Clemson vs. Winthrop
Clemson (5-4) will play host to Winthrop (13-3) Wednesday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 PM. The game will be broadcast live on the radio by WCCP (104.9 FM) out of Clemson. Live stats will be available online at ClemsonTigers.com as well.
Clemson and Winthrop have met 18 times on the diamond, as Clemson holds a 16-2 lead in the series dating back to 1981. The two last met in 2004, a 9-5 Clemson win at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 13. In that game, Herman Demmink and Kris Harvey each had two hits to lead the Tigers to the victory.
The last six games in the series have been played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers hold a 12-1 advantage over the Eagles all-time in games played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Winthrop's only victory at Clemson came during the 2001 season, an 8-4 win.
Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 5-1 against Winthrop as Clemson's head coach. He was also 3-0 against the Eagles as Western Carolina's head coach.
The Starting Pitchers
Winthrop will start junior righthander Kevin Slowey (4-0, 1.95 ERA) on the mound. The Pittsburgh, PA native has started four games and appeared out of the bullpen in one game. In 32.1 innings pitched, he has allowed just 18 hits and four walks while striking out 34. He is also holding opponents to a .158 batting average.
The Tigers will counter with freshman righthander David Kopp (0-1, 6.43 ERA) on the mound Wednesday. The Margate, FL native will make his first career start, as he has appeared in three games out of the bullpen. In 7.0 innings pitched, he has allowed eight hits and four walks while striking out eight.
Winthrop is led by 14th-year Head Coach Joe Hudak and enters the series with a 13-3 overall record and 3-0 Big South mark. The Eagles are coming off a three-game sweep of Charleston Southern this past weekend where they outscored the Buccaneers 24-5. Winthrop has also beaten Wake Forest (twice), Maryland, and College of Charleston. Its three losses came against Missouri, Illinois, and Kent State.
The team, which is 1-0 on the road, is hitting .321 with a .408 on-base percentage. The team has also swiped 35 bases in 43 attempts. Heath Rollins, a transfer from South Carolina, leads the team with a .475 batting average. Jacob Dempsey is hitting .429 with two homers and a team-high 19 RBIs, while Daniel Carte is hitting .344 with a team-high three home runs and 16 RBIs. The team is also fielding at a solid .968 clip.
The pitching staff has a 3.50 ERA and .253 opponents' batting average. The staff also sports a 3.14 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Jon Wilson has two of the team's three saves.
Clemson enters the series off a 19-hit performance in a win at Auburn on Sunday. Despite losing two of three games, the Tigers, who are 3-0 at home, totaled 44 hits and batted .352 in the series. Clemson has also totaled 57 hits in the last four games after totaling 34 in the first five games.
The team is hitting .289 overall and is led by sophomore Tyler Colvin, who is hitting .423. Taylor Harbin is second at .395, as he has a team-best eight doubles. Kris Harvey and Andy D'Alessio each have 10 RBIs. The team is fielding at a .978 clip as well, committing just eight errors through nine games in 2005.
The pitching staff has a 4.38 ERA and .293 opponents' batting average. Stephen Clyne has the team's lone save. Opponents have stolen only 12 bases in 21 attempts against the Tiger defense as well.
Clemson Wins Series Finale at Auburn
Clemson went 1-2 at Auburn from March 4-6. The Tigers lost a heartbreaker in game one 6-5 and then lost Saturday 8-4, but came back strong to trounce the SEC Tigers 14-3 in the series finale. The hitters' ballpark (extremely fast infield and wind blowing out most of the series) saw Clemson total 44 hits in the three games and hit .352. Clemson also committed just one error and had a .991 fielding percentage. Tyler Colvin was spectacular in the series, going 8-for-12, including a 5-for-5 performance in game one. Travis Storrer was 7-for-15, and Taylor Harbin had five hits, including two more doubles to raise his season total to eight in nine games. Clemson hit five homers on the weekend, including two by Andy D'Alessio in game three. The middle-infield-freshman combination of Harbin and Stan Widmann went errorless in a combined 35 chances in the field as well.
In game one, Auburn scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally for a 6-5 win on March 4. Clemson took a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning on Herman Demmink's two-run homer and added another run in the ninth. But Auburn used two walks and four singles, including the game-winner by Philip Stringer, to defeat the Tigers. Clemson was called for three balks, while reliever David Kopp suffered the loss. Tyler Colvin was 5-for-5, while Demmink had two doubles and a two-run homer to pace the Tigers' 14-hit attack.
In game two, Auburn jumped out to a 7-0 lead and cruised to an 8-4 win on March 5. Auburn pounded out 17 hits, including at least two hits by six different players. Josh Sullivan pitched 6.2 solid innings to earn the win, while Ben Sprague hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning to blow the game open. Clemson had 11 hits, including three each by Harbin and Widmann. Robert Rohrbaugh allowed a career-high 10 hits in 3.0 innings, as he suffered the loss. Clemson was errorless for the second straight game.
In game three, Clemson exploded for a season-high 19 hits in a 14-3 victory on March 6. D'Alessio led the way with two homers and six RBIs, including his first career grand slam. Adrian Casanova added his first homer as a Tiger, and Storrer had three hits. Twelve Tigers had at least one hit in all. Kris Harvey earned the win, as he pitched 6.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on nine hits while striking out five. Clemson had 12 two-out RBIs after totaling just one in the first two games of the series. Clemson also had 13 of its 19 hits with two outs, while Auburn was 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The ACC Tigers broke a 2-2 tie after five innings and scored 12 runs over the last four frames.
Bats Warming With the Weather
Clemson's bats have come alive of late. After a sluggish start that saw the Tigers hit just .218 in its first five games, they have totaled at least 11 hits in each of their last four games to raise their season average to .289. In the first five games, Clemson had just 34 hits, but in the last four games, Clemson has totaled 57 hits (14.3 per game). Clemson has also scored 33 of its 50 runs in the last four contests.
Clutch hitting has also increased in the last four games. In the first five games, Clemson hit just .200 (9-for-45) with two outs; but in the last four games, the team is hitting .368 (25-for-68) in that situation, including a remarkable .591 (13-for-22) in the 14-3 win at Auburn on March 6.
Colvin Has Superb Auburn Series
Sophomore outfielder/first baseman Tyler Colvin (North Augusta, SC) was just 3-for-14 (.214) in his first five games, but that all changed at Auburn from March 4-6. In game one, he was a perfect 5-for-5, as he set a career high for hits in a single game. The next two games against the SEC Tigers, he combined to go 3-for-7, meaning he was 8-for-12 (.667) in the three-game series. He raised his team-high batting average to .423, and has a .500 on-base percentage along with two stolen bases.
D'Alessio Responds to Challenge
Sophomore first-baseman Andy D'Alessio (Naples, FL) did not start for the first time this season at Auburn on March 5 after going 2-for-22 in his first seven games. After coming off the bench and going 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter on March 5, he got the message loud and clear. The next day he started and led the Tigers to a 14-3 win at Auburn thanks to his two homers and six RBIs. One of the two homers was an opposite-field grand slam off the top of Auburn's giant scoreboard. Despite hitting just .148 this year, he has three homers and 10 RBIs in nine games.
Hahn Appearing Often
Fifth-year senior righthander Jeff Hahn (Winchester, VA) has made four relief appearances in the team's first nine games. He has allowed just 10 hits and two walks while striking out 11 in 10.2 innings pitched. He is one of only two seniors on the 2005 club.
Hahn entered the season with 63 career appearances, nine of which were in a starting role. Add his four relief appearances this year, he has made 67 career appearances and 58 career relief appearances, the latter of which is tied for 10th most in Tiger history.
PawVision Moved to Doug Kingsmore Stadium
Clemson's video replay board, known as "PawVision," was moved from Memorial Stadium, home of Tiger football, to Doug Kingsmore Stadium, home of Tiger baseball, in the offseason. It was erected on March 4 in left-centerfield. Below the replay board is a scoreboard, like the old one in right-center. Enhanced graphics, replays, and real-time stats thanks to PawVision is yet another reason Doug Kingsmore Stadium is one of the best college baseball facilities in the country.
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