Tigers renew rivalry with Georgia

Clemson (20-8), ranked as high as No. 11 in the country, will play a home-and-home midweek series against Georgia (10-17).

The two teams, whose schools are separated by just over 86 miles, will face off in Athens on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM in a game televised live by CSS.

On Wednesday, Georgia will play at Clemson at 6:30 PM, as that game will be available live via webcast on TigerCast. Both games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will be available at ClemsonTigers.com for both games as well.

The Series
Clemson and Georgia have met 216 times on the diamond, with Georgia holding a 118-96-2 lead in the series dating back to 1900. Georgia is Clemson's second-most-played rival in history, trailing only South Carolina (290).

In 2009, Georgia won both games (6-5 in Athens, 4-2 in Clemson). The Bulldogs also won both meetings in 2008 by scores of 11-3 (Athens) and 6-4 (Clemson). The Tigers won both games in the 2007 season by scores of 4-2 (Athens) and 11-10 (Clemson). The Bulldogs have won four games in a row in the series and eight of the last 11. The Bulldogs hold a 69-40 lead over Clemson in games played in Athens, while the Tigers lead 53-46-2 at Clemson and 33-11 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Jack Leggett is 19-16 against Georgia as Clemson's head coach, including 7-13 at Foley Field and 12-3 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Leggett was also 3-12 against the Bulldogs as Western Carolina's head coach, meaning he is 22-28 all-time against Georgia.

The Starting Pitchers
In game-one, Georgia will start junior righthander Eric Swegman (0-1, 8.44 ERA) on the mound. The Cumming, GA native has made two starts and one relief appearance for a total of 5.1 innings pitched. He has allowed four hits (.211 opponents' batting average), all of which have been singles, and four walks with five strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with freshman righthander Dominic Leone (1-0, 3.55 ERA) on Tuesday. The Norwich, CT native has made seven relief appearances and one start for a total of 12.2 innings pitched. He has yielded 13 hits (.250 opponents' batting average) and six walks with nine strikeouts.

In game-two, the Bulldogs will send out sophomore lefthander Chase Hawkins (0-1, 6.52 ERA) on the mound. The Snellville, GA native has made eight relief appearances and two starts for a total of 19.1 innings pitched. He has given up 32 hits (.368 opponents' batting average) and seven walks with 12 strikeouts.

Clemson will counter with freshman righty Mike Kent (1-0, 2.45 ERA) on Wednesday. The Springfield, VA native has made one start and one relief appearance for a total of 7.1 innings pitched. He has allowed six hits (.214 opponents' batting average) and three walks with four strikeouts.

The Bulldogs
Georgia, led by ninth-year Head Coach David Perno, enters the series against #11 Clemson with a 10-17 overall record and 2-7 SEC mark after winning one of three-games at #4 Louisiana State this past weekend. The Bulldogs, who are 1-7 in night games and 1-7 in one-run games, are 10-4 when scoring seven or more runs and 0-13 when scoring less than seven runs. Georgia has a 6-6 home record and 3-9 record on opponents' home fields as well.

Georgia is averaging 6.4 runs per game and hitting .294 with a .456 slugging percentage and .374 on-base percentage. The team has totaled 60 doubles, five triples, 28 home runs, and 32 stolen bases.

Zach Cone leads the team in hitting with a .385 batting average along with six homers, four triples, five doubles, and 27 RBIs. Kyle Farmer is hitting .383 in 13 games, while Peter Verdin is batting .319 with six homers, 10 doubles, 22 RBIs, and nine steals in nine attempts.

The pitching staff has an 8.20 ERA and .327 opponents' batting average along with 210 strikeouts against 132 walks in 233.2 innings pitched. Senior lefthander Alex McRee has three of the Bulldogs' four saves in 10 relief appearances. Georgia is fielding at a .965 clip as well.

Lefthander Craig Gullickson, a member of the Tiger team in 2008 and 2009, is now on the pitching staff at Georgia. He is red-shirting this season and will be eligible to pitch in 2011.

The Tigers
Clemson, ranked as high as #11 in the nation, enters the series against Georgia with a 20-8 overall record and a 9-3 ACC mark after defeating Boston College twice in three games at home over the weekend. The Tigers, who are 5-6 in night games and 4-4 in one-run games, are 2-3 on opponents' home fields and 17-4 at home in 2010.

The Tigers are averaging 8.8 runs per game and hitting .302 with a .491 slugging percentage and .415 on-base percentage thanks to 179 walks and 24 hit-by-pitches. Clemson has also totaled 58 doubles, six triples, 38 homers, and 52 stolen bases.

Kyle Parker is hitting a team-high .378 with 11 homers, 27 RBIs, 34 runs, and a .496 on-base percentage. John Hinson is hitting .347 with 11 steals, while Chris Epps has a team-high 12 stolen bases. Jeff Schaus leads the team in RBIs (37).

The pitching staff has a 4.05 ERA and .257 opponents' batting average. The staff has allowed 99 walks against 195 strikeouts. Righthanders David Haselden, Alex Frederick, and Jonathan Meyer all have two saves apiece. The Tigers are fielding at a .955 clip as well. Five Tigers hail from the state of Georgia, Kevin Caughman (Martinez), Epps (Stone Mountain), Spencer Kieboom (Marietta), Kevin Kyle (Atlanta), and Jason Stolz (Marietta). Senior second-baseman Mike Freeman was a member of the Georgia team as a freshman in 2007 before transferring to Clemson.

Worth Noting
• Clemson is 15-2 in day games and 5-6 in night games in 2010. Those figures include a loss at Charlotte in a day game that started at 5:59 PM, one minute shy of the day/night transition time.

Polls
The Tigers fell one spot to No. 11 in the Sports Weekly coaches poll this week after going 2-2 in four games last week. The Tigers also dropped two spots to No. 15 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and remained at No. 16 in the Baseball America poll.

ACC Standings
The Tigers are in first place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings with a 9-3 league record. In the division, the Tigers are ahead of second-place Florida State, who is 7-5. N.C. State (5-7) is third, Boston College (4-8) is fourth, Maryland (3-9) is fifth, and Wake Forest (2-10) is sixth in the division. Georgia Tech is atop the Coastal division with an 11-1 record, while Miami (FL) is second with a 10-2 mark.

Thievery
Clemson is averaging 1.9 stolen bases per game in 2010, a big reason the Tigers are averaging 8.8 runs per contest. Clemson is on pace to steal over 100 bases, a mark that has not been reached since 2006, when that team swiped 107 bases. Furthermore, only once in the previous nine seasons has a Tiger team stolen 100 bases in a season. Chris Epps leads the team with 12 steals, while John Hinson has 11 stolen bases. Nine different players have stolen at least three bases as well.

Miller Feeling It at the Plate
Sophomore shortstop Brad Miller (Windermere, FL) has been one of the team's hottest hitters of late. His batting average has risen to .340 with two homers, two triples, nine doubles, 18 RBIs, and five steals. He also has an outstanding .468 on-base percentage thanks to 25 walks. Miller is one of the team's most-clutch hitters, as he has a team-best .429 batting average with runners on base.

Miller shined against Boston College from April 2-4 in his best series of the season. In three games, he went 7-for-13 (.538) with a homer, triple, double, three RBIs, six runs, and two walks against no strikeouts.

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