Clemson vs. North Carolina
Clemson (20-13, 6-3 ACC) will travel to Chapel Hill, NC to play at #10 North Carolina (26-8, 8-4 ACC) this weekend in a three-game series at Boshamer Stadium. Game times are 7:00 PM (Friday), 2:00 PM (Saturday), and 1:30 PM (Sunday). The series is Clemson's second in as many weekends on the road in a matchup of top-three teams in the ACC standings.
All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by the Clemson Tiger Sports Network and can be heard live via the internet at ClemsonTigers.com. Live stats will also be available on Clemson's website for all three games.
Clemson and North Carolina have met 156 times, with the Tigers holding a 88-67-1 lead in the series dating back to the 1901 season. Last year at Clemson, the Tigers won two of three games. Two years ago at Chapel Hill, Clemson also won two of three games.
The Tar Heels hold a 35-33 advantage over Clemson all-time in games played at Chapel Hill, but the Tigers have won 13 of the last 18 games at Boshamer Stadium. Clemson holds a 70-50 advantage in games played in the ACC regular season.
Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 23-11 against the Tar Heels as Clemson's head coach, including a 10-5 record at Boshamer Stadium.
The Starting Pitchers
In game one, North Carolina will start freshman righthander Daniel Bard (6-0, 2.26 ERA). The Charlotte, NC native has made eight starts and has a shutout to his credit. In 55.2 innings pitched, he has allowed just 38 hits (.193 opponents' batting average) and 17 walks while striking out 44.
The Tigers will counter with junior lefty Tyler Lumsden (2-2, 4.42 ERA) Friday. The Roanoke, VA native has started six games and has pitched 36.2 innings. Lumsden has allowed 38 hits and 14 walks while striking out 35.
In game two, junior righthander Garry Bakker (2-3, 5.00 ERA) will start on the mound. The Sloatsburg, NY native has made eight starts for a total of 45.0 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .281 off him, as he has allowed 23 walks while striking out 33.
Clemson will counter with sophomore lefthander Robert Rohrbaugh (2-1, 2.81 ERA) Saturday. The Littlestown, PA native has made four starts and seven relief appearances. In 32.0 innings pitched, he has allowed just 27 hits, six walks, and no home runs. In his last three starts, all in ACC play, he has pitched a total of 21.0 innings, allowing just 17 hits, five earned runs, and two walks.
In game three, freshman lefthander Andrew Miller (3-2, 3.64 ERA) will start on the mound. The Gainesville, FL native has made eight starts and one relief appearance. In 42.0 innings pitched, he has allowed 35 hits (.217 opponents' batting average) and 25 walks while striking out 39.
Clemson's starter for game three has not been determined. The Tigers' #1 starter for most of the season, Jason Berken, is still listed as day-to-day with pain in his elbow.
North Carolina Overview
North Carolina, led by sixth-year Head Coach Mike Fox, enters the series off an 8-5 victory at Charlotte Wednesday. The Tar Heels, who are 19-2 at home this year, are 26-8 overall and 8-4 in ACC play, which includes playing three of their four conference series on the road. Last weekend, North Carolina lost two of three games at Georgia Tech.
The Tar Heels are hitting .304 as a team, led by catcher Chris Iannetta's .387 batting average. Marshall Hubbard has a team-high 12 homers and 47 RBIs as well. Freshman Jay Cox has also been impressive, hitting .359 with a .455 on-base percentage.
The North Carolina pitching staff sports a 3.72 ERA and .241 opponents' batting average. Four different pitchers have accounted for the team's five saves, including two by Michael Gross. In 17 relief appearances, the senior righthander has a 1.37 ERA in 26.1 innings pitched. He has also allowed just two walks while striking out 30. North Carolina is also fielding at a .955 percentage.
Clemson enters the series at North Carolina off of midweek wins against Winthrop (9-5) and at #6 South Carolina (13-5). The Tigers, who are 5-8 on opponents' home fields, are hitting .304 overall, led by Brad McCann's .409 batting average. He has hit safely in 48 of his last 53 games.
Kris Harvey has been a stalwart for the Tigers in 2004. Along with a 6-0 record in nine starts on the mound, he is hitting .366 with eight doubles, five homers, and 26 RBIs in just 82 at-bats. He is also hitting a team-best .421 with four homers, five doubles, and 15 RBIs in nine ACC games.
The Tigers sport a 4.05 ERA and .966 fielding percentage. They are also holding opponents to a .250 batting average. In Clemson's 13 losses, it has been outscored by 30 runs (2.3 runs per game). In its 20 wins, it has outscored its opponents by 112 runs (5.6 runs per game). The Tiger defense has also gone 13 straight games without allowing more than five runs and 11 straight games without allowing double-digit hits.
Tigers Blast Gamecocks 13-5 Wednesday
Thanks to eight different Tigers with at least two hits, Clemson defeated #6 South Carolina 13-5 Wednesday in Columbia in the final matchup of the season between the two rivals, as both teams won two games. The Tigers exploded for five runs in both the second and third innings, and never looked back. Russell Triplett and Garrick Evans both hit three-run homers, as Evans led the Tigers with five RBIs on the night. Brad McCann, Herman Demmink, and Kris Harvey also added three hits apiece. Demmink was awarded the Bob Bradley Award, going to Clemson's MVP in the four-game series with the Gamecocks. Senior Steven Jackson made his first ever appearance against South Carolina a memorable one. In his first start of 2004, he allowed three runs in 6.1 innings pitched to earn the victory. Clemson also did not commit an error in the field.
Tigers Held Their Own Against SEC's Best
After starting 1-4 in its first five games against SEC foes this year, Clemson won its last four scheduled games against the SEC to end the regular season with a 5-4 record. Clemson lost its first two games against rival and #5 South Carolina and then lost two of three games against #7 Auburn. But the Tigers rebounded with four convincing wins, two each, over Georgia and the #6 Gamecocks by a combined score of 47-15. All three teams have been ranked in the top 25 this year, while Auburn and South Carolina have been top-10 teams much of 2004.
In the nine games against the three SEC opponents, Clemson hit .329, while holding the opponents to a .255 batting average. The Tigers, who outscored its SEC opponents 80-51, also hit 16 home runs, 22 doubles, and three triples, all the while averaging nearly nine runs per game. Clemson's bullpen was also outstanding, tallying a 2.72 ERA and .210 opponents' batting average.
Garrick Evans was 12-for-23 (.522) with four doubles, a homer, 10 runs scored, and eight RBIs in eight games, while Brad McCann was 20-for-39 (.513) with four doubles, two homers, and 16 RBIs. Herman Demmink (.484), Travis Storrer (.360), and Russell Triplett (.343) also had productive games, including each with two homers apiece.
Head Coach Jack Leggett has experienced success against the SEC in the past. He regularly schedules multiple series against SEC competition, including four annual games against Palmetto State rival South Carolina and two against border-rival Georgia. Leggett has a 62-34 (.646) record against the SEC in his 11th season at Clemson, including a 22-17 record against South Carolina and 15-7 mark versus Georgia. Leggett also has at least a .500 record against every SEC team he has faced while at Clemson.
Demmink Receives Bob Bradley Award
Herman Demmink received the Bob Bradley Award on April 14, which goes to the Tigers' MVP of the four-game series with South Carolina. In three games against the Gamecocks, he was 7-for-15 (.467) with a triple, two homers, and four RBIs. He also did not commit an error in 13 chances. The award is named in honor of the late Bob Bradley, who passed away in 2000. He served Clemson athletics in the sports information department from the 1950s until his passing.
Triplett Steady at Short
Fifth-year senior shortstop and tri-captain Russell Triplett (West Columbia, SC) has been a steady presence in the Tiger lineup for years. This season is no different. A career .314 hitter (182-for-580) and two-time All-ACC selection, he has been a part of four NCAA Tournament teams while at Clemson.
This year, he is hitting .303 with 10 doubles, three homers, and 17 RBIs. But perhaps his greatest asset to the team is his defense. He has committed just six errors at shortstop this year, good for a .964 fielding percentage. That mark is in good company. Khalil Greene, the Padres' starting shortstop and the 2002 Unanimous National Player-of-the-Year, holds the Tiger single-season record for a shortstop. He fielded at a .965 clip in 2001, which stands as the school record. Greene also had a .961 fielding percentage in 2002.
Tigers and Heels Tangle This Weekend
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