Tigers Host No. 25 Kansas

Clemson (8-2), ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation, will play host to No. 25 Kansas (14-4) this weekend in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Game times are 4:00 PM (Friday), 2:00 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday). All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by WCCP (104.9 FM) out of Clemson.

The Series
Clemson and Kansas have met just once on the baseball diamond. The Jayhawks won 9-1 in the 1993 Mideast Regional at Knoxville, TN to end Clemson's season. The last Big 12 team to visit Doug Kingsmore Stadium was Kansas State in 1999, a three-game series that the Tigers swept.

The Starting Pitchers
In game one, Kansas will start junior lefthander Sean Land (4-1, 2.64 ERA) on the mound. The 6'5", 230-pound native of Greenwood, MO has made five starts for a total of 30.2 innings pitched. He has allowed just 21 hits and five walks with 17 strikeouts, and has a .191 opponents' batting average.

The Tigers will counter with senior righthander Josh Cribb (3-0, 1.54 ERA) on Friday. The Lake View, SC native has made two starts and one relief appearance for a total of 11.2 innings pitched. He has allowed eight hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts. Cribb made a rare relief appearance and earned the win against #9 South Carolina on Sunday.

In game two, the Jayhaws will send out senior righty Ricky Fairchild (4-1, 4.33 ERA) to the mound. The Dallas, TX native and Tulane transfer has made five starts for a total of 27.0 innings pitched. He has yielded 26 hits and eight walks with 18 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with junior righthander Jason Berken (2-1, 2.92 ERA) on Saturday. The De Pere, WI native has made three starts for a total of 12.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 12 hits and six walks with 14 strikeouts.

In game three, Kansas will start senior righty Kodiak Quick (3-1, 1.65 ERA) on the mound. The Belton, MO native and Stanford transfer has made five starts for a total of 32.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 30 hits and eight walks with 21 strikeouts. He has also not allowed a home run.

Clemson will counter with junior righthander Stephen Faris (1-0, 1.50 ERA) on Sunday. The Richmond, VA native had made three starts for a total of 18.0 innings pitched. He has a .161 opponents' batting average, allowing 10 hits and three walks with 14 strikeouts.

The Jayhawks
Kansas, led by fourth-year Head Coach Ritch Price, enters the weekend series with a 14-4 overall record and riding an eight-game winning streak. The Jayhawks defeated Baker 10-1 on Wednesday and also swept Western Illinois in a three-game series at Lawrence, KS this past weekend. Those four games are their only four home games this season, as the Jayhawks have played 12 games on opponents' home fields (9-3 record) and two neutral-site games (1-1 record).

Kansas, ranked #25 by Baseball America, opened the season with four wins in five games at Hawaii-Hilo. Next, Kansas won two of three games at #8 Stanford. Its globetrotting continued the following weekend with three games in a tournament in Southern California. There, the Jayhawks lost two of three games, including losses to #25 Southern California and #9 San Diego. Next, Kansas played three games in a tournament at Nashville, TN, where it won all three games, including a 4-3 victory over Vanderbilt.

The Jayhawks are hitting .316 as a team with a .381 on-base percentage, led by Gus Milner's .437 batting average, eight doubles, two triples, five homers, and 28 RBIs. Jared Schweitzer is second on the club with a .384 batting average. Kansas has hit 24 homers and has stolen 12 bases in 19 attempts as well.

The pitching staff has a 3.79 ERA and .249 opponents' batting average. The starting rotation of lefty Sean Land, righty Ricky Fairchild, and righty Kodiak Quick has combined for a 11-3 record and 2.79 ERA. Don Czyz already has totaled eight saves, and has a 0.47 ERA in 11 relief appearances. The senior righthander has pitched 19.1 innings, allowing only 11 hits and six walks with 20 strikeouts. The team is fielding at a .965 clip as well.

The Tigers
Clemson enters the weekend series against #25 Kansas with an 8-2 overall record after a come-from-behind 10-5 victory over William & Mary on Wednesday. The Tigers are 7-1 at home this season.

The team is hitting .281 with a .379 on-base percentage. Taylor Harbin is 9-for-19 (.474) in just five games, while Tyler Colvin is hitting .353 with four homers and 10 RBIs, both team highs. Travis Storrer has caught fire lately, going 6-for-12 in the last four games.

The pitching staff has a 1.52 ERA and .199 opponents' batting average. In 89.0 innings pitched, it has allowed 61 hits, 25 runs (15 earned), and 30 walks with 73 strikeouts. Lefthander Daniel Moskos has been one of the steadiest relievers with his 0.82 ERA and .152 opponents' batting average in 11.0 innings pitched over five relief appearances. Steve Richard also has both of Clemson's saves. The Tigers are fielding at a .972 clip as well, as Clemson has turned 13 double plays in 10 games.

Clemson 1-1 Against Top-25 Teams in 2006 Thanks to defeating #9 South Carolina on March 5, Clemson has a 1-1 record against top-25 ranked teams in 2006. In 13 seasons at Clemson, Head Coach Jack Leggett has 148 wins over teams ranked in the top 25. Only three times in his first 12 seasons has he had a losing record against teams in the top 25.

Faris Continuing Where He Left Off At the beginning of 2005, Stephen Faris (Richmond, VA) was one of several righthanders out of the bullpen. But he made a name for himself midway through the season with a pair of complete games when he was called upon to start. He went on to become a weekend starter and led the squad with a 2.60 ERA, while showing excellent control in 97.0 innings pitched during 10 starts and 10 relief appearances.

The 2006 season has seen much of the same of the junior. In three starts, he is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in a team-high 18.0 innings pitched. Faris has allowed just 10 hits (.161 opponents' batting average, including nine singles and one double) and three walks with 14 strikeouts. His excellent control and command of all his pitches has enabled him to be in the top 10 in several Clemson career records.

In his career, he has a 3.61 ERA in 157.0 innings pitched, and has struck out 117 against 39 strikeouts, good for a 3.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That mark is tied for eighth-best in school history.

Tigers Score Eight in Eighth to Down Tribe Second-ranked Clemson scored eight runs in the eighth inning for a come-from-behind 10-5 win over William & Mary on March 8 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Trible led the entire game and scored four of its five runs thanks to Tiger miscues. But Andy D'Alessio tied the score in the eighth inning on a three-run home run. Then the Tigers scored five more runs, highlighted by two runs on two errors by reliever Sean Sosonko on the same play on a potential inning-ending double play ball that would have kept the score tied. D'Alessio had a game-high three hits, while Travis Storrer added two hits and two RBIs. Stephen Clyne pitched 2.0 perfect innings in relief to earn the victory.

CUTigers.com Top Stories