Tigers Open with Virginia

Clemson opens the 2005 ACC Baseball Tournament against Virginia.

Clemson vs. Virginia
Clemson (37-19, 21-9 ACC), the #2 seed, will play #7-seed Virginia (38-17, 14-14 ACC) Wednesday at 1:00 PM in the first round of the ACC Tournament. The Tigers will be the home team and occupy the third-base dugout. The games will be played at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville (FL). It is the first-ever ACC Baseball Tournament held at Jacksonville.

The winner of Clemson's first-round game will play the winner of the Miami-N.C. State game. The winners' bracket game will be at 4:00 PM on Thursday. The loser of Clemson's first-round game will play the loser of the aforementioned game on Thursday at 10:00 AM. All of Clemson's ACC Tournament games will be broadcast live on the radio by the Clemson Tiger Sports Network and can be heard live via the internet at ClemsonTigers.com. Live stats will also be available for all Tiger games on Clemson's website.

The Series
Clemson and Virginia have met 131 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 100-31 lead in the series dating back to the 1955 season. Earlier this year Clemson, the Tigers won two of three games. It will be the first meeting between the two in the ACC Tournament since the 2001 ACC Tourney at Fort Mill, SC, a 7-3 Cavalier win.

Clemson is 10-4 all-time against Virginia in the ACC Tourney. Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 29-11 against the Cavaliers as Clemson's skipper, including a 2-2 record in the ACC Tourney.

In the three games played from April 15-17, 2005, Clemson outscored Virginia by a combined score of 18-15. Clemson won the first two games of the series. Kris Harvey hit two homers and went 5-for-10 to lead the Tigers, who hit .330 in the series. Both teams turned five doubles plays as well.

The Starting Pitchers
Virginia will start senior righthander Jeff Kamrath (8-4, 2.28 ERA) on Wednesday. The Houston, TX native is third in the ACC in ERA, as he has made 12 starts and two relief appearances for a total of 86.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 62 hits and 24 walks with 68 strikeouts. He also has a .207 opponents' batting average, has given up just three homers, and has not thrown a wild pitch. He earned the win at Clemson on April 17, 2005, when he allowed two runs on five hits in 6.0 innings pitched.

Clemson will counter with sophomore righthander Stephen Faris (6-3, 2.56 ERA) on Wednesday. The Richmond, VA native ranks fifth in the ACC in ERA and will be pitching against his home state team. He has made 10 relief appearances and seven starts for a total of 77.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 62 hits and 22 walks with 61 strikeouts, and is holding opponents to a .228 batting average. Faris did not pitch against the Cavaliers in the three-game series at Clemson in April.

The Cavaliers Virginia, led by second-year Head Coach Brian O'Connor, enters the ACC Tournament with a 38-17 overall record and 14-14 ACC mark. Virginia has won six games in a row, including a three-game sweep over Duke by a combined score of 24-7 this past weekend. The Cavaliers have yet to play a neutral-site game, as they are 31-5 at home and 7-12 on opponents' home fields in 2005.

Virginia is hitting .291 as a team with a .371 on-base percentage, and is led by All-America candidate and infielder Ryan Zimmerman. The Virginia Beach, VA native is hitting .399 with 17 doubles, four triples, six homers, and 55 RBIs. He has walked 28 times and struck out just 13 times. He also sports a .474 on-base percentage, 15 steals, 29 multi-hit games, and a solid .947 fielding percentage. Freshman first-baseman Sean Doolittle leads the team with 11 homers. Doolittle is riding a 14-game hitting streak, while Brandon Guyer is on a 15-game hitting streak.

The Cavaliers use speed and defense to their advantage. The team has stolen 70 bases and has been hit by a pitch 70 times. They are atop the ACC in fielding percentage at .975, as they have committed only 52 errors in 55 games. Catcher Scott Headd has allowed only 19 stolen bases in 40 attempts, as Virginia has only allowed 23 in 53 attempts.

The pitching staff has an ACC-best 2.74 ERA and .229 opponents' batting average. Among their 38 victories this year are a school-record 11 shutouts. They have threw just 16 wild pitches and walked 141 batters against 374 strikeouts in 487.0 innings pitched, meaning they have an excellent 2.6 walks per nine innings pitched mark. Lefty closer Casey Lambert has 13 saves and a 3.11 ERA in 24 relief appearances. Doolittle, another lefty, has a 2-0 record and 0.87 ERA in 18 appearances. He has allowed only 21 hits and 11 walks with 58 strikeouts in 41.1 innings pitched.

The Tigers
Clemson enters the ACC Tournament against Virginia with a 37-19 overall record and 21-9 ACC mark after winning its last nine games, including its last eight ACC games. Clemson finished second in the final ACC standings. The Tigers are coming off a three-game sweep of #4 Miami (FL) this past weekend. Clemson outscored the Hurricanes 30-9 in the series. The Tigers are 1-1 in neutral-site games, along with being 22-7 at home and 14-11 on opponents' home fields.

Clemson, who was the only ACC team to beat every other ACC opponent at least once, is 15-7 against top-25 ranked teams, including 9-7 against top-10 teams in 2005. The team is hitting .309 with a .369 on-base percentage. Clemson is also hitting .348 with runners in scoring position. Freshmen Taylor Harbin (.362) and Brad Chalk (.352) lead the team in hitting, while Harbin has a Clemson freshman record 28 doubles. Kris Harvey leads the ACC with 21 homers along with 62 RBIs.

The pitching staff has a 4.07 ERA and .273 opponents' batting average. Jeff Hahn has a 2.84 ERA and .242 opponents' batting average along with two saves out of the bullpen. The Tigers also have a .970 fielding percentage.

Clemson's ACC Tournament History
Clemson has won eight ACC Tournaments in history, more than any other school. This is the 32nd ACC Baseball Tournament and Clemson has been to the finals in 20 of the previous 31 tournaments, 10 more than any other school. Clemson has an 89-49 record in ACC Tournament games. The Tigers also have the most first-team All-ACC Tournament players (43).

While Clemson has had unique success in the ACC Tournament, the Tigers will be looking for their first championship since 1994. That was Jack Leggett's first year as Clemson's head coach. Clemson defeated Florida State 4-1 in the championship game held in Greenville (SC) Municipal Stadium.

Leggett has been on the field to accept the championship trophy twice, however. In 1993, then Head Coach Bill Wilhelm was suspended for the championship game. Leggett, then the top assistant for the Tigers, was in charge for that 1993 championship game, an 11-7 win over N.C. State. Clemson's eight tournament titles came in 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1991, 1993, and 1994. Wilhelm is credited with the first seven tournament championships.

Clemson has been a consistent team in tournament play. The Tigers have won at least two tournament games in 28 of their previous 31 appearances. The only years Clemson did not win at least two games were 1998 (0-2), 2001 (1-2), and 2003 (0-2). While Clemson has not won the title since 1994, Clemson has been to the championship round five of the last 10 years.

Only 10 times in the 31-year history has a #1 seed won the tournament. Clemson has done it five times, while Georgia Tech, and North Carolina have done it twice each. Clemson last won the tournament as the #1 seed in 1994, the last time Clemson won the tourney.

The Tigers have won the ACC Tournament with a perfect record five times. Clemson was 3-0 in 1976 and 1978 in winning both events at Clemson, then had a 4-0 record in winning the title in Raleigh in 1980. Clemson's only other perfect run through the tournament came in 1991, when a Clemson team that won a record 60 games had a 5-0 mark in the ACC Tournament held in Greenville, SC.

This will be the third time the tournament has been held in the state of Florida, as the 1997 and 2002 events were held at Saint Petersburg, FL. It will be the first-ever time it has been held at Jacksonville, FL.

Clemson has a winning record against every ACC team (excluding first-year members Miami (FL) and Virginia Tech) in tournament play with the exception of Florida State. Clemson is 7-10 against the Seminoles in the event. The Tigers are 8-3 against Duke, 11-8 versus Georgia Tech, 12-0 versus Maryland, 15-11 against North Carolina, 15-9 against N.C. State, 10-4 versus Virginia, and 11-4 versus Wake Forest. That computes to an 89-49 record and a 64.5-percent winning percentage. Only Florida State (70.6) has a better winning percentage than Clemson in ACC Tournament play.

Clemson was the dominant team when the ACC Tournament was played in Greenville from 1987-95. In those nine tournaments, Clemson posted a 36-12 record, won the event four times, and finished second on two other occasions. Clemson won at least three games in eight of the nine tournaments held in Greenville.

The success was reflected in the attendance. Each of the top eight ACC tournament crowds in history were held in Greenville, including the record 43,675 that attended the 1992 event.

The ACC Tournament began in 1973 and has been held every year but one since then. In 1979, Clemson won the regular-season title and was declared conference champion. The tournament was not held because of a scheduling conflict between school exam schedules and the tournament. Clemson has been the declared conference champion 13 times in its history, more than any other school.

Worth Noting
* Clemson's nine-game winning streak is the team's longest this season and the longest entering an ACC Tournament in school history.

* Clemson's 21 ACC regular-season wins in 2005 broke the school record for most conference wins in a season. Both in 1994 and 1995, Jack Leggett's first two seasons as head coach at Clemson, the Tigers went 20-4.

* Clemson, who was 21-9 in ACC regular-season games and finished in second place in the standings, was the only ACC team not to be swept in a conference series in 2005.

Tigers 22-6 in Second Half of the Season
Clemson was 22-6 in the second half of the regular season after going 15-13 in its first 28 games of 2005. The reason for the second-half surge was the hot Tiger bats. In the first 28 games, Clemson hit .290 with 23 home runs along with 6.0 runs per game. But in the second 28 games, Clemson hit .328, including .408 with runners in scoring position, with 45 homers along with averaging 8.6 runs per game. The Tigers also had the best winning percentage in the ACC during the second half of the season (games 29 to the end of the regular season).

The seven-win improvement from the first half to the second half of the season tied for the best turnaround in Clemson history. The 1976 Tiger team, that went on to the play in the College World Series, was 11-10 in its first 21 games, then was 18-3 in its last 21 games.

Tigers #8 in Unofficial RPI
Clemson is #8 in the latest RPI listing at WarrenNolan.com, which includes games through May 21. The Tigers, who are 37-19, have a top-10 rating thanks to a rugged schedule, which is the fifth-toughest in the country.

And Clemson's RPI could be much better. The RPI does not take into account margin of victory/defeat, nor does it take into account, unlike NCAA basketball, site. Clemson, who is 32-13 in its last 45 games, has lost those 13 games by a combined 33 runs. Meanwhile, it has won the 32 games by a combined 182 runs. On the season, Clemson is 6-8 in one-run games, and lost two other two-run decisions.

Clemson has played 36 of its 56 games against teams in the top 53 of the RPI. And the Tigers have played 27 of their 56 games away from home, including 25 games on opponents' home fields. The Tigers are 7-3 against top-10 RPI teams. The Tigers are also 15-7 against top-25 ranked teams, and have lost those seven games by a combined 14 runs, while winning the 15 games by a combined 79 runs.

Clemson 15-7 Against Top-25 Teams in 2005
Thanks to the three-game sweep of both #4 Miami (FL) and #18 UC Irvine, two wins in three games against #9 North Carolina, a two-game sweep of #25 Coastal Carolina, two wins against top-10 South Carolina, one win at #6 Florida State, one win against #6 Georgia Tech, and a win against #20 College of Charleston, Clemson is 15-7 against top-25 ranked teams, including 9-7 against top-10 teams and 4-2 against top-five teams. The seven losses against ranked teams have been by a combined 14 runs, while the 15 wins have been by a combined 79 runs.

In over 11 seasons at Clemson, Head Coach Jack Leggett has 143 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.

Clemson Sets Season Attendance Record
Clemson, who has put in a bid to host an NCAA Regional, has set the school record for average attendance this season. The Tigers have drawn 114,223 fans for their 29 home games, an average of 3,939 per game. That mark broke the previous record of 3,649, set in 2004. A reason for the high turnout is the fact that Clemson sold nearly 2,000 season tickets this season.

Harbin Surpasses Freshman Doubles Mark
Taylor Harbin has a team-best 28 doubles in his freshman season. That mark is third-most in a season in Clemson history. He broke the Tiger freshman record for doubles, previously held by Billy McMillon, who hit 26 in 1991. Khalil Greene, the current starting shortstop for the San Diego Padres, holds the single-season record with 33 doubles in his national-player-of-the-year season of 2002.

Harbin also has 40 extra-base hits, including 28 doubles, three triples, and nine home runs. The 40 extra-base hits are tied for ninth-most in a season in Clemson history, and tied for the most by a freshman in school history.

Against #4 Miami (FL) on May 21, Harbin hit three doubles, tying the school record for doubles in a game held by many. He almost hit four two-baggers in the game, but centerfielder Danny Figueroa made a diving catch at the fence in one of his at-bats.

Harvey Going Deep
Kris Harvey has hit 21 home runs in 2005, ranking tied for seventh-most in a season in Clemson history. Khalil Greene holds the school record with 27 in his national-player-of-the-year season of 2002. Of Harvey's ACC-leading 21 homers, 14 came in ACC regular-season games. Harvey also became the seventh Tiger in history to reach the 20-homer mark.

Tigers Sweep #4 Miami (FL)
Clemson swept #4 Miami (FL) by a combined score of 30-9 in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from May 19-21. It was the first time the Hurricanes were swept in a three-game series since 2002, as the sweep gave the Tigers a second-place finish in the ACC. Clemson hit .318 in the series and committed just two errors. Kris Harvey was 8-for-12 with three homers, six RBIs, and seven runs scored. Taylor Harbin added four doubles, as Clemson had 12 extra-base hits to the Hurricanes' four (all doubles).

In game one, Clemson scored 11 runs in the fourth winning on its way to a 15-5 win on May 19. Cesar Carrillo suffered his first collegiate loss in 25 decisions, as Miami also fell for the first time in his 31 career starts. Nine of Clemson's 11 runs in the fourth came with two outs after Harvey's one-out, two-run homer, the one of only two extra base hits among the Tigers' total 15 hits in the game. Harvey had a game-high three hits, while Adrian Casanova added four RBIs. Stephen Faris pitched 7.0 solid innings to earn the win. He allowed one earned run and no walks with five strikeouts to earn the win. Carrillo gave up 11 hits and 11 runs (five earned) in 3.2 innings. The Hurricanes committed five errors that led to seven unearned runs.

In game two, Harvey hit two homers and had three RBIs in Clemson's 9-2 win on May 20. Harvey went 3-for-4 in all, while Harbin added two hits, including a double. Josh Cribb struck out nine against only one walk in 7.0 innings pitched. He allowed two runs on seven hits to earn the win. Clemson left just three runners on base and did not commit an error. The Tigers took a commanding 5-1 lead with a three-run third inning, keyed by two costly Hurricane errors. Miami threatened to cut into the Tiger lead, but Travis Storrer threw out Roger Tomas at the plate in the seventh inning to thwart a rally.

In game three, Harbin tied a school record with three doubles to lead Clemson to a 6-2 win on May 21. Harbin almost had four doubles, but centerfielder Danny Figueroa made a diving catch at the fence to rob the freshman of a hit. Clemson scored five runs in the sixth inning to rally from a 2-0 deficit. Tyler Colvin's three-run homer was the big blow of the frame. Robert Rohrbaugh allowed two runs on five hits in 5.2 innings pitched in an effective start, while Drew Fiorenza picked up the win by pitching 1.1 scoreless innings. David Kopp pitched 2.0 perfect innings to record his first career save. Miami left 11 runners on base, while both teams were errorless.

CUTigers.com Top Stories