Tigers Travel to Wake

Clemson will battle Wake Forest this weekend in a crucial three-game series.

Clemson vs. Wake Forest
Clemson (30-19, 15-9 ACC) will travel to Winston-Salem, NC to take on Wake Forest (23-23, 11-13 ACC) this weekend in a three-game series at Hooks Stadium. Game times are 3:00 PM (Friday), 1:30 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday). All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network and can be heard live via the internet at ClemsonTigers.com. Live stats will also be available on Clemson's website for all three games.

The Series
Clemson and Wake Forest have met 149 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 105-43-1 lead in the series dating back to the 1901 season. Last year at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, the Tigers swept Wake Forest by a combined score of 26-15. Two years ago at Winston-Salem, the Tigers also swept the Demon Deacons. Clemson has won nine games in a row in the series since Wake Forest's 4-2 win at Clemson in 2002, and four games in a row at Hooks Stadium.

The Tigers hold a 39-22 advantage over the Demon Deacons all-time in games played at Wake Forest. Clemson also holds a 89-32-1 advantage in games played in the ACC regular season.

Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 26-11 against the Demon Deacons as Clemson's head coach, including a 10-5 mark at Wake Forest. Leggett was also 1-1 against the Demon Deacons as the head coach at Western Carolina, meaning he is 27-12 all-time against Wake Forest.

The Starting Pitchers
Wake Forest will start senior righthander Brian Bach (2-1, 4.26 ERA) in game one Friday. The Winston-Salem, NC native has made five starts and 11 relief appearances for a total of 44.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 48 hits and 13 walks with 23 strikeouts, and has allowed just one home run.

Clemson will counter with sophomore righty Stephen Faris (4-3, 2.93 ERA) on Friday. The Richmond, VA native has made five starts and 10 relief appearances for a total of 61.1 innings pitched. He has yielded 48 hits and 21 walks with 51 strikeouts. He also owns a .225 opponents' batting average.

The Demon Deacons will send out sophomore righty Josh Ellis (5-4, 5.82 ERA) on Saturday. The Lexington, KY native has made 12 starts and two relief appearances for a total of 68.0 innings pitched. He has yielded 86 hits and 29 walks with 41 strikeouts.

In game three, Wake Forest will start sophomore righthander Charlie Mellies (2-3, 4.12 ERA) on Sunday. The Clifton, VA native has made eight starts and seven relief appearances for a total of 63.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 81 hits and 17 walks while striking out 34. Mellies has also allowed just one stolen base in five attempts this year.

Clemson will start junior righthander Kris Harvey (5-3, 4.84 ERA) and Josh Cribb (4-4, 3.94 ERA) in games two and three. However, the order of their starts has not been determined.

Harvey, a native of Catawba, NC, has made 11 starts for a total of 57.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 62 hits and 25 walks with 49 strikeouts.

Cribb, a native of Lake View, SC, has made 11 starts and three relief appearances for a total of 75.1 innings pitched. He has yielded 89 hits and 18 walks with 66 strikeouts. Cribb is coming off a six-hit shutout at Virginia Tech in his last start Monday.

The Demon Deacons
Wake Forest, led by first-year Head Coach Rick Rembielak, enters the weekend series with a 23-23 overall record and 11-13 ACC mark after winning midweek games at Elon (12-5) and at Appalachian State (20-12). In those two games, the Demon Deacons totaled 32 runs and 31 hits. Prior to those two games, Wake Forest was off for 12 days. It has played seven of its last eight games on the road, with its last home ACC series from April 15-17 against Maryland. Despite its .500 record, the team has a strong RPI of #57 thanks to playing the 15th-toughest schedule in the country according to WarrenNolan.com.

The Demon Deacons are 16-7 overall at home and 8-4 at home in ACC games, which includes a sweep of Virginia in early March.

The Demon Deacons are hitting .277 as a team, but has a .390 on-base percentage thanks to 233 walks and 83 hit-by-pitches. Matt Antonelli is among the national leaders with 49 walks, while Matt Miller has walked 34 times. Ryder Mathias has been hit by a pitch 22 times, while Miller has been plunked 16 times.

J.B. Tucker is hitting a team-best .328. The senior catcher also leads the team in doubles (19), homers (11), and RBIs (56). Brendan Enick is batting .324, while Mathias is hitting .310 with nine homers and 45 RBIs.

The team has been successful on the basepaths, as it has stolen 72 bases in 86 attempts, an 84-percent success rate. Miller has a team-high 18 in 19 tries, while Ben Ingold is second with 15.

The pitching staff has a 6.18 ERA and .309 opponents' batting average. Junior righthander Kyle Young has a team-best 3.76 ERA along with a 3-1 record in 27 relief appearances. The team is fielding at a .950 clip as well.

The Tigers
Clemson enters the series against Wake Forest with a 30-19 overall record and 15-9 mark in the ACC, which is tied with Florida State for fourth place in the league standings. Clemson, who has played 24 of its 49 games away from home, is 11-11 on opponents' home fields, including 7-5 in ACC games.

The Tigers are hitting .306 as a team and are led by by junior third-baseman Herman Demmink, who is hitting .357. The team's hottest hitter is Travis Storrer, who is riding a 13-game hitting streak. Kris Harvey has an ACC-best 18 homers, including 11 in conference games. Andy D'Alessio has 12 long balls, as Clemson has out-homered its opponents 61-18 this season, including 34-9 in conference games.

Thanks to four sacrifice bunts in the Virginia Tech series, Clemson has 48 sacrifice bunts in 2005. The 48 sacrifice bunts eclipsed the old school record of 47, set by the 2000 team. Adrian Casanova has a team-high 11, while Brad Chalk has 10.

The pitching staff has a 4.00 ERA and .270 opponents' batting average. Reliever Jeff Hahn has a team-best 2.83 ERA along with a .231 opponents' batting average in 16 relief appearances and two starts. The team is fielding at a .969 clip as well.

Two Tigers will return to their home state this weekend, including Harvey (Catawba) and David Williams (Charlotte).

Unloading
Clemson is hitting a remarkable .488 (20-for-41) with the bases loaded this season, and has totaled three grand slams and 54 RBIs. The team is also slugging .780 in that situation. The most successful Tiger with the bases loaded has been Andy D'Alessio, who is 5-for-7 with two homers and 16 RBIs. Kris Harvey, whose grand slam in the eighth inning at Virginia Tech on May 10 gave the Tigers the lead for good, is 4-for-6 with 11 RBIs. Taylor Harbin is 3-for-4 with eight RBIs with the bases full, including a two-out, walkoff, two-run single in the ninth inning to beat #6 Georgia Tech 6-5 on April 30.

Tigers Set School Record for Sacrifice Bunts
Clemson has a school-record 48 sacrifice bunts in 2005. That mark broke the old record of 47 held by the 2000 team.

Six Tigers have at least five sacrifice bunts, including Adrian Casanova (11), Brad Chalk (10), Herman Demmink (6), Taylor Harbin (6), Travis Storrer (5), and Stan Widmann (5).

Cribb Records First Shutout in Two Years
Josh Cribb came up big when the team needed him the most at Virginia Tech on May 9. The pitching staff was struggling entering his start, and he did not start during the previous weekend series against Georgia Tech. So Head Coach Jack Leggett called upon the junior righthander, and he responded with a six-hit shutout of the Hokies in his first career complete game. He walked just one and struck out six in the Tigers' 7-0 win.

Cribb became the first Tiger to pitch a shutout since 2003 (Tyler Lumsden), and the first Tiger to do so in an ACC game since 2001 (Steve Reba). On the season, Cribb is 4-4 with a 3.94 ERA and 3.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 75.1 innings pitched.

Graduating Tigers
Senior righthander Jeff Hahn (marketing), senior catcher Gene Pierce (civil engineering), and junior infielder Daniel Pritchard (marketing) will all receive their undergraduate degrees at commencement ceremonies in Littlejohn Coliseum on May 13.

Tigers Rebound to Take Series at Virginia Tech
Clemson won the final two games of a three-game series at Virginia Tech from May 8-10. The Hokies outlasted Clemson 11-7 in game one, but the Tigers won games two and three by scores of 7-0 and 6-2, respectively. Clemson outscored the Hokies 20-13 in the series thanks in part to seven homers, including two each by Andy D'Alessio and Travis Storrer. Adrian Casanova hit a team-best .714 (5-for-7) with a double and homer, while D'Alessio was 4-for-9 with four RBIs and four walks in the series. The Tigers hit .286 to Virginia Tech's .279, while the Tiger hurlers had a combined 3.12 ERA in the series, including a 1.00 ERA in the final two games. The Hokies were 7-for-16 with runners in scoring position in their win, but 0-for-15 in that situation in their two losses.

In game one, Virginia Tech totaled 11 runs in the third, fourth, and eighth innings to down Clemson 11-7 on May 8. It was the Hokies' first-ever ACC win at English Field. A five-run fourth inning led to the Tigers' downfall. Storrer was 3-for-5 with a homer, double, and two RBIs, while D'Alessio went 3-for-4 with two homers and four RBIs. Clemson left 11 runners on base to the Hokies' seven, and had at least two runners on base in sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, but could not score. Virginia Tech had five players with at least two hits, as it had 14 hits in all.

In game two, Josh Cribb pitched a six-hit shutout to lead the Tigers to a 7-0 victory on May 9. Cribb allowed six hits and one walk with six strikeouts to record shutout by a Tiger since 2003 (Tyler Lumsden). Casanova went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, while Tyler Colvin added three RBIs. The Tigers scored three runs in the fifth, and broke the game open with four runs in the ninth thanks to Casanova's long ball and a two-run single by Colvin.

In game three, Kris Harvey hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to lift the Tigers to a 6-2 win in the series finale on May 10. Clemson took a 1-0 lead on Storrer's second-inning homer, but the Hokies took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on Sheldon Adams' solo homer. With the Tigers trailing by the same score in the eighth, Brad Chalk hit a one-out single and Taylor Harbin followed with a double. After Colvin was intentionally walked, Harvey hit the first pitch over the fence in left-center for a grand slam. Gene Pierce added a long solo homer in the ninth, while Jeff Hahn pitched 5.0 scoreless innings in relief of two-hit ball to earn the win. Chalk added a game-high three hits as well.

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