Clemson Baseball Preview vs. South Carolina
Clemson vs. South Carolina
Clemson (27-14), ranked as high as #20 in the country, will travel to Columbia to take on South Carolina (27-14) on Wednesday night at Carolina Stadium in the last of four regular-season meetings this season. The Gamecocks have won two of the first three matchups this season. First pitch for Wednesday’s game is scheduled for 7:00 PM. The game will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will also be available at ClemsonTigers.com.
Clemson and South Carolina have met 286 times on the baseball diamond, with Clemson holding a 164-120-2 lead in the series dating back to 1899. South Carolina is Clemson’s most-played rival in history.
Earlier this season, the Gamecocks scored two runs in the ninth inning to down the Tigers 3-1 on February 28, 2009 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. On April 7 at Carolina Stadium, South Carolina scored two runs in the ninth inning to down Clemson 7-6. A day later, the Tigers earned a 7-5 win at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
In 2008, South Carolina won all four matchups. In 2007, South Carolina won the first three meetings before Clemson won the final matchup by a score of 14-5 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. In the 2006 season, the Tigers won three of four meetings, while the two teams split the four-game season series in both the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
The Gamecocks hold a 75-65-2 lead over the Tigers in games played in Columbia. Jack Leggett is 29-29 against South Carolina as Clemson’s head coach, including a 14-14 mark in games played at South Carolina. Leggett was also 3-8 against the Gamecocks as Western Carolina’s head coach, meaning he is 32-37 all-time against South Carolina.
The Starting Pitchers
South Carolina will start freshman lefthander Adam Westmoreland (3-1, 4.65 ERA) on the mound. The Cayce, SC native has made five relief appearances and four starts for a total of 31.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 25 hits (.221 opponents’ batting average) and 24 walks with 31 strikeouts. The 6’5”, 280-pounder started on the mound against the Tigers in the last meeting between the two teams at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. He allowed two runs on three hits in 2.0 innings pitched in a no-decision.
Clemson will counter with freshman righty Scott Weismann (0-0, 0.84 ERA) on Tuesday. The Boxborough, MA native has made nine relief appearances for a total of 10.2 innings pitched. He has given up nine hits (.220 opponents’ batting average) and one walk with 12 strikeouts. He will be making his first career start on the mound.
South Carolina, led by 13th-year Head Coach Ray Tanner, enters Wednesday’s game against #20 Clemson with a 27-14 overall record and 9-9 SEC mark after defeating USC Upstate 14-6 on the road on Tuesday. The Gamecocks, who are 18-8 at home, have a 5-1 record in one-run games and are 23-0 when leading at the end of eight innings.
South Carolina is averaging 7.6 runs per game and hitting .307 with a .525 slugging percentage and .396 on-base percentage. The team has totaled 86 doubles, seven triples, 70 home runs, and 35 stolen bases in 58 attempts.
DeAngelo Mack is hitting .352 with 11 homers, 43 RBIs, and seven steals. Andrew Crisp is batting .345 with 14 doubles, eight homers, and 33 RBIs, while Nick Ebert is hitting .344 with 10 doubles, 14 homers, and 44 RBIs. Whit Merrifield has added seven homers, 33 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases.
The pitching staff has a 4.94 ERA and .251 opponents’ batting average along with 332 strikeouts against 184 walks in 364.1 innings pitched. Senior lefthander Alex Farotto has a team-high five saves along with 32 strikeouts in 25.2 innings pitched over 13 relief appearances. The Gamecocks are fielding at a .975 clip as well.
Clemson, ranked as high as #20 in the nation, enters Wednesday’s game at South Carolina with a 27-14 overall record and 12-9 ACC mark after rallying for a 5-3 win over #19 Coastal Carolina on Tuesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson has a 6-9 record on opponents’ home fields.
The Tigers are averaging 6.7 runs per game and hitting .291 with a .444 slugging percentage and .382 on-base percentage. Clemson has also totaled 68 doubles, 11 triples, 42 homers, and 48 stolen bases in 64 attempts.
Ben Paulsen is hitting a team-best .400 with 14 doubles, four triples, eight homers, and 43 RBIs. Jeff Schaus is hitting .309 with a .426 on-base percentage thanks to 27 walks against only 14 strikeouts. Kyle Parker has added nine homers and 42 RBIs along with a .296 batting average.
The pitching staff has a 3.65 ERA and .251 opponents’ batting average. The staff has allowed 124 walks against 352 strikeouts, good for a 2.8-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Ryan Hinson has made a team-high 18 appearances, while Tomas Cruz has a 2-1 record, three saves, and a 2.12 ERA in 15 relief appearances. The Tigers are fielding at a .967 clip as well.
Bradley & Price Awards to Be Given
After Wednesday’s game at South Carolina, Clemson’s MVP of the four-game series will be given the Bob Bradley Award in a ceremony at home plate. Also, South Carolina’s MVP will be given the Tom Price Award. Both Bradley and Price served as Baseball SIDs at their respective schools for decades. Bradley passed away in 2000, while Price passed away on February 1, 2008.
Kyle Parker has been Clemson’s top hitter in the season series, as he is 4-for-11 (.364) with two doubles and four RBIs. In his one relief appearance, Tomas Cruz allowed just one hit (.077 opponents’ batting average), one run (2.25 ERA), and no walks with five strikeouts in 4.0 innings pitched. Junior Wilson Boyd has won the award the previous two seasons.
South Carolina has been paced by DeAngelo Mack, who is 4-for-12 (.333) with two homers, six RBIs, and two steals in three games. In both of the Gamecocks’ wins, he had the game-winning RBIs in the ninth inning.
Schaus Hits Walkoff Grand Slam
Jeff Schaus stepped to the plate against #19 Coastal Carolina on April 21 with the Tiger hopes in his hands. With two outs, the bases loaded, and Clemson trailing 3-1, he blasted the first pitch he saw deep over the fence in right field to send the Tigers to a dramatic 5-3 victory on his first career grand slam. It was Clemson’s first win in 2009 when trailing at the end of eight innings. The walkoff homer was also the Tigers’ first since 2007 and the second walkoff grand slam in school history.
Tigers Rally to Top Coastal Carolina 5-3
Jeff Schaus’ walkoff grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning lifted #20 Clemson to a 5-3 win over #19 Coastal Carolina at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 21. Schaus blasted the first pitch he saw deep over the fence in right field to send Clemson to its second walkoff win on a grand slam in school history. The Chanticleers had taken a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning on Tyler Bortnick’s two-run homer. Ben Paulsen had a game-high three hits, while each team totaled seven hits in the game. Clinton McKinney earned the win in relief, while starter Graham Stoneburner allowed just five hits and one unearned run in 6.0 innings pitched.