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Clemson Weekly Baseball Wrap Up, Including Regional Thoughts

Clemson Baseball Weekly Wrapup
 


Overall Season Record:  39-20
ACC Regular-Season Record:  18-12

Last Week:  0-3
Wed.    L, Neutral* vs. #9 N.C. State, 6-3
Fri.    L, Neutral* vs. #3 North Carolina, 12-7 (14)
Sat.    L, Neutral* vs. Miami (FL), 7-0
* - ACC Tournament at Durham, NC (Durham Bulls Athletic Park)

Next Week
TBA

Last Week’s Game Notes & Recaps
Clemson, ranked as high as #14 in the nation, went 0-3 in the ACC Tournament at Durham (NC) Bulls Athletic Park from May 22-25.  The Tigers were outscored 25-10 and batted .207 with eight stolen bases.  Maleeke Gibson went 5-for-15 with two runs to lead the Tigers.  The Tiger pitching staff had a 6.39 ERA.

In the Tigers’ first game of the ACC Tournament on May 22, #9 N.C. State broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the seventh inning and held on for a 6-3 win over Clemson.  With N.C. State leading 2-1, Clemson loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth inning.  But Clemson only scored one run in the frame.  Jake Fincher hit a run-scoring single in the seventh inning to give N.C. State the lead for good, then Brett Austin added a two-run double.  Garrett Boulware hit a long solo homer in the ninth inning, but it was not enough for Clemson, who outhit the Wolfpack 8-6.  Boulware went 3-for-4 with a homer and double.

In the Tigers’ second game of the ACC Tournament on May 24, #3 North Carolina scored five runs in the 14th inning to defeat Clemson 12-7.  The Tigers led 7-2 entering the ninth inning, but a leadoff walk and three singles set up Brian Holberton’s two-out, three-run homer to tie the score.  Clemson left eight combined runners on base in the ninth, 11th, 12th, and 13th innings without scoring.  Then the Tar Heels scored five runs with one out in the 14th inning.  Shane Kennedy went 3-for-5 with two runs and two steals for the Tigers.  Cody Stubbs had a game-high four hits to lead the Tar Heels, who outhit Clemson 19-11.

In the Tigers’ third game of the ACC Tournament on May 25, Bryan Radziewski and Eric Nedeljkovic combined for a four-hit shutout to lead Miami (FL) to a 7-0 victory over Clemson.  Radziewski allowed four hits, no runs, and two walks with five strikeouts in 8.0 innings pitched to earn the win.  The Hurricanes scored two runs in the first inning and never looked back.  Chantz Mack had a game-high three runs to lead Miami, who outhit the Tigers 11-4.  Steven Duggar went 2-for-3 with a double to lead the Tigers.

2013 Season Notes
Clemson has a 39-20 overall record and finished with an 18-12 ACC mark in 2013.  The Tigers, who have won 23 of their last 32 games since starting the season 16-11, also won 13 of their last 19 ACC regular-season games.

Why Should Clemson Host A Regional?
The Tigers will await word on Sunday night if it is selected to host a regional.  There are several factors in Clemson’s favor:

• Clemson has an RPI of #14 and a strength of schedule of #6.

• Clemson had an 18-12 ACC regular-season record.  The ACC is the nation’s top conference by a relatively wide margin according to the RPI.

• Clemson has 13 wins against top-50 RPI teams.  Clemson’s 13 top-50 wins are tied for 11th-most in the nation.  Of Clemson’s 13 top-50 wins, nine have been against top-25 teams and six have been against top-12 teams.  Of those nine top-25 wins, six have been away from home, and five of the six top-12 wins have been away from home.  Clemson’s 13 wins against top-50 teams does not include a 2-0 record against Western Carolina, who is #55 in the RPI, and a 3-0 record against Wake Forest, who is #57 in the RPI.  Therefore, Clemson has 18 wins against top-57 RPI teams.

• In the Tigers’ last 32 games, they are 23-9.

• Clemson was not swept in any of its 14 weekend series during the regular season.  Clemson is the only ACC Atlantic Division team who can make that claim and one of only three ACC schools (joining North Carolina and Virginia) who can make that claim.

• Clemson won two of three games at #8 N.C. State to open its ACC schedule in March.

• Clemson went 0-3 in the ACC Tournament, but two of the games were against top-10 teams in virtual home games for #9 N.C. State and #3 North Carolina.  Then the Tigers faced arguably the ACC’s best pitcher in First-Team All-ACC lefthander Bryan Radziewski against Miami (FL) on Saturday.

• Clemson is seventh in the nation and first in the ACC in average home attendance (4,751 per game).

• Clemson has a tradition of hosting NCAA baseball events.  Clemson has hosted either a regional or super regional in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006, 2005, 2002, 2001, and 2000 in the last 13 years.

Note:  All RPI references according to WarrenNolan.com; as of May 26 at 2:52 AM EDT.

The Tigers finished third in the ACC Atlantic Division standings behind Florida State (20-10) and  N.C. State (19-10).  Clemson also had the fifth-best conference ledger among all ACC teams.

The Tigers, who are averaging 5.5 runs per game, are hitting .278 with a .362 slugging percentage and .363 on-base percentage thanks to 250 walks and 33 hit-by-pitches.  The team has totaled 82 doubles, 15 triples, 19 homers, and 110 stolen bases.

Shane Kennedy leads the team in batting average (.317), runs (45), triples (4), walks (37), on-base percentage (.413), and stolen bases (22) along with totaling four homers, five doubles, and 33 RBIs.  Garrett Boulware is hitting .310 with eight homers, 11 doubles, and 44 RBIs, while Steve Wilkerson is hitting .294 with 16 doubles and 10 steals.

The pitching staff has a 3.17 ERA and .260 opponents’ batting average in 537.0 innings pitched this season.  It has allowed 532 hits and 191 walks with 386 strikeouts, good for a 2.02 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Freshman lefthander Matthew Crownover leads the staff with a 7-2 record and 2.05 ERA in 66.0 innings pitched over 14 appearances (13 starts).  Crownover had an ACC-best 1.73 ERA in ACC regular-season games as well.

Sophomore righty Daniel Gossett is 9-4 with a 2.53 ERA, .212 opponents’ batting average, and 89 strikeouts in 92.1 innings pitched.  Scott Firth has a 3.23 ERA and four saves, while Matt Campbell has a team-high seven saves.

Clemson will await word from the NCAA Baseball Committee on the 16 host sites.  That announcement will be made at NCAA.com/CWS on Sunday at approximately 9:00 PM.  The 64-team NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Monday at 12:00 PM on ESPNU.

We look forward to seeing you at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this year (for the Regionals…fingers crossed!)

Go Tigers!

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Scott Rhymer can be reached at scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

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