Clemson finished the 2006 season with a 53-16 overall record, earning its 20th straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The streak is third-longest in NCAA history. It was also the 21st consecutive season the Tigers won at least 39 games.
Clemson advanced to the College World Series for the 11th time in school history after capturing the Clemson Regional and Super Regional titles. It was the Tigers' sixth super regional appearance in the eight years of its existence as well.
Four ACC Teams in Omaha
In the first 52 years (1954-05) of the ACC's existence, there were only five seasons when the ACC sent two teams to the College World Series. In 2006, half of the eight-team field was from the ACC, doubling the previous high for the league. No other conference had more than one school represented in the 2006 College World Series. Three of the teams (Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina) were in one bracket, while Miami (FL) was in the other bracket. Only twice before in history had four teams from one conference made it to the College World Series. In both 1997 and 2004, the SEC sent four schools to Omaha.
Clemson's NCAA Tournament History
The 2006 season marked Clemson's 32nd trip to an NCAA Regional dating back to the 1947 season. That year, Clemson actually advanced to the Final Eight of the NCAA Tournament, but it is not considered a College World Series season because only two teams went to the CWS in those days.
Clemson won the 1947 District III Tournament in Charlotte by coming through the losers bracket. The Tigers, coached by Randy Hinson (deceased May 24, 2006), lost in the first round to Alabama 8-2, then came back with a win over Auburn and two wins over Alabama to advance. Clemson's season ended when a Yale team, led by future President George Bush, defeated the Tigers in New Haven, CT by a score of 7-3. Bush was 1-for-3 as the starting first baseman.
Clemson made its first trip to Omaha and the College World Series in 1958 when the Tigers again came through the losers' bracket. After losing to Florida in the first round, Clemson came back to defeat George Washington, Florida State, and Florida twice to advance under first year coach Bill Wilhelm. Clemson defeated Florida 15-14 and 3-1 on June 9 to advance. Harold Stowe struck out 17 in that second game on June 9 and that is still a Clemson single-game record for strikeouts in an NCAA Tournament game.
The Tigers advanced to Omaha in 1959, this time with three easy wins; one over Georgia Tech and two over Florida State. One of the wins over the Seminoles was a 24-2 victory in Gastonia, NC. That tally is still tied for the most runs scored by Clemson in an NCAA Tourney game.
The Tigers did not advance to Omaha again until 1976. In fact, Clemson made just one NCAA Tournament appearance between 1960 and 1974. That was in 1967 when Clemson reached the Regional Championship, but lost to Auburn 6-5.
Clemson made it to Omaha three out of five years between 1976-80. Clemson won a regional in Columbia, SC in 1976 with three straight wins, then came through the losers bracket in Miami (FL) in 1977 to advance to Omaha. The 1980 season was the first year Clemson played host to a regional, as Clemson swept three games by scoring 45 runs, including 17 in a 17-12 win over South Carolina.
Clemson has been to the NCAA Tournament every year since 1987, making College World Series trips in 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, and 2006. Clemson's streak of 20 consecutive regionals is the third-longest active streak in the nation behind Miami (FL) (34) and Florida State (29). Clemson's streak is also the third-longest in history.
Overall, Clemson has been to a regional 32 times, sixth-best all-time. Clemson's all-time record in NCAA play is 94-68, a 58.0 winning percentage.
Clemson is 49-28 (.636) under Head Coach Jack Leggett in NCAA Tournament play, including a 32-5 record (.865) in home NCAA Tourney games. Leggett has taken Clemson to a regional all 13 years he has been Clemson's head coach, and the Tigers have advanced to the College World Series five times. Leggett has also taken Clemson to a super regional six of the eight years that format has been in existence.
Clemson's NCAA Tournament Leaders
Stan Widmann led the Tigers in NCAA Tournament games with a .387 batting average. Brad Chalk was second at .367. Taylor Harbin led the team in homers (4) and RBIs (12), while Andy D'Alessio added three long balls and 10 RBIs in eight games. Clemson hit .287 with 17 stolen bases and a .976 fielding percentage in the NCAA Tourney.
P.J. Zocchi had a team-best 2.45 ERA in 11.0 innings pitched. Sean Clark was second with a 2.55 ERA and .197 opponents' batting average. Stephen Faris also had a 2.89 ERA. Clemson had a 3.80 ERA and .253 opponents' batting average in NCAA Tournament play.
Clemson College World Series Recap
In its 11th trip to the College World Series, Clemson went 1-2 in Omaha. The Tigers defeated Georgia Tech 8-4 thanks to an eight-run eighth inning, but fell to North Carolina (2-0) and Cal State Fullerton (7-6). The Tigers hit .243 in Omaha, led by Stan Widmann's .364 batting average. Andy D'Alessio added a homer and five RBIs. The pitching staff had a 4.50 ERA, and the team committed just one error, good for a .991 fielding percentage.
Clemson Regional & Super Regional Recap
Clemson went a perfect 5-0 in the regional and super regional round to advance to Omaha for the 11th time in school history. The Tigers defeated UNC Asheville (3-0), Elon (13-3), and Mississippi State (8-6) in the Clemson Regional, then beat #14 Oral Roberts by scores of 11-8 and 6-5 in the Clemson Super Regional. All five of the Tigers' games featured a sellout crowd of 5,617 fans.
Tigers Played in Sixth Super Regional
Clemson made its sixth super regional appearance in the eighth year of the super regional format in 2006. Only two teams (Miami (FL), Florida State) have played in more. The Tigers played in the College Station (TX) Super Regional in 1999, falling in game three. In 2000 and 2002, Clemson won its own super regional to advance to Omaha. In 2001, the Tigers lost both games at Miami (FL), while in 2005, Baylor defeated the Tigers twice in three games. In 2006, Clemson downed Oral Roberts twice in two games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Clemson (53-16) ended the season with a #5 final ranking in all three polls after going 1-2 in the College World Series. The Tigers (53-16) captured the Clemson Regional and Clemson Super Regional titles after winning the ACC Tournament championship for the first time since 1994.
Clemson was 24-6 during the ACC regular season, finishing in first place in both the Atlantic Division and overall standings. The 24 victories set a school and league record for most conference wins. Clemson made its 20th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, the third-longest streak in NCAA history, as well.
The Tigers were led by 13th-year Head Coach Jack Leggett. His 608 wins in his 13 seasons are the fourth-most in college baseball during his tenure. The Tigers were also 26-9 against top-25 ranked teams in 2006.
The team hit .303 and was led by Tyler Colvin, who hit .356 with 22 doubles, five triples, 13 homers, 70 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases along with a 26-game hitting streak, the fourth-longest in school history. Brad Chalk batted .353 with a .467 on-base percentage, while Andy D'Alessio hit .312 with 23 home runs and 85 RBIs.
The pitching staff had a 3.26 ERA and .245 opponents' batting average. The starting weekend rotation of Jason Berken, Stephen Faris, and Josh Cribb combined for a 27-6 record and 2.85 ERA in 52 appearances (51 starts). Daniel Moskos had a team-best 10 saves along with a 2.52 ERA in 33 relief appearances. Clemson fielded at a .972 clip as well, ahead of the old school record of .971 (2002).
* Clemson was 25-4 when it did not commit an error, and 28-12 when it committed at least one.
* Clemson was 49-2 when it had at least as many hits as its opponents, and 4-14 when it got out-hit.
* Clemson had a 25-5 record at night, and hit .319 with a .538 slugging percentage in night games.
* After starting the season 0-for-8 with the bases loaded in the first eight games, Clemson was 28-for-58 (.483) with the bases full in the last 61 games.
* Clemson had a 16-1 record in games played on Friday.
Clemson was ranked #5 in all three final polls. It was the first time the Tigers were in the top five of all three polls since 2002, when they were ranked #3 in all three final polls.
The Tigers' #1 ranking by Baseball America on February 6, which Clemson held on to for a total of four weeks, was their first since May 13, 2002, when Clemson was ranked #1 in all three major polls. It was the earliest #1 ranking for the Clemson program in history, as the earliest #1 ranking prior to that was on March 20, 2000, when Collegiate Baseball had the Tigers #1. The Tigers have been ranked #1 for 19 weeks by at least one of the major polls in Head Coach Jack Leggett's 13 seasons at Clemson.
Clemson Ranked in Top Three in All Three Polls
Clemson was ranked in the top three in the nation in all three college baseball polls entering the 2006 NCAA Tournament. That was the first time since 2002 that was the case. That year, Clemson was ranked #4 by Sports Weekly, #5 by Baseball America, and #7 by Collegiate Baseball.
It was the first time since 1994 that Clemson was a unanimous top-three team entering the NCAA Tournament. That year, Clemson was #1 in all three polls entering the tournament. However, Clemson was upset at its own regional by Notre Dame and Auburn, and failed to reach the College World Series.
Overall, it was the ninth time since 1987 that Clemson was a unanimous top-10 team entering the NCAA Tournament. Clemson has advanced to the College World Series in six of the nine seasons that has been the case.
It was the sixth time under Head Coach Jack Leggett that Clemson was a unanimous top-10 team entering the NCAA tournament. The Tigers reached the College World Series five of those six times, including each of the last five.
That's how many of Clemson's 69 games were against teams that played in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, which equates to 59.4 percent. Clemson had a 29-12 record against teams in the field, including a 19-2 record in games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Kansas and Winthrop were the only NCAA Tournament teams to defeat Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in 2006.
Between March 3 and April 5 of 2006, Clemson had a stretch of 19 games against NCAA Tournament teams in a 21-game stretch. Clemson had a 14-5 record in those 19 games.
Winningest Tiger Teams Entering NCAA
Clemson had a 47-14 record entering the NCAA Tournament. The 47 wins ranked in a tie for the seventh-most wins in Clemson history for a team entering the NCAA Tournament, and the most since the 2002 team also had a 47-14 record entering the tourney. The all-time record is 56 wins entering the tournament, set by the 1991 Clemson team. Bill Wilhelm's team had a 56-8 record entering the tournament, then won the regional in Orono, ME. The Tigers went 0-2 at the College World Series to finish 60-10. That is still the school record for wins in a season.
The 2006 squad was the fourth Leggett-coached Tiger team that had at least 47 wins entering the NCAA Tournament. His first team, the 1994 club, had a 55-16 record entering the tournament.
Clemson Entered NCAA Tournament on a Roll
Clemson had a 47-14 record entering the NCAA Tournament, including 19 wins in its last 20 games. That was the best 20-game record heading into the NCAA Tournament in school history. The 1947 and 1991 Clemson teams were 18-2 in their last 20 games entering the NCAA Tournament, and that was the previous best. Both of those teams went deep into the NCAA Tournament. The 1947 team reached the Final Eight before being eliminated by George Bush's Yale team, while Clemson's 1991 team finished with a school-record 60 wins and reached the College World Series.
ACC Regular-Season Champions
Clemson captured the ACC regular-season title for both the entire ACC and Atlantic Division with a 24-6 league mark in 2006. The Tigers won 24 of their last 27 ACC games after getting swept at Virginia to open their conference season. It was Clemson's first ACC regular-season title since 1995 and was the 21st in the 53rd year of the ACC's existence.
The Tigers won their final 13 ACC regular-season games after having an 11-6 mark at one point. Clemson also finished its home league schedule with a perfect 15-0 record. And since it won the last three home ACC games of 2005 (against Miami (FL)), Clemson has won 18 home league games in a row.
Tigers Won Regular-Season and Tourney Titles
Clemson won both the ACC regular-season and ACC Tournament titles in 2006. It marked the sixth time in school history that Clemson won both league titles in the same year, and the first time since 1994, Jack Leggett's first year as Clemson's head coach.
Three Clemson teams in history have won the ACC regular-season title, won the tournament, and then gone on to the College World Series. That was the 1976, 1991, and 2006 Tiger teams. Leggett's first Clemson team won the ACC regular-season title with a 20-4 record, then won the ACC Tournament with a 4-1 record. But the Tigers were 2-2 in the NCAA Tournament and did not move on to the College World Series.
Four Tigers Named All-ACC
Righthander Josh Cribb and first-baseman Andy D'Alessio were both named First-Team All-ACC in 2006. The team was compiled after a vote of the league's 12 head coaches. It was the first selection for both players, who led the Tigers to a 53-16 record in 2006, including 24 wins in 30 league games. Righthander Jason Berken and outfielder Tyler Colvin were named to the second team.
Six Tigers Named All-ACC Tournament
Six Tigers were named to the All-ACC Tournament team in 2006. They all were major reasons Clemson won four of five games and captured the school's first ACC Tournament title since 1994. Named to the team were all three outfielders, Brad Chalk, Tyler Colvin, and D.J. Mitchell, second-baseman Taylor Harbin, third-baseman Marquez Smith, and righthander Sean Clark. Colvin was named the MVP of the Tournament as well.
The six selections were the most-ever for a Clemson team to the All-ACC Tournament squad. The 1989 team that won the tourney in Greenville, SC behind lefthander Brian Barnes had five selections, as did the 1991 team. Clemson had just three selections in 1994, the last time Clemson won the tournament.
Clemson's six selections were the most by an ACC team since 1999, when nine Wake Forest players were named to the all-tournament team. Colvin was named MVP of the tournament after hitting .417 on a team-best 10 hits in 24 at-bats. He had at least one hit in every game, extending his hitting streak to 20 games. He also had three steals and drove in five runs.
Clark was the only pitcher named to the team. He pitched 8.0 innings in the championship game and allowed just one run on four hits. It was the first win of his Clemson career.
Seven Named Clemson Regional All-Tourney
Seven Tigers were named to the Clemson Regional All-Tournament team, as the Tigers captured the title by going 3-0 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from June 2-4. The entire Tiger infield was represented, including first-baseman Andy D'Alessio, second-baseman Taylor Harbin, shortstop Stan Widmann, and third-baseman Marquez Smith. Outfielders Tyler Colvin and Brad Chalk, and pitcher Sean Clark also made the 11-player team. Harbin was named Clemson Regional MVP after going 5-for-9 with a double, two homers, seven RBIs, and four stolen bases in three games.
Clemson 26-9 Against Top-25 Teams
Clemson had a 26-9 record against top-25 ranked teams in 2006. In 13 seasons at Clemson, Head Coach Jack Leggett has 173 wins over teams ranked in the top 25. Only three times in his first 13 seasons has he had a losing record against teams in the top 25.
Clemson Set School Record for Top-25 Wins
As stated earlier, Clemson had a 26-9 record against top-25 ranked teams in 2006. The 74.3-percent winning mark was a school record for winning percentage against top-25 foes. That 74.3 winning percentage was far ahead of the 67.9 winning percentage of the 2005 team that posted a 19-9 record against top-25 teams.
The 2006 team also set the school record for top-25 wins in a season. The 1994 team, Jack Leggett's first at Clemson, had a 19-12 record against ranked teams, his 2002 team was 19-13 against top-25 foes, and the 2005 team was 19-9.
Tiger Victories Over Top-Ranked Teams
When Clemson defeated #1 South Carolina in baseball on April 5, 2006 in Columbia, Head Coach Jack Leggett tied the Clemson coaching record in all sports for wins over a top-ranked team. It was Leggett's fifth win over a #1 team, tying him with former Tiger Baseball Coach Bill Wilhelm and former Tiger Men's Soccer Coach Dr. I.M. Ibrahim.
Overall, it was the 23rd time in history that Clemson defeated a #1 team in all sports, including the 10th time in baseball. All 10 of those victories have taken place away from Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Clemson has beaten a #1 team in baseball 10 times, and five of the victories have been by one run, including the win over South Carolina in Columbia, a contest the Tigers won 3-2. In fact, 11 of the 23 Tiger wins over top-ranked have been by one point, run, or goal.
The April 5 victory over South Carolina was Clemson's first win over a #1 team in baseball since an 8-4 victory at #1 Florida State on April 10, 1999. It was also the first win over a #1 team in any sport since the men's soccer team defeated Wake Forest in Winston-Salem by a 2-1 score in overtime in 2002. It marked the 12th time in Leggett's career he defeated a top-10 South Carolina team.
Clemson had a 26-9 record against top-25 teams in 2006, including 24 victories in the last 31 games.
Clemson Set Home Attendance Record
For the third year in a row, Clemson set the school record for average home attendance. The Tigers drew 184,946 fans for their 39 home dates in 2006, an average of 4,742 per date. That mark broke the previous record of 4,049, set in 2005.
Holding Teams to Three Runs or Less
One of the reasons for Clemson's strong finish to the 2006 season was consistency in pitching. The Tigers had a streak of 11 consecutive games allowing three runs or less between a 14-0 win over Duke on May 8 and a 3-2 victory over #7 Georgia Tech on May 25. Clemson won all 11 games during that stretch.
The 11 consecutive games allowing the opposition to score three runs or less was the longest of its kind since 1917. Clemson had a 10-game streak in 1972, but the 2006 Clemson team trumped that streak in the ACC Tournament. The 1917 team had a 14-game streak of allowing three runs or less, and that is the all-time school record. Georgia Tech broke the string when it scored eight runs in an 8-7 victory (10 innings) in the ACC Tournament.
Tigers Tough to Beat at Clemson
Clemson has been tough to beat historically at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, and that was the case in 2006. Clemson was 36-5 at home, an 87.8 winning percentage in the friendly confines. Clemson hit .318 in the 41 games at home, with a 51-17 advantage in home runs over the opposition and a .505 slugging percentage to just .301 for the opposition. Clemson had a .976 fielding percentage at home, and stole 72-86 bases, an 83.7-percent success rate.
Clemson had great balance on offense at home in 2006, with eight of the nine starting position players hitting .313 or better. Brad Chalk led the way with a .371 batting average at home, while Tyler Colvin batted .369 and Taylor Harbin hit .361. Andy D'Alessio led the team in home runs at home with 11 long balls and 51 RBIs, while Colvin hit eight homers with 45 RBIs.
Clemson's pitching was outstanding in posting the 36-5 record at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson's opponents hit just .225 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, and the Tiger pitching staff had a 2.52 ERA for the 41 games. The opposition had a 7.08 ERA against the Tiger offense.
Clemson's starting pitching was nothing short of incredible at home in 2006. Weekend starters Stephen Faris, Jason Berken, and Josh Cribb were a combined 21-0 at home with a 1.89 ERA. They combined to allow just 16 extra-base hits, including only five home runs, in 617 combined opponent at-bats.
Cribb was 8-0 at home with a 2.38 ERA. Faris was 7-0 with a 1.41 ERA and a .183 opponent batting average. Berken was 6-0 with a 2.01 ERA, and allowed just two extra-base hits.
Clemson was 36-5 at home, but all five of the losses came against non-conference teams. Clemson was a perfect 15-0 at home in the ACC, the first time the Tigers had a perfect league mark at home since 1988, when Bill Wilhelm's Tigers were 11-0 at home in the ACC. Clemson's 36 wins at home were the most since the 2002 team had a 36-9 home record.
Clemson has an all-time record of 892-199 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, an 81.8 winning percentage. The Tigers are 290-60 in home ACC games over the years in the facility as well. Doug Kingsmore Stadium was opened in 1970.
Tigers Tough to Beat at Home Under Leggett
In his 13 seasons, Head Coach Jack Leggett has a 608-259 overall record at Clemson, including a 254-125 mark against ACC teams. He has been especially tough in home ACC series, where he has a 130-30 (.813) record. The ACC team with the most success has been Florida State, who has won seven games in 21 tries at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tiger skipper only added to his fine record in 2006 by sweeping all five home opponents in league play (15-0 record).
Even when an opposing ACC team is victorious at Clemson, it usually means that team only won one of three games. In 54 ACC home series under Leggett, Clemson has lost only four series...losing two of three to N.C. State in 1996, getting swept by Florida State in 2002, losing two of three to the Seminoles in 2004, and losing two of three to Georgia Tech in 2005. The Yellow Jackets also split a pair of games in a rain-shortened series in 1997.
Leggett Leading a Consistent Winner
Head Coach Jack Leggett has a 608-259 (.701) record at Clemson in his 13 seasons. The legendary Bill Wilhelm has the most wins of any Tiger coach with 1,161 in 36 seasons (1958-93) at Clemson. Leggett's 608 wins are second-most in school history. No other Clemson coach has more than 70 wins while in Tigertown.
His 608 wins since 1994 are fourth-most in the nation during that span. Only three other programs (Florida State, Wichita State, Rice) have more wins over that span from 1994-06. Furthermore, he has led the Tigers to at least 39 wins every year he has been at the helm of the program. Clemson along with Florida State and Wichita State are the only three programs in the nation to win at least 39 games every year since 1994.
Leggett Saw Leggett Go Deep
A special moment for Head Coach Jack Leggett and son Tanner Leggett came on April 28 against Virginia Tech at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Tanner, who was a reserve infielder and red-shirt junior, entered the game 0-for-4 on the season. The elder Leggett called on Tanner to pinch-hit in the seventh inning.
In the previous game against Wofford two days earlier, he had hit a deep fly ball to the terrace in left-center, but the ball was caught near the fence. But against the Hokies in his next plate appearance, he connected on a home run that easily cleared the fence closer to the left-field line. It was not only his first hit of the season, but the first home run of his career. After rounding third base, father and son gave each other an extra-long handshake near the coaching box.
Leggett Named ACC Coach-of-the-Year
Head Coach Jack Leggett was named ACC Coach-of-the-Year on May 22. The Tiger mentor led Clemson to a 53-16 record in 2006, including a league-best 24-6 ACC record, #1 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, and a trip to the College World Series.
It was the third time Leggett won the honor, as he also was presented the award in 1994 and 1995, his first two seasons as the program's head coach. "This award is a testament to the hard work of our players and assistant coaches during the entire season," said Leggett. "It is truly a team award. This is a great honor, and I am proud to be associated with this team and coaching staff.
"It is especially gratifying because the ACC is as strong as it has ever been this year. We have a great group of successful and respected coaches in the ACC."
Leggett took the Tigers to the ACC Championship in the regular season and the tournament. It marked just the third time in the last 25 years that a Clemson team won both titles in the same year.
He also reached the 600-win mark as head coach at Clemson with a 3-2 win over #7 Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament on May 25.
With an 11-2 win over #13 Florida State on May 14, Clemson reached the 39-win mark for the 21st year in a row. Clemson is one of only three schools with such a streak of 39-win seasons.
For the first time since 2002, Clemson reached the 50-win mark in 2006. It was the 11th time in school history and sixth time in 13 seasons under Head Coach Jack Leggett that Clemson reached the 50-win plateau. Each of the last five times the Tigers won 50 games, they made it to the College World Series.
17-Game Winning Streak
Clemson had a 17-game winning streak between April 22 and May 25. The streak began with a 4-1 victory at Boston College in the second game of a doubleheader. The final victory was a 3-2 win over #7 Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament, a game Clemson won with a walkoff single by Ben Hall. The streak ended on May 27 when the Yellow Jackets beat Clemson 8-7 in the bottom of the 10th inning with a walkoff hit.
The 17-game winning streak tied for the fourth longest in Clemson history and was the longest since a 25-game winning streak in 1995. It is important to point out that the 17-game streak was the longest in Clemson history at that late stage of the season. None of the other four winning streaks finished after April 23.
One of the reasons for Clemson's improvement in 2006 was the ability to steal bases at an efficient rate. Clemson stole 107 bases in 129 attempts, an 82.9-percent success rate. That included a 30-34 performance during the postseason (13 games). Clemson stole just 42 bases in 63 attempts during all of 2006.
Several Tigers had a lot to do with that percentage, including shortstop Stan Widmann, who was 15-15. That was the second-best, perfect-stolen-base season in Clemson history. The record is an 18-18 season by Mark Davidson in 1982. Davidson went on to play with the World Champion Minnesota Twins.
Tigers Won Their Last 16 Home Games
Clemson ended the 2006 season with the nation's longest home winning streak at 16 games. Since suffering a 5-4 loss against Furman at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 19, Clemson won its last 16 games at home to close out the 2006 season. Ironically, Oral Roberts had the second-longest home winning streak (14) to end the season. If the Golden Eagles had defeated the Tigers in either one of the close super regional games, it would have ended Clemson's home winning streak and given them the nation's longest streak to end the season. Nine of the 16 games were against top-25 ranked teams. Clemson finished with a 36-5 home record in 2006 as well.
Clemson's Double-Digit ACC Winning Streaks
After starting the ACC schedule suffering a three-game sweep at Virginia, Clemson reeled off 10 conference wins in a row. The three series sweeps came against #12 N.C. State, #11 Miami (FL), and Maryland, and the 10th win came at #10 Georgia Tech.
Following the first 10-game, ACC winning streak, the Tigers lost three of their next four league games. But for the rest of the regular season, Clemson won 13 ACC games in a row, giving the Tigers two double-digit, ACC winning streaks in the same season, a first in school history. Clemson's 24 ACC regular-season wins in 2006 were also the most in a season by a Clemson or ACC team in history.
Only six times in ACC history has a team had a longer conference winning streak than Clemson's current 13-game streak. Three of those six were accomplished by a Tiger team, including a 21-game streak from 1987 to 1988. The record for consecutive ACC wins is 25, set by Georgia Tech from 2004 to 2005.
When Clemson finished off a three-game sweep of Florida State with an 11-2 victory at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on May 14, it gave Clemson a three-game series sweep of both Florida State and Miami (FL) during the 2006 season. From March 31 to April 2, Clemson won three straight over the Hurricanes in Coral Gables.
Clemson is just the second school in history and the first since 1948 to sweep (three games or more) Florida State and Miami in the same year. That year, Rollins won four straight from Florida State and four in a row from Miami. Both series were a pair of two-game, home-and-home series. It was the first year of Florida State's baseball program and just the fourth year of baseball for Miami.
Clemson swept Miami in both 2005 and 2006, and has seven consecutive wins over the Hurricanes. Clemson is the first school in history to record a three-game sweep of the Hurricanes in consecutive years. Florida State came close in 2002 and 2003. The Seminoles recorded a sweep in Coral Gables in 2002, then won the first two games in Coral Gables in 2003 before the two teams tied in the last game of the series.
Clemson's seven-game win streak against Miami is the longest for any program against the Hurricanes since Florida State won seven straight in their series with Miami between 1990 and 1991. The record for consecutive wins by a program over Miami is 12 by Florida State from 1966-71. That is also the last time someone beat them eight straight games. That streak began when current Florida State Head Coach Mike Martin was a player for the Seminoles.
From 2005 to date, Clemson has won 11 consecutive games against teams from the state of Florida, dating to a 7-3 April 3, 2005 victory (second game of doubleheader) at Florida State.
Tigers Upped Win Streak Over Miami to Seven
Clemson swept #11 Miami (FL) in Coral Gables from March 31 to April 2 by a combined score of 28-9. And since the Tigers won all four meetings in 2005, Clemson improved to 7-0 against the Hurricanes since they joined the ACC prior to the 2005 season. In those seven games, Clemson outscored Miami 67-19. Two of Miami's first 14 ACC regular-season series were against Clemson, and only twice was Miami swept in three games. Both times were at the hands of the Tigers.
Tigers Went Wild in 26-1 Win Over Demon Deacons
Clemson showed its capabilities from an offensive standpoint in a 26-1 victory over #22 Wake Forest on May 18, the first game of the final home series of the regular season. The Tigers totaled 26 runs on 25 hits, and belted seven home runs, a school record for home runs at Doug Kingsmore Stadium and the second-most home runs in a single game in school history. The all-time record is eight against South Carolina in 1962.
The 26 runs scored tied for the fifth-most runs scored in Clemson history, and were the most since a 41-9 win at N.C. State in 1979. It also tied for the most runs scored by a Tiger team at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, the most since a 26-6 win over West Virginia on March 3, 1975.
As far as victory margin is concerned, the +25 run margin tied for third best in school history and was the greatest ever by the Tigers at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. It was the most since the +32 run margin in the 41-9 win at N.C. State in 1979.
Pitching Coach Kevin O'Sullivan's staff had a solid 3.26 ERA in 69 games in 2006. But the weekend rotation of Josh Cribb, Jason Berken, and Stephen Faris were stellar. The three combined to allow 230 hits, 86 earned runs, and 80 walks with 244 strikeouts in 271.1 innings pitched. That translated into a 27-6 record, 2.85 ERA, .231 opponents' batting average, and 3.05 strikeout-to-walk ratio among the three. It did hurt that the three veterans combined for 12 years in the Tiger program as well.
At home, their numbers were even better. The trio totaled 171.2 innings pitched in a combined 30 starts and one relief appearance. They had a 21-0 record, 1.89 ERA, .206 opponents' batting average, 39 walks, 150 strikeouts, 3.85 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and just 16 extra-base hits allowed, including only five home runs.
Starters Compared Well With 1996 Group
Pitching was certainly an important reason the Tigers made it to the College World Series. The staff overall had a 3.26 ERA to rank among the best in the nation.
Clemson's three weekend starters (Stephen Faris, Josh Cribb, and Jason Berken) were outstanding and consistent all season. In fact, they may be the best group of weekend starters since the 1996 Clemson team that featured Kris Benson, Billy Koch, and Ken Vining. That trio all went on to pitch in the Major Leagues. Benson and Koch were both top-five picks in the 1996 Major League Draft, and Benson is still pitching with the Baltimore Orioles.
A look to the stats showed that the 2006 trio of weekend starters compared favorably with that 1996 group in terms of winning percentage and ERA. The 2006 group was a combined 27-6 for an 81.8 winning percentage. Benson, Koch, and Vining were a combined 34-10 in 1996 for a 77.3 winning percentage. The combined ERA for Faris, Cribb, and Berken was 2.85, just behind the 2.63 combined ERA for Benson, Koch, and Vining in 1996.
The 1996 trio was more dominant in terms of strikeouts and opponents' batting average. The 1996 trio had 491 strikeouts that year, while the 2006 trio had just 244. Opponents hit just .201 against the 1996 trio, while the 2006 group allowed a .231 opponents' batting average.
Tigers Broke Fielding Percentage Record
Clemson fielded at a .972 clip in 2006, besting the previous school record of .971 set by the 2002 Tiger team. The Tigers committed just 73 errors in 2,652 chances, which included 1,845 putouts and 734 assists. Clemson had a .983 fielding percentage in 13 postseason games as well.
The five-highest team fielding percentages by a Tiger team occurred from 2001-06. The high percentages are a testament to the countless hours Head Coach Jack Leggett and the players spend on fielding, whether during practice or on the players' own time.
Hitting, Pitching, & Fielding Were All Solid
Clemson was solid in all phases of the game, posting a .303 batting average, a 3.26 ERA, and a school-record .972 fielding percentage. The 2006 team became just the second in school history to have a batting average of at least .300, an ERA of 3.50 or better, and a fielding percentage of at least .965. The 1977 Clemson team that started the year 26-0, and finished with a 42-10 record and a berth in the College World Series, hit .309 as a team, fielded a then-record .967, and had a 3.34 ERA.
Graduate righthander Josh Cribb and junior first-baseman Andy D'Alessio were named to Collegiate Baseball's All-America team on June 2. Cribb, who was 9-0 with a 3.09 ERA and a .222 opponents' batting average in 87.1 innings pitched, was named to the second team. D'Alessio, who hit .312 with 23 home runs and 85 RBIs, was named to the third team. D'Alessio was also named a first-team All-American by College Baseball Foundation.
Three Tigers were named to the NCBWA All-America team on June 13. Tyler Colvin and D'Alessio were named to the first team, while Cribb was named to the third team. Clemson joined Rice as the only school to have more than one player be on the first team.
Those three Tigers were named to the ABCA All-America team. D'Alessio and Colvin were both second-team selections, while Cribb was on the third team.
Two Tigers were also named to Baseball America's All-America team. Colvin was selected to the first team, while D'Alessio was named to the third team.
NCAA & ACC Stat Rankings
There are 285 Division I programs that are included in the NCAA stat rankings. Of the 12 main stat rankings, Clemson finished in the top 77 of all 12. Among the best finishes include #4 in win-loss percentage (76.8), #6 in ERA (3.26), #17 in strikeouts per nine innings (8.0), #19 in home runs per game (1.16), and #22 in fielding percentage (.972). On a total basis, Clemson had the third-most wins in the nation, tied for ninth in doubles, tied for 12th in homers.
Among individual standouts, Andy D'Alessio led the nation in RBIs (85) and tied for second in home runs (23). Brad Chalk was also second in the nation in sacrifice bunts (21).
Clemson finished second in the ACC in ERA and led the league in fielding percentage. D'Alessio led the ACC in home runs by eight and RBIs by 14. Chalk led the ACC in sacrifice bunts. Tyler Colvin also tied for the lead in doubles (22)
Seven Tigers on All-ACC Academic Team
Clemson placed an league-high seven players on the 2006 All-ACC Academic team following an ACC regular-season and tournament title along with a trip to the College World Series. Florida State had six selections, while Georgia Tech and Wake Forest had five apiece.
Brad Chalk, Sean Clark, Josh Cribb, Herman Demmink, Ben Hall, Taylor Harbin, and David Kopp were all named to the list. To be eligible for consideration, a student-athlete must have earned a 3.0 GPA for the previous semester and maintained a 3.0 cumulative GPA during his academic career.
Chalk was a recipient of the academic achievement award at the College World Series for earning the highest GPA on the team. Cribb also became the first Clemson baseball player in history to be named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll five times.
Record 10 Tigers Picked in MLB Draft
Ten Tigers, highlighted by outfielder Tyler Colvin's selection in the first round, were taken in the Major League Draft on June 6,7, 2006. The 10 selections set a school record for most Tigers drafted in one year. The previous mark was nine set by the 2004 club.
Colvin, who was undrafted out of North Augusta (SC) High School, was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the 13th pick overall, which tied for the third-highest selection by a Tiger in school history.
Five pitchers were selected on day one, including junior righthander Jason Berken in the sixth round by the Baltimore Orioles, graduate righty Josh Cribb in the eighth round by the Kansas City Royals, junior righthander Steve Richard in the eighth round by the Seattle Mariners, junior righthander Stephen Faris in the 12th round by the San Diego Padres, and senior righty Drew Fiorenza in the 15th round by the Seattle Mariners.
Junior first-baseman Andy D'Alessio was selected in the 10th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
On day two, three Tigers were drafted, including senior third-baseman Herman Demmink in the 28th round by the Philadelphia Phillies, junior infielder Marquez Smith in the 35th round by the Chicago Cubs, and senior catcher Adrian Casanova in the 40th round by the Detroit Tigers.
Clemson's 10 picks were second-most in the nation, trailing only UCLA's total of 12. Cal. State-Fullerton, Oklahoma, Oregon State, and San Diego State all had nine players drafted, while Nebraska and N.C. State had eight players taken.
With the 10 selections, Jack Leggett has had a total of 62 players drafted in his 13 seasons as head coach at Clemson. Ten of those 62 players were drafted twice, meaning a Tiger has been drafted 72 times in his tenure. Thirteen more Tigers have signed free-agent contracts as well.
Colvin Taken in First Round By Cubs
Junior outfielder Tyler Colvin (North Augusta, SC) was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Chicago Cubs on June 6. The native of North Augusta, SC was the 13th selection of the entire draft, the third non-pitcher from college baseball, and the second outfielder taken. Drew Stubbs of Texas (eighth pick to Cincinnati) was the only college outfielder taken ahead of Colvin.
Colvin led the Tigers in batting average (.356), hits (100), doubles (22), triples (5), total bases (171), and stolen bases (23). He joined Khalil Greene (2002) as the only Tigers to lead the team in total bases and stolen bases in the same year since 1992. He also had a 26-game hitting streak, the fourth-longest in Clemson history, and the longest since Greene had a 34-game streak in 2002.
Colvin had something else in common with Greene, and that was his draft position. Greene, the starting shortstop with the San Diego Padres, was the #13 selection of the entire draft in June of 2002. In fact, Colvin was the fourth different Tiger taken with the #13 selection of the Major League Draft. Mike Paradis, a pitcher on Clemson's 1999 team, was the #13 selection in the first round by the Baltimore Orioles, and Bill Spiers was the #13 selection by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1987. Both Colvin and Greene were both undrafted out of high school as well.
Overall, Colvin's #13 selection tied for the third-highest draft pick in Clemson baseball history. Kris Benson was the #1 pick of the draft in 1996 by the Pittsburgh Pirates, while teammate and fellow righthander Billy Koch was the #4 selection that year (Toronto Blue Jays).
Colvin was the first Clemson player drafted by the Chicago Cubs since Zane Green was a 44th-round pick in 2004. Only two former Tigers have played in a Major League game for the Cubs, including Norm McMillan in 1928,29 and Kurt Seibert in 1979.
Colvin a Five-Tool Player
Tyler Colvin had 13 homers, five triples, and 22 doubles in 2006. Colvin also hit .356 with a .419 on-base percentage, .609 slugging percentage, and 23 stolen bases in 2006. He led the team in batting average, hits, doubles, triples, total bases, and stolen bases. He had a 26-game hitting streak, the fourth-longest streak in school history, and had three outfield assists as well.
Colvin was named ACC Player-of-the-Week for the week of March 20-26 when he went 7-for-17 (.412) with four doubles, a triple, five RBIs, and three stolen bases in five games (two against Elon and three against #12 N.C. State), as the Tigers were 5-0 that week.
Against #13 Florida State on May 13, he came up to the plate 0-for-4 in the game, but hit a walkoff single through the right side to score Marquez Smith in the 10th inning to give the Tigers a 4-3 win.
Colvin entered the 2006 season with just seven career homers in his first two seasons, but his power numbers in 2006 came as no surprise to Head Coach Jack Leggett. He saw Colvin add strength each season thanks to his dedication in the weight room. He was still a lanky 6'3", 190 pounds, but was a five-tool player who had good speed and made many good running catches in left field.
Colvin Had a 26-Game Hitting Streak
Tyler Colvin had a 26-game hitting streak that ended against #5 North Carolina at the College World Series. During the streak, he was 50-for-115 (.435) with 27 runs scored, seven doubles, two triples, six homers, 36 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases in leading Clemson to a 25-1 record during that span. He also hit .466 against lefthanders and .481 with runners in scoring position during his 26-game hitting streak.
His 26-game hitting streak was the fourth-longest in Clemson history and the longest since Khalil Greene's 34-game hitting streak in 2002. The school and ACC record is 41 games, set by Rusty Adkins from 1965 to 1966.
Colvin Dominated Demon Deacons
Tyler Colvin put up some remarkable numbers in Clemson's record-setting 26-1 win over #22 Wake Forest on May 18. He went 5-for-7 with two homers, a double, and eight RBIs. Therefore he had 12 total bases on the evening.
He hit a two-run homer in the first inning, a run-scoring single in the third, a two-run double in the fourth, another two-run homer in the sixth, and a run-scoring, infield single in the eighth. He drove in a run with all five of his hits. Head Coach Jack Leggett most likely would have put a sub in the game in place of Colvin, but Leggett had exhausted every available position player off the bench by the sixth inning, allowing Colvin to make seven plate appearances.
In the next two games, he was perfect at the plate in each game. In game two of the series, he was 4-for-4 with a homer, four RBIs, and a stolen base. Then in the series finale, he was 2-for-2 with two RBIs, two walks, and two stolen bases. From his last at-bat of game one to the end of the series, he was 7-for-7 with two walks, therefore he also reached base in his last nine plate appearances. He got a hit his his first plate appearance of the first game of the ACC Tournament, therefore had hits in eight straight at-bats, falling just one short of the Tiger record. He also reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances over four games.
Thanks to going 12-for-17 (.706) with three home runs, 14 RBIs, and three stolen bases in four games against top-25 ranked teams during the week (May 15-21), he was named ACC Player-of-the-Week for the second time in 2006. He also was named one of four national players-of-the-week by Collegiate Baseball for his efforts.
Colvin Named ACC Tournament MVP
Tyler Colvin was named MVP of the 2006 ACC Tournament in leading Clemson to a 4-1 record and the tourney title at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville (FL) from May 24-28. In the five games, which included four games against top-25 ranked teams and three games versus #7 Georgia Tech, he was 10-for-24 (.417) a double, five RBIs, and three stolen bases.
Colvin Walked Off in Grand Fashion
In his first game after being selected with the 13th overall pick in the first round of the Major League draft by the Cubs, Tyler Colvin celebrated in style. With the Tigers trailing 8-7 with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, the cleanup batter cleared the bases with a walkoff grand slam to top #14 Oral Roberts in game one of the Clemson Super Regional on June 9. The previous three Tiger batters singled to set up the dramatic long ball.
It was the first walkoff grand slam in school history and only the second walkoff homer by a Tiger in an NCAA Tournament game in history. It was also the first walkoff homer by a Tiger since 2003. He also hit a walkoff single in the 10th inning in Clemson's 4-3 win over #13 Florida State on May 13.
D'Alessio a National POTW Semi-Finalist
Junior first-baseman Andy D'Alessio (Naples, FL) was named one of 16 semi-finalists for the 2006 Dick Howser Trophy on May 18. The award is annually given to the nation's top college baseball player. In 69 starts in 2006, he hit .312 with 23 home runs and 85 RBIs, and committed just three errors in the field for a .995 fielding percentage. He joined fellow ACC players Andrew Miller (North Carolina) and Shane Robinson (Florida State) on the semi-final list. Former Tigers Kris Benson (1996) and Khalil Greene (2002) won the award.
D'Alessio was also named one of 30 semi-finalists for the Brooks Wallace Award, as announced by the College Baseball Foundation on May 22. The award is annually given to the nation's best player as well.
D'Alessio Liked 'Em Loaded
If you had to use one phrase to describe Andy D'Alessio, it might just be "run-producer." The junior first-baseman had a knack for driving in runs in all kinds of situations in 2006. He totaled 85 RBIs on only 78 hits. The 2005 season saw him do the same, as he had 60 RBIs on only 58 hits.
But no stat proved his value in producing runs more than his stats with the bases loaded. In 2006, he was 8-for-11 (.727) with two doubles, two home runs, and 23 RBIs with the bases full. In 2005, he was 6-for-9 with two home runs and 18 RBIs with the bases loaded. Therefore in his career (2004-06), he is 16-for-26 (.615) with four homers and 48 RBIs with the bases full.
D'Alessio Moved Up Home Run, RBI Charts
A year after Kris Harvey totaled 25 home runs in 2005, second-most in the nation, Andy D'Alessio provided the big bat in the Tiger lineup in 2006 with 23 long balls. That figure tied for seventh-most in a season in school history. He also has 42 career home runs, ninth-most in Tiger history. D'Alessio drove in 85 runs as well. That total was third-most in Clemson history.
D'Alessio Led Nation in RBIs, Second in Homers
Andy D'Alessio's 85 RBIs led the nation, as no other college player had more than 79. He also finished tied for second in the country in home runs with 23, one behind Kellen Kulbacki of James Madison, who had 24. The Tiger first-baseman easily led the ACC in both categories. No other ACC player had more than 15 home runs and 71 RBIs. Therefore he led the league by eight homers and 14 RBIs.
Double Dose of D'Alessio
Andy D'Alessio's home runs came in bunches in 2006. In the three-game series at Duke on May 8,9, he had two, two-homer games. He went deep twice in a game on six occasions in 2006, therefore 12 of his 23 home runs, or 52 percent, came in multi-homer games. The six multi-homer games in a season was most-ever by a Tiger in history. Jeff Baker, who previously held the school record, had five multi-homer games in two different seasons (2001,02). D'Alessio had two, two-homer games in 2005, and has eight in his career.
D'Alessio National & ACC Player-of-the-Week
Junior first-baseman Andy D'Alessio was tabbed as National Player-of-the-Week by NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball on April 3. He was also named ACC Player-of-the-Week for his efforts in five games from March 28 to April 2. In two games against #19 Georgia and three at #11 Miami (FL), he was 11-for-21 (.524) with seven runs scored, four doubles, four home runs, 16 RBIs, and a 1.286 slugging percentage, helping the Tigers to a 4-1 record. He had at least three RBIs and one extra-base hit in each of the five games.
D'Alessio National Player-of-the-Week Again
For the second time in 2006, Andy D'Alessio was named national player-of-the-week by Collegiate Baseball on May 15. This time, he was one of only three players lauded by Collegiate Baseball. In six games from May 8-14, he was 9-for-20 (.450) with five homers and nine RBIs to lead Clemson to a 6-0 record, including a three-game sweep of #13 Florida State. He had two two-homer games against Duke as well. He was also named ACC Player-of-the-Week for the second time.
Harbin Kept on Doubling, Fielding
Sophomore second-baseman Taylor Harbin (Travelers Rest, SC) hit .319 with 20 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, and 47 RBIs in 64 games in 2006. In two full seasons, he already has 48 career doubles thanks to totaling 28 as a freshman in 2005. He also committed just six errors and had a .982 fielding percentage in 2006. One of those six errors came at shortstop as well, meaning he had a .984 fielding percentage at second base. For his career, he has committed just 15 errors for a .978 fielding percentage, a stellar mark for a middle infielder.
After seeing his batting average dip to a career-low .265 in mid-April, Taylor Harbin rebounded late in the season to raise his average to .319. In the last 33 games, he was one of the hottest Tigers. He hit .377 (46-for-122) over that stretch with 14 walks and only nine strikeouts. He totaled just one walk with 12 strikeouts in his first 31 games of 2006.
Harbin Named Clemson Regional MVP
Taylor Harbin was named Clemson Regional MVP for his performance in leading the Tigers to the regional title at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from June 2-4. He was 5-for-9 (.556) with a double, two homers, seven RBIs, and four stolen bases in three games. He also made several highlight plays at second base during the tourney.
Harbin Posted Big Numbers in Postseason
Taylor Harbin was the team's hottest hitter in the 2006 postseason. In 13 postseason games, which included five ACC Tournament games and eight NCAA Tournament games, he was 17-for-47 (.362) with 15 runs scored, six doubles, a triple, five homers, 16 RBIs, an .851 slugging percentage, eight walks, a .466 on-base percentage, and six stolen bases in six attempts. He also did not commit an error in 57 chances in the field and made several highlight-reel plays at second base.
Harbin was named Clemson Regional MVP, then kept up his stellar play in the Clemson Super Regional against #14 Oral Roberts by going 3-for-5 with five runs scored, two homers, and five RBIs in two games. Therefore in eight NCAA Tournament games, Harbin was 9-for-26 (.346) with nine runs scored, two doubles, four homers, 12 RBIs, and five stolen bases in five attempts.
Demmink Had Two Double-Digit Hit Streaks
Graduate designated hitter Herman Demmink had a 13-game hitting streak from April to May, where he hit .380 (19-for-50) during the streak. It was his second double-digit-game hitting streak of the season, as he had a 10-game hitting streak earlier in 2006. Demmink hit .296 overall with 83 hits, 16 doubles, four triples, five homers, 32 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases as the leadoff batter in the lineup in 2006.
Demmink Led Off With Long Balls
Herman Demmink only hit five home runs in 2006, but two came in the NCAA Tournament, and both were as the leadoff batter in the first inning. Against Mississippi State in the Clemson Regional Championship game on June 4, he hit the first pitch of the game over the fence in left field. Clemson went on to win the game by a score of 8-6. The next game, which was against #14 Oral Roberts in the Clemson Super Regional on June 9, he led off the game with a homer to right-center in the Tigers' 11-8 victory. Therefore he led off the game with a homer in back-to-back games in the NCAA Tournament.
Demmink became the first Tiger to have two leadoff home runs in an NCAA Tournament since Zane Green did it three times in the 2002 NCAA Tournament. It was also believed to be the first and only time a Tiger had led off back-to-back games with a long ball.
Chalk's Bunt Game
Sophomore centerfielder Brad Chalk (Greer, SC) plays "small ball" as good as any Tiger in recent history. Not only is he a prototypical slap-hitter, he is a great bunter, whether it be in a sacrifice situation for for a base hit. As a freshman in 2005, he set the school record with 15 sacrifice bunts. Chalk was a big reason Clemson shattered the school record for sacrifice bunts in a season with 62. He also had a team-high 10 bunt singles.
In 2006, he had 10 bunt singles and 21 sacrifice bunts, as he broke the Tiger single-season record for sacrifice bunts that he set as a freshman. That gives him 20 career bunt singles and 36 career sacrifice bunts. Chalk also broke the Clemson career record with his 26th sacrifice bunt against Maryland on April 7, 2006.
Chalk It Up
Brad Chalk hit .353 with a team-best .467 on-base percentage thanks to 41 walks and 11 hit-by-pitches compared to only 21 strikeouts in 2006. His defense was also a plus, as Baseball America said in the preseason that he has the ACC's best outfield arm.
Chalk Will Enter 2007 on a 16-Game Hit Streak
Brad Chalk ended his sophomore season on a 16-game hitting streak and will carry that over into the 2007 season. During the streak, he is hitting .419 with a .538 on-base percentage. In the game before the streak started against College of Charleston, he went hitless, but still reached base via a walk. And since he had a 10-game hitting streak entering the game against the Cougars, he has hit safely in 26 of the last 27 games. He also has reached base safely via a hit or walk in each of the last 27 games.
Storrer Finished Above .300
Senior outfielder Travis Storrer (Mount Vernon, WA) hit .376 (35-for-93) with nine doubles, a triple, eight homers, and 34 RBIs in his last 30 games. He also walked 15 times and was hit four times, meaning he had a .470 on-base percentage in that stretch.
Overall, the co-captain hit .321 with nine homers, 45 RBIs, and a .417 on-base percentage thanks to 25 walks against only 24 strikeouts in 2006. He showed an accurate arm from his starting right-field position, as evidenced by his six outfield assists in 2006 after totaling eight in 2005.
He missed the entire postseason due to a sprained foot. He was on the 25-man roster for the super regional and College World Series, but did not play in the postseason.
Casanova Shined in Hometown
Senior catcher Adrian Casanova (Miami, FL) knew he would get at least one chance to play in front of a hometown crowd when he decided to transfer from Florida International prior to the 2005 season. That one opportunity came at #11 Miami from March 31 to April 2 at Mark Light Field. He did not disappoint, as Clemson swept the Hurricanes, thanks in part to the effort of the Tiger backstop.
On March 31, he hit a key two-run homer to help the Tigers to an 8-6 win. Then in the series-finale on April 2, he was 2-for-4 with a three-run home run and four RBIs in Clemson's 14-1 victory. Casanova, who entered the series with just one homer and eight RBIs on the season, hit two long balls with six RBIs during the series in front of dozens of family and friends.
Casanova at His Best Against the ACC
Adrian Casanova, the #9 batter in the Tiger lineup, hit .308 in ACC regular-season games in 2006. In 30 conference games, he also had seven doubles, two homers, and 19 RBIs. In all games in 2006, he hit .249. He went 6-for-9 in three games at Duke in May 8,9.
Perhaps his biggest hit of the 2006 season came against #13 Florida State on May 13. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Tigers trailing 3-2, he singled up the middle to plate the tying run. Clemson went on to win 4-3 in 10 innings.
The Miami, FL native's average rose with the temperature for the second-straight year in 2006. He hit .238 overall in 2005, but .316 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 30 ACC regular-season games. Therefore in 60 career starts in ACC regular-season games, he batted .312.
Smith Left Marq at Third Base
Junior Marquez Smith (Ocala, FL) cemented himself as the everyday third-baseman in the second half of 2006. He spent the first half of the season as the starting designated hitter, but his .951 fielding percentage (only five errors) overall led Head Coach Jack Leggett to pencil him in to the starting lineup as the everyday starting third-baseman. He also had a .939 fielding percentage (five errors in 82 chances) while playing third base, as he also saw time at shortstop and second base. At the plate, he hit .291 with 20 doubles, a triple, 10 homers, and 48 RBIs.
After becoming the everyday starter at third base against Winthrop on April 18, he was 38-for-120 (.317) with 34 runs scored, 13 doubles, a triple, six homers, and 30 RBIs. When playing third base in 2006, he batted .336 with a .434 on-base percentage and .633 slugging percentage.
He had a tremendous day in a doubleheader at Duke on May 8. In the first game, he hit two doubles and the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning to break a 4-4 tie. Clemson went on to win 7-4. He added a double in the second game, meaning he was 5-for-9 with three doubles, a homer, and three RBIs on the afternoon (two games).
The following weekend against #13 Florida State, he was 5-for-11 (.455) with six runs scored, three doubles, a homer, and seven RBIs. In the first game of the series, he went 3-for-3 with a school-record-tying three doubles. Therefore in six games during that week, which included three-game series against Duke and Florida State, he was 11-for-25 (.440) with 11 runs scored, six doubles, two homers, and 10 RBIs.
Smith National & Co-ACC Player-of-the-Week
Marquez Smith was named one of five national players-of-the-week by Collegiate Baseball and Co-ACC Player-of-the-Week on May 1. In four games from April 26-30, he hit four home runs with seven RBIs and did not commit an error in 12 chances at third base to lead the Tigers to a 4-0 record. He had two multi-homer games, including two solo shots against Wofford on April 26 and two homers with five RBIs against Virginia Tech on April 29. The five RBIs were three more than his previous career-high total of two.
Another Tiger D.J.
The initials "D.J." are synonymous with a national championship at Clemson. Tiger golfer and current PGA Tour player D.J. Trahan led the Clemson golf team to the National Championship in 2003.
While he has not had near the career on the baseball diamond as Trahan had on the golf course, Clemson outfielder D.J. Mitchell certainly had a strong impact on Clemson's ACC Championship run in 2006. Mitchell took over for starting outfielder Travis Storrer, who suffered an injury in the final regular-season game against Wake Forest.
Mitchell had started just six games entering the ACC Tournament and had compiled a respectable .267 batting average with 12 total hits and four RBIs. But Mitchell responded when he was put into the starting lineup and hit .421 for the ACC Tournament with a team-tying-high five RBIs and five runs scored. Thus, he had more RBIs in the tournament (5) than he had had all year (4), and had eight hits after recording just 12 total in the regular season. Mitchell was rewarded with a berth on the All-ACC Tournament team.
Against #14 Oral Roberts in game one of the Super Regional on June 9, he came up big again. He had three run-scoring singles to help the Tigers to a dramatic 11-8 win on Tyler Colvin's walkoff grand slam.
On the season, Mitchell hit .289 with 12 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 51 games (19 starts). He hit .357 with runners in scoring position as well.
Jason Berken made his first appearance on the mound in 632 days when he started the opening game of the 2006 season in the first game of a doubleheader against James Madison on February 17. The De Pere, WI native suffered an arm injury that required "Tommy John" surgery in 2004, causing him to miss the entire 2005 season. He was slated to be the Friday starter in 2005.
In 18 starts during the 2006 season, he was 9-3 with a 3.22 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 81.0 innings pitched. Berken was effective at home as well. He was 6-0 with a 2.01 ERA in 10 starts at home. He also allowed just two extra-base hits in 44.2 innings pitched in the friendly confines.
In his three active seasons, the team co-captain had an 18-6 record and 3.04 ERA in 36 starts and 11 relief appearances for a total of 186.2 innings pitched. He also allowed just a .245 opponents' batting average and nine home runs.
Graduate righthander Josh Cribb (Lake View, SC) exhibited excellent control as both a starter and reliever in his time at Clemson. In perhaps his best outing of 2006 against #25 Kansas on March 10, he was masterful. He pitched 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit to earn the win in Clemson's 7-2 victory. He did not allow a baserunner past first base and retired 14 straight batters at one point against a team that entered the game on an eight-game winning streak and went on to win the Big 12 Tournament title.
In 15 starts and one relief appearance in 2006, he was 9-0 with a 3.09 ERA along with allowing just 70 hits and 26 walks with 83 strikeouts. He earned ACC Pitcher-of-the-Week honors after hurling a complete-game six-hitter in Clemson's 3-1 win over Maryland on April 7. He allowed one run, six hits, and no walks with nine strikeouts in his fourth career complete game. It was also Cribb's third ACC weekly honor, as he won the award twice in 2005.
In four seasons with the Tiger program, he made 32 starts and 36 relief appearances for a total of 282.1 innings pitched. He had a 3.47 career ERA and allowed just 71 walks while striking out 257. His 2.26 walks per nine innings pitched mark was sixth-best in school history, while his 3.62 strikeout-to-walk ratio was second-best in school history.
Cribb on ACC Academic Honor Roll Five Times
Josh Cribb became the first Tiger in history to make the ACC Academic Honor Roll five times. Prior to 2006, he was one of seven Tigers in history to make the ACC Academic Honor Roll four times, but since he red-shirted in 2002 and played in his fifth season on campus in 2006, he was able to make the list five times. To make the ACC Academic Honor Roll, a player must have a 3.0 GPA or higher for the school year. Therefore, he did that in all five years in college. Cribb graduated in May of 2006 with a degree in PRTM.
Graduate righthander Josh Cribb was a perfect 9-0 in 15 starts and one relief appearance in 2006. Only three other Tiger pitchers in history won more games without a loss in a single season. Cribb also won 15 of his last 16 decisions as a Tiger.
>Cribb Duplicated Perfect Senior Year
Senior years are special for Clemson righthander Josh Cribb. As a senior at Lake View (SC) High School, Cribb posted a perfect 13-0 record with 182 strikeouts in just 93.0 innings pitched. What was most incredible was his 0.00 ERA, the only pitcher in the state to do that in 2001.
In 2006, Cribb was again perfect with a 9-0 record, the only ACC starter with a perfect record (minimum of nine decisions). He did not have an 0.00 ERA, but he still had a strong 3.09 figure.
Cribb was especially effective at home and against top-25 teams. He was 8-0 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in 2006 with a 2.38 ERA. He was also 4-0 against top-25 teams in 2006.
Faris Continued 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 toughness and excellent control in 97.0 innings pitched during 10 starts and 10 relief appearances.
The 2006 season saw much of the same of the junior. In 18 starts, he was 9-3 with a 2.36 ERA in a team-high 103.0 innings pitched. Faris allowed just 77 hits (.209 opponents' batting average) and 20 walks with 86 strikeouts, good for a 4.3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His excellent control and command of all his pitches enabled him to be in the top 10 in several Clemson career records.
His best game of 2006 came against #12 N.C. State on March 26. Against a team that entered the series hitting .367 and averaging over 10 runs per contest, he limited the potent Wolfpack offense to four hits in 8.0 scoreless innings in Clemson's 6-2 victory. He also did not walk a batter and struck out five. He also faced the minimum 18 batters in 6.0 scoreless innings of two-hit ball to earn the win against #22 Wake Forest on May 18.
In his career, he had a 3.24 ERA in 242.0 innings pitched, and struck out 189 against 56 walks, good for a 3.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That mark is fourth-best in school history, while his 2.08 walks per nine innings pitched mark is second-best in Tiger history.
Faris Faired Well at the End of the Season
When #10 Georgia Tech and Boston College pounded Stephen Faris in April to the tune of nine runs in 2.1 combined innings pitched, Head Coach Jack Leggett gave the junior righthander a start the following Wednesday in a non-conference game against Wofford. He responded by pitched 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing five hits and no walks with eight strikeouts to earn the win. He did not pitch against Virginia Tech that weekend, but a week later, he was inserted back into the weekend rotation. After that, he was outstanding.
Including the start against Wofford and his seven starts to finish the season, he was 5-1 with a 1.46 ERA and .180 opponents' batting average. In 49.1 innings pitched, he allowed just 31 hits, including only seven extra-base hits, and eight walks with 42 strikeouts.
Sophomore righthander P.J. Zocchi (Bronx, NY) started both of Clemson's games against College of Charleston in 2006. His results were near perfect. He earned victories in both games. In the first start in Mount Pleasant on March 3, he allowed just five hits, no runs, and two walks with four strikeouts in Clemson's 6-0 win. Then at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on May 16, he pitched 8.2 innings, allowing only five hits, no runs, and one walk with eight strikeouts. Therefore in two starts against the Cougars, he was 2-0 in 14.2 innings pitched, and allowed 10 hits, no runs, and three walks with 12 strikeouts.
He then started and ended Clemson's run to an ACC Tournament title. In the Tigers' opener against Wake Forest, he started and pitched 6.0 innings, allowing only four hits, one run, and one walk with three strikeouts. Then in the championship game against #25 N.C. State, he came in with the tying run on deck and struck out Ramon Corona on three pitches to record the game's final out and his first career save.
In 2006, he was 6-0 with a 2.81 ERA. He also had 66 strikeouts in 67.1 innings pitched. In his last seven appearances of the season, which included two starts, he pitched 30.1 innings, allowing 24 hits (.224 opponents' batting average), four runs (1.19 ERA), and seven walks with 26 strikeouts along with a 3-0 record and a save.
Clark An Unlikely Hero
Graduate righthander Sean Clark was not on the top of the list of candidates to make All-ACC Tournament when the league baseball event began on May 24. The righthander from Los Angeles, CA had pitched in just seven games and for 10.1 innings all season, and had not had a decision prior to the tournament.
He red-shirted in 2005 due to injury, so that was it for his career numbers. And, he had never pitched a game on the road in his career. In fact, the only reason he made the trip to Jacksonville, FL for the ACC Tournament was an injury to outfielder Travis Storrer. That freed up a roster spot, and Clark got on the bus.
Clark did not pitch in the first four games of the ACC Tournament and had appeared in just two games in the last two months, one-inning appearances against Wofford and Wake Forest. But Clark was handed the ball as the starter for the ACC Championship game on May 28, an assignment he learned of when he got on the bus to come to the ballpark on Sunday morning.
Clark responded with a memorable performance in the nationally-televised game against #25 N.C. State, the ACC's best hitting team with a .337 batting average entering the game. He pitched 8.0 innings, allowed just four hits, struck out five, and walked just one against the Wolfpack.
Clark had a three-hit shutout through eight innings, then allowed a hit to the leadoff batter in the ninth. That brought out Head Coach Jack Leggett, who came to mound and hugged Clark before he took him out, perhaps an unprecedented show of appreciation by the 13-year Clemson mentor.
Clemson held on for the 8-4 victory over the Wolfpack and the ACC Championship, the first for the Tiger program since 1994. Clark had never pitched more than three innings in his college career prior to the game. In fact, he had just the 10.1 innings of experience prior to his eight innings in the game. For his performance, Clark was named to the All-ACC Tournament team, one of six Tigers honored and the only pitcher chosen to the team.
He then followed up that performance with another memorable outing against UNC Asheville in the Tigers' opener in the Clemson Regional. In a game that saw only one-half inning be completed on June 2 due to inclement weather, he relieved Jason Berken on June 3 and pitched the final 8.0 innings to record the win. Clark allowed just three hits, no runs, and two walks with six strikeouts. He earned All-Tournament honors as one of just two pitchers.
Then in the Clemson Super Regional against #14 Oral Roberts on June 10, he relieved Stephen Faris is the third inning with the Tigers trailing 4-0 and kept Clemson in the game. In 3.2 innings pitched, he allowed three hits, one run, and one walk with six strikeouts. Clemson rallied back for a thrilling 6-5 win. Even though he did not factor in the decision, his performance was crucial in the Tigers' win that clinched Clemson's 11th trip to the College World Series.
Clark threw the first pitch of the College World Series when he started against #4 Georgia Tech on June 16. He pitched 6.0 innings, allowing seven hits, four runs, and two walks with three strikeouts against one of the nation's best hitting teams. He also allowed three runs in the first inning, therefore was stellar in his final five innings. The Tigers went on to win 8-4 thanks in part to Clark's performance.
In 2006, Clark had a 2.50 ERA along with a 2-0 record in 36.0 innings pitched over 11 appearances (two starts). He also had a .209 opponents' batting average, and only allowed 28 hits and 10 walks with 30 strikeouts.
What made this even a better story was the fact that he had already lined up interviews for a job in the financial field in the Greenville, SC area, thinking that he would not be on the 25-man postseason roster, and most likely would not have been if not for Storrer's injury. But he put those interviews on hold. Even though he graduated, he has a year of eligibility remaining. So after planning on 2006 being his final season as a collegiate baseball player, the new fan-favorite has a decision to make for 2007.
Moskos the Leading Lefty
Sophomore Daniel Moskos (Alta Loma, CA) stepped up to become the team's top lefthander in 2006. After struggling as a freshman in 2005, the hard thrower appeared in a team-high 33 games and had a 2.52 ERA in 53.2 innings pitched in 2006. The 33 appearances tied for the most, while his 33 relief appearances also tied for the most in a season in school history.
Moskos held opponents to a .238 batting average and had 10 saves, tied for third-most in a season in Tiger history. Moskos also inherited 32 baserunners, and allowed only nine of them to score.
Moskos Received Bob Bradley Award
Sophomore lefthander Daniel Moskos won the 2006 Bob Bradley Award for being the Tiger MVP of the four-game series with South Carolina, as Clemson won the regular-season series 3-1. He became the first hurler to win the award in the sixth year of its existence. In two relief appearances against the top-10 Gamecocks, he pitched 8.0 innings, allowing just two hits and one run.
One of his best games of 2006 came at #1 South Carolina on April 5. He entered the game with the score tied in the sixth inning, and promptly faced the minimum 10 batters over the next 3.1 innings to pick the win in Clemson's 3-2 victory in Columbia. He did not allow a hit or run against the nation's top-ranked team.
Future ACC Tournament Sites
On May 17, the Atlantic Coast Conference released the future sites for ACC Tournaments from 2007-09. The 2007 and 2008 tournaments will be played at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville (FL), where the tourney was played in 2005 and 2006. In 2009, the ACC Tournament will be held in Boston, MA at historic Fenway Park.
Four Former Tigers in the Majors in 2006
Clemson has four former players in the Major Leagues in 2006. Three were All-Americans at Clemson, including two who were the consensus college player-of-the-year their final seasons.
Khalil Greene is in his third season as the regular shortstop of the San Diego Padres. Greene batted .250 in 121 games last season with a career-high 15 home runs and a career-high 70 RBIs. The home run total was a franchise record for a shortstop. Greene got the 2006 season off to a great start with a home run on opening Day.
Greene led Clemson to the College World Series in 2002 and a school-record-best third-place finish when he was the consensus national player-of-the-year. He was a unanimous All-American and ACC Player-of-the-Year, as he led the nation in hits, runs scored, total bases, and doubles. He batted an incredible .470 for the season with 27 home runs and 91 RBIs.
Kris Benson opened the 2006 season in the starting rotation with the Baltimore Orioles. It is his third Major League club since he broke into the Majors in 1999 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The #1 draft choice of the entire college draft by Pittsburgh in 1996, Benson had a 10-8 record with the New York Mets last year when he had a 4.13 ERA. He also had a career-high 12 victories in 2004.
Benson was the national player-of-the-year in 1996, the first Tiger baseball player in history to win a national player-of-the-year award, and the second Clemson athlete in any sport to win national player-of-the-year honors. Benson had a 14-2 record as a junior in 1996, and had a 2.02 ERA and an incredible 204/27 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Matthew LeCroy, a native of nearby Belton, SC, is in his seventh year in the Major Leagues, including his first year with the Washington Nationals. He spent his first six years with the Minnesota Twins and hit 58 home runs, including a season-high 17 home runs in 2003 and 2005. His 58 career home runs are third in the Major Leagues among all former Tigers.
LeCroy teamed with Benson to help the Tigers to the College World Series in 1995 and 1996. He was Clemson's first ever rookie-of-the-year in baseball in 1995 when he hit 15 home runs to set a Tiger record for a freshman. LeCroy hit 53 home runs in his career, third on Clemson's career list. His 208 RBIs are currently seventh on the Tiger career list as well.
Mike Holtz became the fourth former Tiger in the Majors in 2006 when he was called up by the Boston Red Sox in May. The lefthander had not pitched in the Majors since 2002 when he was with the San Diego Padres. He entered the season with a career record of 16-20, a 4.68 ERA, and three saves in 350 appearances. He also pitched for the Angels and Athletics.
Holtz pitched at Clemson from 1991-94, posting a career record of 19-5 with a 3.31 ERA. He was 6-1 with a 1.66 ERA as a relief pitcher on Jack Leggett's 1994 team that won 57 games. He also had 220 career strikeouts in 214.2 innings pitched and was a 17th-round draft pick of the Angels in the 1994 draft.
2006 Season Review Story
A #1 ranking, an ACC Championship, 50 wins, and a College World Series appearance are all accomplishments every Clemson baseball team strives to achieve. Accomplishing just one of these qualifies a team to be considered a "Hall of Fame" team, and its picture is placed on the wall inside the team locker room at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The 2006 Tigers accomplished all four.
Clemson set the school record for conference wins (24) and won the ACC Atlantic Division Championship as well as the ACC Tourney title. Clemson played host to a regional for the ninth time in the past 13 years, as the Tigers extended their streak of consecutive NCAA tournament appearances to 20, the third-longest streak in NCAA history.
Clemson swept through the regional in three games, defeating UNC Asheville, Elon, and Mississippi State. The Tigers then hosted Oral Roberts in the Super Regional and swept the Golden Eagles in two games to advance to the College World Series for the 11th time. Clemson defeated Georgia Tech in the opener 8-4 before falling to North Carolina and Cal State Fullerton in narrow defeats.
Clemson played one of the most rigorous schedules in the country, which included 41 of its 69 games (29-12 record) against NCAA Tournament teams. Clemson also posted a 26-9 record against top-25 ranked teams, eclipsing the previous Tiger record of 19 top-25 wins in a season.
The ACC proved to be one of the toughest conferences in America, evidenced by half of the College World Series field being made up of ACC teams. It was only the third time in history that four teams from one conference advanced to the College World Series, as Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), and North Carolina all joined the Tigers in Omaha.
The Tiger pitching staff finished the season with a 3.26 team ERA (sixth-best in the nation), as opponents hit only .245 against Clemson. The weekend starting rotation of Stephen Faris, Josh Cribb, and Jason Berken combined to go 27-6 with a 2.85 ERA. The three combined to go 21-0 at home as well.
Cribb finished the season with a 9-0 record and 3.09 ERA. The righthander struck out 83 in 87.1 innings pitched and had a .222 opponents' batting average. Faris led the team in ERA with a mark of 2.36 and finished with a 9-3 record. Faris had a .209 opponents' batting average and walked only 20 in 103.0 innings pitched. Berken finished with a 9-3 record and 3.22 ERA as well.
Daniel Moskos recorded 10 saves out of the bullpen. The lefthander struck out 54 in 53.2 innings pitched and had a 2.52 ERA. Freshman Ryan Hinson was another lefthander the Tigers counted on out of the bullpen, finishing the season with a 4-0 record with one save and a 3.82 ERA.
P.J. Zocchi made 18 appearances, including seven starts. The sophomore righthander was 6-0 with a 2.81 ERA and struck out 66 in 67.1 innings pitched. He was one of the team's best pitchers in the postseason, as he started and finished on the mound in Clemson's run to the ACC Tournament title.
Sean Clark emerged as one of Clemson's go-to guys late in the season. The righthander was the winning pitcher in the ACC Championship game as well as Clemson's first game in the NCAA Tournament. Clark, who made both all-tourney teams for the ACC Tournament and Clemson Regional, was the starting pitcher in the first game of the College World Series and finished with a 2-0 record, 2.50 ERA, and .209 opponents' batting average in 36.0 innings pitched.
David Kopp was also a reliable pitcher out of the bullpen and as a midweek starter, finishing the year with a 6-2 record and 4.32 ERA.
The Tigers had a .303 batting average and .380 on-base percentage. Clemson smashed 80 homers, 20 triples, and 143 doubles, good for a .480 slugging percentage. The Tigers also set a school record with a .972 fielding percentage.
Clemson's running game picked up as well in 2006. The team stole 107 bases in 129 attempts, led by Colvin's 23. Chalk swiped 18 bases in 19 attempts, while Widmann was a perfect 15-15.
Clemson returned eight position players from a team that went 43-23 and finished one victory away from a trip to Omaha. Outfielders Tyler Colvin, Brad Chalk, and Travis Storrer all started for the Tigers in 2005 and returned to lead a potent hitting attack in 2006. Infielders Herman Demmink, Stan Widmann, Taylor Harbin, and Andy D'Alessio also all returned as starters. Adrian Casanova performed the catching duties for the second straight season as well.
Colvin led Clemson offensively with a .356 batting average along with 13 homers and 70 RBIs. The junior hit safely in 27 of the last 28 games, including a 26-game hitting streak that ended against North Carolina in Omaha. Four other Tigers hit .307 or better, as Chalk finished at .353, Harbin .319, D'Alessio .312, and Widmann .307. Demmink hit .296 and newcomer Marquez Smith batted .291.
D'Alessio hit 23 homers with 85 RBIs and finished the season with a .648 slugging percentage. He led the nation in RBIs and tied for second in home runs. Twelve of his 23 home runs came in multi-homer games, as his six two-homer games were most in Tiger history. He was also named national player-of-the-week twice during the season.
Smith was the third Tiger to reach double-digits in homers, as he had 10 with 48 RBIs and shored up the infield at third base with stellar defense during the second half of the year. Storrer missed the final 13 games due to injury, but hit .321 with nine homers and 45 RBIs in 52 games. He was replaced in the postseason by freshman D.J. Mitchell, who filled in nicely, hitting .289 with eight stolen bases.
Chalk continued to find a way to get on base, as he had a team-best .467 on-base percentage thanks to 41 walks and only 21 strikeouts. For the second straight season, he set the school record for sacrifice bunts in a season, this time with 21, second-most in the nation.
Both Colvin and D'Alessio were first-team All-Americans by NCBWA, while Cribb was a second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Cribb and D'Alessio were both First-Team All-ACC picks, and Colvin and Berken made the second team. Jack Leggett also received ACC Coach-of-the-Year honors for the third time in 13 seasons at Clemson.
The talent showed during the Major League draft when a school-record 10 players were taken, second-most in the nation. Seven Tigers were taken within the first 15 rounds, including Colvin in the first round with the #13 overall selection by the Chicago Cubs. It tied for the third-highest Tiger baseball draft pick in school history.
Before the Tigers played a game, they found themselves ranked #1 by Baseball America after opening as high as #2 in the preseason polls. Clemson started the year with a three-game sweep of James Madison by a combined score of 17-2. The Tigers swept a doubleheader on opening day by scores of 8-1 and 3-0. Clemson won the final game of the first weekend 6-1.
Mercer visited Doug Kingsmore Stadium the following weekend, and the Tigers won two of three games. Clemson won the opener 5-1 before dropping their first game of the season 3-2. The Tigers rebounded to win the Sunday game 9-4.
The Tigers hit the road for the first time the following weekend, playing single games at College of Charleston and South Carolina. Clemson shut out the Cougars 6-0, but lost to the #9 Gamecocks 6-2. The Tigers and Gamecocks met the following day in Clemson, as the Tigers evened the season series with a 6-4 win.
Clemson defeated William & Mary in a midweek game before hosting #25 Kansas for a three-game series. The Tigers posted a 7-2 win in the Friday opener before dropping a 6-5 decision in the second game. Clemson claimed the series with a 4-3 win over the Jayhawks, as three Tiger pitchers allowed only four hits in the Sunday game.
After a 10-5 win over Gardner-Webb, Clemson traveled to Virginia to open ACC play. The Tigers took an early 1-0 lead in the opener, but could not score again, as Virginia scored in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Clemson 2-1. The Cavaliers broke open a 1-1 game on Saturday with a nine-run sixth inning and cruised to a 10-2 win. Clemson took a 4-1 lead into the sixth of the series-finale, but Virginia rallied for six runs over the next three innings and completed the sweep with a 7-4 win.
Clemson returned home with an 11-6 record, but swept Elon in a midweek series by scores of 5-3 and 7-4 to begin a five-game winning streak. D'Alessio homered in each game to lead the Tigers.
The Tigers played host to #12 N.C. State for their first home ACC series of the year. In game one, D'Alessio homered for the third straight game, as he hit a first-inning grand slam. Clemson jumped out to a 9-0 lead and held on for a 9-5 win. In the Saturday game, the Tigers scored four fourth-inning runs, and Berken and Moskos limited the Wolfpack to two runs on six hits, as Clemson won 4-2. The Tigers completed the sweep in the series-finale with a 6-2 win, led by Colvin's three hits and 8.0 shutout innings from Faris.
Clemson traveled to Athens to take on #19 Georgia on March 28 and dropped a 12-11 decision in 10 innings. The Tigers hit four home runs, two by D'Alessio and one each by Colvin and Smith, but Clemson could not hold off Georgia. The two teams met the following night in Clemson, as the Tigers scored six runs in the first two innings and defeated the Bulldogs 10-7. Five different Tigers had multi-hit games, as Clemson totaled 13 hits on the night.
The Tigers then traveled to Miami to take on the #11 Hurricanes in a three-game conference series. In the Friday game, Casanova and Harbin each hit two-run homers in the fourth inning, and Moskos pitched 2.0 scoreless innings in the eight and ninth, as Clemson won 8-6. The Tigers took game two by a score of 6-2. D'Alessio belted two home runs, and Berken allowed two unearned runs on four hits in 6.2 innings pitched. Clemson completed the sweep of Miami with a 14-1 runaway victory, as the Tigers scored eight runs in the first and five runs in the fifth, and Faris pitched 6.0 innings, allowing one run and three hits. It was Clemson's seventh straight win over the Hurricanes.
Western Carolina upset the #7 Tigers 8-6 in a Tuesday game, as the season reached its halfway mark with Clemson sporting a 20-8 record.
The Tigers traveled to Columbia, SC for the third game of the series with South Carolina, as the Gamecocks entered the game with a #1 national ranking. Chalk's two-out, run-scoring single in the seventh inning gave Clemson a 3-2 lead, and Moskos pitched the final 3.1 innings without allowing a hit, as the Tigers held on for a 3-2 victory.
Maryland visited Clemson for a three-game series from April 7-9. Cribb pitched a complete game, allowing one run on six hits to lead the Tigers to a 3-1 win in game one. Storrer lifted a game-winning sacrifice fly to left field in the bottom of the 11th in game two, as Clemson won 3-2 after the Terrapins tied the score with a run in the ninth. In the series-finale, the Tigers jumped out to a 15-5 lead after six innings and completed the sweep with a 15-7 win.
The Tigers traveled to Cullowhee, NC on April 11 and defeated Western Carolina 8-3. Clemson and South Carolina concluded their season series the following night, as every Tiger starter had at least one hit. Clemson jumped out to a 10-1 lead after six innings and held on for a 10-5 win to take the season series 3-1. Moskos received the Bob Bradley Award as Clemson's MVP in the four-game series with the Gamecocks.
The Tigers then traveled to Atlanta, GA for a three-game series with #10 Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets erased a 6-0 deficit and tied the score in the sixth inning in game one, but Casanova hit a two-out, run-scoring double in the eighth to lift Clemson to a 7-6 win. Georgia Tech exploded offensively over the next two games to take the series, winning game two 12-3 and game three 22-4.
Winthrop visited Clemson on April 18 and upset the #6 Tigers 6-3 behind 8.0 solid innings from ace Alex Wilson. The Tiger losing streak hit four games the following night when Clemson dropped a 5-4 decision to Furman after taking a 4-1 lead into the seventh inning.
Clemson got back to its winning ways in Chestnut Hill, MA with a 6-3 win over Boston College in game one of the series. Cribb allowed only two earned runs in 7.0 innings pitched, and Smith had two RBIs in the Tiger win. The final two games of the series were part of a Saturday doubleheader, as the Eagles won the first game 3-2. Clemson picked up the series win with a 4-1 victory over Boston College in the series-finale, as Berken and Hinson limited the Eagles to one run on six hits.
Clemson played host to Wofford in a midweek game on April 26 and defeated the Terriers 10-1 behind three hits and three RBIs from Colvin.
The Tigers opened a three-game series against Virginia Tech with an 11-2 win, as Clemson scored 10 runs in the first five innings. In the seventh inning, pinch-hitter Tanner Leggett hit a solo homer, the first of his career. Smith hit two homers and had five RBIs in game two, as the Tigers broke open a 5-4 game with a six-run seventh and won 11-4. Clemson completed the sweep with a 7-3 win, as Kopp allowed only two runs in 6.0 innings pitched.
After a week off for final exams, Clemson swept both games of a doubleheader at Duke by scores of 7-4 and 14-0. The Tigers completed the three-game sweep the following day with an 8-2 over the Blue Devils, as D'Alessio belted two home runs, giving him three homers in the series.
The Tigers returned home to welcome #13 Florida State for a three-game series. Smith tied a Clemson record with three doubles in the Tigers' 9-1 victory. Colvin singled home Smith in the bottom of the 10th in game two to give Clemson a 4-3 come-from-behind win. The Tigers tied the score with two outs in the ninth inning on a run-scoring single up the middle by Casanova. Clemson completed the sweep with an 11-2 win in the Sunday finale, blasting three home runs against a Seminole pitching staff that entered the series fifth in the nation in ERA.
The #21 College of Charleston Cougars visited Clemson for a midweek game, and Zocchi pitched 8.2 scoreless innings in Clemson's 1-0 win.
The Tigers hosted Wake Forest in the final regular-season series of the year. Clemson totaled 25 hits, including seven home runs, in a 26-1 rout of the Demon Deacons in the series opener. It was the most runs scored by Clemson since 1979. The Tigers defeated Wake Forest 6-0 in game two behind 7.0 scoreless innings pitched from Cribb, as Clemson clinched the ACC regular-season title for the first time since 1995. The Tigers defeated the Demon Deacons 7-3 in the regular-season finale for both teams, as Clemson ended the regular season with a 43-13 overall record and 24-6 record in ACC play. The 24 conference wins eclipsed the former school record of 22 wins set by the 2005 team.
Clemson and Wake Forest met again in the first round of the ACC Tourney in Jacksonville, FL. Smith and Harbin each had three hits apiece as, the Tigers won 13-1. In the second round against Georgia Tech, pinch-hitter Ben Hall hit a walkoff single in the ninth to score Harbin and give the Tigers a 3-2 win, as Clemson advanced to the bracket final.
The Yellow Jackets beat Clemson 8-7 in 10 innings in the third round to end the Tigers' 17-game winning streak and force a third game between the two in as many days. The 17-game winning streak tied for the fourth-longest in school history and was the longest since 1995. Clemson scored 10 runs in the ninth inning of the nightcap to break a 6-6 tie and held on to defeat Georgia Tech 16-11 and advance to the ACC Championship game. Demmink hit a double and a home run in the 10-run ninth.
In the title game, Clark pitched 8.0 innings and allowed only four hits to lead Clemson to an 8-4 win over N.C. State and give the Tigers the ACC Tournament Championship. It was the first start of Clark's career, as the righthander allowed just one run and struck out five. He learned the morning of the game that he would make the surprise start. Clemson won its first ACC Tournament title since 1994 and ninth overall. Colvin was named tourney MVP.
Clemson was tabbed as the #1 national seed entering the NCAA Tourney, and the Tigers were one of 16 NCAA Regional hosts. It marked Clemson's 20th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, a streak that is third-longest in NCAA history.
In the first game of the regional against UNC Asheville, Clark pitched 8.0 scoreless innings and allowed only three hits, as Clemson won 3-0 in a game that started on June 2, but was suspended in the first inning due to inclement weather, and completed on June 3.
In the winners' bracket game on the night of June 3, Harbin and D'Alessio hit back-to-back home runs twice, as Clemson defeated Elon 13-3. It was the first time in school history that the same pair of Tigers went deep back-to-back twice in the same game. Faris pitched 8.0 innings and allowed three runs on five hits to earn the victory.
In the championship game, the Tigers rallied from a 5-4 deficit to defeat Mississippi State 8-6 and capture the Clemson Regional Championship. Kopp picked up the win in relief, while Moskos faced the minimum in 2.2 innings pitched with three strikeouts to record the save. Harbin had two of Clemson's 11 hits, and was named the Clemson Regional MVP.
Clemson hosted Oral Roberts in the Clemson Super Regional, as the Tigers made their sixth Super Regional appearance in the eighth year of its existence. In game one, Colvin hit a walkoff grand slam in the ninth inning to lift Clemson to an 11-8 win on June 9. The Golden Eagles scored three runs in the ninth inning to take an 8-7 lead, but three straight singles with one out set up Colvin's dramatic homer. It was the first walkoff grand slam in school history and the second walkoff homer by a Tiger in an NCAA Tournament game.
In game two, Clemson rallied from a 4-0 deficit, capped by a three-run eighth inning, to defeat Oral Roberts 6-5 to win the Clemson Super Regional and clinch the Tigers' 11th trip to Omaha. Harbin hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, and Widmann hit a two-out, two-run single to give Clemson its first lead of the game in the eighth inning. Kopp pitched the final 2.2 innings to earn the win.
Clemson and Georgia Tech met for the seventh time in 2006, as the two conference foes met in game one of the College World Series. The Tigers exploded for eight runs in the eighth inning to turn a 4-0 deficit into an 8-4 lead. The rally was highlighted by D'Alessio's three-run homer that gave Clemson a 6-4 lead. Moskos pitched a perfect ninth inning, and Clemson moved into the winner's bracket.
The Tigers met ACC Coastal Division Champion North Carolina for the first time in 2006 in a winners' bracket game. The Tar Heels blanked Clemson 2-0 despite a complete game by Faris. It was the first time in 130 games that the Tigers were shut out. Clemson then faced Cal State Fullerton in an elimination game, and fell to the Titans 7-6 despite having the tying-run on second base with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Clemson finished the season with a 53-16 record and #5 national ranking in all three major polls. The Tigers were especially tough at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, where they sported a 36-5 overall record and 15-0 mark against ACC teams. Clemson also ended the season with nation's longest home winning streak at 16 games.
For the third year in a row, Clemson set a home attendance record. Clemson averaged 4,742 fans in 39 home dates, well above the previous record of 4,049 fans per game in 2005.