Big test awaits in Charlottesville

CLEMSON - The No. 5 Clemson baseball team must quickly forget the mid-week sweep to Elon this weekend's series against No. 1 Virginia.

Clemson coach Jack Leggett said the focus has already shifted to the three-game series in Charlottesville.

"We can't take this into the weekend, or we'll really be in trouble," he said.

Elon won both games in the midweek series at Clemson by a combined score of 19-13. The Phoenix outhit the Tigers .317 to .257 while the Tigers' pitchers had a 5.68 ERA.

"We've got to grow up quickly. When we do pitch, we've got to be able to hit," Leggett said. "We've just got to get all three phases together."

It will be the first regular season meeting between the two schools since 2007. Last year in the ACC Tournament, Virginia defeated Clemson 6-5.

Clemson (17-4, 6-0 ACC) leads Virginia (18-3, 5-1 ACC) in the all-time series (101-39), which dates back to 1955. But the Cavaliers have beaten the Tigers in the last six games at UVa Baseball Stadium and nine of the last 10 games overall.

"We've got to go up there, relax and play ball…we're going to face a real good pitcher on Friday night," Leggett said. "Casey is going for us. It's going to be a real good battle."

In game-one, Clemson will throw lefty Casey Harman (4-0, 1.86 ERA) and Virginia will start sophomore lefty Danny Hultzen (4-1, 1.06 ERA).

On Saturday, lefty Will Lamb (2-0, 2.08 ERA) is scheduled to start against junior righty Robert Morey (3-1, 3.07 ERA).

Righty Scott Weismann (3-0, 2.96 ERA) will start in the finale against junior righty Cody Winiarski (2-0, 5.70 ERA).

As a team, Virginia is batting .354 with a .529 slugging percentage and .441 on-base percentage. The Cavaliers have totaled 63 doubles, 12 triples, 15 home runs and 28 stolen bases. Typically a team that likes to apply pressure on the base paths, opponents have attempted to swipe 25 bases.

"It puts a whole new dimension on the game," Leggett said. "We're going to have to be tough minded this weekend."

Sophomore infielder/catcher Keith Werman is batting .475, junior outfielder John Barr is batting .436 with a .558 on-base percentage. Junior infielder/outfielder Phil Gosselin is batting .412 with six steals. Senior shortstop Tyler Cannon is batting .400 with 20 RBIs. Junior outfielder Dan Grovatt is batting .395 leads the team with four home runs and has 24 RBIs. Sophomore third baseman Steven Proscia has a team-high 29 RBIs.

The pitching staff has a 3.42 ERA and .229 opponents' batting average along with 177 strikeouts against 67 walks in 187.0 innings pitched. In 10 relief appearances, junior righty Kevin Arico has seven saves and has allowed just eight hits and has 18 strikeouts. The Cavaliers are fielding at a .977 percentage.

"They're an all-around good team," said Kyle Parker. "They have good pitching and good hitting. I guess they're the number one team in the nation. We're going to have to go in there and play well to win."

The Tigers are batting .311 with a .530 slugging percentage and .422 on-base percentage with 47 doubles, three triples, 35 homers, and 38 stolen bases.

Parker is batting a team-high .405 with 10 homers, 23 RBIs, 31 runs, has a .810 slugging percentage and a .520 on-base percentage. Jeff Schaus is batting .321 with six homers and a team-high 31 RBIs. Riding a 12-game hitting streak, Wilson Boyd is also batting .333.

The Tigers' pitching staff has a 3.69 ERA and .249 opponents' batting average while the team is fielding at a .950 clip.

"It's going to be a big test for us," Harman said. "We need to prove to people and to ourselves that we can take our show on the road and win on the road."

The series opens at 6 p.m., 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will also be available at for all three games. Top Stories