A coin flip will determine the designated home team for Saturday's game. The designated home team on Saturday will be the designated visiting team on Sunday. Another coin flip will determine the designated home team for a potential game-three on Monday.
The winner of the best-of-three super regional series will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, NE from June 19-30. The winner of the Clemson Super Regional will face the winner of the Tempe (AZ) Super Regional in the opening round in Omaha on June 20. Arizona State will host Arkansas in the Tempe Super Regional. All of the Tigers' super regional games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will also be available at ClemsonTigers.com for all super regional games.
ESPNU/2 to Televise Super Regional Games ESPNU/2 will televise the Clemson (SC) Super Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium when the Tigers face Alabama this weekend. Game-one on Saturday (6:00 PM) will be on ESPNU and game-two on Sunday (7:00 PM) will be on ESPN2. Monday's game (1:00 PM or 7:00 PM) (if necessary) will be on ESPN2. Mark Neely and Ben McDonald will be ESPN's announcers for the super regional. Live video will be shown online at ESPN3.com as well.
Clemson Super Regional Host for Fourth Time
Clemson is one of eight schools to host an NCAA Super Regional for the 64th-annual Division I Baseball Championship. The action will begin at Clemson's Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Saturday against Alabama. The two teams will match up again Sunday and a game will be played on Monday if the two teams split the first two games. Clemson was one of three ACC schools chosen to host a super regional. The other ACC schools are Florida State, who will host Vanderbilt, and Virginia, who will host Oklahoma. Miami (FL) will also play in the super-regional round. The Hurricanes will play at Florida.
This is the fourth time since the super-regional format began in 1999 that Clemson has hosted a super regional. It is also the ninth time in the 12 years of super-regional play that the Tigers have made it to this round. Only three schools (Cal State Fullerton (10), Florida State (10), Miami (FL) (10)) have played in more super regionals.
Clemson has advanced to Omaha in all three previous years (2000,02,06) that it hosted a super regional. In 1999 (College Station (TX)), 2001 (Coral Gables (FL)), 2005 (Waco (TX)), 2007 (Starkville (MS)), and 2009 (Tempe (AZ)), the Tigers played in a super regional on the road but failed to advance to Omaha.
The Tigers are 39-8 all-time in home NCAA Tournament games, including a 36-6 record under Head Coach Jack Leggett. Clemson is 25-2 in NCAA Tournament games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in the 21st Century, with the only losses coming in a super regional game against Arkansas in 2002 and a regional game against Oklahoma State in 2009.
The Tigers will start junior lefthander Casey Harman (7-2, 3.95 ERA) on Saturday. (Kevin Bray)
Clemson will host Alabama in the Clemson Super Regional this weekend. It will be the Tigers' ninth super regional appearance in the 12 years of the format. Since 1999, Clemson has missed playing in a super regional just three times (2003,04,08). Clemson has been to the NCAA Tournament every year since 1987, with the exception of the 2008 season.
Clemson is tied for fourth in the nation in super regional appearances. Cal State Fullerton, Florida State, and Miami (FL) have all been to 10 super regional tournaments (including this year), while Clemson is tied with Rice for fourth. In terms of all-time wins in regional and super regional play, Clemson has 91, seventh-most in NCAA history.
Clemson and Alabama have met 23 times on the diamond, with the Crimson Tide holding a 12-11 lead in the series dating back to 1919. The two teams last met in the 1996 College World Series. The Tigers eliminated the Crimson Tide with a thrilling 14-13 victory in one of the most memorable games in Clemson baseball history. In 1995, Alabama visited Clemson to play in the NCAA East Regional. The Tigers downed Alabama 7-4 in the championship game to advance to Omaha. Clemson and Alabama also met three times during the 1947 NCAA Southern Playoffs, as the Tigers won two of three matchups to advance to the NCAA Eastern Finals, and once during the 1950 NCAA Tournament.
Clemson is 4-4 against the Crimson Tide in games played at Clemson and 3-3 against Alabama at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers also own a 4-2 record against the Crimson Tide in NCAA Tournament games and 2-0 record under Head Coach Jack Leggett.
Alabama played in the 2009 Clemson Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium but did not face the Tigers, as the Crimson Tide was eliminated after two games.
The Starting Pitchers
In game-one, Alabama will start junior righthander Jimmy Nelson (8-3, 3.92 ERA) on the mound. The Niceville, FL native has made 16 starts and one relief appearance for a total of 103.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 101 hits (.256 opponents' batting average) and 28 walks with 94 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with junior lefthander Casey Harman (7-2, 3.95 ERA) on Saturday. The South Burlington, VT native has made 16 starts for a total of 100.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 91 hits (.239 opponents' batting average) and 31 walks with 86 strikeouts.
Both teams' starting pitchers for the rest of the super regional have yet to be determined.
The Crimson Tide
Alabama (41-23), led by first-year Head Coach Mitch Gaspard and ranked as high as #16 in the nation, enters the Clemson Super Regional after going 4-1 in winning the Atlanta (GA) Regional title last weekend. Alabama, who is 12-14 on opponents' home fields, had a 15-15 record during its SEC regular season. The 2010 season marks the 21st time in school history that Alabama has played in an NCAA Tournament and its third super-regional appearance. After starting its SEC slate with a 5-10 record in its first 15 games, Alabama was 10-5 in its last 15 SEC regular-season games. The squad has also won 12 of its last 14 games overall.
Alabama is hitting .298 with a .446 slugging percentage and .389 on-base percentage. Alabama has also totaled 116 doubles, 13 triples, 62 home runs, and is averaging 7.1 runs per game along with 67 stolen bases in 91 attempts. Alabama is eighth in the nation in fielding percentage (.978) as well.
Taylor Dugas is hitting a team-high .393 with a .530-on base-percentage thanks to 59 walks and a team-high 19 steals. Josh Rutledge is batting .365 with 10 homers, 69 RBIs, and 15 steals, while Clay Jones is hitting .329 with 17 home runs, 65 RBIs, and a .453 on-base percentage. Jake Smith has added 13 long balls and 55 RBIs as well.
The pitching staff, led by Pitching Coach Kyle Bunn, has a 4.81 ERA and .281 opponents' batting average. Bunn was Clemson's pitching coach in 2008 and 2009. The staff has allowed 201 walks against 498 strikeouts, good for a 2.48-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Smith, a senior righthander, has a team-high five saves along with an 0.98 ERA and a .194 opponents' batting average in 12 relief appearances. Junior righty Nathan Kilcrease is 8-2 with a 2.42 ERA, four saves, and a .208 opponents' batting average and 81 strikeouts against only 19 walks in 33 appearances (five starts).
Clemson (41-22), ranked as high as No. 13 in the nation, enters the Clemson Super Regional coming off capturing the Auburn (AL) Regional title with a 3-1 record last weekend. Clemson was 18-12 during the ACC regular season, finishing in a tie for first place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings. Clemson is making its 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 24 years, its 35th overall, sixth-most in the nation, and ninth super regional appearance, tied for fourth-most in NCAA history.
The Tigers, who are 27-8 at home and have won seven games in a row at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, are led by 17th-year Head Coach Jack Leggett. His 765 wins are seventh-most in college baseball during his tenure. Clemson is also 9-9 against top-25 ranked teams in 2010.
The team is hitting .306 with a .494 slugging percentage and .405 on-base percentage. Clemson, who has 343 walks, has also stolen 100 bases in 123 attempts.
Brad Miller, who has hit safely in 14 straight games and 24 of his last 25 games, is batting a team-best .365 with seven homers, 41 RBIs, a .469 on-base percentage, and nine steals on the season. Kyle Parker is hitting .356 with 20 homers, 15 doubles, 63 RBIs, 78 runs, and a .484 on-base percentage. John Hinson is hitting .341 with 15 homers, 67 RBIs, and a team-high 22 steals, while Mike Freeman is hitting .330 with eight homers, 22 doubles, 55 RBIs, and 11 steals. Freeman is riding an 11-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 29 of his last 31 games. Jeff Schaus has added 15 home runs and a team-high 80 RBIs as well.
The pitching staff has a 4.82 ERA and .281 opponents' batting average. The Clemson staff has allowed 210 walks against 442 strikeouts, good for a 2.10-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Senior righthander Tomas Cruz has a team-high three saves, while freshman righty Kevin Brady has 44 strikeouts against only seven walks in 36.0 innings pitched. The Tigers are fielding at a .963 clip as well.
The Tigers moved up three spots to No. 13 in the Collegiate Baseball poll this week after going 3-1 in the Auburn (AL) Regional last week. Clemson is No. 20 in the Sports Weekly coaches poll and is not ranked in the Baseball America ranking. Both Sports Weekly and Baseball America did not release a new poll this week and will release their next poll after the College World Series.
With Clemson's top-25 ranking this week, it marks the 35th 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.
Tiger Fielding Sharp in the Last 38 Games
Clemson committed 50 errors in its first 25 games of 2010 and had a .950 fielding percentage at that time. But in the last 38 games, Clemson has committed just 39 errors and has a .973 fielding percentage during that stretch. The Tigers' recent success has enabled their fielding percentage to raise to .963 on the season.
Tigers Among Nation's Best in Turning Double Plays
Clemson has turned 73 double plays this season, its highest total since 2002 when Khalil Greene was an important factor in the Tigers turning 78 double plays. This year's total is also fifth-most by a Tiger team in history, as the 1995 team holds the record with 81 double plays. Senior second-baseman Mike Freeman has played a big role in Clemson turning 73 double plays in 2010. He has been involved in 56 of the 73 double plays. Freeman is also a big reason Clemson is third in the nation and first in the ACC in double plays in 2010.