Tigers Begin ACC Play

Clemson (11-4, 0-0 ACC), ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation, will open its ACC schedule when it plays host to Duke (17-4, 0-3 ACC) this weekend in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Game times are 7:15 PM (Friday), 4:00 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday). All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. The first two games will be shown live via webcast at ACCSelect.com.

The Series
Clemson and Duke have met 172 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 111-60-1 lead in the series dating back to the 1904 season. Last year at Durham, the Tigers won all three games by scores of 7-4, 14-0, and 8-2. Two years ago in Clemson, the Tigers also swept Duke, and they have won seven games in a row in the series.

The Tigers hold a 56-23-1 lead over Duke all-time in games played at Clemson and are 37-5 in games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson also holds a 87-30-1 advantage in games played in the ACC regular season. Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 31-10 against Duke as Clemson's head coach, including a 15-3 record at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Starting Pitchers
In game-one, Duke will senior righthander Tony Bajoczky (3-1, 1.47 ERA) on the mound. The Tallahassee, FL native has made five starts for a total of 30.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 15 hits (.144 opponents' batting average) and five walks with 22 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with junior righthander P.J. Zocchi (2-0, 2.70 ERA) on Friday. The Bronx, NY native has made four starts for a total of 20.0 innings pitched. He has yielded 19 hits (.247 opponents' batting average) and four walks with 16 strikeouts.

In game-two, the Blue Devils will send out freshman righty Michael Ness (3-0, 1.69 ERA) on the mound. The Chatham, NJ native has made one start and six relief appearances for a total of 26.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 21 hits (.221 opponents' batting average) and four walks with 20 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with sophomore lefty Ryan Hinson (0-0, 1.74 ERA) on Saturday. The Rock Hill, SC native has made four starts for a total of 20.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 22 hits (.278 opponents' batting average) and six walks with 18 strikeouts.

In game-three, Duke will start freshman righty Alexander Hassan (2-0, 2.18 ERA) on the mound. The Boston, MA native has made three starts and two relief appearances for a total of 20.2 innings pitched. He has yielded 17 hits (.224 opponents' batting average) and six walks with 12 strikeouts.

Clemson will counter with junior righthander Alan Farina (0-0, 3.48 ERA) on the mound. The Chuluota, FL native has made one start and three relief appearances for a total of 10.1 innings pitched. He has allowed six hits (.171 opponents' batting average) and five walks with 10 strikeouts.

The Blue Devils
Duke, led by second-year Head Coach Sean McNally, enters the weekend series with a 17-4 overall record and 0-3 mark in the ACC after winning two games over Fairleigh Dickinson on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Blue Devils, who are 0-1 on opponents' home fields this season, opened up their ACC schedule last weekend at home against Boston College. The Eagles won all three games. Prior to that series, the Blue Devils had started the season by winning 15 of their first 16 games.

Duke is averaging 8.2 runs per game and hitting .339 with a .418 on-base percentage. The team has also totaled 60 doubles, 18 sacrifice bunts, and 38 steals in 47 attempts.

Jimmy Gallagher leads the team with a .397 batting average and .530 on-base percentage thanks to 21 walks against only five strikeouts. Eight regulars are hitting at least .320 or better. Jonathan Anderson is hitting .382, while Gabriel Saade has a team-high three homers.

The pitching staff has a 3.21 ERA and .239 opponents' batting average. It has struck out 123 against 60 walks. Freshman righthander Michael Seander has an 0.84 ERA and team-high five saves, while Anderson has added three saves and an 0.64 ERA. The Blue Devils sport a .966 fielding percentage as well.

The Tigers
Clemson enters the series against Duke with an 11-4 overall record after downing Georgia Southern 3-0 on Wednesday at home. The Tigers, who will wrap up an eight-game homestand this weekend, are 11-3 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this season. Clemson also brings a #6 national ranking into the series.

The team is hitting .289 with a .372 on-base percentage. Brad Chalk is hitting a team-best .453 with a .552 on-base percentage. He has also reached base via a hit or walk in 42 straight games dating back to 2006. Doug Hogan is hitting .432 with four homers and eight RBIs, while Marquez Smith is batting .344 with three homers and a team-best 14 RBIs.

The pitching staff has a 2.95 ERA and .232 opponents' batting average. It has combined to strike out 125 against 45 walks. Daniel Moskos has a team-high three saves, while Stephen Clyne has gone 31 consecutive innings without allowing a run dating back to last year. The team is fielding at a .970 clip as well.

Worth Noting
* Clemson has held its opponents to 1-for-30 (.033) with runners on base in the last two games.

Tigers Tough to Beat at Home Under Leggett
In his 14 seasons, Head Coach Jack Leggett has a 619-263 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.

Lefties Lights Out
So far this season, Head Coach Jack Leggett has called upon four different lefthanders, including starter Ryan Hinson along with relievers Daniel Moskos, Matt Zoltak, and Chris Fidrych. Hinson has a 1.74 ERA in four starts, Moskos has a 2.77 ERA and three saves in nine relief appearances, and Zoltak and Fidrych have yet to allow a run. Therefore in a combined 41.1 innings pitched, they have allowed only 31 hits and eight earned runs (1.74 ERA) with 42 strikeouts.

Zocchi 9-0 in His Career on the Mound
Junior righthander P.J. Zocchi (Bronx, NY) is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA this season as one of the team's top weekend starters. In 20.0 innings pitched, he has allowed 19 hits (.247 opponents' batting average) and four walks with 16 strikeouts. Clemson is also 4-0 in the four games he has started in 2007. In his career, Zocchi has an umblemished 9-0 record in 14 starts and 15 relief appearances (100.1 innings pitched).

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