National Champions

National Champions

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Game Notes And Broadcast Info As Tigers Open ACC Baseball Tournament Play

The Road To Omaha Continues
 


The Road To Omaha Continues as Clemson (39-17), the #5 seed, will open its ACC Tournament slate by playing #4-seeded N.C. State (42-13) on Wednesday at 7:00 PM on the first day of the ACC Tournament.  The Tigers will be the designated visiting team and occupy the first-base dugout.   

The games will be played at Durham (NC) Bulls Athletic Park.  It will be the eighth time the ACC Baseball Tournament is held in Durham and the first time since 2011.  The round-robin format, in its seventh year, features two separate four-team brackets that guarantees all eight teams will play a minimum of three games and maximum of four games during the ACC Tournament.

Clemson’s first three games in the ACC Tournament will be televised live by Regional Sports Network.  The three games will also be available via webcast at ESPN3.

All of Clemson’s ACC Tournament games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network and WCCP 104.9 FM.  Live stats will also be available at ClemsonTigers.com for all Tiger games.

The Series (N.C. State)
Clemson and N.C. State have met 187 times, with the Tigers holding a 112-74-1 lead in the series dating to the 1921 season.  The two teams have faced each other at least one time every year since 1953.

Earlier this season at Doak Field in Raleigh, the Tigers won the first two games by scores of 10-5 and 7-4 before N.C. State won the series-finale 4-1.  Last season at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, the Wolfpack won two of three games.

The Tigers hold an 18-11 lead in ACC Tournament games.  The last time the two teams met in the ACC Tourney was on May 28, 2011, as Clemson defeated the Wolfpack 6-3 at Durham (NC) Bulls Athletic Park.  N.C. State’s last victory over the Tigers in the ACC Tourney came in 2010 by a score of 13-8 at Greensboro, NC.  Clemson leads the all-time series 14-12 in neutral-site contests as well.

Jack Leggett has a 46-24 record against N.C. State as Clemson’s head coach, including a 9-2 mark in ACC Tournament games.  Leggett was 7-18 against the Wolfpack as Western Carolina’s head coach, meaning he is 53-42 all-time against N.C. State.

The Starting Pitchers (N.C. State)
N.C. State will start freshman lefthander Brad Stone (2-2, 6.23 ERA) on the mound.  The Charlotte, NC native has made 11 starts and three relief appearances for a total of 47.2 innings pitched.  He has allowed 44 hits (.240 opponents’ batting average) and 21 walks with 53 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with sophomore righthander Daniel Gossett (9-3, 2.20 ERA) on Wednesday.  The Lyman, SC native has made 14 starts for a total of 86.0 innings pitched.  He has given up 67 hits (.209 opponents’ batting average) and 31 walks with 83 strikeouts.

The Wolfpack
N.C. State, led by 17th-year Head Coach Elliott Avent and ranked as high as #9 in the nation, enters the ACC Tournament with a 42-13 overall record and 19-10 ACC mark after sweeping Duke at Durham Bulls Athletic Park last weekend.  N.C. State, who has won 24 of its last 27 games, is 2-0 in neutral-site contests in 2013.

N.C. State, who is 11-2 in one-run games, is averaging 6.5 runs per game and hitting .285 with a .397 slugging percentage and .369 on-base percentage thanks to 222 walks and 51 hit-by-pitches against 331 strikeouts.  The team has also totaled 110 doubles, 14 triples, 25 home runs, and 99 stolen bases in 126 attempts.

Trea Turner leads the team with a .383 batting average, 11 doubles, four triples, six homers, 38 RBIs, 58 runs, a .463 on-base percentage, and 24 steals in 45 games.  Jake Fincher is hitting .326 with 14 steals, while Bryan Adametz is batting .317.  Tarran Senay has added six homers and 49 RBIs as well.

The pitching staff has a 3.40 ERA and .222 opponents’ batting average along with 493 strikeouts against 208 walks in 500.0 innings pitched.  Senior lefthander Grant Sasser has a team-high seven saves, while senior righty Chris Overman has six saves and has not allowed an earned run in 21.2 innings pitched over 17 relief appearances.  N.C. State, who has allowed 68 steals in 90 attempts, is fielding at a .968 clip as well.

The TigersClemson, ranked as high as #14 in the nation, enters the ACC Tournament with a 39-17 overall record and an 18-12 ACC mark after losing two of three games at #8 Florida State last weekend.  The Tigers, who have won 23 of their last 29 games, are 1-0 in neutral-site contests in 2013.

The Tigers are averaging 5.6 runs per game and hitting .282 with a .367 slugging percentage and .367 on-base percentage thanks to 239 walks and 30 hit-by-pitches against 353 strikeouts.  Clemson has also totaled 80 doubles, 14 triples, 18 homers, and 102 stolen bases in 139 attempts.

Shane Kennedy leads the team in batting average (.321) and on-base percentage (.419) along with totaling four homers, four triples, five doubles, 33 RBIs, and 18 steals.  Garrett Boulware is batting .310 with seven homers and 43 RBIs, while Steve Wilkerson is hitting .313 with a team-high 16 doubles.  Thomas Brittle has added a team-high 19 stolen bases as well.

The pitching staff has a 2.97 ERA and .258 opponents’ batting average in 506.0 innings pitched.  The staff has allowed 177 walks against 363 strikeouts, good for a 2.05 strikeout-to-walk ratio.  Junior righthander Matt Campbell has seven of the team’s 14 saves, while senior righty Scott Firth has four saves.  The Tigers are fielding at a .972 clip as well.

Two Tigers will return to their home state of North Carolina for the ACC Tournament, freshman utility player Jackson Campana (Charlotte) and freshman righthander Brody Koerner (Concord).

Clemson’s ACC Tournament HistoryThis is the 40th ACC Baseball Tournament, and Clemson has been to the finals in 21 of the previous 39 tournaments, nine more than any other school.  Clemson has won nine ACC Tournaments in history, more than any other school, including in 2006 when it defeated N.C. State 8-4 in the championship game.  Clemson has a 103-62 record in ACC Tournament games.  The Tigers also have the most All-ACC Tournament selections (55) in history.

Prior to capturing the 2006 title, the Tigers had not won it all since 1994.  That was Jack Leggett’s first year as Clemson’s head coach.  Clemson defeated Florida State 4-1 in the championship game held in Greenville (SC) Municipal Stadium.

Leggett has been on the field to accept the championship trophy three times in all.  In 1993, then Head Coach Bill Wilhelm was suspended for the championship game.  Leggett, then the top assistant for the Tigers, was in charge for that 1993 title game, an 11-7 win over N.C. State.  Clemson’s nine ACC Tournament titles came in 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, and 2006.  Wilhelm is credited with the first seven tournament titles.

Clemson has been a consistent team in tournament play.  The Tigers have won at least two tournament games in 32 of their previous 39 appearances.  While Clemson has won the title just once since 1994, the Tigers have been to the championship round seven of the last 19 years.  Clemson is also one of only two teams to play in all 39 ACC Tournaments.  The Tigers join Virginia as the only teams to play in every ACC Tourney.

Only 15 times in the 39-year history has the #1 seed captured the title.  Clemson has done it six times, Georgia Tech and North Carolina three times, and Florida State, Miami (FL), and Virginia once.

The Tigers have won the ACC Tournament with a perfect record five times.  The Tigers were 3-0 in 1976 and 1978 in winning both events at Clemson, then they had a 4-0 record in winning the title at Raleigh, NC in 1980.  Clemson’s only other perfect run through the tournament came in 1991, when a Tiger team that won a school-record 60 games had a 5-0 mark in the ACC Tournament held at Greenville, SC.

This will be the 17th time the tournament is held in the state of North Carolina after it was played at NewBridge Bank Park in 2010 and 2012 as well as Durham Bulls Athletic Park in 2009 and 2011.  Prior to 2009, the previous time it was played in the Tar Heel State was in 1999, when it was played at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  The 2014 tournament is scheduled to be played at NewBridge Bank Park.

Clemson has a winning record against every ACC team (excluding Boston College, who has not faced the Tigers in the event) in tournament play with the exception of Florida State and Virginia Tech.  Clemson is 9-11 against the Seminoles and 0-1 against the Hokies in the ACC Tournament.

The Tigers are also 8-4 against Duke, 16-10 versus Georgia Tech, 12-0 against Maryland, 2-1 versus Miami (FL), 16-11 against North Carolina, 18-11 versus N.C. State, 10-8 against Virginia, and 12-5 versus Wake Forest.  That computes to a 103-62 record and 62.4-percent winning mark.  Only Florida State (64.9) has a better winning percentage than Clemson in ACC Tournament play.

Clemson was the dominant team when the ACC Tournament was played at Greenville, SC from 1987-95.  In those nine tournaments, Clemson posted a 36-12 record, won the event four times, and finished second on two other occasions.  Clemson won at least three games in eight of the nine tournaments held in Greenville as well.

The ACC Tournament began in 1973 and has been held every year but one since then.  In 1979, Clemson won the regular-season title and was declared the conference champion.  The tournament was not held because of a scheduling conflict between school exam schedules and the tourney.  Clemson has been declared conference champion 14 times in history, more than any other school.

PollsThe Tigers remained in the top 20 of all three polls after going 2-2 in four games last week.  Clemson stayed at #14 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and fell one spot to #18 in the Baseball America rankings.  The Tigers also moved up one spot to #18 in the USA Today coaches poll.

The top-25 rankings means that Clemson has had at least least one top-25 ranking during all 20 of Jack Leggett’s 20 seasons as head coach at Clemson.

Clemson has had at least one final top-25 ranking in 15 of Leggett’s first 19 seasons in Tigertown.  The Tigers have also been ranked #1 for 20 weeks by at least one of the three major polls under Leggett.  Their last #1 ranking came on February 12, 2007 by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.

ACC StandingsThe Tigers finished in third place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings with an 18-12 league record.  Florida State finished in first place in the division with a 20-10 record, while N.C. State was second at 19-10.  North Carolina finished atop the ACC Coastal Division standings as well as the overall ACC standings at 21-7.

In the overall ACC standings, Clemson finished in fifth place.  It was the 19th time in 20 seasons under Head Coach Jack Leggett that the Tigers had a winning league record.

Tigers Lead the ACC in Stolen BasesClemson leads the ACC in stolen bases with 102 in 56 games, good for 1.8 steals per game.  That is despite no Tiger totaling 20 stolen bases in 2013.  Five different Tigers, Thomas Brittle (19), Shane Kennedy (18), Steven Duggar (15), Jay Baum (10), and Steve Wilkerson (10), have double-digit steals.  Nine Tigers have at least six steals as well.

The team’s season total has made a drastic jump during the second half of the season.  In the first 28 games, Clemson had 36 steals (1.3 per game).  But in the last 28 games, the Tigers have 66 steals (2.4 per game).

Three Tigers Named to All-ACC TeamThree Tigers were named Second-Team All-ACC in 2013, sophomore righthander Daniel Gossett, junior utility player Shane Kennedy, and junior infielder Steve Wilkerson.  The team was compiled by a vote of the 12 ACC head coaches.

Gossett has a 9-3 record, 2.20 ERA, and .209 opponents’ batting average along with 83 strikeouts against 31 walks in 86.0 innings pitched over 14 starts.

Kennedy is hitting a team-best .321 with four homers, four triples, five doubles, 33 RBIs, 42 runs, a .419 on-base percentage, and 18 steals in his first season as a Tiger.

Wilkerson, who was a Second-Team All-ACC selection in 2012, is batting .313 with two homers, two triples, a team-high 16 doubles, 32 RBIs, 34 runs, and 10 steals.

Crownover Led ACC in ERA in League Games

Matthew Crownover did what few freshmen in ACC history have done...lead the ACC in ERA in league games.  In 36.1 innings pitched over seven starts, he had a 1.73 ERA, allowing only seven earned runs.  That includes giving up only four combined earned runs in his last six starts in ACC regular-season games.

Gossett Named ACC Pitcher-of-the-WeekDaniel Gossett was named ACC Pitcher-of-the-Week for his performance at #8 Florida State on May 16.  He allowed three hits (all singles), no runs, and three walks with three strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched to earn the win in Clemson’s 8-2 victory over the Seminoles.

Moorefield a Lefty SpecialistSenior lefthander Joseph Moorefield (Woodruff, SC) has appeared in 13 games on the mound, all out of the bullpen, and has pitched 4.1 innings.  He has been effective getting out lefthanded batters, as he has given up just one earned run (2.08 ERA) in 2013.  Moorefield has made 62 relief appearances in his career as well.

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