Tigers Head North

Clemson (27-12, 10-5 ACC), ranked as high as No. 6 in the country, will travel to Chestnut Hill, MA to take on Boston College (19-18-1, 4-14 ACC) in a three-game series at Commander Shea Field this weekend.

Clemson vs. Boston College
Game times are 2:30 PM (Friday), 1:00 (Saturday), and 12:00 (Sunday). All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network.

The Series
Clemson and Boston College have never met on the diamond. It is the Eagles' first year in the ACC, as the two teams will meet every year since they are in the same (Atlantic) division. Clemson's last trip to a New England state was during the 1991 Northeast Regional in Orono, ME, a regional the Tigers won to advance to the College World Series. Head Coach Jack Leggett was also 1-1 against the Eagles as the Vermont skipper.

The Starting Pitchers
In game one, Boston College will start senior lefthander Nate Jeanes (1-3, 6.26 ERA) on the mound. The Methuen, MA native has made nine starts for a total of 41.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 51 hits and 24 walks with 28 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with senior righthander Josh Cribb (6-0, 2.72 ERA) on Friday. The Lake View, SC native has made eight starts and one relief appearance for a total of 46.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 34 hits (.206 opponents' batting average) and 12 walks with 47 strikeouts.

In game two, the Eagles will send out freshman righty Dan Houston (2-4, 4.20 ERA) on the mound. The Palm Beach Gardens, FL native has made six starts and three relief appearances (45.0 innings pitched). He has yielded 50 hits and 12 walks with 29 strikeouts.

Clemson will counter with junior righthander Stephen Faris (4-1, 2.77 ERA) on Saturday. The Richmond, VA native had made nine starts for a total of 52.0 innings pitched. He has a .222 opponents' batting average, allowing 42 hits and 10 walks with 43 strikeouts.

In game three, Boston College will start sophomore righthander Terry Doyle (2-4, 3.13 ERA) on the mound. The Warwick, RI native has made nine starts for a total of 63.1 innings pitched, an average of over 7.0 innings per start. He has allowed 53 hits (.226 opponents' batting average) and 17 walks with 53 strikeouts. Opponents are also just 3-10 on stolen bases versus Doyle.

The Tigers will counter with junior righthander Jason Berken (4-3, 2.31 ERA) on Sunday. The De Pere, WI native has made nine starts for a total of 46.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 44 hits and 23 walks with 44 strikeouts.

The Eagles
Boston College, led by eighth-year Head Coach Pete Hughes, enters the weekend series with a 19-18-1 overall record and 4-14 ACC mark after defeating Massachusetts 11-3 on Tuesday. Last weekend, they were swept by Virginia in Charlottesville as well. Boston College has a 7-5-1 home record.

The team is hitting .278 with a .359 on-base percentage and 78 stolen bases in 98 attempts. The Eagles also like to play "small ball," as they have 38 sacrifice bunts this season.

Johnny Ayers is hitting a team-best .364 with 13 steals, while Jett Ruiz, cousin of former Tiger Jorge Andrade, Jr. (2005), is hitting .353 with three homers and 13 RBIs. Shawn McGill has 10 doubles, three home runs, and 27 RBIs, and Ryan Hutchinson (14), Jared McGuire (10), and Dave Preziosi (10) all have at least 10 stolen bases.

The pitching staff has a 4.58 ERA and .264 opponents' batting average. It has allowed 145 walks with 309 strikeouts. Kevin Boggan has a team-high three saves along with a 3.05 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 38.1 innings pitched over 20 relief appearances. The team sports a .957 fielding percentage as well.

The Tigers
Clemson enters the weekend series with a 27-12 overall record and 10-5 ACC mark after falling to #23 Winthrop 6-3 on Tuesday and losing to Furman 5-4 on Wednesday. The Tigers, who are 7-7 on the road, have lost four games in a row, their longest losing streak since 2001.

The team is hitting .289 with a .364 on-base percentage and 53 steals in 66 attempts. Brad Chalk is hitting a team-best .343, including four-straight multi-hit games, while Tyler Colvin is hitting .327 with 15 doubles, seven homers, 32 RBIs, and 13 steals. Andy D'Alessio has hit 12 homers with 52 RBIs, while Stan Widmann (.311) and Travis Storrer (.310) have raised their averages above .300.

The pitching staff has a 3.67 ERA and .254 opponents' batting average. Lefty Daniel Moskos has a team-high six saves and a 1.80 ERA in 19 relief appearances. Clemson sports a .967 fielding percentage as well.

Two Tigers making the trip this weekend will be returning to their home areas. Junior righthander Steve Richard is a native of Billerica, MA, a suburb of Boston. He played two seasons at Maine before transferring to Clemson this past offseason. Sophomore righthander P.J. Zocchi is also a native of Bronx, NY.

Chalk It Up
Despite the team's recent struggles, Brad Chalk has been a bright spot in the lineup. In the last six games, he is hitting .545 (12-for-22) with five walks, two hit-by-pitches, and a .655 on-base percentage. He also has at least two hits in each of his last four games. But during the last six games, he has scored only four runs despite being on base 19 times.

Overall in 2006, he is hitting a team-best .343 with a .462 on-base percentage thanks to 25 walks and six hit-by-pitches compared to only 12 strikeouts from his #2 spot in the batting order. His defense is also a plus, as Baseball America said in the preseason that he has the ACC's best outfield arm.

Paladins Rally to Defeat Clemson 5-4
Furman scored four runs in the seventh inning to defeat #6 Clemson 5-4 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 19. Clemson took a 3-0 lead on a three-run homer by Travis Storrer in the third inning, then went up 4-1 on a solo home run by Taylor Harbin in the sixth inning. But Furman got three-straight, two-out hits, including a two-run double by Case Cassedy, in the seventh inning to go up for good. All five Paladin hits in the frame were on either 1-2 or 2-2 pitches. The Tigers mounted a rally in the eighth inning, but Tyler Colvin lined out to Cassedy at first base with the bases loaded to end the threat. Brad Chalk and Harbin each had two hits for the Tigers. P.J. Zocchi pitched 6.0 innings, allowing four hits, one run, and two walks with six strikeouts, but Clemson fell short thanks in part to stranding 11 runners on base.

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