Tigers to face Florida Gulf Coast

Clemson (25-16), ranked as high as No. 25 in the country, will host Florida Gulf Coast (27-13) in a four-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from Saturday to Tuesday. Clemson and Florida Gulf Coast have never met on the diamond.

The Tigers were idle from Monday through Friday for final exams. Game times are 6:30 PM (Saturday), 6:30 PM (Sunday), 6:30 PM (Monday), and 6:30 PM (Tuesday).

The Monday and Tuesday games will be available live via webcast on TigerCast. All four games will also 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 Starting Pitchers
In game-one, Florida Gulf Coast will start junior lefty Chris Sale (6-0, 2.15 ERA) on the mound. The Lakeland, FL native has made 10 starts and one relief appearance for a total of 67.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 56 hits (.225 opponents' batting average) and nine walks with 93 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with junior lefthander Casey Harman (5-1, 3.39 ERA) on Saturday. The South Burlington, VT native has made 10 starts for a total of 63.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 53 hits (.224 opponents' batting average) and 16 walks with 54 strikeouts.

In game-two, the Eagles will send out senior righty Pete Woodworth (6-1, 5.30 ERA) on the mound. The Saint Petersburg, FL native has made nine starts and two relief appearances for a total of 56.0 innings pitched. He has yielded 64 hits (.291 opponents' batting average) and 26 walks with 46 strikeouts.

Clemson will counter with sophomore righty Scott Weismann (3-2, 4.53 ERA) on Sunday. The Boxborough, MA native has made 10 starts for a total of 57.2 innings pitched. He has given up 59 hits (.262 opponents' batting average) and 16 walks with 49 strikeouts.

In game-three, Florida Gulf Coast will start junior righthander Richie Erath (5-1, 3.23 ERA) on the mound. The West Palm Beach, FL native has made nine starts and two relief appearances for a total of 69.2 innings pitched. He has given up 58 hits (.227 opponents' batting average) and 16 walks with 53 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with freshman righthander Dominic Leone (2-0, 3.41 ERA) on Monday. The Norwich, CT native has made nine relief appearances and four starts for a total of 34.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 31 hits (.235 opponents' batting average) and nine walks with 27 strikeouts.

Both team's starting pitchers for game-four on Tuesday have yet to be determined.

The Eagles
Florida Gulf Coast, led by eighth-year Head Coach Dave Tollet, enters the series at No. 25 Clemson with a 27-13 overall record and 17-4 Atlantic Sun mark after beating South Florida 10-9 on the road on Tuesday. The Eagles also swept Belmont at home in a three-game series last weekend. Florida Gulf Coast, who is in first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings, is 14-6 on opponents' home fields and has not lost more than two games in a row all season. Florida Gulf Coast is averaging 8.3 runs per game and hitting .331 with a .482 slugging percentage and .417 on-base percentage. The team has totaled 101 doubles, nine triples, 34 home runs, and 31 stolen bases.

Zach Maxfield leads the team with a .383 batting average along with 15 doubles, five homers, and 33 RBIs. Stephen Wickens is batting .376 with a team-high 14 stolen bases, while Mikel Alvarez is hitting .373 with 11 steals. Tim Roberson leads the team in homers (8) and RBIs (44) as well.

The pitching staff has a 5.09 ERA and .281 opponents' batting average along with 340 strikeouts against 137 walks in 357.0 innings pitched. Junior lefty Chris Sale, the Eagles' scheduled starter on Saturday, is one of the nation's top professional prospects who has a 6-0 record, 2.15 ERA, and 93 strikeouts against only nine walks in 67.0 innings pitched. Junior righthander Jack Wagoner has seven of the team's 12 saves in 25.1 innings pitched over 19 appearances (one start). The Eagles are fielding at a .969 clip as well.

The Tigers
Clemson, ranked as high as #25 in the nation, enters the series against Florida Gulf Coast with a 25-16 overall record and 11-10 ACC mark after falling twice in three games at home to North Carolina last weekend. The Tigers, who were off five days for final exams from Monday through Friday, are also 20-7 at home this season.

The Tigers are averaging 8.6 runs per game and hitting .301 with a .485 slugging percentage and .410 on-base percentage thanks to 247 walks and 37 hit-by-pitches. Clemson has also totaled 85 doubles, seven triples, 55 homers, and 67 stolen bases.

Kyle Parker is hitting a team-best .386 with 16 homers, five doubles, 43 RBIs, 50 runs, and a .506 on-base percentage. John Hinson is batting .372 with nine home runs, seven doubles, and 46 RBIs in 38 games, including only 28 starts. Jeff Schaus has added eight homers and a team-best 53 RBIs as well.

The pitching staff has a 4.68 ERA and .271 opponents' batting average. The staff has allowed 135 walks against 289 strikeouts. Righthanders David Haselden, Alex Frederick, and Jonathan Meyer all have two saves apiece. The Tigers are fielding at a .961 clip as well.

Polls
The Tigers fell five spots to No. 25 in the Sports Weekly coaches poll this week after going 2-2 in four games last week. The Tigers are unranked in both the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls. With Clemson's top-25 ranking this week, it marks the 29th week in a row the Tigers have been ranked in the top 25 of at least one of the three major polls dating to the start of the 2009 season.

Parker First to Join the "20-15" Club
Prior to the season, Kyle Parker privately told Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney that his goal for the 2009-10 academic year was a "20-20." He had already thrown 20 touchdown passes on the football team, helping the Tigers to a top-25 final ranking and the ACC Atlantic Division title. He wanted to match that with 20 homers on the diamond, and thereby help Clemson to an ACC baseball title.

Research that included contacting every Division I school that plays college football revealed that no student-athlete had ever achieved even a "20-15" in the same academic year, or any other year for that matter. On April 21, Parker hit a grand slam in the second inning of Clemson's 22-4 victory over USC Upstate. It was his 15th long ball of the year.

Only two other Division I football-baseball athletes in history have recorded a "20-10" (passing touchdowns and home runs). Rodney Peete of Southern California had 21 passing touchdowns in the fall of 1987, then hit 12 home runs for the Trojan baseball team in the spring of 1988. Josh Fields of Oklahoma State had 21 passing touchdowns in the fall of 2003, then hit 10 home runs in the spring of 2004.

John Elway never achieved a "20-10" at Stanford, but he came close. He hit nine home runs in the spring of 1982, then threw 24 passing touchdowns in the fall of 1982.

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