Clemson made its first trip to the College World Series in 1958 when the Tigers again came through the losers bracket. After losing to Florida in the first round, Clemson came back to defeat George Washington, Florida State and Florida twice to advance under first year coach Bill Wilhelm. Clemson defeated Florida 15-14 and 3-1 on June 9th that year to advance. Harold Stowe struck out 17 in that second game on June 9th and that is still a Clemson single game record for strikeouts in an NCAA Tournament game.
The Tigers advanced to the CWS in 1959, this time with three easy wins, one over Georgia Tech and two over Florida State. One of the wins over the Seminoles was a 24-2 victory in Gastonia That is still tied for the most runs scored by Clemson in an NCAA tournament game.
That was Clemson's last trip to Omaha until 1976. In fact, Clemson made just one NCAA Tournament appearance between 1960 and 1974. That was in 1967 when Clemson reached the regional championship, but lost to Auburn 6-5.
Clemson made it to Omaha three out of five years between 1976-80. Clemson won a regional in Columbia, SC in 1976 with three straight wins, then came through the losers bracket in Miami in 1977 to advance. The 1980 season was the first year Clemson played host to a regional and Clemson swept three games by scoring 45 runs, including 17 in a 17-12 win over South Carolina.
The Tigers have been to the NCAA Tournament every year since 1987, making College World Series appearances in 1991, 1995, 1996 and 2000. Clemson's streak of 16 consecutive regionals is the third longest active streak in the country behind Miami (FL) with 30 and Florida State's 25 in a row. Clemson's streak of 16 in a row is the fifth longest streak in college baseball history.
Consecutive Years in NCAA Regionals
Rk School Years 1. Miami (FL) 30 1. Florida State 25 2. Clemson 16 3. LSU 15 4. Cal State Fullerton 12 5. Southern Cal 11 6. Stanford 10 7. Rice 9 All-time NCAA Regional Apperances 1. Texas 46 2. Florida State 40 3. Southern Cal 35 4. Oklahoma State 33 5. Miami (FL) 31 6. Clemson 28 Fresno State 28 8. St. John's 27
Overall, Clemson has been to 28 regionals (including this year) and that is sixth all-time. Clemson's overall record in NCAA play (including the 0-2 in the District II Play- in games of 1954) is 73-59, a .553 winning percentage.
Clemson is 28-17 under Jack Leggett in NCAA tournament play, including a 19-4 record in home NCAA Tournament games. Leggett has taken Clemson to a regional all nine years he has been Clemson's head coach, including the College World Series three times. Leggett has taken Clemson to the Super Regional each of the three years that format has been in existence. Clemson is one of six teams nationally to go to three straight Super Regionals.
Last year Clemson won the Clemson Regional with a win over Williams & Mary (4-1), and two wins over Seton Hall (24-4 and 8-2). Clemson then had to travel to eventual National Champion Miami (FL), who defeated Clemson in the Super Regional, 10-8 and 14-6.
Clemson's College World Series Seasons
Year Regional Site Record Clinch Win vs. CWS Rec 1958 Gastonia, NC 4-1 Florida, 3-1 1-2 1959 Gastonia, NC 3-0 Florida St., 5-0 1-2 1976 Columbia, SC 3-0 Furman, 6-2 1-2 1977 Miami, FL 3-1 Miami (FL), 10-9 1-2 1980 Clemson, SC 3-0 S. Carolina, 17-12 0-2 1991 Orono, ME 4-0 Maine, 13-5 0-2 1995 Clemson, SC 4-0 Alabama, 7-4 0-2 1996 Clemson, SC 4-0 Tennessee, 12-5 2-2 2000 Clemson, SC 5-0 Mississippi St, 9-4 1-2
Coming Through Losers Bracket
Coming through the losers bracket to advance in the NCAA Tournament is something Clemson has not done a great deal. However, the Tigers have done it three times in history with the most recent occurrence coming in 1999 when Clemson defeated Southwest Missouri State twice on May 30 to advance to a Super Regional at Texas A&M.
Jack Leggett's team defeated SW Missouri State 8-7 and 7-5 after losing earlier in the tournament to the same team by a 23-5 score. The Tigers nearly duplicated the feat in College Station. After losing game I 20-3, Clemson defeated the Aggies 10-3 in the second game. Clemson held a 4-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth in the third game, but Texas A&M hit a walk-off home run to end Clemson's season.
The other two times Clemson has beaten a team twice on the last day to advance took place in 1947 and 1958. The 1947 wins over Alabama sent Clemson to the Final Eight of the NCAA tournament, but not the College World Series. The two wins over Florida on June 9, 1958 did send Clemson to Omaha.
Times Clemson Has Defeated a Team Twice to Advance from a Regional
Date Opponent Site Scores 6-14-47 Alabama Charlotte, NC 1-0, 4-1 6-9-58 Florida Gastonia, NC 15-14, 3-1 5-30-99 SW Missouri St Fayetteville, AR 8-7, 7-5
Clemson To Play Host to NCAA Regional for Ninth Time
This will be the ninth time in history that Clemson has played host to an NCAA regional at Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson has a 22-6 record in NCAA regional games played at home, including an active eight-game winning streak heading into the 2002 tournament. Clemson has not lost a home NCAA Tournament game since 1998 when Southern Cal defeated the Tigers 8-5 on May 23. That Southern Cal team went on to win the National Championship.
Clemson first played host to an NCAA regional in 1980. The Tigers swept through three games that year, including a 17-12 win over rival South Carolina that clinched Clemson's trip to Omaha.
Clemson has celebrated a trip to Omaha by winning a regional on its home field four times in history, including each of the last three times Clemson has advanced to the College World Series. Each time Clemson has won a regional at home the Tigers have posted a perfect record. In other words, Clemson has never lost an NCAA Tournament game at home, then come through the losers bracket to win the regional.
This will be the seventh year in the nine seasons Jack Leggett has been head coach that Clemson has played host to a regional. The Tigers have a 19-4 NCAA Tournament record at home under Leggett, including 17 wins in its last 19. The 1994 and 1998 seasons are the only years Clemson failed to advance from a regional played at home under Leggett.
Clemson did play an NCAA Tournament "Play-in" game in 1954, but the official NCAA record book does not consider that to be an NCAA Tournament game, as it is not listed in its record books. That year, Clemson lost to Virginia Tech in a game at Clemson, 11-10, then traveled to Blacksburg two days later and lost 7-1.
Clemson at Kingsmore Stadium
Clemson has had strong support from local fans for its NCAA Tournament regionals in the past. Clemson drew 16,256 fans for the regional tournament last year, above the 15,770 it had in 2000 for the regional. The 2000 season also saw Clemson draw 12,700 for two games in a Super Regional. The Kingsmore Stadium record crowd saw the Tigers defeated Mississippi State to advance to Omaha that year. A total of 6,392 fans attended that June 3rd game in 2000. The regular season single game mark is 6,223 for a 20-1 win over North Carolina on April 1, 1995.
Clemson has had considerable success at home over the years and the support of the home fans has a lot to do with that. This year, Clemson is 31-8 at home with an average attendance of 3396 for the 39 home dates, highest average on record. Over the years, Clemson is 775-171 at Kingsmore Stadium, a .819 winning percentage.
Clemson NCAA Regional Attendance Figures Since 1994
Year Teams Reg CU Rec Attendance 1994 six Reg 2-2 20,708 1995 six Reg 4-0 25,600 1996 six Reg 4-0 20,797 1998 six Reg 1-2 19,022 2000 four Reg 3-0 15,770 two Super 2-0 12,700 2001 four Reg 3-0 16,256
Tigers Pursue 50-Win Season
If Clemson can win the Clemson Regional this weekend it will give the Tigers 50 wins for the season. The Tigers will be seeking the program's 10th 50-win campaign and fifth under Jack Leggett. Clemson's first 50-win season came in 1987 under Bill Wilhelm when the Tigers had a 54-14-1 record. Clemson also won at least 50 in 1988 and 1989, but all three of those clubs reached a regional final and failed to reach the College World Series.
The 1991 Clemson team did reach the College World Series and posted a 60-10 record that season, still the ACC mark for wins in a season. Clemson had the number-one seed in the College World Series that year, but lost to hometown Creighton in a nationally televised game on CBS in the first round, then lost on a walk-off home run to Long Beach State.
Jack Leggett's winningest team was the 1994 Tigers that won 57 contests. That team benefited by a 65-game regular season schedule, as the Tigers played nine extra games in Hawaii that year. Each of Leggett's last three CWS teams have won at least 50 games and finished in the top 10 of all three final polls.
Clemson's 50-win Seasons
(List in Chronological order)
NCAA Final Rankings Year Record Pct Trn BA-CB-USA 1987 54-14-1 .790 3-2 10-10-NP 1988 54-14-0 .794 2-2 15-21-NP 1989 50-20-0 .714 3-2 14-14-NP 1991 60-10-0 .857 4-2 4-8-NP 1992 50-14-0 .781 1-2 7-10-NP 1994 57-18-0 .760 2-2 4-9-9 1995 54-14-0 .794 4-2 8-8-8 1996 51-17-0 .750 6-2 5-4-4 2000 51-18-0 .739 6-2 7-6-5
Clemson NCAA Marks Held by Current Tigers
Clemson has five active players who already hold or co-hold Clemson NCAA Tournament records. The list includes the heart of Clemson's batting order; Khalil Greene, Jeff Baker, Michael Johnson and Jarrod Schmidt, and All-ACC pitcher Steve Reba.
Greene holds the Clemson record for doubles in an NCAA Tournament game, doubles in a tournament and career doubles in NCAA Tournament play. He had three doubles against Arkansas as a freshman in 1999, tying the record also held by Dave Caldwell, who had three doubles against Arizona State in a College World Series game in 1977. Greene had seven doubles in eight games in the 2000 tournament and has 14 for his career overall.
Greene has set a record for setting records this year and he should add some NCAA Tournament marks to his list this week. The senior shortstop has played 21 NCAA games, just three off the record of 24 held by former teammate Casey Stone. Greene also needs just three hits to break Stone's career hits mark in NCAA paly, as Greene has 30, just two behind Stone's 32. Greene is also just on run off the runs scored mark, as he has19 just one behind Kurt Bultmann and Henri Stanley. Finally, Greene is just five RBIs shot of Stone's mark of 23 for a career in NCAA play.
Last year, first baseman Michael Johnson hit four home runs in the NCAA Tournament, a Clemson standard for round trippers in a tournament. Johnson needs just two home runs this year to tie Bill Foley's career record for six for NCAA Tournament play. Johnson is 11-25 in NCAA play in his career.
Third baseman Jeff Baker hit two home runs against Middle Tennessee State in 2000, tying the Clemson single game NCAA Tournament mark. Jarrod Schmidt hit .588 in the NCAA Tournament last year for a record setting batting average given a minimum of 15 at bats. Schmidt is 11-19 in seven games in his career in NCAA play, a .579 average.
Reba made four appearances in the 2000 tournament to tie a Clemson tournament record. He is 3-0 in his career in NCAA Tournament play. The wins record is five held by Harold Stowe in 1958-59.
Clemson has 13 Top 25 Wins
Clemson has 47 wins entering the NCAA Tournament and 13 of the victories have come over top 25 teams. In those 13 are eight wins over top 10 teams and six over top five clubs. This Clemson team already ranks fourth in most top 25 wins, third in top 10 wins and tied for second in top five victories.
The Clemson record for top 25 wins in a season is 19 set in Jack Leggett's first year when the Tigers were 19-12 against ranked opponents in 1994. Clemson is 8-9 against Top 10 teams this year, including two recorded just last weekend in the ACC Tournament. The record for a season is 11, set by the 2000 Clemson team. Leggett's 1994 team had 10 top 10 wins.