Tigers Open Conference Play

The Tigers will look to turn their season around today when they open conference play against Wake Forest later today. Jason Berken gets the start for Clemson this afternoon. Berken is 3-1 with a 3.74 ERA.

Clemson vs. Wake Forest
Clemson (9-10, 0-0 ACC) will play host to Wake Forest (11-11, 1-2 ACC) this weekend at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Game times are 7:15 PM (Friday), 4:00 PM (Saturday), and 2:00 PM (Sunday). It will be the first ACC series for the Tigers. All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network and can be heard live via the internet at www.clemsontigers.com. Live stats will also be available on Clemson's website for all three games.

Saturday's game is "Family Day." An entire family can be admitted to the game for just $12. On Sunday, youngsters will be allowed on the field to stand next to their favorite Tiger during the National Anthem.

The Series
Clemson and Wake Forest have met 146 times on the baseball diamond, with the Tigers holding a 102-43-1 lead in the series dating back to the 1901 season. Last year, Clemson swept the Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem, NC to end the regular season. Two years ago, Clemson won two of three games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers also defeated the Demon Deacons 8-6 in the 2002 ACC Tournament, therefore has beaten them six times in a row.

The Tigers hold a 50-18-1 advantage against Wake Forest all-time in games played at Clemson and 38-7 in games played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson also holds an 86-32-1 advantage over the Demon Deacons in ACC regular-season games.

Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 23-11 against the Demon Deacons as Clemson's head coach, including an 11-4 mark at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Starting Pitchers
In game one, Wake Forest will start sophomore righthander Kyle Young (3-1, 4.03 ERA). The Southlake, TX native has started five games and pitched a total of 29.0 innings. He has allowed 35 hits and six walks while striking out 20.

Clemson will counter with sophomore righthander Jason Berken (3-1, 3.74 ERA) Friday. The De Pere, WI native has started four games and allowed just 15 hits in 21.2 innings pitched for a .192 opponents' batting average. He also has 23 strikeouts. In game two, the Demon Deacons will send out junior righty Brian Bach (2-4, 4.33 ERA) to the mound. The Winston-Salem, NC native has started three games and appeared in four other games for a total of 27.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 32 hits and seven walks while striking out 16.

Clemson will counter with junior lefthander Tyler Lumsden (0-1, 5.51 ERA) Saturday. The Roanoke, VA native has started three games and allowed 18 hits in 16.1 innings pitched. He also has 18 strikeouts against only five walks. Lumsden has not pitched since March 13 (Auburn).

In game three, junior lefthander Tim Morley (2-1, 3.45 ERA) will start for the Demon Deacons. The Buffalo Grove, IL native has started five games and pitched a total of 28.2 innings. He has allowed 29 hits and seven walks while striking out 13.

Clemson's starter for Sunday's game has not yet been determined.

Wake Forest Overview
Wake Forest, led by 16th-year Head Coach George Greer, enters this weekend's series with an 11-11 overall record and 1-2 mark in ACC play. The Demon Deacons, who are 1-5 on opponents' home fields in 2004, are coming off weekday losses at Davidson (11-9) and to UNC Greensboro (3-0). Last weekend, Georgia Tech won two of three games at Hooks Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC.

Ben Ingold leads the team with a .409 batting average. He also has committed just four errors and is a perfect 6-6 on stolen bases. Matt Antonelli is also hitting .360 with nine steals thanks in part to 18 walks. Wake Forest is hitting .306 as a team and has stolen 31 bases in 36 attempts. Only 11 Demon Deacons have more than four at-bats and only 10 have more than 24 at-bats in 2004. The team is fielding at a .969 clip as well.

The pitching staff sports a 5.80 ERA and .297 opponents' batting average. Freshman reliever Lee Land has yet to allow a run in 10.1 innings pitched. The staff also has a 2.03 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Clemson Overview
Clemson enters its first ACC series with a 9-10 overall record after splitting a pair of midweek games with Elon. Clemson is the last ACC team to play a conference series, as all eight other teams have already played at least three ACC games.

The Tigers are hitting .288 as a team, led by Brad McCann's .415 batting average. Lou Santangelo was 6-for-9 against Elon and has raised his average to .347. The Colts Neck, NJ native also has a team-high six home runs. Clemson has stolen 24 bases in 31 attempts and is fielding at a .965 clip.

The Tiger pitching staff has a 4.60 ERA and .253 opponents' batting average. Josh Cribb has been the top Tiger out of the bullpen. He has allowed just two earned runs, seven hits, and one walk while striking out 11 in 12.2 innings pitched this year.

Tigers and Phoenix Split Midweek Games
Clemson went 1-1 against visiting Elon from March 23-24 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson outhit Elon .282 to .265 in the series and did not allow a stolen base against the speedy Phoenix.

In game one Tuesday, Clemson scored six runs in the fifth inning and three in the sixth inning to overcome a 5-1 deficit and defeat the Phoenix by a score of 10-6. Righthander Josh Cribb pitched 5.2 innings in relief, allowing just three hits, one earned run, and one walk while striking out six to earn the win. Lou Santangelo had four hits, including his sixth homer of the year to pace the Tiger 14-hit attack. Brad McCann also hit a homer and Tyler Colvin came off the bench to tally two hits and three RBIs. Clemson's win broke a two-game losing streak to Elon.

In game two, Clemson native Brian Hensen pitched a complete game six-hitter in the 7-1 win over the Tigers. Hensen threw 123 pitches and allowed just two walks while stranding eight baserunners. Tiger starter Stephen Faris suffered the loss in his first career start. Elon scored five runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth to pull away for the victory. Lou Santangelo led the Tigers with two hits.

Tigers Tough to Beat at Home Under Leggett
In over 10 seasons, Head Coach Jack Leggett has a 482-204 overall record at Clemson, including a 186-94 mark against ACC teams. He has been especially tough in home ACC series, where he has a 94-24 (.797) record. The conference team with the most success has been Florida State, who has only won five games in 15 tries at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Even when an opposing ACC team is victorious at Clemson, it usually means that team only won one of three contests. In 40 ACC home series under Leggett, Clemson has lost only two series, losing two of three to N.C. State in 1996 and getting swept by Florida State in 2002. Georgia Tech also split a pair of games in a rain-shortened season in 1997.

Tickets Available Online
Tiger baseball fans can purchase tickets online for upcoming Tiger home games at Clemson's official athletic website, ClemsonTigers.com. Tickets for each weekend series will go on sale each Monday and fans can purchase reserved bleacher seats for a single game or an entire series. Tiger fans can also purchase advanced seats for the South Carolina home game on April 7 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Homers, Steals Up
Clemson has hit 27 homers and stolen 24 bases in its first 19 games. After setting a school record with 112 home runs in 2002, Clemson's long ball total dropped to 54 in 2003, an average of 0.89 per game. This year, Clemson is averaging 1.42 homers per game. Also, only 10 different Tigers hit home runs last season. Already this year, 10 different Clemson batters have hit long balls.

The Tigers also stole 35 bases in 2003, 0.57 per game, and were successful only 52 percent of the time. This year, Clemson has stolen 24 bases, 1.26 per game, and has been successful 77 percent of the time.

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