Tigers Face Hokies in Critical Weekend Series

Clemson (30-13, 12-6 ACC), ranked as high as No. 9 in the country, will play host to Virginia Tech (17-24, 3-18 ACC) this weekend in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Game times are 7:15 PM (Friday), 7:00 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday).

Clemson vs. Virginia Tech
All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network.

Clemson and Virginia Tech have met 42 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 21-19-2 lead in the series dating back to 1902. The 2005 series was the first-ever as ACC foes, as Clemson won the last two games of the series by a combined score of 13-2 after falling 11-7 in game one.

The two teams last faced each other in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in 1996. The Tigers won all three early-March games (8-4, 6-2, 4-0). Future Major League pitchers Ken Vining, Billy Koch, and Kris Benson all earned victories on the mound for the #5 Tigers, who committed just one error in the entire series.

Prior to the three games in 1996, the two last met in 1985 in a three-game series at Blacksburg. The two teams played to 4-4 tie in game one, then the Hokies won the final two games.

The Tigers hold a 12-7-1 lead over the Hokies all-time in games played at Clemson, including a 6-2 mark at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson also holds a 2-1 advantage over the Hokies in games played in the ACC regular season.

Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 5-1 against the Hokies as Clemson's head coach, including a 3-0 mark at home. He was 1-3 against the Hokies as Western Carolina's head coach, therefore is 6-4 against them in his career.

The Starting Pitchers
In game one, Virginia Tech will start freshman lefthander Evan Frederickson (0-2, 8.62 ERA) on the mound. The Oak Hill, VA native has made four starts and five relief appearances for a total of 15.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 18 hits and 23 walks with 16 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with senior righthander Josh Cribb (7-0, 2.70 ERA) on Friday. The Lake View, SC native has made nine starts and one relief appearance for a total of 53.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 41 hits (.215 opponents' batting average) and 15 walks with 53 strikeouts.

In game two, the Hokies will send out junior righty Greg Fryman (3-5, 5.53 ERA). The Gibsonia, PA native has made eight starts and four relief appearances (55.1 innings pitched). He has yielded 71 hits and 19 walks with 30 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with junior righthander Jason Berken (5-3, 2.22 ERA) on Saturday. The De Pere, WI native has made 10 starts for a total of 52.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 49 hits and 26 walks with 51 strikeouts.

In game three, Virginia Tech will start junior righthander David Cross (3-6, 5.29 ERA) on the mound. The Scottsdale, AZ native has made 11 starts for a team-high 63.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 77 hits and 32 walks with 42 strikeouts.

Clemson will counter with sophomore righty David Kopp (2-1, 4.06 ERA) on Sunday. The Margate, FL native has made six starts and five relief appearances for a total of 37.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 39 hits and 13 walks with 31 strikeouts. Kopp has never started in an ACC regular-season game.

The Hokies
Virginia Tech, led by 28th-year Head Coach Chuck Hartman, enters the weekend series with a 17-24 overall record and 3-18 ACC mark. Both of the Hokies' games during the midweek were cancelled due to inclement weather. Last weekend, Duke defeated Virginia Tech twice in three games in Blacksburg.

The team, which is 6-12 on opponents' home fields, is hitting .277 with a .372 on-base percentage and 39 steals in 59 attempts. The large difference in batting average and on-base percentage can be attributed to its high number of walks (4.8 per game). The Hokies are fielding at a .960 clip.

Sean O'Brien leads the squad with a .331 batting average, four homers, and 31 RBIs. He has also walked 38 times and has a .474 on-base percentage. Nate Parks is hitting .319 with a .467 on-base percentage and 23 of the team's 39 steals. Jose Cueto has a team-high five homers, while Bryan Thomas has driven in a team-best 39 runs.

The pitching staff has a 6.36 ERA and .321 opponents' batting average. It has allowed 188 walks with 248 strikeouts. Righthander Adam Redd has a 4-2 record and two saves in 18 relief appearances.

The Tigers
Clemson enters the wekeend series with a 30-13 overall record and 12-6 ACC mark after defeating Wofford 10-1 on Wednesday behind four home runs. The Tigers also took two of three games at Boston College last weekend. Clemson, who is tied for first place with Wake Forest (14-7) in the ACC Atlantic Division, has a 21-5 home record this season.

The team is hitting .288 with a .361 on-base percentage and 57 stolen bases in 71 attempts. Clemson also has 89 doubles and 43 home runs along with 34 sacrifice bunts. Clemson sports a .968 fielding percentage as well.

Tyler Colvin leads the club with a .325 batting average, 17 doubles, seven homers, 36 RBIs, and 13 steals. Brad Chalk is hitting .322, but the sophomore centerfielder saw his 80-game starting streak snapped on Wednesday when he missed the Wofford game due to a sprained wrist. He suffered the injury while colliding into the outfield wall at Boston College in the series finale on Saturday. His status will be re-evaluated on gameday.

Travis Storrer has hit five home runs in the last seven games to up his season total to seven. He is also hitting .317 on the year.

The pitching staff has a 3.48 ERA and .251 opponents' batting average. Lefty Daniel Moskos has seven of the team's 13 saves. Clemson totaled just nine saves in all of 2005.

Two of Top-12 Winningest Active Coaches on Display This Weekend
Clemson's Jack Leggett and Virginia Tech's Chuck Hartman are among the nation's top-12 winningest active coaches (while a head coach of a Division I program). Leggett's total of 962 is 11th-most among active coaches. Hartman has won 958 games in his 28 seasons as a Division I head coach, the 12th-highest figure among active coaches. Hartman was also a referee for a men's basketball game between Louisville and Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum on December 18, 1973.

Smith Leaving Marq at Third
Junior Marquez Smith (Ocala, FL) has cemented himself as the everyday third-baseman. He has spent most of the season as the starting designated hitter, but his .977 fielding percentage (only one error) overall has led Head Coach Jack Leggett to pencil him in to the starting lineup as the everyday starting third-baseman. He also has a .957 fielding percentage (one error in 23 chances) while playing third base. At the plate, he is hitting .272 with nine doubles, six homers, and 24 RBIs.


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