Tigers Travel to Lubbock, Texas

Clemson (7-7), ranked #19 in the unofficial RPI, will travel to Texas to play at Texas Tech (13-6), ranked #20 in the unofficial RPI, this weekend at Dan Law Field in Lubbock, TX.

Clemson vs. Texas Tech
Clemson (7-7), ranked #19 in the unofficial RPI, will travel to Texas to play at Texas Tech (13-6), ranked #20 in the unofficial RPI, this weekend at Dan Law Field in Lubbock, TX. Game times are 7:30 PM EST (Friday), 3:00 PM EST (Saturday), and 1:00 PM EST (Sunday). Live stats will be available on Clemson's website.

Webcasts Available for Texas Tech Series
Clemson baseball fans that will not be traveling to Lubbock, TX for the three-game series at Texas Tech from March 19-21 can tune in via the internet, as all three games of the series will be webcasted through Texas Tech's College Sports Pass.

The College Sports Pass will provide both audio (Red Raider Baseball Radio Network) and video of the three game series between Texas Tech and Clemson and it can be accessed through Texas Tech's official athletic website, www.texastech.com. Fans can purchase a month-long subscription for just $6.95, and that will allow full access to the site for the weekend. The College Sports Pass works in conjunction with Real Networks and users must have the Real Player installed on their computer system.

For more information, including account setup and technical support, log on to www.texastech.com or click here.

The Series
Clemson and Texas Tech have met just once on the diamond. The two played in the Pepsi/Johnny Quick Best-of-the-West Tournament in Fresno, CA on March 18, 1993. Chad Phillips and Andy Taulbee combined for a four-hit shutout in the Tigers' 5-0 win in that game. The two pitchers struck out 12 and did not allow a walk.

Head Coach Jack Leggett has never faced Texas Tech, however he and the Tigers played in the 1997 NCAA Central Regional at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders lost their first two games of the tourney, while the Tigers went 1-2, losing to Rice (led by Lance Berkman) and Southwest Texas State after defeating Nevada. It will also be the Tigers' first trip to the state of Texas since the College Station Super Regional in 1999.

The Starting Pitchers
In game one, Texas Tech will start senior righthander Steven Thomas (2-1, 2.89 ERA). The Kingwood, TX native has started three games and appeared in four others in 2004. In 28.0 innings pitched, he has allowed 23 hits while striking out 26.

Clemson will counter with sophomore righthander Jason Berken (2-1, 5.17 ERA) Friday. The De Pere, WI native has started three games and allowed just 11 hits in 15.2 innings pitched for a .196 opponents' batting average.

In game two, the Red Raiders will send out junior lefty Dallas Braden (1-1, 4.94 ERA) to the mound. The Stockton, CA native has started five games and pitched a total of 23.2 innings. Braden has allowed 27 hits and five walks while striking out 30.

In game three, junior righthander Michael McGowan (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will start for the Red Raiders. The 6'5", 265-pound native of Carrollton, TX has started just two games and pitched a total of 9.2 innings. He has allowed just six hits, three walks, and no runs while striking out eight.

Clemson's starters for Saturday's and Sunday's games have not yet been determined.

Texas Tech Overview
Texas Tech, led by 18th-year Head Coach Larry Hays, enters this weekend's action with a 13-6 record. The Red Raiders lost 4-1 at New Mexico Tuesday. Texas Tech, which has an astroturf infield and grass outfield, sports a 10-3 home record and has played just one game on an opponent's home field.

The team is hitting .329, led by Madison Edwards (.385). Michael Mask is hitting .380 with seven homers and 29 RBIs. The Red Raiders have stolen 46 bases in 52 attempts, which is a big reason they are averaging 10.9 runs per game. Josh Brady leads the squad with 11 stolen bases in 11 attempts. The team has also been patient at the plate, walking over five times a game.

The pitching staff has a 4.18 ERA and .264 opponents' batting average. The staff has a 2.38 walks per nine innings pitched mark as well. The team is also fielding at a .966 clip.

Clemson Overview
Clemson enters the Texas Tech series with a 7-7 record after a 9-4 victory over Coastal Carolina Tuesday. Despite the .500 record, Clemson has outscored its opponents 94-63, a margin of 31 runs.

The Tigers are hitting .278 as a team, led by Brad McCann's .410 batting average. The junior third baseman also has four homers, five doubles, and 17 RBIs. Eleven of his 17 RBIs have come in the last four games. Travis Storrer is second with a .333 batting average. He also is riding a 10-game hitting streak. In the last four games, Clemson has stolen 13 bases as well after stealing only six in the first 10 games. Clemson also sports a 3.89 ERA, 9.75 strikeouts per nine innings pitched mark, and .960 fielding percentage.

Tigers Blast Coastal Carolina 9-4 Tuesday
Clemson hit four home runs and Kris Harvey pitched 5.1 quality innings to lead the Tigers to a 9-4 win over Coastal Carolina March 16 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Travis Storrer, Andy D'Alessio, John Ingram, and Brad McCann each hit long balls which accounted for seven of the nine runs. The other two runs came came in the seventh inning when pinch-runner Daniel Pritchard stole home and Russell Triplett scored on a balk. The runs scored on consecutive plays without a pitch being thrown. Harvey allowed just one run and one walk while striking out five to earn his fourth victory of the year. McCann's three-run blast in the eighth inning was the Tigers' only hit with runners in scoring position in 11 at-bats. Patrick Hogan struck out four in 1.1 innings pitched to earn his third save of the season.

Tigers #19 in RPI
The only rating system the NCAA uses to determine selections and seedings is the RPI, or the Ratings Percentage Index. Although the NCAA does not release its official RPI, Boyd Nation has come up with an RPI index that is all but the same as the official RPI. He uses numbers from previous seasons to verify his formulas.

In the March 15 release, his RPI index has Clemson #19 despite the 6-7 record. The Tigers play arguably the toughest schedule in the nation in 2004. Clemson can thank a brutal non-conference schedule for its high RPI ranking. Clemson is actually ahead of Auburn (#26), despite the SEC Tigers 16-2 record and 2-1 series victorty over Clemson. The RPI only counts games against Division I teams and is for games through March 14.

Not only have the Tigers played a tough schedule, it has played many of their games away from home. After this weekend's action at Texas Tech, Clemson will have played seven home games, eight road games, and two neutral-site games, meaning 10 of its first 17 games will have been played away from home.

Road Trip
Including the ACC Tournament in May, Clemson will take to the road for eight of the 14 weekends in 2004. The Tigers schedule includes weekend series/games at East Carolina, South Carolina, Texas Tech, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, and Duke. Clemson is scheduled to play 32 regular-season home games and 24 games away from home in 2004.

The Tigers only play six full weekend series at home this year. Those series include Auburn, Wake Forest, Maryland, N.C. State, Florida State, and Central Florida.

Striking Difference
This year, Clemson's pitching staff has proven to be a power-type staff, a departure from recent Tiger teams. The 2004 team, which has struck out at least 10 batters in nine of the last 12 games, has struck out 138 in 127.1 innings pitched overall, good for a 9.75 strikeouts per nine innings pitched mark. The staff has also allowed just 47 walks, meaning it has a 2.94 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Tiger single-season records in each category are 9.69 and 3.16, respectively, both set in the record-setting 1996 season that featured the likes of Kris Benson, Billy Koch, and Ken Vining. Since 1996, the Tigers have not had a strikout per nine innings pitched mark better than 7.88.

CUTigers.com Top Stories