Tigers Head to the Beach

Clemson, ranked as high as #21, will open the 2005 season against West Virginia (2-0) in the Baseball at The Beach Tournament at Myrtle Beach's Coastal Federal Field on Friday.<BR>

Tigers to Play in Baseball at The Beach
Clemson, ranked as high as #21, will open the 2005 season against West Virginia (2-0) in the Baseball at The Beach Tournament at Myrtle Beach's Coastal Federal Field on Friday (12:00 PM). The Tigers will also play single games against Coastal Carolina (0-1) on Saturday (4:00 PM) and East Carolina (1-2) on Sunday (4:00 PM).

All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by WCCP, 104.9 FM out of Clemson. Live stats will also be available for all three games on Clemson's website.

Tickets can be purchased by calling (843) 448-7668. General admission tickets are $8 per day (two games per day), a general admission tournament pass is $20 (six total games), and a reserved section seating tournament pass is $30.

The Series vs. West Virginia
Clemson and West Virginia have met nine times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 9-0 advantage in the series dating back to 1951. Six of the nine games were played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, while the other three were played in the NCAA Tournament at neutral sites. Jack Leggett is also 1-0 against the Mountaineers as the Tiger skipper.

The two last met in the 1996 season at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in the NCAA East Regional, with the Tigers coming away with a 6-3 victory. The Tigers also defeated the Mountaineers 8-0 in the 1987 NCAA South Regional at Huntsville, AL.

Scouting West Virginia
West Virginia, led by 11th-year Head Coach Greg Van Zant, enters the tourney 2-0 after winning two games at Norfolk State last weekend.

In its season-opener, senior righthander Shawn Miller (0-0, 2.08 ERA), who will start against the Tigers on Friday, pitched 4.1 innings, allowing just one run on one hit, four walks, and five strikeouts. Outfielder Chad McKown led the Mountaineers with three hits, including two doubles, in the 5-1 win.

In their second game, the Mountaineers won 6-4, and were led by first-baseman Stan Fosluszny and Justin Jenkins, who each had two RBIs.

West Virginia, who was 23-29 a season ago, returns 10 of its 12 pitchers this year. In its two games, the team has committed just one error and is allowing a .130 opponents' batting average. McKown leads the team with four hits.

The Series vs. Coastal Carolina
Clemson and Coastal Carolina have met 36 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 31-5 lead in the series dating back to 1986. The two teams have played every year since 1988. Clemson defeated the Chanticleers 9-4 at Clemson in 2004 thanks in part to a double and homer by Travis Storrer. The last 19 games in the series have been played at Clemson, but this is the first ever neutral-site meeting. Clemson is 18-3 against the Chanticleers under Jack Leggett.

Scouting Coastal Carolina
Coastal Carolina, led by 10th-year Head Coach Gary Gilmore, enters the tourney 0-1 after falling 8-4 at Campbell Tuesday. The Chanticleers only tallied four hits in the contest. Outfielder Jon Foisy went 3-for-5 with three RBIs to lead the team.

In its season-opener, senior lefthander Jake Hurry (0-1, 6.75 ERA), who will start against the Tigers on Saturday, pitched 2.2 innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs. Coastal Carolina, who was 40-23 a season ago, will travel to Clemson to play a two-game, midweek series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on March 29,30.

The Series vs. East Carolina
Clemson and East Carolina have met 21 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 13-8 advantage in the series dating back to 1968. It will be the first-ever neutral-site game between the two teams. Jack Leggett is also 5-6 against the Pirates as the Tiger skipper.

The two teams last met in the 2004 season at East Carolina, with the Pirates coming away with two victories by scores of 3-2 (11 innings) and 6-4.

Scouting East Carolina
East Carolina, led by third-year Head Coach and Clemson alum Randy Mazey, enters the tourney 1-2 after three games at College of Charleston last weekend. The Pirates won game one 9-6 in 10 innings, but lost 15-7 and 11-9 to the Cougars and another Clemson alum, Head Coach John Pawlowski. The Pirates' Volunteer Assistant Coach is Ryan Riley, a two-time letterman (2000,01) at Clemson who started at second base on the Tigers' 2000 College World Series team.

Sophomore righthander Shane Mathews (0-1, 12.00 ERA) is tentatively scheduled to start on the mound against the Tigers on Sunday. He suffered the loss in a start last weekend at College of Charleston when he allowed four earned runs on 10 hits in 3.0 innings pitched.

East Carolina, who was 51-13 a season ago and played in the Columbia (SC) Super Regional, returns just three position starters this year. In its first three games, the team is hitting .339, led by outfielders Mike Grace and Brian Cavanaugh, who are both hitting .500. The Pirates' ERA stands at 9.11.

Tigers Open Season in Two Polls
Clemson is ranked #21 in this week's Collegiate Baseball poll and #24 in the Sports Weekly coaches' poll. Clemson is not ranked in the top 25 by Baseball America.

Clemson's Field Rated Tops in the Nation
Doug Kingsmore Stadium's playing surface is one of the best in the country thanks to the dedication of many members of the Clemson Grounds Crew. Mike Echols, Supervisor of Athletic Grounds for the past four years and former Tiger golfer (1981-83), heads up the team that was recently honored.

In January of 2005, the American Baseball Coaches Association and Turface Athletics awarded Echols and the grounds crew, which includes many volunteers, as having the best collegiate baseball field in the country based on their exemplary infield and turf maintenance programs. Clemson received a crystal trophy recognizing its excellence in maintenance, one ton of Turface MVP sports field conditioner, and $400 designated for field maintenance equipment.

"Mike and his staff exemplify what Clemson is all about," said Head Coach Jack Leggett. "They exhibit tremendous pride and a never-ending work ethic.

"We play on many fields and are familiar with a lot of grounds crews. But our players and coaches always comment that we have the best. The pride in their work is far above any I've ever seen. Our players, coaches, and fans appreciate their dedication to Clemson Baseball and our facility."

igers Tough to Beat at Home Under Leggett
In his 12th season, Head Coach Jack Leggett has a 512-220 overall record at Clemson, including a 202-106 mark against ACC teams. He has been especially tough in home ACC series, where he has a 104-26 (.800) record. The ACC team with the most success has been Florida State, who has won seven games in 18 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 games. In 44 ACC home series under Leggett, Clemson has lost only three series...losing two of three to N.C. State in 1996, getting swept by Florida State in 2002, and losing two of three to the Seminoles in 2004. Georgia Tech also split a pair of games in a rain-shortened series in 1997.

Leggett Approaching 900 Career Wins
Jack Leggett, who won his 500th game as Clemson's head coach in 2004, has a 889-510 (.635) career record in his 26th season as a head coach. He needs just 11 more wins to reach the 900-win mark in his career. He would become the 40th coach in NCAA Division I history to reach 900 career wins. Ironically, the man who currently stands at #40 is John Winkin, who had 897 career wins and coached Leggett for two seasons at Maine in 1975,76.

Leggett Leading a Consistent Winner
Head Coach Jack Leggett is 512-220 (.699) at Clemson in his 12th season. The legendary Bill Wilhelm has the most wins of any Tiger coach with 1,161 in 36 seasons (1958-93) at Clemson. Leggett's 512 wins are second-most in school history. No other Clemson coach has more than 70 wins while in Tigertown.

Through Leggett's first 11 seasons at Clemson, he had 512 wins. Only five other programs had more victories over that span from 1994-04. Furthermore, he has led the Tigers to at least 39 wins every year he has been at the helm of the program. Clemson along with Florida State, Louisiana State, Notre Dame, and Wichita State are the only programs in the nation to win at least 39 games every year since 1994.

Harvey Up for Player-of-the-Year Award
Junior pitcher/DH Kris Harvey (Catawba, NC), Clemson's only First-Team All-ACC pick a year ago, was one of 64 players selected to the Brooks Wallace Award watch list presented to the national player-of-the-year. The versatile two-way player has a 10-1 career record in 27 appearances. The 90.9 winning percentage is tied for second-best in ACC history. He is also a career .328 hitter with 17 doubles, 10 home runs, and 52 RBIs in 238 at-bats.

Berken Out for Season
Junior righthander Jason Berken (De Pere, WI), who missed most of last half of 2004, is scheduled to miss all of 2005, as he recovers from "Tommy John" surgery. Berken, who was the team's #1 starter entering 2004, has a career record of 9-3 and a 2.90 ERA in 105.2 innings pitched.

To prove his value to the team, he was voted one of two captains by his teammates for 2005 (joining Daniel Pritchard). His leadership qualities and competitive spirit have been noted time and time again by Head Coach Jack Leggett. Also nursing injuries are Tyler Colvin, Sean Clark, and P.J. Zocchi. Colvin, who is a candidate to be a starting outfielder, injured a finger on February 6 and is listed as questionable for the season-opening games. Clark and Zocchi, who pitched in three games as a true freshman last season, are both rehabbing arm injuries are will not make the trip to Myrtle Beach.

Five New Faces Expected to Start in the Field
The Tiger lineup will have a new look when the team takes the field at the Baseball at The Beach Tournament Friday. Gone are stalwarts Brad McCann, Russell Triplett, Lou Santangelo, Tony Sipp, and Garrick Evans. But thanks to a #12 recruiting class, Head Coach Jack Leggett hopes the new Tigers will step in and play an important role.

In the infield, freshmen Stan Widmann (SS) and Taylor Harbin (2B) are scheduled to start up the middle, while junior transfer Adrian Casanova (C) will take over behind the plate. Fellow new starters David Williams, a junior, and Brad Chalk, a freshman, are slated to start in the outfield.

Four Tigers Among Nation's Top-35 Freshmen
Clemson is relying on 15 newcomers in 2005, and that group was ranked as the #12 recruiting class in the nation by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. Four of the signees were listed in the top 35 of Baseball America's top-50 freshman list entering 2005. Clemson is the only school in the nation to have four freshmen listed in the top 50.

Among the freshmen listed were righthander David Kopp (#9), shortstop Stan Widmann (#14), infielder Taylor Harbin (#17), and outfielder Brad Chalk (#34). Sophomore first baseman Andy D'Alessio (#17) and junior pitcher/DH Kris Harvey (#48) were also listed among the top 50 of their classes.

Tigers Record Highest Semester GPA in Fall
As a team, Clemson recorded a GPA of 2.94 during the fall, 2004 semester. The 2.94 GPA is the highest ever for a semester by the baseball team. The Tigers also had 21 players make the school's Academic Honor Roll, the highest figure ever.

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