Clemson vs. Georgia
Clemson (15-11) will travel to Athens, GA to take on Georgia (15-12) Tuesday night at Foley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 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. The two teams will also play at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Wednesday night at 7:15 PM.
Clemson and Georgia have met 206 times on the diamond, with the Bulldogs holding a 111-93-2 lead in the series that dates back to 1900. Georgia is Clemson's second-most played rival in school history, trailing only South Carolina (269).
Last year at Foley Field, Clemson played the Bulldogs four times, including three in the Athens Regional. Clemson won two of the four games, but only one of three games in the regional. Georgia advanced to a super regional thanks to its 7-6 win in the regional finale. Clemson led 6-4 entering the ninth, but two solo homers (by Bobby Felmy and Jason Jacobs) tied the score, and Clint Sammons' solo homer in the 10th inning won the game.
The Bulldogs lead 65-39 in games played at Georgia. Jack Leggett is 16-9 against Georgia as Clemson's head coach, but is 6-9 in Athens.
The Starting Pitchers
Georgia will start sophomore righthander Brooks Brown (1-2, 5.96 ERA) on the mound Tuesday. The Portal, GA native has made three starts and six relief appearances for a total of 22.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 31 hits and eight walks while striking out 20.
The Tigers will counter with junior righthander Drew Fiorenza (1-1, 0.96 ERA) on the mound Tuesday. The Atlanta, GA native will be making his first start as a Tiger, as he has made 10 relief appearances in 2005. In 9.1 innings pitched, he has allowed just six hits, one earned run, and seven walks while striking out 10.
Georgia, led by fourth-year Head Coach David Perno, enters Tuesday's game with a 15-12 overall record and 2-6 SEC mark after South Carolina swept the Bulldogs over the weekend. The Bulldogs, like the Tigers, have played many games on the road, as they have played 11 road games and three neutral-site games. They are 9-4 at home this year as well.
The Bulldogs are hitting .274 as a team, but have a .370 on-base percentage. Justin Niefer leads the team with a .333 batting average. Josh Morris is hitting .325, and has a team-high six homers, 27 RBIs, and 29 walks in 27 games. Joey Side (.320) and Bobby Felmy (.311) are also hitting above .300.
Georgia sports a 4.41 ERA and .266 opponents' batting average. The staff has walked just 88 while striking out 236 in 237.0 innings pitched, good for a 2.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Will Startup has a team-high three saves along with a 2.82 ERA in 11 relief appearances. The Bulldogs are also fielding at a .969 clip, but opponents have allowed 30 stolen bases in 34 attempts.
Clemson enters Tuesday's game at Georgia with a 15-11 overall record and 6-3 mark in the ACC after losing two of three games at #6 Florida State over the weekend. The Tigers, whose last five losses have been by a combined six runs, are 6-7 on the road this year.
Clemson is hitting .289 overall and is led by freshman Taylor Harbin, who is hitting .368 with 14 doubles, four homers, and 24 RBIs. Herman Demmink is 16-for-27 (.593) in the last seven games to raise his season average to .366. Kris Harvey leads the club with six homers and 27 RBIs. Clemson is also fielding at a .974 clip.
The pitching staff has been spectacular of late, as its ERA has fallen to 3.23 (thanks to allowing just 34 runs in the last 14 games) and opponents' batting average to .259. The staff also has a 2.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Stephen Faris has been a stopper out of the bullpen, as he leads the ACC with an 0.33 ERA in 27.1 innings pitched. He has allowed just 14 hits and 10 walks while striking out 26.
* The team has eight outfield assists, while the pitchers have combined for just one error this season.
* All 10 Tiger pitchers who have made an appearance in an ACC game have an ERA under 4.00.
Clemson 8-5 Against Top-25 Teams in 2005
Thanks to the three-game sweep of #18 UC Irvine from February 25-27, two wins in three games against #9 North Carolina, a two-game sweep of #25 Coastal Carolina, and one win at #6 Florida State, Clemson is 8-5 against top-25 ranked teams in 2005. The five losses against ranked teams have been by a combined eight runs, while the eight wins have been by a combined 42 runs.
In over 11 seasons at Clemson, Head Coach Jack Leggett has 136 wins over teams ranked in the top 25. Only three times in his first 11 seasons has he had a losing record against teams in the top 25.
Tigers Off to Hot Start in the ACC
Clemson has a 6-3 ACC, good for fifth place. But the Tigers have already played North Carolina and Florida State, who are both top-10 teams. The Tigers also have lost their three ACC games by a combined four runs, while they have won their six games by a combined 41 runs.
Clemson is 0.01 points behind North Carolina for the lead in ERA in conference games at 2.38. However, the Tar Heels are allowing 4.1 runs per game, while Clemson is allowing an ACC-best 2.7 runs per game. The staff has also struck out 81 against only 28 walks, good for a 2.9-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Stephen Faris, who also is the overall ACC leader in ERA, has a conference-best 0.00 ERA, as he has not allowed a run in 11.1 innings pitched. There are two other Tigers in the top 10 in ERA, including Robert Rohrbaugh (2.33 ERA * 7th) and Josh Cribb (2.89 ERA * 9th).
Robinson Falls One Hit Short of Adkins' Record
Florida State centerfielder Shane Robinson saw his 40-game hitting streak end against the Tigers in the second game of a doubleheader on April 3. He fell one game shy of the ACC record, which is held by former Tiger Rusty Adkins, who had a 41-game hitting streak using a wooden bat from 1965-66.
After getting a hit in each of the first two games of the series, Robinson was 0-for-3 with a walk heading into the ninth inning of game three. He was due up fourth and needed a baserunner to get another shot to keep the streak alive. Thanks to Brandon Manasa's two-out single, he got that chance. On a pitch from Jeff Hahn, he laced a liner to right-center, but it sliced just enough for right-fielder Travis Storrer to make a running catch and the game's final out. Robinson's 40-game hitting streak is tied for the eighth-longest in NCAA history. Adkins, whose streak is tied for the fifth-longest in NCAA history, can thank the Tigers for keeping a 39-year old streak alive...barely.
Seminoles Take Two From Tigers
Florida State won two games over the Tigers in a three-game series at Dick Howser Stadium from April 2-3. Despite the series loss, Clemson outhit the Seminoles .282 to .266 and outscored them 12-11. The Tigers suffered two close losses, including a one-run heartbreaker in the middle game. The Tigers committed just two errors in the series, one on a catcher's interference and one by an outfielder. Herman Demmink continued his hot hitting by going 6-for-12 with a homer and three RBIs, while Taylor Harbin added five hits.
In game one, Barret Browning allowed four hits and one unearned run in a career-high 7.2 innings pitched to lead the Seminoles to a 3-1 victory on April 2. Andy D'Alessio had two of Clemson's four hits, while Florida State totaled 10 hits, including four players with four hits apiece. Stephen Faris pitched 4.0 scoreless innings of one-hit all with six strikeouts in relief. Clemson left nine men on base, while the Seminoles left 11 stranded. Prior to the game, the field was dedicated and named Mike Martin Field.
In game two, which was the first game of a doubleheader on April 3, Florida State scored a run in the ninth to defeat the Tigers 5-4. Aaron Cheesman's squeeze bunt plated Shane Robinson for the winning run, as first-baseman Andy D'Alessio tried the flip the ball with his glove towards home. If he had not, the ball would have rolled foul. The Tigers had tied the score in the top of the ninth on Jesse Ferguson's two-out single off the right-field wall. In the sixth inning, the Tigers looked like they had tied the score on a ground ball by Stan Widmann, but he was ruled out at first base on the tail-end of a 4-6-3 double play despite television replays clearly showing he had beaten the throw.
In game three, which was the second game of a doubleheader on April 3, Clemson totaled 17 hits in a 7-3 win. Five Tigers had multiple-hit games, including three hits each by Demmink, Harbin, Widmann, and Adrian Casanova. Shane Robinson's 40-game hitting streak came to an end one game short of the ACC record of 41 held by former Tiger Rusty Adkins (1965-66). Robinson was 0-for-4 with a walk and ended the game with a lineout to right field. Robert Rohrbaugh pitched 6.0 effective innings, allowing three runs on six hits, to earn the win. Jeff Hahn earned his first save of the year by pitching 3.0 scoreless innings of one-hit ball. Demmink and Kris Harvey both hit solo homers as well. A four-run sixth inning distanced the Tigers enough to hold on for the win.
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