Tigers Begin Tough Week In Athens


by - Correspondent -
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Clemson vs. Georgia


Clemson (16-6), ranked as high as #9 in the country, will
travel to Athens to take on #19 Georgia (17-5) at Foley Field on
Tuesday at 7:00 PM. The two teams will then play at Doug Kingsmore
Stadium on Wednesday at 7:00 PM. Tuesday's game will be broadcast
live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will
also be available at ClemsonTigers.com for the game.


The Series


Clemson and Georgia have met 208 times on the diamond, with
the Bulldogs holding a 113-93-2 lead in the series that dates back to
1900. Georgia is Clemson's second-most played rival in school
history, trailing only South Carolina (273).


Last year, Georgia won both meetings despite the Tigers
out-hitting the Bulldogs in each contest. At Foley Field, the
Bulldogs rallied from a 5-0 deficit to down the Tigers 11-10. At
Doug Kingsmore Stadium the following day, Georgia beat Clemson 4-1
despite Stephen Faris' complete-game five-hitter.


The Bulldogs lead 66-39 in games played at Georgia, including
winning seven of the last nine meetings at Foley Field. Jack Leggett
is 16-11 against Georgia as Clemson's head coach, including 6-10 in
Athens.


The Starting Pitchers


Georgia will start freshman righthander Ben Jeffers (0-1,
9.53 ERA) on the mound Tuesday. The Danielsville, GA native will be
making his first career start on Tuesday, as he has previously made
five relief appearances for a total of 5.2 innings pitched. He has
allowed seven hits and seven walks with seven strikeouts.


The Tigers will counter with sophomore righty David Kopp
(1-0, 4.09 ERA) on Tuesday. The Margate, FL native has made three
starts and one relief appearance this season. In 11.0 innings
pitched, he has yielded 12 hits (11 singles, one homer) and five
walks with six strikeouts. He has never faced the Bulldogs.


The Bulldogs


Georgia, led by fifth-year Head Coach David Perno, enters
Tuesday's game against #9 Clemson with a 17-5 overall record and 3-3
SEC mark after taking two of three games at #10 Arkansas over the
weekend. The Bulldogs' impressive schedule has included three wins
over #8 San Diego, a win at Southern California, and three wins over
Louisville.


The Bulldogs are 13-2 at home, with both losses coming to
Alabama, and 6-2 in one-run games. They have a .297 team batting
average and .369 on-base percentage, and have hit 29 homers in 22
games. They have also stolen 21 bases in 27 attempts.


Matt Robbins, brother of current Georgia Tech slugger Whit
Robbins, has a team-high .382 batting average, two homers, and 18
RBIs. Josh Morris leads the club with seven homers along with 20
RBIs, while Gordon Beckham, son of a former South Carolina
quarterback (also named Gordon) from 1979-82, has a team-best 21 RBIs.


The pitching staff has a 3.53 ERA and .244 opponents' batting
average. The team has surrendered just eight homers as well.
Sophomore righthander Joshua Fields has five saves in 10 relief
appearances, both team highs, while allowing just seven hits and two
walks with 24 strikeouts in 16.1 innings pitched. The team sports a
.957 fielding percentage as well.


The Tigers


Clemson enters Tuesday's game at #19 Georgia with a 16-6
overall record and 3-3 ACC mark after sweeping #12 N.C. State in a
three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium over the weekend. The
Tigers are 1-4 on the road, 6-2 against top-25 ranked teams, and 4-0
in night games this season.


Clemson is hitting .280 with a .366 on-base percentage. In
five games last week, Clemson stole 14 bases, therefore has 32 in 38
attempts overall in 2006. The team also has 22 sacrifice bunts.


Tyler Colvin leads the squad with a .342 batting average,
eight doubles, five homers, 19 RBIs, and seven stolen bases. Herman
Demmink is hitting .333 with a team-best .440 on-base percentage and
eight steals in eight attempts. Andy D'Alessio has added five long
balls and a team-best 21 RBIs as well. Rightfielder Travis Storrer
only played in one game last week (off the bench) after suffering an
abdominal strain. Freshman D.J. Mitchell filled in nicely with four
hits and two stellar catches in starting all five games.


The pitching staff has a 2.69 ERA and .227 opponents' batting
average. It has also allowed just eight homers and 21 doubles in 22
games. Steve Richard has a team-best four saves, while Daniel Moskos
has added two saves and a 1.42 ERA in a team-high 10 relief
appearances. Freshman lefty Alex Martin has also given Clemson a
boost recently, as he has not given up a run in 8.1 innings pitched
this season. The Tigers sport a .971 fielding percentage as well.


Worth Noting


* Clemson has 599 all-time ACC regular-season victories, more
than any other school.


Clock Management


Through 22 games, Clemson has yet to play a game lasting
three hours. In fact, the longest game the Tigers have played in
this year lasted two hours and 53 minutes, which was against James
Madison on February 19. The relatively quick games can be attributed
to the fact that Clemson hurlers like to work fast on the mound.


Outfield Defense Not Going Unnoticed


Stats can be deceiving, but in the case of outfield defense,
there are not many stats to measure it at all. However, this area
has been a strength of the Tiger team in 2006. The outfield of Tyler
Colvin (LF), Brad Chalk (CF), and Travis Storrer (RF) along with
recent starter D.J. Mitchell (RF) have saved many runs with
outstanding running catches. The four have combined for eight
outfield assists as well.


Thievery on the Rise


Aggression on the basepaths has become a focal point of the
Tiger team in recent weeks. And in five games last week, Clemson
stole 14 bases to up its season total to 32 in 38 attempts through 22
games. Herman Demmink leads the club with eight steals in eight
attempts, while Tyler Colvin is 7-8. Even senior catcher Adrian
Casanova has gotten into the act, as he had his first career stolen
base against #12 N.C. State on March 26.


Tigers Quiet Wolfpack in Series Sweep


Clemson swept N.C. State by a combined score of 19-9 from
March 24-26 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers outhit N.C. State,
who entered the series hitting .367, by 91 points (.305 to .214) and
stole six bases. Clemson's pitching staff had a 2.67 ERA, as all
three Tiger starting pitchers earned victories. Tyler Colvin was
5-for-11 (.455) with three doubles, a triple, and four RBIs to lead
Clemson.


In game one, Clemson scored nine runs in the first two
innings and held on for a 9-5 win over N.C. State on March 24. Andy
D'Alessio hit a grand slam in the first inning, as the Tigers totaled
11 of their 12 hits in the first two innings. The Wolfpack chipped
away with two runs in the fifth inning and three runs in the sixth
inning, but Alex Martin shut the door with 3.0 hitless and scoreless
innings in relief. Steve Richard also struck out the only batter he
faced and picked up the save. Josh Cribb pitched 5.1 innings with
eight strikeouts to earn the win. N.C. State stranded 12 runners on
base, including at least one in every inning, and struck out 13 times
in the game.


In game two, Clemson scored four runs in the fourth inning
and pitched its way through the latter stages of the game to come
away with a 4-2 win over the Wolfpack on March 25. Triples by Brad
Chalk and Colvin along with a double by Taylor Harbin to lead off the
fourth sparked the four-run rally. The Wolfpack twice had runners on
second and third with one out, but both times they came away without
any runs. After scoring two runs in the eighth inning, N.C. State
threatened in the ninth, but Matt Camp, the potential tying run, was
thrown out by Chalk (after rounding second base too far after Jon
Still singled) to end the game. Jason Berken allowed just five runs
and one earned run in 7.0 innings pitched to record the win, while
Daniel Moskos pitched 2.0 scoreless innings to pick up the save. The
Tigers overcame three defensive errors and stranded nine Wolfpack
players on base.


In game three, the Tigers defeated N.C. State 6-2 to sweep
the series. Clemson, who scored in only three different innings in
the first two games of the series, scored in five different innings
in game three, totaling 10 hits as well. Stephen Faris pitched 8.0
shutout innings, allowing only four hits and no walks with five
strikeouts, to earn the victory. Colvin went 3-for-3 with two
doubles, two walks, and two RBIs, while Stan Widmann went 2-for-3.
Clemson scored three unearned runs thanks to two errors by
first-baseman Aaron Bates, while the Tigers did not commit an error.
Clemson also walked eight times and stole five bases.

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