann Nearing Tiger, ACC Doubles Record 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 is rising to the top of the Tiger career doubles and home run lists. The Seminole, FL native has 75 career doubles, good for second place, and 37 career home runs, fifth best. The 75 doubles is also approching the ACC record of 82 held by Yellow Jacket Jason Varitek (1991-94). Bultmann, who has 186 career RBIs and has scored 202 runs, is also vying to become just the third player in Clemson history to score 200 runs and drive in 200 runs. He is already just the fifth Tiger to score 200 career runs.
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 .963 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. Gary Burnham (1994-97) 77 2. Kurt Bultmann (1996-present) 75 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 .352 with 16 doubles, a triple, six homers, 44 RBIs, and four stolen bases in 35 games in ’99.
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