Tigers Battle Paladins, Gamecocks

Clemson (23-7), ranked as high as #13, will travel to Greenville, SC to play Furman (15-14) and play host to South Carolina (20-12) in midweek games. The game at Furman Baseball Stadium Tuesday will start at 7:00 PM, while the game versus South Carolina will start at 7:15 PM.

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 Furman have met 186 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 130-52-4 advantage in the series dating back to 1896. Clemson's first two games in school history were against the Paladins, both losses in 1896, which were the Tigers' only games that season. Clemson has won 29 games in a row in the series dating back to a 9-7 loss in 1984. Last season, Clemson defeated the Paladins 18-7 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. In 2001, the Tigers won both games, including a 9-6 win at Furman. The two teams have played at least one game every year since 1983. Jack Leggett is 10-0 against Furman as the Tiger skipper and was 29-7 versus Furman as the Western Carolina head coach.

Clemson and South Carolina have met 262 times, with Clemson holding a 154-106-2 lead in the series dating back to 1899. The two have already played three games in 2003, with Clemson winning two games. Clemson won 8-0 on March 1 thanks to Tyler Lumsden's 7.1 shutout innings and April 2 thanks to the arm of Patrick Hogan, while the Gamecocks won 6-4 on March 2 on Aaron Rawl's complete game. Michael Johnson has homered twice this season against the Gamecocks, giving him nine career homers against South Carolina. Johnson is also 4-for-10 with four RBIs in the three games so far this year, while Patrick Hogan has allowed just one run and four hits in 9.1 innings pitched in helping the Tigers to two victories.

Jack Leggett is 19-15 against South Carolina as the Tiger skipper and 22-23 overall. He is also 8-7 against South Carolina at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Leggett, in his 10th season as Clemson's head coach, is also 56-28 (.667) against SEC teams while at Clemson.

Senior righthander Coogie Freedman (0-2, 8.31 ERA) will start on the mound for the Paladins Tuesday. Despite the ERA, he is allowing opponents to hit just .250 in two starts and seven relief appearances. Freshman righthander Kris Harvey (2-0, 7.04 ERA) will start on the mound for the Tigers Tuesday. Starters for Wednesday's game with South Carolina have not yet been determined.

Furman, under the leadership of Furman graduate and 10th-year Head Coach Ron Smith, is hitting .269 as a team. Matthew Betsill is leading the Paladins with a .338 batting average. Dominic Frankey has a team-high three homers and 22 RBIs as well. Furman, who has hit just seven homers this year, is 9-8 at home and 6-9 in Southern Conference competition. The Paladins are coming off two wins in three games at Wofford this past weekend and have won four of their last five games overall.

South Carolina, who lost two of three games at Louisiana State last weekend, is hitting .299 as a team, led by Brian Buscher's .386 mark. He also has a team-high six homers and 30 RBIs. South Carolina has a 3.54 team ERA and 2.8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. South Carolina, who is 2-6 on opponents' home fields, also has a .966 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 two wins in three games against Virginia at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The loss Saturday was the first of the season at home, as Clemson is 17-1 in the friendly confines. Clemson has a .317 team batting average, led by Russell Triplett's .385 mark. Brad McCann has a team-high 37 RBIs to go along with 14 doubles and four homers. Clemson's ERA stands at 3.60, while opponents are hitting just .243. The Tigers' fielding percentage is also .972, ahead of the school record of .971 set last season.

Furman Game Tickets at Greenville Available
Tickets for the Clemson-Furman game at Furman Baseball Stadium on Tuesday, April 8 are available in advance. Fans can purchase tickets by phone through Ticketmaster at (864) 233-2525, on the internet at www.furmanpaladins.com, or in person at the Timmons Arena Box Office Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Tickets are $5 and first pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM.

Kingsmore Stadium Dedication Wednesday
The dedication of Doug Kingsmore Stadium will take place Wednesday evening, April 9 just prior to the final meeting of the year between Clemson and South Carolina. Clemson has spent the last year significantly renovating the stadium to include a new press box, batting cages, seats, dugouts, an entrance, and eating and restroom facilities, changes that make it among the top stadiums in the nation.

The facility is named after former Clemson baseball player Doug Kingsmore, who starred for the Clemson team from 1951-54. He played an important role in the financing of the renovation project and he will be on hand along with his entire family for the ceremonies on Wednesday evening. His grandson, Tyler, will throw out the first pitch. Joining the Kingsmore family on the field prior to the game will be Clemson President Jim Barker, Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips, and the entire Clemson team.

Kingsmore entered Clemson on a partial baseball scholarship after a brilliant high school career at Union High School in Union, SC. There, he earned 10 varsity letters in three sports, baseball (4), football (3), and basketball (3).

At Clemson, his four-year career batting average was .346. Playing all three outfield positions, his career fielding percentage was a near-perfect .996. Kingsmore was a member of four all-state teams while at Clemson and had a four-year slugging percentage of .646. In his senior year, he led the ACC in home runs (10) in only 77 at bats, thus averaging a homer every 7.7 at bats. His home run record at Clemson stood until expanded schedules in the late 1960s.

He was a co-captain of the 1954 Tigers that won Clemson's first ever ACC Championship in any sport. He also received first-team All-ACC honors and honorable mention All-America recognition. His senior year, he signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles after the 1954 NCAA Playoffs and played professional baseball for three years in the Tri-State, Carolina, and Texas Leagues.

Kingmore gave up pro baseball after three years to begin one of many successful business ventures. He became a member of Clemson's Board of Trustees in 1990.

South Carolina Game Tickets
All reserved seats for the Clemson-South Carolina game Wednesday at 7:15 PM have been sold out. A limited number of $5 general admission tickets will be sold at the gates beginning at 5:15 PM. General admission tickets for all other home games can be purchased for $5 the day of the game at the stadium.

Clemson Takes Series Over Virginia
Clemson won the first and last games against Virginia to take the series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from April 4-6. The series, which drew 12,888 fans, saw the Tigers hit .351 while holding the Cavaliers to just .221. Michael Johnson was 7-for-11 (.636) to lead all Tigers. Clemson pitchers limited Virginia to just two extra base hits in the series. The series was the first home ACC series for the Tigers.

In game one, Clemson pounded out 18 hits in a 9-4 win in front of 4,565 fans. Tyler Lumsden, a Virginia native, earned his sixth win by pitching 7.0 innings and allowing three runs on five hits. Clemson jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning and 7-0 lead after two innings. Kyle Frank led the Tigers with four hits, while Michael Johnson and Russell Triplett each had two hits. The Tigers broke Virginia's 10-game winning streak with the victory.

In game two, Clemson was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and lost its first home game of the year in a 4-1 loss in front of 5.286 fans. Freshman lefty Mike Ballard stifled the Tiger batst, pitching 5.0 shutout innings to earn the win. Joe Koshansky had an RBI single and sacrifice fly to lead the Cavalier bats. Russell Triplett hit his first career homer at home, as he had two of the Tigers' seven hits. Clemson also had six leadoff batters reach base, however none scored.

Clemson took the series with a 9-2 win on Sunday. The Tigers had 15 hits, led by Michael Johnson's three. Brad McCann and Brady Everett also had two hits and three RBIs. Steven Jackson won his third straight start by pitching 5.0 shutout innings. Matt Street led the Cavaliers with three singles. Clemson pitchers allowed just eight hits, all singles.

Bunting Success
Head Coach Jack Leggett knew that the success of Clemson this season would depend on moving runners along and other "small" things after losing Jeff Baker and Khalil Greene. And that has certainly been the case, as successful bunting has been a bright spot in 2003. Along with several successful squeeze bunts, Tiger batters have 12 bunt base hits in just 18 at bats, meaning two of every three bunt attempts (of the non-sacrifice variety) have gone for hits. Batters also have 16 sacrifice bunts, led by Kyle Frank's five. Frank is also a perfect 3-for-3 when bunting, while Russell Triplett is 5-for-6 and Zane Green is 3-for-4.

Going Against the Norm
It's standard practice by most coaches to bring in a lefthander to face a lefthanded batter in a pinch. But Clemson's four lefthanded batters (Herman Demmink, Kyle Frank, Zane Green, and Michael Johnson) have combined to hit .384 against lefties. Ironically, those four batters are hitting just .335 against righthanders this season.

Johnson At His Best Against South Carolina In 15 career games against rival South Carolina, Michael Johnson has hit nine homers. He has hit 51 career homers in 205 career games, meaning he hits a homer every 4.02 games. But against the Gamecocks, he hits one every 1.67 games. He has hit 17.6 percent of his homers against South Carolina, while playing only 7.3 percent of his games against the Gamecocks.

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