Weekly Baseball Wrap-up

The No. 1 ranked Tigers are 5-1 on the young season.

Overall Season Record: 5-1
ACC Regular-Season Record: 0-0

Last Week: 2-1
Fri. W home vs. Mercer, 5-1
Sun. L home vs. Mercer, 3-2
Sun. W home vs. Mercer, 9-4

Next Week
Fri. Away vs. College of Charleston, 5:00 PM
Sat. Away vs. South Carolina, 1:30 PM
Sun. Home vs. South Carolina, 2:00 PM

Clemson has a 5-1 overall record; all six games have been played at home. Tyler Colvin leads the club with a .450 batting average, four homers, and six RBIs, while the team is hitting .277. Clemson has totaled 16 doubles, one triple, and six homers while only allowing three doubles, one triple, and no home runs. Clemson also has nine sacrifice bunts, including three by Brad Chalk. Fielding has been a bright spot, as the team sports a .983 fielding percentage (four errors in six games).

The pitching staff has an 0.83 ERA and .183 opponents' batting average. It also has 51 strikeouts against 17 walks, good for a 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Jason Berken is 2-0 in two starts and has allowed seven hits (all singles), no runs, and one walk with 12 strikeouts in 9.0 innings pitched. Berken, Clemson's Friday starter, missed all of 2005 while rehabbing after "Tommy John" surgery.

The Tigers entered the week ranked #1 in the nation by Baseball America. They will have a chance to stay atop that poll after taking two of three games from a solid Mercer club. The lone loss in the series was a 3-2 defeat, as all three Bear runs came in the eighth inning and were unearned. That same team defeated top-ranked Florida last week.

Taylor Harbin missed the entire Mercer series due to a strained hamstring and has missed the last five games after playing in the season-opener on February 17 against James Madison. His status will be re-evaluated later in the week.

Clemson won two of three games over upstart Mercer from February 24-26 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers hit .269 in the series, while Mercer hit .250. Clemson also outscored the Bears 16-8 and hit 10 doubles. The Tiger pitching staff had a 1.33 ERA and did not allow a home run. Mercer did not help Clemson with mistakes, as the team committed only one error all series, which came on an errant throw by a Mercer reliever on a pickoff play in game three.

Colvin was 6-for-11 (.545) with five runs scored, two doubles, a homer, and three RBIs in the series, while he hit two more line-drive outs to the deep part of the outfield that were tracked down by Bear outfielders making nice catches.

In game one on February 24, Clemson stranded 10 Mercer baserunners in a 5-1 victory. The Tigers also turned three double plays and worked out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the sixth inning without allowing a run. Colvin hit a solo home run, while Travis Storrer and Marquez Smith each had two-run doubles. Berken earned the win in a starting role by pitching 4.0 shutout innings. Prior to the game while Head Coach Jack Leggett entered the team huddle, Berken was inside the huddle trying not to throw up. After pitching a scoreless first inning, he was a minute late going back to the mound. The reason...he was throwing up in a trash can in the dugout. Berken, who believed he suffered from food poisoning, would not allow the coaches to take him out of the game, and he promptly pitched three more scoreless innings on a sick stomach. Daniel Moskos also pitched 2.2 scoreless innings in relief to maintain the Tigers' narrow lead. The Bears' lone run came on a sacrifice fly by Sean McCahill in the ninth inning.

In game two, which was the first game of a doubleheader on February 26, Mercer scored three unearned runs in the eighth inning for a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Tigers, breaking Clemson's 11-game home winning streak. Jason Lowey tied the score with a run-scoring single, then he along with Tyler McCarty scored on Steve Karwatt's two-run single. The runs were scored after a throwing error by Stan Widmann. Those two hits are only two of four Clemson pitchers have allowed with runners in scoring position all season. Clemson cut the Bear lead in half in the bottom of the eighth inning, but closer Andrew Urena struck out Ben Hall with the bases loaded to end the threat. Colvin had three of Clemson's four hits, as the Tigers were 1-for-11 with two outs. Mercer had 11 hits, including 10 singles.

In game three, which was the second game of a doubleheader on February 26, Clemson broke out with 14 hits, including seven doubles, in a 9-4 victory. After Mercer took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Clemson responded with three runs in the bottom of the first, highlighted by Andy D'Alessio's two-run double, one of his two two-baggers in the game. D'Alessio also was 3-for-4 with three RBIs. The Tigers broke the game open with four runs in the fifth inning, keyed by four doubles. Freshman Alex Burg had his first two hits as a Tiger, including a run-scoring double in the fifth inning. Josh Cribb allowed two earned runs on five hits and took the win.

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