Extremely focused

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Richie Shaffer is expected to be one of the first college position players selected in next week's Major League Baseball Draft.

That, for now, is on the back burner. His focus is on Coastal Carolina and the rest of the Columbia Regional.

"This is a very important time for our team," Shaffer said. "That'd be selfish of me to think about my individual future, those kinds of things. I'm just trying to stay concentrated on the task at hand, do everything I can to help our team win.

"I'll deal with Monday when it comes."

Shaffer, who has a .326 career average with 30 homers and 137 RBI at Clemson, was drafted in the 25th round by the Dodgers as a high school senior.

News on the bump: Clemson is currently without starting pitcher Dominic Leone. The junior righty is at home in Connecticut because of a death in the family.

He's expected to be back with the team sometime on Friday, but there is no word on when he'll be available to pitch.

Jack Leggett announced on Thursday that Kevin Pohle is scheduled to start against Coastal Carolina.

"Dominic was certainly an option for tomorrow, but he won't be back until tomorrow -- with a tragedy in the family. We'll miss him," Leggett said. "We're going to throw Kevin Pohle tomorrow. He's got the most experience on our staff, in being in these situations."

Pohle is 6-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 15 appearances [13 starts]. He's recorded 39 strike outs and issued 28 walks in 71 1/3 innings of work.

"I feel good about throwing Kevin out on the mound tomorrow. He's had a good season for us. He's been consistent. You kind of know what you're going to get out of him," Leggett said. "I'm excited about seeing him on the mound tomorrow. He'll be our starter tomorrow. After that, we'll just kind of play it by ear -- figure out who we play and what we do next."

Improvements away from home: Through the first two months of the season, the road was an unfriendly place. Clemson started the season with 2-6 record in games away from Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Since April, the Tigers are 10-6 away from home.

"We, actually, in a lot of ways, I don't want to say better on the road this year, but have played pretty well on the road," Leggett said. "I think our players feel comfortable. You get, kind of, in a routine. There aren't a lot of distractions coming down here."

He added, "You can feel comfortable at home. You can feel like you're safe at home. You can feel like you've got the fans behind you at home. Going on the road, you've got to be able to lock in and fight together as a team.

"We usually play better when our backs are against the wall."

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