Tigers open against Georgia Tech

Clemson (39-17), the No. 6 seed, will open its ACC Tournament slate by playing No. 3-seed Georgia Tech (39-17) on Wednesday at 11:00 AM on the first day of the ACC Tournament.

The Tigers will be the designated visiting team and occupy the first-base dugout.

The Tigers will then play #2-seed Florida State (40-15) on Thursday at 3:00 PM. Clemson will be the designated home team and occupy the third-base dugout in that game. The Tigers will face two of the three First-Team All-ACC starting pitchers in Mark Pope (Georgia Tech) and Sean Gilmartin (Florida State). Clemson will be the only team to face two First-Team All-ACC starting pitchers in the ACC Tourney.

After a day off on Friday, Clemson's third game will be against #7-seed N.C. State (33-23) on Saturday at 11:00 AM. The home team for Saturday's game will be determined by a coin flip. All three of Clemson's games in the ACC Tournament will be televised live by Regional Sports Network, which includes Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Florida.

The games will be played at Durham (NC) Bulls Athletic Park. It will be the seventh time the ACC Baseball Tournament is held in Durham and the fifth time at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The event was also held at that park in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2009. The round-robin format, in its fifth year, features two separate four-team divisions that guarantees all eight teams will play a minimum of three games and maximum of four games during the ACC Tournament.

The other division is comprised of #1-seed Virginia, #4-seed North Carolina, #5-seed Miami (FL), and #8-seed Wake Forest. The winner of each division will meet in the ACC Championship Game on Sunday at 1:00 PM. It will be televised live by Regional Sports Network and the game's winner will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Tourney.

All of Clemson's ACC Tourney games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network.

The Series
Clemson and Georgia Tech have met 205 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 102-100-3 lead in the series dating back to the 1902 season. The two squads have faced each other at least one time every year since 1974.

Earlier this season at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, the Tigers won game-one 4-2 and game-three 3-1, while the Yellow Jackets won game-two 5-1. In 2010 at Atlanta, GA, the Yellow Jackets swept the Tigers by scores of 8-6, 4-3, and 11-3. Then in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, NC, Clemson topped Georgia Tech 9-3.

The Tigers hold a 15-9 lead in ACC Tourney games. The last time the two teams met in the tourney was the aforementioned 2010 meeting. The two also played in the 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002, and 2000 ACC Tourneys. The Tigers hold an 18-7 advantage in neutral-site contests as well.

Jack Leggett has a 37-31 record against Georgia Tech as Clemson's head coach, including an 8-5 mark in the ACC Tournament. He was 3-5 against the Yellow Jackets as Western Carolina's head coach, meaning he is 40-36 all-time against Georgia Tech. Of Leggett's 68 games coached against Georgia Tech as Clemson's skipper, 61 have come against a top-25 Yellow Jacket squad, as he has a 33-28 record in those 61 meetings.

The Starting Pitchers
Georgia Tech will start junior righthander Mark Pope (11-3, 1.54 ERA) on the mound. The Marietta, GA native has made 14 starts for a total of 105.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 81 hits (.210 opponents' batting average), including only 13 extra-base hits, and 21 walks with 85 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with sophomore righty Dominic Leone (5-2, 3.67 ERA) on Wednesday. The Norwich, CT native has made 10 starts and three relief appearances for a total of 56.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 42 hits (.207 opponents' batting average) and 24 walks with 63 strikeouts.

The Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech, led by 18th-year Head Coach Danny Hall and ranked as high as #8 in the nation, enters the ACC Tournament with a 39-17 overall record and 22-8 ACC mark after winning two of three games at Virginia Tech to close the regular season. The Yellow Jackets, who tied for the ACC's best record, sports an 0-1 record in neutral-site contests in 2011.

Georgia Tech is averaging 6.7 runs per game and hitting .308 with a .445 slugging percentage and .390 on-base percentage thanks to 239 walks and 39 hit-by-pitches against 402 strikeouts. The team has also totaled 119 doubles, 15 triples, 40 home runs, and 61 stolen bases in 76 attempts.

Freshman Kyle Wren is hitting a team-high .370 with 11 doubles, six triples, one homer, 32 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases. Matt Skole is hitting .351 with 15 doubles, eight home runs, and a team-high 55 RBIs, while Jake Davies is batting .349 with 13 doubles, one triple, four homers, and 33 RBIs. Jacob Esch has added a team-high 21 doubles and Brandon Thomas has a team-high 18 steals.

The pitching staff has a 2.86 ERA and .231 opponents' batting average along with 485 strikeouts against 180 walks in 501.0 innings pitched. Sophomore righthander Luke Bard has eight of the team's nine saves along with a 3.32 ERA in 40.2 innings pitched over 23 appearances (one start). Georgia Tech, who has allowed 45 steals in 56 attempts, is fielding at a .968 clip as well.

The Tigers
Clemson, ranked as high as #14 in the nation, enters the ACC Tournament with a 39-17 overall record and 17-13 ACC mark after defeating #4 Florida State twice in three games in Tallahassee over the weekend. The Tigers, who have won 25 of their last 30 games, sport a 2-2 neutral-site record.

The Tigers are averaging 7.2 runs per game and hitting .320 with a .455 slugging percentage and .408 on-base percentage thanks to 269 walks and 42 hit-by-pitches against 346 strikeouts. Clemson has also totaled 110 doubles, 16 triples, 39 homers, and 98 stolen bases in 129 attempts.

Brad Miller is hitting an ACC-best .431 with a .536 on-base percentage and 21 steals. Will Lamb has hit safely in 41 of his last 44 games and is batting .343 on the season. Phil Pohl is batting .328 with 17 doubles, four homers, and 31 RBIs. John Hinson has a .326 batting average, seven homers, 35 RBIs, 21 stolen bases, and is riding a 12-game hitting streak. Richie Shaffer leads the team in homers (10), RBIs (45), and runs (58) as well.

The pitching staff has a 3.12 ERA and .228 opponents' batting average in 495.2 innings pitched. The staff has allowed 164 walks against 441 strikeouts, good for a 2.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Junior righthander Scott Weismann has a team-high six saves and 47 strikeouts against 15 walks in 20 appearances (eight starts). The Tigers are fielding at a .969 clip as well.

Three Tigers hail from the state of North Carolina, Hinson (Asheville), Addison Johnson (Pfafftown), and Shaffer (Charlotte).

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