Tigers Host Catamounts

Clemson (18-17) will host Western Carolina (16-18) on Tuesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 7:15 PM.

Tuesday's game against Western Carolina 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 60 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 49-11 lead in the series that dates back to 1974. The two teams split the two meetings in 2007, as the Catamounts won 6-3 at Cullowhee, NC on March 20 in the first game, while the Tigers were victorious 15-6 in the return trip eight days later. The two teams also split two games in 2006, while Clemson defeated Western Carolina twice in 2005. The two teams have played at least one game every year since 1978.

The Tigers lead 36-2 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 April 4, 2006 contest, an 8-6 Western Carolina victory. Clemson won 35 straight home games against the Catamounts between those two losses.

Jack Leggett has a 23-6 mark against Western Carolina as Clemson's head coach, including a 17-1 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 has yet to determine its starting pitcher.

The Tigers will start freshman lefthander Casey Harman (0-4, 3.33 ERA) on Tuesday. The South Burlington, VT native has made one start and 15 relief appearances for a total of 27.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 26 hits (.243 opponents' batting average) and four walks with 27 strikeouts.

The Catamounts
Western Carolina, led by first-year Head Coach Bobby Moranda, enters Tuesday's game at Clemson with a 16-18 overall record and 6-6 Southern Conference mark after losing twice in three games at Elon over the weekend. However, the Catamounts, who are 3-12 on opponents' home fields, have won 10 of their last 14 games after starting the season 6-14.

The Catamounts are averaging 9.0 runs per game and hitting .320 with a .529 slugging percentage and .430 on-base percentage. The team has hit 75 doubles, six triples, and 55 home runs, and it has totaled 185 walks and 63 hit-by-pitches. Western Carolina has also stolen 74 bases in 90 attempts, including 15 in 18 tries by Blake Murphy.

Murphy is the team's leading run producer, as he has totaled 12 doubles, 13 homers, and 44 RBIs along with a .333 batting average and .516 on-base percentage thanks to 31 walks and 12 hit-by-pitches. Brent Greer is hitting .407 with a .506 on-base percentage and Nick Liles is hitting .361 with 13 stolen bases in 14 attempts. The pitching staff has a 6.91 ERA and .299 opponents' batting average along with 251 strikeouts against 151 walks in 295.2 innings pitched. Sophomore lefty Chris Masters has two saves and 41 strikeouts in 37.0 innings pitched over 16 appearances (one start) this year. The team is fielding at a .945 clip as well.

The Gamecocks
South Carolina, led by 12th-year Head Coach Ray Tanner, enters this week's action with a 25-10 overall record and 9-6 SEC mark after sweeping Auburn on the road over the weekend. The Gamecocks, who are ranked as high as #10 in the nation and will play host to South Carolina-Upstate on Tuesday night, have a 7-5 road record. The Gamecocks are averaging 7.4 runs per game and hitting .306 with a .514 slugging percentage and .400 on-base percentage. The team, who has totaled 63 home runs, is 23-0 when it scores five or more runs and 2-10 when it scores less than five runs. The Gamecocks, who have stolen 17 bases in 30 attempts, are also 21-0 when they outhit the opponents, while they are 1-9 when the opponent totals more hits than them.

Reese Havens is hitting .381 with 11 homers, 39 RBIs, and a .508 on-base percentage, while Justin Smoak is hitting .362 with 10 homers, 29 RBIs, and a .497 on-base percentage. James Darnell has added 12 home runs and 48 RBIs, while Phil Disher has totaled 12 homers and 35 RBIs. Therefore, the quartet has accumulated 45 home runs and 151 RBIs in 35 games in 2008. The pitching staff has a 3.88 ERA and .251 opponents' batting average along with 289 strikeouts against 124 walks in 318.0 innings pitched. Senior righthander Brandon Todd has four saves and 19 strikeouts in 14.1 innings pitched over 11 relief appearances. South Carolina is fielding at a .977 clip as well.

The Tigers
Clemson enters this week's action with an 18-17 overall record and 6-12 ACC mark after being swept by #4 North Carolina at home over the weekend. The Tigers have a 14-8 home record. The Tigers are hitting .281 with a .370 on-base percentage. Ben Paulsen is hitting a team-best .333 with 10 doubles, 10 homers, and 28 RBIs, while Miek Freeman is hitting .330. Doug Hogan has added 12 doubles, nine homers, and 37 RBIs as well.

The pitching staff has a 4.70 ERA and .272 opponents' batting average. Justin Sarratt has a 3.12 ERA and has allowed just two walks in 26.0 innings pitched in 14 relief appearances. Matt Vaughn also has eight saves. Clemson is fielding at a .963 clip as well.

Eight Tigers hail from the state of North Carolina, including Wilson Boyd (Hickory), John Hinson (Asheville), Addison Johnson (Pfafftown), Alex Martin (Charlotte), D.J. Mitchell (Rural Hall), Trent Rothlin (Hickory), Matt Sanders (New Bern), and Josh Thrailkill (Arden).

Johnson To Miss 2008 Season
Sophomore centerfielder Addison Johnson (Pfafftown, NC) will miss the rest of the season, announced on April 14 by Head Coach Jack Leggett. Johnson suffered a hamstring injury just prior to the start of the 2008 season. Then in late February, he suffered a hand injury that has kept him out of action since. Johnson, who has not played in a game in 2008, will receive a red-shirt this year and return in 2009 as a red-shirt sophomore.

Johnson, slated to be Clemson's leadoff batter this season, hit .286 with 35 runs scored, eight doubles, five triples, one homer, 23 RBIs, and eight steals in 61 games (58 starts) as a freshman on the 2007 team that played in the Starkville (MS) Super Regional. He hit .309 in ACC regular-season games and was one of the hottest Tigers in postseason play, as he hit .471 in five NCAA Tournament games.

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