Tigers set to take on Catamounts

Clemson (23-10), ranked as high as No. 16 in the nation, will host Western Carolina (21-9-1) on Wednesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Series
Clemson and Western Carolina have met 64 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 52-12 lead in the series that dates back to 1974. The two teams have played at least one game every year since 1978.

Last season, Clemson won both games of a home-and-home midweek series by scores of 11-1 (at Western Carolina) and 13-2 (at Clemson). In 2008, the teams split a home-and-home series, including a 6-2 Catamount win at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Tigers lead 37-3 in games played at Clemson, all of which have been played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Jack Leggett has a 26-7 mark against Western Carolina as Clemson's head coach, including an 18-2 record at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Leggett served as 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
The Catamounts will start freshman lefthander Mat Batts (3-0, 3.26 ERA) on the mound. The Pfafftown, NC native has made 14 relief appearances and two starts for a total of 19.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 23 hits (.284 opponents' batting average) and four walks with 22 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with freshman righthander Dominic Leone (2-0, 3.38 ERA) on Wednesday. The Norwich, CT native has made seven relief appearances and two starts for a total of 18.2 innings pitched. He has yielded 17 hits (.227 opponents' batting average) and seven walks with 16 strikeouts.

The Catamounts
Western Carolina, led by third-year Head Coach Bobby Moranda, enters Wednesday's game at #16 Clemson with a 21-9-1 overall record and 5-6-1 Southern Conference mark after beating Wofford twice in a three-game series at home over the weekend. The Catamounts, who are 7-2 in one-run games, are 5-5-1 on opponents' home fields as well.

Western Carolina is averaging 7.2 runs per game and hitting .309 with a .484 slugging percentage and .399 on-base percentage. The team has also totaled 61 doubles, four triples, 41 home runs, and 62 stolen bases on the season.

Ollie Goulder is hitting a team-high .366 with nine homers and 23 RBIs, while Tyler Kirkpatrick is hitting .339 with eight home runs, nine doubles, and 30 RBIs. Four Catamounts have totaled double-digit steals, Dylan de Graaf (18), Matt Johns (11), Trevor Collias (11), and Austin Schultz (10).

The pitching staff has a 4.71 ERA and .263 opponents' batting average along with 249 strikeouts against 111 walks in 275.0 innings pitched. Senior righthander Daniel Ottone has six of the team's seven saves along with 16 strikeouts against only three walks in 16.2 innings pitched over 17 relief appearances. The Catamounts are fielding at a .963 clip as well.

The Tigers
Clemson, ranked as high as #16 in the nation, enters Wednesday's game against Western Carolina with a 23-10 overall record and 10-5 ACC mark after falling twice in three games at Duke over the weekend. The Tigers are also 18-4 at home in 2010.

The Tigers are averaging 9.0 runs per game and hitting .307 with a .492 slugging percentage and .421 on-base percentage thanks to 214 walks and 31 hit-by-pitches. Clemson has also totaled 70 doubles, seven triples, 43 homers, and 61 stolen bases.

John Hinson is riding a current 13-game hitting streak and batting .396 with four homers, 34 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases. Kyle Parker is hitting .375 with 12 home runs, 32 RBIs, and a .500 on-base percentage, while Brad Miller is batting .327 with a .473 on-base percentage. Jeff Schaus has amassed seven long balls and 45 RBIs.

Chris Epps has totaled 14 stolen bases and has reached base via a hit, walk, or hit-by-pitch at least two times in eight straight games.

The pitching staff has a 4.43 ERA and .262 opponents' batting average. The staff has allowed 113 walks against 227 strikeouts. Righthanders David Haselden, Alex Frederick, and Jonathan Meyer all have two saves apiece. The Tigers are fielding at a .956 clip as well.

Worth Noting
•Clemson is 14-3 when committing two or more errors and 9-7 when committing less than two errors.

The Tigers fell five spots to No. 16 in the Sports Weekly coaches poll this week after going 3-2 in five games last week. The Tigers also dropped one spot to #16 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and fell one spot to No. 17 in the Baseball America poll.

ACC Standing
The Tigers are in a tie for first place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings with a 10-5 league record. In the division, the Tigers are tied with Florida State, who is also 10-5. N.C. State and Boston College are tied for third at 6-9, Maryland (4-11) is fifth, and Wake Forest (2-13) is sixth in the division. Georgia Tech is atop the Coastal division with a 12-3 record, while Miami (FL) is second with an 11-4 mark.

On Base
Hits...walks...hit-by-pitches. When it comes to those three cumulative categories, Clemson is having one of its best seasons in recent history. In 33 games, the Tigers have totaled 354 hits, 214 walks, and 31 hit-by-pitches. That adds to 599 times on base, an average of 18.2 per game. It is better than the 2002 team's mark of 17.0. That squad featured the likes of Khalil Greene, Jeff Baker, and Michael Johnson. The 2010 mark is the best by a Tiger team since 1999 (18.2).

Miller on Base in All 33 Games
Brad Miller has reached base via a hit or walk in all 33 games in 2010. He has hit safely in 24 of the 33 games, while in those nine games when he was hitless, he walked at least once in all nine. Miller is hitting .327 and has a stellar .473 on-base percentage thanks to 33 walks and two hit-by-pitches in 33 games this season. In 15 ACC regular-season games, he is hitting .354 with a team-best .536 on-base percentage thanks to 19 walks.

Miller is not the only Tiger to get on base in a consistent manner in 2010. Kyle Parker has reached base via a hit or walk in 29 of his 30 games. Jeff Schaus has reached base via a hit, walk, or hit-by-pitch in 31 of 33 games. In John Hinson's 20 starts, he has hit safely in 18 games and has reached base via a hit or walk in all 20 of those starts. Finally, freshman Richie Shaffer, who has missed a lengthy portion of the season due to injury, has reached base via a hit, walk, or hit-by-pitch in 16 of his 17 games.

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. Live stats will also be available at ClemsonTigers.com.

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