Clemson Regional News & Notes

CLEMSON – The immediate prognosis for Clemson right fielder Travis Storrer's left foot isn't a good one. The injury is to the top of his foot and not in his ankle and it's still very swollen. He will not play this weekend and his availability in the Super Regionals, should the Tigers advance, is still in doubt.

Clemson coach Jack Leggett said it appears there's a small chip in a bone or a bit of a bone being torn off in the top of his foot and that there isn't any ligament or tendon damage.

The senior hasn't played since severely hurting his left foot in the final regular season game against Wake Forest.

"His foot is still painful and he's taking it day-by-day," Leggett said. "I can't tell you exactly what the MRI said, but that it doesn't look good for right now."

The loss of Storrer, who has a NCAA Tournament career average of .348, is key. He bats high in the lineup and has a .321 average this season and a .974 fielding percentage.

Storrer, who is still in a walking cast, said he's looking forward to playing next week should the Tigers advance.

"I don't think I can do any more damage to it," he said. "I'm just going to have to wait and see what happens and what they say."

As in the ACC Tournament, freshman D.J. Mitchell will get the start in right field.

Last week in Jacksonville, Fla., Mitchell batted .421 with five RBI in five games. That success has given him some confidence heading into this weekend.

"It definitely does, and it gives my teammates confidence in me, too," Mitchell said.

A Baseball Legend Speaks His Mind
When a person has coached college baseball for 38 years and has seen all the good and bad it's produced as Mississippi State's Ron Polk has, there are a lot of things on his mind.

And the great thing about Polk is he's not afraid to say what he's thinking. He is breath of fresh air that doesn't rely on "coachspeak." Here are just a few snippets from his press conference Thursday afternoon.

On baseball teams only being allowed the maximum of 11.7 scholarships per team, while many women's sports are allowed much more:

"Women's equestrian is allowed more than us. Riding a horse? Women's crew gets 20. We deserve 18 or 20."

On whether his team deserved to receive a berth into the NCAA Tournament despite not qualifying for the SEC Tournament and whether or not the team got the berth solely because the school's athletics director, Larry Templeton, is the head of the NCAA Baseball Tournament Selection Committee:

"He wasn't allowed in (the meeting) when they discussed us and maybe some other schools in the SEC. He's taking a lot of heat, so I've told club, ‘Let's win one for our A.D.' When they voted, Larry wasn't even in the room."

On whether the NCAA should expand the number of teams allowed into the tournament:

"When we went from 48 to 64, let me tell you, that wasn't easy. We had to beg and plead. I think the only reason we got it was because women's softball got 64. And then we said, ‘Can we please (get 64).' "

On comparing the SEC to the ACC in baseball:

"The ACC is a great league, but Kentucky and Vanderbilt used to be weak sisters down there, but there ain't no more. They've got three or four schools that better get after it in the ACC because they're never going to catch up. They've got some weak teams that they should sweep. We haven't got that any more.

"I'm sure Boston College is improving its program and Virginia Tech … but we don't have programs (like Duke and Maryland) that haven't gotten after it yet. We've got every weekend as an adventure. That prepares us for this type of competition."

Short Goals
Elon coach Mike Kennedy said the goals for his team is winning the 3 p.m. game against No. 3 Mississippi State (35-21) and nothing else.

"Friday's our National Championship," he said. "Our goal is to just win that game."

The No. 2 Phoenix (44-16) will start senior Matt Chastain (10-2, 2.61 ERA), while Mississippi State will send senior lefthander Brooks Dunn (8-5, 4.36 ERA) to the hill.

Considering the Bulldogs are a pathetic 17-21 in their last 38 games and that Elon has a 19-12 road record and school-record for most overall wins, it appears that Kennedy's goal should be reached.

Beast of the East
Earlier this week, South Carolina coach Ray Tanner said the Clemson baseball team is so good that it could compete in Major League Baseball's American League East, which is home to the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

"I didn't here that," Leggett said. "That would be a stretch. But it's nice that he thinks that way, but I'm sure we're a long, long ways from that."

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