The two teams will play a doubleheader at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Saturday, with game times of 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Then on Sunday, the Tigers will travel to Boiling Springs, NC to face the Bulldogs at John Henry Moss Stadium at 2:00 PM.
Both games on Saturday will be available live via webcast on TigerCast at ClemsonTigers.com. All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by WCCP (104.9 FM) out of Clemson and can be heard live on the internet at WCCPFM.com.
Clemson and Gardner-Webb have met five times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 5-0 advantage in the series. All five games have taken place at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
On March 11, 2010, the Tigers scored six combined runs in the first two innings and downed the Bulldogs 13-2. Clemson also won games in 2007 (14-2), 2006 (10-5), 2004 (8-5), and 1975 (9-6). Jack Leggett has a 4-0 record against Gardner-Webb as Clemson's head coach.
The Starting Pitchers
In game-one, Gardner-Webb will start senior lefthander Kyle Paeplow (3-1, 5.63 ERA) on the mound. The Fairview, NC native has made nine starts for a total of 46.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 65 hits (.339 opponents' batting average) and 11 walks with 26 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with sophomore righty Dominic Leone (3-1, 3.38 ERA) in the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday. The Norwich, CT native has made seven starts and three relief appearances for a total of 40.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 28 hits (.199 opponents' batting average) and 18 walks with 45 strikeouts.
In game-two, the Bulldogs will send out freshman lefthander Eric Heiligenstadt (3-3, 5.01 ERA) on the mound. The Forest, VA native has made 11 starts and three relief appearances for a total of 50.1 innings pitched. He has yielded 61 hits (.292 opponents' batting average) and 14 walks with 31 strikeouts.
Clemson will counter with sophomore righthander Jonathan Meyer (4-1, 3.06 ERA) in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday. The San Diego, CA native has made 15 relief appearances and three starts for a total of 47.0 innings pitched. He has surrendered 34 hits (.198 opponents' batting average) and 15 walks with 48 strikeouts.
In game-three, Gardner-Webb will start sophomore righty Emilio Pagan (3-1, 2.93 ERA) on the mound. The Simpsonville, SC native has made eight relief appearances and four starts for a total of 43.0 innings pitched. He has given up 28 hits (.196 opponents' batting average) and 22 walks with 26 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with graduate righthander Justin Sarratt (5-1, 1.89 ERA) on Sunday. The Gaffney, SC native has made eight starts and five relief appearances for a total of 52.1 innings pitched. He has given up 43 hits (.222 opponents' batting average) and six walks with 41 strikeouts.
Gardner-Webb, led by ninth-year Head Coach Rusty Stroupe, enters the series against No. 16 Clemson with a 28-14-1 overall record and 12-9 Big South Conference mark after falling at North Carolina 8-1 on Tuesday. The loss snapped the Bulldogs' eight-game winning streak, which included a three-game sweep at Radford last weekend. The Bulldogs, who are 10-2 in one-run games, are 10-6-1 on opponents' home fields and 16-7 at home in 2011.
Gardner-Webb is averaging 7.8 runs per game, one of the 10-best marks in the country, and hitting .320 with a .435 slugging percentage and .397 on-base percentage thanks to 182 walks and 30 hit-by-pitches against 291 strikeouts. The team has also totaled 101 doubles, eight triples, 21 home runs, and 56 stolen bases in 74 attempts.
Dusty Quattlebaum is hitting a team-best .366 with 23 doubles, four homers, and 41 RBIs. Adam McFarland is batting .348 with 14 doubles, one triple, four homers, and 43 RBIs. Daniel Merck is hitting .339 with 10 stolen bases, while Aaron Miller had a team-high 13 steals.
The pitching staff has a 5.41 ERA and .288 opponents' batting average along with 270 strikeouts against 189 walks in 384.0 innings pitched. Righthanders Jeff Howell and Adam Izokovic have six saves apiece, while Howell is 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA and 39 strikeouts against only 12 walks in 32.2 innings pitched over 24 relief appearances. Gardner-Webb is fielding at a .961 clip as well.
Clemson, ranked as high as No. 16 in the nation, enters the series against Gardner-Webb with a 29-15 overall record and 13-11 ACC mark after defeating No. 9 Georgia Tech twice in three games at home over the weekend. The Tigers, who have won 15 of their last 18 games, sport a 22-7 home record and 6-6 record on opponents' home fields in 2011.
The Tigers are averaging 6.8 runs per game and hitting .308 with a .439 slugging percentage and .400 on-base percentage thanks to 211 walks and 35 hit-by-pitches against 281 strikeouts. Clemson has also totaled 89 doubles, 13 triples, 26 homers, and 80 stolen bases in 101 attempts.
Brad Miller is hitting a team-best .437 with a .535 on-base percentage and 18 steals. Phil Pohl is batting .360 with 15 doubles, four homers, and 29 RBIs. Will Lamb is riding a 19-game hitting streak, while John Hinson has added 18 stolen bases.
The pitching staff has a 3.37 ERA and .233 opponents' batting average in 389.2 innings pitched. The staff has allowed 133 walks against 339 strikeouts, good for a 2.55 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Junior righthander Scott Weismann has a team-high four saves and 42 strikeouts against 14 walks in 16 appearances (eight starts). The Tigers are fielding at a .966 clip as well.
Three Tigers hail from the state of North Carolina, Hinson (Asheville), Addison Johnson (Pfafftown), and Richie Shaffer (Charlotte).
The Tigers moved up seven spots to No. 16 in this week's Sports Weekly coaches poll after going 4-1 in five games last week. Clemson also moved up four spots to No. 21 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and entered the Baseball America rankings at No. 22 after a five-week absence.
Clemson has had at least one final top-25 ranking in 14 of Head Coach Jack Leggett's first 17 seasons in Tigertown. The Tigers have also been ranked No. 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.
The Tigers are in second place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings with a 13-11 league record. In the division, Florida State is in first place with a 16-8 record, while N.C. State is third at 11-13. Virginia holds the overall ACC lead at 20-4. In the overall ACC standings, Clemson is in sixth place. The top-eight teams in the overall ACC standings will make the ACC Tournament at Durham, NC. Virginia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Miami (FL) have all clinched spots in the ACC Tourney.
Weismann Finds Relief in New Role
Junior righthander Scott Weismann (Boxborough, MA) would admit that he has not had the season he had hoped for in 2011. He was Clemson's Friday starter during the first half of the season after entering the year with a 12-3 career record. In his eight starts this year, he is 3-4 with a 6.46 ERA and .321 opponents' batting average.
So Head Coach Jack Leggett and Pitching Coach Dan Pepicelli decided to try a different role for Weismann...closer. He made 14 relief appearances as a freshman in 2009, so he has previous experience out of the bullpen. That move has paid off, as he has become the Tigers' closer.
In his eight relief appearances this season, he has four saves in 9.1 innings pitched. He also has a 1.93 ERA and .176 opponents' batting average along with 16 strikeouts against only two walks out of the bullpen. In his last seven relief outings, he has pitched 7.2 innings, allowing just three singles (.115 opponents' batting average), no runs, and no walks with 14 strikeouts.
Overall in the 2011 season, Weismann is 3-4 with a team-high four saves, a 5.59 ERA, and .295 opponents' batting average along with 42 strikeouts against 14 walks in 48.1 innings pitched over 16 appearances (eight starts). In his three-year career, Weismann is 15-7 with five saves, a 4.34 ERA, and .265 opponents' batting average along with 143 strikeouts against 63 walks in 182.1 innings pitched over 52 appearances (29 starts).
Tigers back in action
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