Clemson vs. South Carolina
Clemson (23-14) will travel to Columbia to take on #8 South Carolina (29-8) Wednesday at Sarge Frye Field in the last of four matchups between the two rivals. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM.
Clemson and South Carolina have met 270 times on the diamond, with Clemson holding a 158-110-2 lead in the series dating back to 1899. South Carolina is Clemson's most-played rival in history.
On March 12, South Carolina defeated the Tigers 6-3 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. A day later, South Carolina was victorious 6-5 at Sarge Frye Field. Then on April 13, Clemson won 12-2 thanks to a season-high four home runs.
Last season, the two split four games. South Carolina won the two early-season meetings by scores of 5-2 and 8-7, while the Tigers won both midseason matchups by scores of 9-4 and 13-5.
The Gamecocks hold a 69-63-2 lead over Clemson all-time in games played in Columbia. Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 23-19 against South Carolina as Clemson's head coach, including a 12-8 record in games played in Columbia.
Tiger Leaders in 2005 Games vs. Gamecocks
Travis Storrer is 5-for-12 (.417) to lead all Tigers against South Carolina this season. Taylor Harbin is 6-for-15 (.400), Tyler Colvin is 5-for-13 (.385), Stan Widmann is 4-for-11 (.364), Herman Demmink is 4-for-12 (.333), and Kris Harvey is 4-for-13 (.308). Both Storrer and Harbin have hit two homers against the Gamecocks this year, while Harbin has seven RBIs.
Despite South Carolina winning two of the first three games, Clemson has out-hit the Gamecocks .343 to .245 and has outscored them 20-14. Clemson has committed just two errors. The Tigers also have a 4.15 ERA to South Carolina's 6.92 ERA in the three games.
After Wednesday's game, Clemson's MVP of the four-game series will be given the Bob Bradley Award. South Carolina's MVP will be given the Tom Price Award. Both Bradley and Price served as Baseball SIDs at their respective schools for decades. Bradley passed away in 2000, while Price still serves as the official scorer for Gamecock baseball games.
The Starting Pitchers
South Carolina will start senior righthander Cliff Donald (1-0, 4.50 ERA) on the mound Wednesday. The Anderson, SC native has made three relief appearances and two starts for a total of 14.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 16 hits and one walk while striking out 10.
Clemson will counter with freshman righty David Kopp (2-3, 4.25 ERA) on Wednesday. The Margate, FL native has made eight relief appearances and four starts for a total of 36.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 33 hits and 10 walks while striking out 24, and is holding opponents to a .243 batting average.
South Carolina, led by ninth-year Head Coach Ray Tanner and ranked #8 in the nation, enters Wednesday's game with a 29-8 overall record and 9-6 SEC mark after winning one of three games against Vanderbilt over the weekend. The Gamecocks are 20-4 at home as well.
South Carolina has outscored its opponents 267-129 and is hitting .294 on the season. South Carolina has not been outscored in any inning this year, including a staggering 41-5 margin in the sixth inning. The Gamecocks are 26-1 when they score at least four runs (including 22-0 when scoring at least six runs), but 3-7 when scoring less than four runs. They are also 25-0 when leading after six innings, and have not lost when leading after the seventh or eighth innings as well.
Jon Willard is hitting a team-best .357, while Davy Gregg (.355), Michael Campbell (.338), Steve Pearce (.333), and Steven Tolleson (.315) are also having productive seasons for the Gamecocks, who have totaled 46 homers. Pearce leads the team with nine homers and 32 RBIs, while Tolleson has stolen 14 bases in 16 attempts.
Perhaps the best facet of the Gamecocks is their outstanding defense. They are among the national leaders with a .974 fielding percentage, committing only 35 errors in 37 games.
The Gamecock pitching staff sports a 3.14 ERA and .234 opponents' batting average. Closer Brent Marsh has eight saves and a 1.59 ERA in 16 relief appearances. South Carolina has struck out 309 batters against only 108 walks in 330.0 innings pitched, good for a 2.9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The staff is also allowing opponents only a .303 on-base percentage. It has allowed teams to total at least 10 hits in only nine games this year, and have yielded double-digit runs just twice all season.
Two Gamecocks, Ryan Mahoney and Mark Stanley, both have brothers who are former Tigers. Mahoney, whose brother Collin (RHP) played three seasons (2002-04) at Clemson, and Stanley, whose brother Henrí (OF) played four years (1997-00) at Clemson, have both been inserted into the starting lineup in recent weeks. Both former Tigers are currently playing in the minor leagues.
Clemson enters the game against #8 South Carolina with a 23-14 overall record and 11-4 ACC mark. On Tuesday, the Tigers finished off a 7-4 victory in a game that was suspended from April 12. Then Clemson pounded out 17 hits en route to a 10-1 win over the Catamounts in the nightcap. Clemson has won eight of its last nine games and is 7-8 on opponents' home fields this season.
The Tigers have upped their season batting average to .304. However, if you just take into account Clemson's nine regular starters (see page one of the notes), those nine players have combined to hit .322 this season. The team's hottest hitter is freshman centerfielder Brad Chalk, who is 27-for-57 (.474) in his last 18 games. He has raised his season average to a team-best .378 and has a .450 on-base percentage. The other two Tiger freshmen "up the middle" are also doing well at the plate, as Taylor Harbin (2B) is hitting .364 and Stan Widmann (SS) is hitting .289.
The pitching staff has a 3.36 ERA and .255 opponents' batting average. Righthanders Stephen Faris (0.72 ERA) and Jeff Hahn (2.63 ERA) lead the Tigers in the ERA category. Clemson has yielded an ACC-low 11 long balls in 2005 and is fielding at a .973 clip.
Tigers Outlast Catamounts in Suspended Game
In a game that started at Cullowhee, NC on April 12 and ended at Clemson on April 19, the Tigers outlasted Western Carolina 7-4. Stephen Faris pitched the final 5.0 innings without allowing an earned run to earn the win. Clemson scored three runs in the seventh inning to pull away. Tyler Colvin hit a double, homer, and drove in three runs, while Andy D'Alessio added a two-run homer.
Tigers Total 17 Hits to Beat Catamounts 10-1
Clemson totaled 17 hits, as the Tigers defeated Western Carolina 10-1 on April 19. It was the Tigers' 35th-straight win over the Catamounts at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Taylor Harbin had three hits and three RBIs, while Travis Storrer added three hits. Andy D'Alessio drove in two runs on an opposite-field home run. P.J. Zocchi, who was making his first appearance since early in 2004, earned the win in 2.0 scoreless innings of work. Chris Fidrych, Drew Fiorenza, and Chris Howard combined with Zocchi to allow just five hits and one walk.
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