Tigers Face Catamounts Wednesday

Clemson (16-7), ranked as high as No. 11 in the nation, will play host to Western Carolina (14-10) on Wednesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

First pitch against the Catamounts is scheduled for 7:15 PM. The 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.

The Series
Clemson and Western Carolina have met 59 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 48-11 lead in the series that dates back to the 1974 season. Western Carolina defeated the Tigers 6-3 in Cullowhee, NC on March 20. 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 won 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 a wet field at Hennon Stadium. The two teams have played at least one game every year since 1978.

The Tigers lead 35-2 in games played at Clemson, all of which have been played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson's two losses came in the first game of the series, a 4-3 Catamount win on March 13, 1974, and the most recent matchup, an 8-6 victory on April 4, 2006. The Tigers won 35 straight home games between those two losses.

Jack Leggett has a 22-6 mark against the Catamounts as Clemson's head coach, including a 16-1 record at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. He was the head coach at Western Carolina from 1983-91 and won 302 games in nine years there. He was also 3-15 against the Tigers as the Catamount skipper.

The Starting Pitchers
Western Carolina will start freshman lefthander Chris Masters (3-1, 4.19 ERA) on the mound Wednesday. The Marietta, GA native has made eight relief appearances and two starts for a total of 19.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 21 hits (.273 opponents' batting average) and 15 walks with 21 strikeouts. Against Clemson in Cullowhee, NC on March 20, he faced four batters in relief in the Catamounts' 6-3 victory. He walked three and struck out the other batter.

The Tigers will counter with sophomore righthander D.J. Mitchell (1-0, 3.65 ERA) on Wednesday in his first career start. The Rural Hall, NC native has made six relief appearances for a total of 12.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 10 hits (.213 opponents' batting average) and three walks with 13 strikeouts. He is also hitting .226 in 31 at-bats this season.

The Catamounts
Western Carolina, led by eighth-year Head Coach Todd Raleigh, enters Tuesday's game with a 14-10 overall record after losing all three games, including two losses by one run, at College of Charleston over the weekend. The Catamounts won at Georgia on March 13 by a score of 3-1 thanks to John Ingram's three-run homer in the ninth inning, and have added victories over #14 Georgia Tech and #20 N.C. State this season.

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 .374 with seven doubles, five homers, and 31 RBIs in 24 games.

Raleigh, who was a player at Western Carolina under Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett, has led his team to an 8-4 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 .333 as a team with a .425 on-base percentage thanks to 107 walks and 40 hit-by-pitches. The Catamounts have also hit 55 doubles and 31 homers, while averaging 8.3 runs per game. The team is fielding at a .960 clip as well.

Barrett Shaft leads the team with a .408 batting average. Kenny Smith is hitting .380 with nine homers and 35 RBIs, both team-highs, while Blake Murphy is batting .372 with a .481 on-base percentage.

The Catamount pitching staff has a 5.69 ERA and .319 opponents' batting average. Greg Holland has a team-high four saves along with a 3.05 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 20.2 innings pitched.

The Tigers
Clemson enters Wednesday's game against the Catamounts with a 16-7 overall record and 4-2 mark in ACC play after beating Gardner-Webb 14-2 on Tuesday. The Tigers also fell twice in three games at Maryland over the weekend. The Tigers, who are 15-3 at home this season, also brings a #11 national ranking into Wednesday's game.

The team is hitting .289 with a .368 on-base percentage. Brad Chalk is hitting a team-best .429 with a .541 on-base percentage, but he missed Tuesday's game versus Gardner-Webb due to a sore back. His status is listed as day-to-day. Chalk has reached base via a hit, walk, or hit-by-pitch in 49 straight games dating back to 2006. Doug Hogan is hitting .370 with four homers and 11 RBIs, and he is riding a current 11-game hitting streak.

The pitching staff has a 2.87 ERA and .232 opponents' batting average. It has combined to strike out 196 against 65 walks. Daniel Moskos has a team-high five saves, while Stephen Clyne has an 0.46 ERA and .169 opponents' batting average in 10 relief appearances. The team is fielding at a .969 clip as well.

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