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Tigers Travel North Riding Five-Game Winning Streak

March 14, 1999

CLEMSON, S.C. – Fresh off a three-game sweep of George Mason in which the Tigers outscored the Patriots 48-6, Clemson travels north to play two games at East Carolina (14-5) and three games in the Tigers’ ACC opener at Maryland. Clemson defeated East Carolina twice in three games in 1998 at Tiger Field and holds a 10-3 (.769) advantage in the series dating back to 1968. The Pirates and Tigers will square off Tuesday at 4:00 PM and Wednesday at 2:00 PM.

Tigers Pound George Mason In Three-Game Sweep Clemson, much in need of solid pitching performances, got exactly that as it outscored George Mason 48-6 in a three-game sweep at Tiger Field from Mar. 12-13. The Tigers scored at least one run in 20 of the 24 innings, hit 11 home runs, and walked 41 times, including seven by freshman outfielder Kyle Frank in one day (doubleheader on Mar. 13). Tiger position fielders also committed just one error in the series and Tiger starting pitchers allowed just one earned run in 19.2 innings pitched.

In game one, Clemson (8-6) on Mar. 12, Ryan Mottl (2-1) allowed just two hits, two walks, and one earned run while striking out seven in 8.0 innings to earn the win. Clemson scored 13 runs in its last five innings at the plate to down George Mason (5-4-1) 14-4. Kurt Bultmann and Patrick Boyd each hit their fourth homers of the season. In the second game, the first game of a doubleheader on Mar. 13, Clemson (9-6) downed the Patriots (5-5-1) 13-2. Mike Paradis (2-0) did not allow an earned run in 6.2 innings to earn the win. Khalil Greene hit two home runs and drove in four runs. Brian Ellis also had two hits and four RBIs as Clemson tallied four long balls in the game. In the series finale, the second game of a doubleheader on Mar. 13, Derek Borgert went 4-for-5 with a grand slam and nine RBIs in the Tigers 21-0 win over George Mason (5-6-1). Borgert, who had four hits in 21 and four RBIs in ’99 entering the game, had the most RBIs by a Tiger since 1988 when Jerry Brooks had 10 against UNC Charlotte. Henr Stanley also had three hits, including a homer, four runs scored, three RBIs, and two walks to increase his team-best on base percentage to ..608. Jason Harris, Brian Holstad, and Bradley LeCroy hit homers as well. Clemson (10-6) starter Steve Reba, who was making his first career start, earned the win in 5.0 iinnings of work. The Fort Wayne, IN native allowed just one hit, one walk, and no runs while striking out eight Patriot batters to earn his first career win.

Walking and Running Clemson has an amazing team on base percentage of .461 and has stolen 38 bases through the first 16 games of 1999. The .461 on base percentage is aided by a team batting average of .328, but moreso by its 135 walks. That averages to be 8.4 walks per game. Add that to the Tigers 11.6 hits per game and 14 hit-by-pitches, the Tigers are averaging 20.9 baserunners per game. Henr Stanley leads the way with 22 walks and Brian Ellis is second with 20 walks. Ellis set the Tiger single-season record for walks per at bat in ’98 and both he and Stanley are on pace to break that mark again in ’99. In three games against George Mason (Mar. 12-13), the Tigers walked 41 times and had a team on base percentage of .553.

Stealing bases has also been a priority this year as the Tigers have stolen 38 bases in 46 attempts. Clemson has stole at least one base in each of the 16 games this season. Stanley leads the team with eight steals in nine tries and Jason Harris is second with seven steals in seven attempts.

Tigers Off To Fast Starts In First Innings The Tigers have not had a problem in ’99 getting early leads, as they hold a 31-3 advantage in scoring in first innings of games. Clemson has scored in the first inning in 12 of the 16 games this year, including nine of the last 10 games. The Tigers have scored 181 runs in the first 16 games of ’99, an average of 11.3 runs per game, and has scored in double figures in 12 of the 16 games as well. Below is a list of inning-by-inning scoring:

Team        1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   Ex  TotalCLEMSON     31  22  15  16  43  23  18  8   3   2   181Opponents   3   14  17  5   26  8   12  15  13  3   116

Bats And Pitching Stellar In Five-Game Winning Streak After starting the season 5-6, Clemson has won its last five games thanks to a total team effort. Clemson has scored 73 runs, is hitting .374, and has a team on-base percentage of .532 during the streak. Tiger pitchers have also been outstanding over the stretch with an ERA of 2.40 and 45-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Furthermore, the starters have allowed just three earned runs in 34.0 innings pitched over the streak for an ERA of 0.79. Below are stats of improvements made during the Tigers’ five-game winning streak:

Stat            First 11 Games  Last 5 GamesRecord              5-6         5-0Batting Average     .308        .374Runs per Game       9.8         14.6Home Runs           12          12On Base %           .427        .532ERA                 7.21        2.40Avg. Starters' IP   4.9         6.8K/BB Ratio          1.7         3.8BB per 9 IP         5.5         2.4Opponent BA         .303        .244HR Allowed          8           0

Clemson’s Poll Streak Ends At 146 Weeks The streak is over. Clemson was ranked in at least one of the major College Baseball polls for 146 straight polls until March 8, 1999. Clemson, who has lost six of its last eight games after starting the season 4-0, was also ranked in the top 10 by one of the polls in 82 of the 146 polls (56.2%). The last time the Tigers were unranked was in the final poll of the 1990 season. Over the 146-game stretch that lasted over eight seasons, the Tigers had a record of 407-138 (.747).

Clemson-Miami (FL) Time Changes The Clemson vs. Miami (FL) game times on Saturday, Apr. 3 and Sunday, Apr. 4 have been changed. Both games will start at 3:00 PM. The two teams will matchup at the home of the AAA Charlotte Knights (Knights Stadium) in Fort Mill, SC on Apr. 2-4. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1996, when Miami (FL) defeated the Tigers twice in the College World Series.

Stanley Finding A Way To Get On Base Junior outfielder Henr Stanley has been on a tear lately, going 20-for-37 (.541) with 22 runs scored, 16 RBIs, and seven stolen bases in the last 10 games. But more importantly, he has an on base percentage of .667 over that stretch thanks to 14 walks. He took over the centerfield position when Patrick Boyd went down with an injury. The Columbia, SC native is hitting a team-best .436 with three homers, 27 runs scored, 21 RBIs, and 8-9 on stolen bases in 16 games this season. He has walked 22 times, giving him an on base percentage of ..608. The lefthanded hitter also is hitting .476 against lefthanders and .500 with runners in scoring position.

Stanley had one of his best games in the UNLV/Coors Desert Classic finale when he was 4-for-4 with a homer, double, three runs scored, four RBIs, and two stolen bases to lead the Tigers to a 13-10 come-from-behind win over Creighton (Feb. 28). He also had three hits (including a home run), four runs scored, and three RBIs in the second game of a doubleheader against George Mason on Mar. 13.

Paradis Found Junior righthander Mike Paradis has been one of the bright spots on the Tiger pitching staff so far this season. Control problems plagued the fireballer in his first two seasons, but he has found his nich in ’99. The Auburn, MA native is 2-0 with a team-best 2.22 ERA and opponent batting average of .229 in four starts. He also has struck out 29 batters compared to just eight walks. In all four of his starts he has gone at least 5.0 innings and in three of the four he has allowed either one or no earned runs. Baseball America rated Paradis as the #7 prospect in the ACC and #42 college prospect for the 1999 Major League Draft. Paradis was a seventh-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics out of high school.

Boyd Returns Providing Power In Midst Of His Return Sophomore outfielder Patrick Boyd returned to the Tiger lineup against Liberty after missing six games due to arthroscopic surgery (Feb. 15) to repair a torn labrum. The Palm Harbor, FL native has hit four homers in only 10 games this season after hitting just eight in 59 games last season. He is also hitting .382 with 15 runs scored and 13 RBIs. The switch hitter has played in the designated hitters spot in all 10 games he has played in this season.

Borgert Has Career Game With Nine RBIs Entering the second game of a doubleheader against George Mason on Mar. 13, fifth-year senior catcher Derek Borgert (Greenwood, SC) had four hits and four RBIs in 21 at bats in ’99. But that all changed when Borgert exploded with four hits and nine RBIs in one game. The nine RBIs, which all came after two outs, is the most by a Tiger since Jerry Brooks’ 10 against UNC Charlotte in 1988. Borgert doubled to right field in the first inning to bring home two runs. In the second inning, he hit an opposite-field grand slam off the right field foul pole. The only time he was retired came in the fourth inning when he laced a line-drive that was caught by the right fielder. In the fifth inining, Borgert singled with the bases loaded bringing home two more runs. He drove in his ninth run of the game with a run-scoring single in the sixth inning. He also walked in his final plate appearance in the eighth inning.

Ironically, Brian Ellis, who caught in the first game of the doubleheader, had a double, homer, two hits, and four RBIs meaning Tiger catchers totaled six hits, two homers, two doubles, and 13 RBIs in one day. Not a bad days work for an unheralded position.

Bultmann Moving Up In Tiger Charts 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 69 career doubles, good for second place, and 35 career home runs, tied for fifth best. 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 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 LeadersRk. Name (Years)                    Doubles1.  Gary Burnham (1994-97)          772.  Kurt Bultmann (1996-present)    693.  Bert Heffernan (1985-88)        634.  Chuck Baldwin (1984-87)         625.  Shane Monahan (1993-95)         60

Bultmann has returned to his form of ’97 as he is hitting .388 with 10 homers, a triple, four homers, 23 RBIs, and three stolen bases in 16 games. Ironically, the righthanded hitter is hitting twice as good against righthanders as he is lefthanders (.467 vs. .227) this season.

Khalil Greene Shining As Freshman This fall, Jack Leggett said that freshman Khalil Greene (Key West, FL) was the Tigers’ most consistent hitter. He has down nothing to disprove Leggett, as he is hitting .429 with four homers and 20 RBIs in 16 games as the everyday third baseman. Greene shined in the UNLV/Coors Desert Classic from Feb. 25-28, hitting .458 with two homers (one of which was an inside-the-park homer) and five RBIs in five games. He also hit two homers in the first game of a doubleheader against George Mason on Mar. 13. Greene is vying to become the top freshman hitter in Tiger history in terms of batting average. The record is .391 by Billy McMillon (1991).

Nine-Run Inning Powers Clemson Over Coastal Carolina Clemson broke the game open in the fifth inning with nine runs en route to a 14-6 win over Coastal Carolina on Mar. 10 at Tiger Field. Patrick Boyd led the Tigers with three hits in three at bats, including a homer, three RBIs, and a stolen base. Junior lefty Brian Adams (1-1) allowed just one run and one walk in 7.0 innings pitched to earn his first victory of ’99. The Tigers took advantage of 10 walks allowed by Chanticleer pitchers. Coastal Carolina (13-5) did out-hit Clemson 16-14 in the game.

Scrappy Liberty Takes Two Of Three Against Clemson Liberty continued the Tigers recent woes as the Flames handed Clemson two defeats in three games on Mar. 5-6. Pitching problems plagued the Tigers, who fell to 6-6 after the three games. Liberty won the first two games by scores of 10-9 and 11-8 while the Tigers defeated the Flames 11-6 in game three.

The Citadel Rallies From 15-4 Deficit To Defeat Tigers Utility player Jay Morgan went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and pitched 5.0 scoreless innings of relief to lead The Citadel to a 18-15 come-from-behind win over #19 Clemson on a chilly and windy afternoon at Tiger Field on Mar. 3. Clemson led 15-4 after four innings, but could only manage three hits from there on. Meanwhile, The Citadel (4-5) scored seven runs in the fifth and five runs in the seventh inning to hand Clemson (5-4) its fourth loss in five games. Every Bulldog starter had at least one hit. Kurt Bultmann had two doubles, giving him 65 in his career. That moved him into second place in career doubles in the Tiger recordbooks.

UNLV/Coors Desert Classic Review Clemson lost three of five games in the 19th annual UNLV/Coors Desert Classic. The three losses (Creighton 4-3, UNLV 12-11 in 10 innings, and Nevada 7-5) were by a combined four runs and all came in the span of 24 hours. The Tigers defeated #24 Washington 13-12 and Creighton 13-10. Several players had outstanding tournament stats though. Khalil Greene hit a team-best .458 with two homers and five RBIs, while Henr Stanley hit .444 with a homer and five RBIs. Jason Harris hit .421 with a towering homer and eight RBIs, and Kurt Bultmann had two home runs and 10 RBIs. Ryan Mottl also made his first career relief appearance in the tourney finale against Creighton and picked up his first win of 1999 in 7.1 innings of work.

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, who won by scores of 10-7, 10-4, and 11-3, only committed two errors, both by pitchers, in the series.

1999 Preseason Honors

Clemson * #21 recruiting class by Collegiate Baseball

#24 Patrick Boyd * #1 college prospect for 2000 Major League Draft by Baseball America * First-Team All-American by Baseball America * ACC Player-of-the-Year by Baseball America * Best defensive outfielder in the ACC by Baseball America * First-Team All-ACC by Baseball America

#18 Kurt Bultmann * Best defensive second baseman in the ACC by Baseball America * First-Team All-ACC by Baseball America

#27 Ryan Mottl * #29 college prospect for ’99 Major League Draft by Baseball America * #3 prospect in ACC for ’99 Major League Draft by Baseball America

#30 Mike Paradis * #42 college prospect for ’99 Major League Draft by Baseball America * #7 prospect in ACC for ’99 Major League Draft by Baseball America

Clemson’s 246 Wins Since ’94 Fifth In The Nation The barometer of a great season in college baseball is getting to Omaha and winning 50 games. Since Jack Leggett took over as Clemson’s head coach in 1994, the Tigers have won 246 games (excluding ’99) for an average of over 49 per season. Leggett has led Clemson to three 50-win seasons and two appearances in the College World Series in five seasons. Included in that total is 61 wins over top 25 team and a 33-13 record against the SEC.

Renovations To Tiger Field Planned Early in the next century, Tiger Field will undergo a face-lift at the entrance of the stadium. A brick facade with a wrought iron fence will be constructed behind the north entrance to create a fan-friendly pavilion and a more asthetically-pleasing look. There are also plans to refurbish the press box and to build a visitors’ lockerroom. These plans are still in the conceptual design phase and have not been finalized.

Clemson also has plans to renovate Littlejohn Coliseum (basketball) and Memorial Stadium (football), and plans to build a new indoor track and field facility along with a practice golf range. The improvements to Littlejohn include a new sound system, restrooms, concessions area, and reformatted seating along with a new practice facility located where the driveway to the tunnel currently lays. Memorial Stadium will add a year-round restaurant along with cosmetic improvements to include new lockerrooms, concession areas, and restrooms. The new indoor track will also house an indoor practice field for football, soccer, and baseball. Tiger Pride is the capital campaign established to raise money for the cost of all renovations, which is an estimated $30-million, and is expected to take five years to complete.