First pitch against the Catamounts is scheduled for 7:00 PM. The two teams will play another game at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Wednesday, March 28. Tuesday's game will be broadcast live on the radio by WCCP (104.9 FM) out of Clemson and can be heard live on the internet at WCCPFM.com.
Clemson and Western Carolina have met 58 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 48-10 lead in the series that dates back to the 1974 season. The two teams split the two meetings during the 2006 season, as each team won on the other team's home field. The Catamounts won 8-6 on April 4 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium to break the Tigers' 35-game home winning streak in the series, then Clemson was victorious 8-3 a week later in Cullowhee.
In 2005, the Tigers won both meetings, including 7-4 in a game that started in Cullowhee on April 12 and ended at Clemson a week later due to wet field conditions at Hennon Stadium. The two teams have played at least one game every year since 1978.
The Tigers lead 12-8 in games played at Western Carolina, but the Catamounts have won four of the last seven games in Cullowhee since the 1997 season. Jack Leggett has a 22-5 record against the Catamounts as Clemson's head coach, including a 5-4 record at Hennon Stadium. Leggett was the head coach at Western Carolina from 1983-91 and won 302 games in nine seasons there. He was also 3-15 against the Tigers as the Catamount's head coach.
The Starting Pitchers
Western Carolina will start sophomore lefty Drew Saberhagen (1-1, 1.27 ERA) on the mound Tuesday. The Calabassas, CA native has made four starts for a total of 28.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 31 hits (.282 opponents' batting average) and three walks with 10 strikeouts. Saberhagen transferred from Pepperdine and is the son of former Major League righthander Bret Saberhagen, who played for four different teams over 17 seasons from 1984-01 and had a career record of 167-117.
The Tigers will counter with junior righthander David Kopp (2-1, 3.91 ERA) on Tuesday. The Margate, FL native has made five starts for a total of 25.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 26 hits (.263 opponents' batting average) and 10 walks with 22 strikeouts.
Western Carolina, led by eighth-year Head Coach Todd Raleigh, enters Tuesday's game with a 13-7 overall record after sweeping Columbia over the weekend by a combined score of 41-26. The Catamounts also won at Georgia on March 13 by a score of 3-1 thanks to John Ingram's three-run homer in the ninth inning.
Ingram is one of several Catamounts that has ties to the Tiger program. The senior first-baseman will have the uneviable task of playing against his alma mater, as he received his undergraduate degree in marketing in December after being a member of Clemson's team for four seasons (2003-06). In 2007, Ingram is hitting .405 with seven doubles, five homers, and 29 RBIs in 20 games.
Righthander Brock Thornburg, who was a member of the Tiger squad in 2003 but never made an appearance on the mound, is 1-2 with an 8.68 ERA in 18.2 innings pitched this season.
Raleigh, who was a player at Western Carolina under Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett, has led his team to a 7-4 home record. Former Tiger infielder Bradley LeCroy (1997-00), who was a volunteer assistant coach at Clemson from 2003-05, is an assistant coach on this year's Western Carolina squad as well.
Western Carolina is hitting .340 as a team with a .428 on-base percentage thanks to 85 walks and 35 hit-by-pitches. The Catamounts have also hit 48 doubles and 29 homers, while averaging 8.6 runs per game. The team is fielding at a .956 clip as well.
Barrett Shaft leads the team with a .430 batting average. Kenny Smith is hitting .400 with nine homers and 31 RBIs, both team-highs, while Blake Murphy is batting .377 with a .494 on-base percentage.
The Catamount pitching staff has a 5.12 ERA and .316 opponents' batting average. Greg Holland has a team-high three saves along with a 2.45 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 14.2 innings pitched.
Clemson enters Tuesday's game against Western Carolina with a 14-4 overall record and 3-0 ACC mark after sweeping Duke over the weekend. The Tigers, who will begin a stretch of 12 road contests over the next 19 games, have won six games in a row and are 0-1 on the road this season. Clemson also brings a #6 national ranking into Tuesday's game.
The team is hitting .290 with a .372 on-base percentage. Brad Chalk is hitting a team-best .460 with a .568 on-base percentage. He has also reached base via a hit or walk in 45 straight games dating back to 2006. Doug Hogan is hitting .400 with four homers and nine RBIs, while Marquez Smith is batting .329 with four homers and a team-best 17 RBIs.
One of the hottest Tigers is freshman outfielder Addison Johnson, who has come alive since being moved down in the batting order. He was 7-for-14 in four games last week and has raised his batting average to .254 on the season. Johnson (Pfafftown) is one of six Tigers from the state of North Carolina. Wilson Boyd (Hickory), David Bunnell (Charlotte), Alex Martin (Charlotte), D.J. Mitchell (Rural Hall), and Josh Thrailkill (Arden) also hail from the Tar Heel State.
The pitching staff has a 2.96 ERA and .229 opponents' batting average. It has combined to strike out 151 against 54 walks. Daniel Moskos has a team-high five saves, while Stephen Clyne has gone 31.1 consecutive innings without allowing a run dating back to last year. The team is fielding at a .970 clip as well.
Clemson remained at the #6 spot in both the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball poll on Monday after going 4-0 in four games last week. Clemson also fell to #7 in the Sports Weekly poll.
The Tigers' #1 ranking by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball on February 12 was their first since February 27, 2006, when Clemson was ranked #1 by those same two polls. The Tigers have been ranked #1 for 20 weeks by at least one of the major polls in Head Coach Jack Leggett's 14th season at Clemson.
Leggett Has 999 Career Victories
Head Coach Jack Leggett, in his 14th season at Clemson and 28th overall, is only one win away from 1,000 in his career. He has a 999-553 overall record, including a 622-263 mark at Clemson. At the age of 53, Leggett can become one of the youngest coaches to reach 1,000 career wins.
Only 28 head coaches in Division I history have reached the 1,000-win mark. Nine active head coaches at the Division I level already have 1,000 career wins, including Wichita State's Gene Stephenson, who has an all-time best 1,568 career wins. Fellow ACC head coaches Mike Martin (Florida State) and Jim Morris (Miami (FL)) have also won over 1,000 career games.
Tigers Have Won 21 Straight ACC Home Games
Clemson has won 21 consecutive ACC regular-season games at home, the second-longest streak in school history. The Clemson record for the longest ACC home winning streak is 26, set between the 1975 and 1980 seasons.
The current 21-game streak started with a three-game sweep of Miami (FL) in 2005, then Clemson won all 15 of its ACC home games in 2006. So far in 2007, the Tigers are 3-0 at home thanks to a three-game sweep of Duke.
Clemson has also won 16 consecutive ACC regular-season games dating back to 2006. The Tigers were 11-6 at one point last season, then won their last 13 conference games. The school record is 21 in a row, while the ACC record is 25 in a row.
Johnson's Average Up After Moving Down
Freshman outfielder Addison Johnson (Pfafftown, NC) has raised his batting average significantly in recent weeks. He started the year as the leadoff batter, but was hitting just .159 in 44 at-bats at the top of the order. So when Head Coach Jack Leggett decided to move Johnson down in the order to the #8 spot on March 10, his batting average has skyrocketed. In the six games since starting at either the #7 or #8 spot, he is 10-for-22 (.455) with five RBIs in leading the Tigers to a 6-0 record. He has raised his season average to .254 as well.
Vaughn Valuable as Middle Reliever
Sophomore righty Matt Vaughn (Summerville, SC) struggled as a freshman, but in 2007, he has become one of the most valuable pitchers out of the bullpen for the Tigers. He is 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA and .213 opponents' batting average in 12.1 innings pitched over five relief appearances. Vaughn has also struck out 15 against only three walks. Since allowing three runs in the first inning of his first outing of the year, he has pitched 11.1 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.
Tigers Travel to Cullowhee Tuesday
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