Tigers Face Catamounts, Gamecocks

Clemson (19-6), ranked as high as #15, will play host to Western Carolina (20-9) and travel to Columbia to take on #20 South Carolina (19-9) in midweek games. The Catamounts will visit Doug Kingsmore Stadium Tuesday at 7:15 PM, while Clemson will take on the Gamecocks Wednesday at 7:00 PM at Sarge Frye Field.

Both games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Properties and can be heard live via the internet at www.clemsontigers.com. Live stats will also be available for both games on Clemson's website.

Wednesday's game will also be broadcast live by Comcast/Charter Southeast. Clemson and Western Carolina have met 52 times, with the Tigers holding a 43-9 advantage in the series dating back to 1974. Clemson is 31-1 all-time against the Catamounts at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson's one loss came in the first game of the series, a 4-3 Catamount win on March 13, 1974, meaning the Tigers have won 31 straight games in the series at home. The two teams most recently met last Tuesday, as the Catamounts came away with a 9-5 victory at Cullowhee, NC. It was the first night game in Hennon Stadium history and the game was played in front of a record crowd. The two teams have played at least one game every year since 1978. Clemson had won seven straight in the series prior to Western Carolina's win on March 25. Head Coach Jack Leggett is 13-0 against his former team at Doug Kingsmore Stadium and is 17-4 overall.

Clemson and South Carolina have met 261 times, with Clemson holding a 153-106-2 lead in the series dating back to 1899. The two have already played two games in 2003, with the home team winning each game. Clemson won 8-0 on March 1 thanks to Tyler Lumsden's 7.1 shutout innings, while the Gamecocks won 6-4 on March 2 on Aaron Rawl's complete game. Michael Johnson homered in Columbia earlier this season, giving him eight career homers against South Carolina. Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett is 18-15 against South Carolina as the Tiger skipper and 21-23 overall. He is also 10-6 against the Gamecocks in Columbia as the Tiger skipper, as opposed to just 8-7 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Leggett, in his 10th season as Clemson's head coach, is 55-28 (.663) against SEC teams while at Clemson.

Senior righthander Ryan Basner (2-1, 3.51 ERA), who threw 85 pitches in Friday's win at Furman, will take to the mound for the Catamounts. Basner, who will be making his 70th career appearance, sports a 2.9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in eight starts and two relief appearances in 2003. Clemson will counter with junior righthander Steven Jackson (2-1, 4.75 ERA). In his last start, the Summerville, SC native allowed just one run on two hits in 7.0 innings pitched to earn the win against Georgia on Wednesday. Starters for the Clemson-South Carolina game have yet to be determined.

Western Carolina, under the leadership of former Leggett player Todd Raleigh, took two of three games at Furman this past weekend. The team has a .291 batting average, led by Todd Buchanan, who is hitting .359 with eight homers, nine doubles, and 37 RBIs this year. Buchanan has been a thorn in the side of the Tigers in his career. The senior first baseman was 4-for-4 with a homer, double, and six RBIs in a 13-9 loss at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 16 last season. Last Tuesday, he was 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs in Western Carolina's 9-5 win at Cullowhee, NC. The Catamounts have also stolen 49 bases in 59 attempts, led by Wayne Kilmer's 14. The Catamounts, who are 6-8 on the road, also have a 3.46 team ERA, 2.39 walks per nine innings pitched mark, and .967 team fielding percentage.

South Carolina, who is coming off a sweep of a Tim Corbin-led Vanderbilt team in Columbia over the weekend, is hitting .305, led by Brian Buscher's .409 mark. He also has a team-high six homers and 28 RBIs. South Carolina has a 3.26 team ERA and 2.9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. South Carolina, who is 16-4 at home, also has a .968 fielding percentage. The Gamecocks have two players that are brothers of either former or current Tigers. Ryan Mahoney is the brother of current Tiger catcher Collin, while Mark Stanley is the brother of former Tiger outfielder Henr' Stanley.

Clemson is coming off a dramatic come-from-behind win at #16 N.C. State in game two of a doubleheader on Saturday. Jeff Hourigan's three-run homer tied the score and Clemson added four more runs to seal the 12-10 victory. Clemson is hitting .312 at the plate, led by Russell Triplett. The West Columbia native was 16-for-26 (.615) last week to raise hit average to .391. Clemson also sports a 3.85 team ERA and .971 fielding percentage. The Tigers are a perfect 14-0 at home this season.

South Carolina Game Tickets
Reserved tickets are still available for the Clemson-South Carolina game on Wednesday, April 9 at 7:15 PM. They can be purchased at the Athletic Ticket Office at the northwest corner of Memorial Stadium, via phone toll-free at 1-800-CLEMSON, or online at www.clemsontigers.com. That day has also been designated as Doug Kingsmore Day, as the newly renovated stadium will be dedicated to the former Tiger. Hilderbrand also announced that season ticket sales surpassed the 1,800 mark, a new school record, and are no longer available this season. General admission tickets for all other home games can be purchased for $5 the day of the game at the stadium.

Wolfpack Takes Tigers' ACC Opening Series
In three games played at Kinston, NC, N.C. State won two of three games in Clemson's ACC-opening series from March 28-29. Clemson salvaged game three of the series after N.C. State won the first two games. The Wolfpack hit .317 and stole eight bases in the series, while Clemson hit .281. David Slevin was 5-for-8 (.625) and Russell Triplett was 8-for-14 (.571) in the series to lead the Tiger bats. Clemson hit just .125 with two outs and .238 with runners in scoring position in the series.

In game one, Jeremy Dutton hit a long homer to leadoff the 11th inning to down Clemson 3-2. Tyler Lumsden allowed his first homer of the year to the second batter of the game (Joe Gaetti), but did not allow another run in 6.2 innings of work, as he did not factor in the decision. Clemson scored two runs in the second inning to tie the score, as neither team scored again until the 11th frame. Triplett had three of the Tigers' eight hits in the game.

In game two, N.C. State blew out the Tigers 12-2 behind Dutton's grand slam and six RBIs, as Vern Sterry limited Clemson to just six hits and one earned run in 8.2 innings pitched. Sterry, who threw 147 pitches, struck out 10 while walking four. Clemson lost back-to-back games for the first time in 2003. Ryan Hub, who came off the bench in relief of Zane Green, who left due to an allergic reaction, hit a solo homer and drove in both Tiger runs.

Clemson's seven-run ninth inning comeback
thwarted N.C. State's sweep in game three as the Tigers won 12-10. Jeff Hourigan hit a game-tying, three-run homer in the ninth inning after being just 1-for-13 in the series up to that point. Clemson scored four more runs in the inning, highlighted by Michael Johnson's two-run bloop double. Clemson, who had just five hits with runners in scoring position in the series before the ninth inning, had five hits in eight at bats in the seven-run inning. Triplett and Slevin each had 4-for-5 games, while Herman Demmink and Brad McCann also contributed three hits apiece. Freshman reliever Pat Clayton earned his first collegiate victory, while Paul Harrelson earned the save by striking out ACC home-run leader Colt Morton with the tying run on first base to end the game.

Pitchers Dominating at Home
In 14 home games this season, the Tiger pitchers have combined for a 2.38 team ERA to lead Clemson to a perfect 14-0 record. In 125.0 innings pitched, Clemson has allowed just 33 earned runs, 35 walks, and 98 hits while striking out 112. The pitchers have combined to hold opponents to a .213 batting average.

Tigers Sport Home Perfection
Clemson has a perfect 14-0 record at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this season, which has helped Clemson climb in the polls. The 1.000 winning percentage is the best mark by a Clemson team in Doug Kingsmore Stadium's existence. The Tigers first played their home games there in 1970, therefore it is in its 34th season as the home of Tiger baseball.

Shutting the Door After Eight
In the last three seasons, Tiger pitchers have been perfect in shutting the door when Clemson has had the lead after eight innings. In fact, since the beginning of the 2001 season, Clemson is 102-0 when leading after eight innings, including a 35-0 record in 2001, 51-0 record in 2002, and 16-0 record in 2003. The last team who rallied in the ninth inning to down the Tigers was the last game of the 2000 season, when Louisiana-Lafayette scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to win 5-4. The game was on June 14 at the College World Series.

Triplett Totals 16 Hits in One Week
Junior shortstop Russell Triplett, a 2002 Second-Team All-ACC utility player, is hitting .391 in 2003 thanks to a 16-for-26 (.615) week at the plate from March 24-29 (six games). After starting the season 1-for-9 in his first three games, he has come alive at the plate in the last 22 games. He is 35-for-83 (.422) with 24 runs scored and 11 RBIs. He is also the only Tiger to play in all 25 games this season. He hit the walk-off single against Winthrop in the Tigers' 5-4 win on March 4 and recently had a 10-game hitting streak. But his biggest performance came at College of Charleston on March 18. He hit his first career homer in his 275th career at bat in the second inning. Then in the ninth inning, with runners on second and third and two outs, he lined an 0-2 changeup for a single to give the Tigers the lead. Clemson went on to win 7-6 and win its 10th-straight game.

Freshman Herman Demmink Stepping Up
Freshman middle infielder Herman Demmink (Midlothian, VA) went 3-for-4 and had a key double in Clemson's seven-run, come-from-behind win at #16 N.C. State in game two on March 29. That helped raise his batting average to .333, as he has started 12 games and played in nine others. He also has committed just three errors in the field.

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