Clemson vs. North Carolina
Clemson (34-22, 14-10 ACC), the #4 seed and ranked as high as #22, will play #5-seed and #20-ranked North Carolina (38-17, 14-10 ACC) Wednesday at 10:00 AM in the first round of the ACC Tourney. The Tigers will be the home team and occupy the third-base dugout. The games will be played at Salem Memorial Stadium outside of Roanoke, VA. It is the second straight year the tourney will be held in Salem, VA.
The winner of Clemson's first-round game will play the winner of Georgia Tech's first-round game, who will play the winner of the Wake Forest-Maryland play-in game. The winners' bracket game will be at 5:00 PM Thursday. The loser of Clemson's first-round game will play the loser of the aforementioned play-in game Thursday at 10:00 AM.
All of Clemson's ACC Tournament 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 for all Tiger games on Clemson's website.
Clemson and North Carolina have met 159 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 90-68-1 lead in the series dating back to the 1901 season. Earlier this year at Chapel Hill, the Tigers won two of three games. It will be the second year in a row the Tigers and Tar Heels will match up in the first round of the ACC Tournament. In that game last year, North Carolina defeated Clemson 10-2.
Clemson is 14-10 all-time against North Carolina in the ACC Tourney. Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 25-12 against the Tar Heels as Clemson's skipper, including a 2-2 record in the ACC Tourney.
In the three games played from April 16-18, 2004, Clemson scored just six runs to North Carolina's seven runs, but won by scores of 2-1 and 4-2 (in 10 innings). In that last game, Lou Santangelo hit the only homer by either team in the series in the 10th inning to lift the Tigers to the win. In the other win, Tyler Lumsden and Patrick Hogan combined to strike out 16 batters in game one. Clemson left just one on base, while North Carolina left 12.
The Starting Pitchers
North Carolina's starter has not been determined. Clemson will start sophomore righthander Jason Berken (5-1, 1.90 ERA). The De Pere, WI native has started nine games and pitched a total of 42.2 innings. He has struck out 38 while walking 17 and is holding opponents to a .155 batting average.
North Carolina Overview
North Carolina, led by sixth-year Head Coach Mike Fox, enters the ACC Tournament coming off two losses in three games at home to N.C. State. The previous weekend, North Carolina won two of three games at #2 Miami (FL). The Tar Heels, who are 0-3 in neutral-site games, are 38-17 overall and 14-10 in ACC play. The Tar Heels are hitting .292 as a team and have reached double digits in hits in just one of their last nine games. Marshall Hubbard is hitting a team-best .358 with 15 homers and 69 RBIs. Catcher Chris Iannetta is hitting .332 with 12 homers and 61 RBIs, while Sammy Hewitt has hit 11 home runs. The team has hit 62 long balls and stolen 51 bases. The team is also fielding at a .961 clip.
Iannetta has only allowed 22 steals in 44 attempts, while the pitching staff sports a 3.54 ERA and .241 opponents' batting average. Closer Michael Gross has seven saves and a 2.41 ERA.
Clemson enters the ACC Tournament off two wins in three games at Duke last weekend. Clemson is 34-22 overall and finished the ACC regular season with a 14-10 record. The Tigers are 2-0 in neutral-site games, both wins over Georgia Southern at Greenville, NC in February. Brad McCann leads the team with a .374 batting average, 13 homers, and 56 RBIs. Freshman Andy D'Alessio is the hottest Tiger over the last month. He has raised his batting average to .345, including a team-best .371 average in ACC games. He is also riding a 10-game hitting streak. Another freshman, Tyler Colvin, was second on the team in average in ACC play with a .345 mark. Kris Harvey has a current 12-game hitting streak as well. The Tiger pitching staff has a 4.17 ERA and .259 opponents' batting average. Tiger pitchers allowed just three walks in the three-game series at Duke this past weekend. The Tigers' fielding percentage stands at .961.
Tigers Take Series at Duke
Clemson ended the regular season with two wins in three games at Duke from May 20-22. The Tigers ended the season with a 14-10 ACC mark, tied for fourth place with North Carolina in the standings. However, the Tigers will be the #4 seed because they won two of the three games with the Tar Heels. In the series, Clemson outscored Duke 20-9 and outhit the Blue Devils .241 to .189. Clemson walked 15 times, while Duke walked just three times. Russell Triplett was 5-for-12 (.417) with five RBIs, while Herman Demmink was 4-for-11 (.364) with a grand slam and six RBIs. Andy D'Alessio also was 3-for-8 (.375) with five walks and had .615 on-base percentage. D'Alessio extended his hitting streak to 10 games, while Kris Harvey upped his to 12 games. Meanwhile, nine Tiger hurlers combined for a 2.42 ERA and 20 strikeouts. In game one Thursday, Demmink hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high five runs to lead the Tigers to a 10-1 win. Jason Berken returned and pitched 4.0 innings, as he was on a pitch count. Josh Cribb pitched 3.0 innings without allowing a hit, run or walk to earn the win. Harvey and Tony Sipp each had two hits along with Demmink to lead the Tigers' 11-hit attack. Tyler Colvin added a two-run homer as well. In game two, Duke got just two runners past first base, but both scored on Eric Baumann's two-run homer in the fifth inning in the Blue Devils' 2-1 win Friday. Clemson hit the ball hard to the outfield six times, but all six were caught, as it totaled just three hits off Zach Schreiber. He allowed one run while striking out seven in 8.1 innings pitched to earn the win, while Danny Otero picked up the save. Robert Rohrbaugh pitched the first complete game by a Tiger in 2004, but suffered the loss. In 8.0 innings pitched, he allowed just two runs, five hits, and one walk while striking out six. All three of Clemson's hits came in the second inning, when Triplett's infield single plated Harvey. Clemson also stranded six baserunners to the Blue Devils' two. Duke's win broke Clemson's seven-game winning streak at Jack Coombs Field. In game three, Clemson scored five runs in the third inning on its way to a 9-6 win Saturday. Harvey's two-run single with the bases loaded finally got the Tigers on the board, then Triplett added another two-run single to give the Tigers the lead for good. Triplett was 3-for-5 with four RBIs and made a spectacular catch in foul territory. Clemson walked eight times, but stranded 13 to Duke's five. Tyler Lumsden allowed three runs on five hits in 5.0 innings pitched to earn the win. Sipp struck out the side in the ninth inning to record his second save of the year. The win gave the Tigers their first series win in the last four weekends.
Clemson's ACC Tournament History
Clemson has won eight ACC Tournaments in history, more than any other school. This is the 31st ACC Baseball Tournament and Clemson has been to the finals in 20 of the previous 30 tournaments, 10 more than any other school. Clemson has an 87-47 record in ACC Tournament games. The Tigers also have the most first-team All-ACC Tournament players (41). While Clemson has had unique success in the ACC Tournament, the Tigers will be looking for their first championship since 1994. That was Jack Leggett's first year as Clemson's head coach. Clemson defeated Florida State 4-1 in the championship game held in Greenville (SC) Municipal Stadium. Leggett has been on the field to accept the championship trophy twice, however. In 1993, then Head Coach Bill Wilhelm was suspended for the championship game. Leggett, then the top assistant for the Tigers, was in charge for that 1993 championship game, an 11-7 win over N.C. State. Clemson's eight tournament titles came in 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1991, 1993, and 1994. Wilhelm is credited with the first seven tournament championships. Clemson has been a consistent team in tournament play. The Tigers have won at least two tournament games in 27 of their previous 30 appearances. The only years Clemson did not win at least two games were 1998 (0-2), 2001 (1-2), and 2003 (0-2). While Clemson has not won the title since 1994, Clemson has been to the championship round five of the last eight years. Only 10 times in the 30-year history has a #1 seed won the tournament. Clemson has done it five times, while Georgia Tech, and North Carolina have done it twice each. Clemson last won the tournament as the #1 seed in 1994, the last time Clemson won the tournament. The Tigers have won the ACC Tournament with a perfect record five times. Clemson was 3-0 in 1976 and 1978 in winning both events at Clemson, then had a 4-0 record in winning the title in Raleigh in 1980. Clemson's only other perfect run through the tournament came in 1991, when a Clemson team that won a record 60 games had a 5-0 mark in the ACC Tournament held in Greenville, SC. This will be the second time the tournament has been held in the state of Virginia, as the 2003 tourney was also played at Salem, VA. Clemson has a winning record against every other ACC team in tournament play with the exception of Florida State. Clemson is 7-10 against the Seminoles in the event. The Tigers are 8-3 against Duke, 11-7 versus Georgia Tech, 12-0 versus Maryland, 14-10 against North Carolina, 14-9 against N.C. State, 10-4 versus Virginia, and 11-4 versus Wake Forest. That computes to an 87-47 record and a .649 winning percentage. Only Florida State has a better winning percentage than Clemson in ACC Tournament play. Clemson was the dominant team when the ACC Tournament was played in Greenville from 1987-95. In those nine tournaments, Clemson posted a 36-12 record, won the event four times, and finished second on two other occasions. Clemson won at least three games in eight of the nine tournaments held in Greenville. The success was reflected in the attendance. Each of the top eight ACC tournament crowds in history were held in Greenville, including the record 43,675 that attended the 1992 event. The ACC Tournament began in 1973 and has been held every year but one since then. In 1979, Clemson won the regular-season title and was declared conference champion. The tournament was not held because of a scheduling conflict between school exam schedules and the tournament. Clemson has been the declared conference champion 13 times in its history, more than any other school.
Tigers Set to Battle North Carolina
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