Baseball Preview vs. Florida State & Notes

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Clemson vs. Florida State
Clemson (29-20, 14-10 ACC) will host #1 Florida State (40-9, 21-3 ACC) in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium starting Saturday. Game times are 6:30 PM (Saturday), 6:30 PM (Sunday), and 6:00 PM (Monday).
Clemson last faced a top-ranked team in the 2010 College World, when the Tigers defeated #1 Arizona State 6-3. Earlier in the 2010 season, the Tigers also faced #1 Virginia in Charlottesville. Clemson won one of the three games in the weekend series. This weekend’s series will also feature two of the top-six winningest active coaches in Division I history in Florida State’s Mike Martin (#3) and Clemson’s Jack Leggett (#6).
The games on Saturday and Sunday will be available live via webcast on ESPN3, while Monday’s game will be televised live by ESPNU. All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will also be available at for all three games.

The Series
Clemson and Florida State have met 121 times on the diamond, with the Seminoles holding a 65-55-1 lead in the series dating back to the 1958 season. The Tigers have won five of the last seven games in the series after Florida State won five of the previous six meetings.
Last season in Tallahassee, the Tigers won the final two games of the series by scores of 7-4 and 8-5 after Florida State won game-one by a score of 8-6. Then in the ACC Tournament at Durham, NC, the Seminoles topped the Tigers 6-3. In the three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in 2010, Clemson won all three games by scores of 9-8, 8-4, and 8-3, which enabled it to win the ACC Atlantic Division title.
The Tigers hold a 28-18 lead over the Seminoles in games played at Clemson and a 26-14 lead at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson also holds a 31-29 advantage in ACC regular-season games.
Jack Leggett has a 31-38 record against Florida State as Clemson’s head coach, including a 17-10 mark at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. All 69 of Leggett’s games coached against Florida State have been against a top-25 ranked Seminole team. Under Legget, the Tigers are also 26-34 against a top-10 Seminole squad, 17-25 against a top-five Florida State team, and 1-4 against a top-ranked Seminole team.

The Starting Pitchers
In game-one, Florida State will start freshman lefty Brandon Leibrandt (6-1, 2.71 ERA) on the mound. The Alpharetta, GA native has made 12 starts for a total of 63.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 58 hits (.250 opponents’ batting average) and 20 walks with 51 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with junior righty Dominic LeoneDominic Leone
Jr. RH Pitcher
#6 5-11, 195
Norwich, CT

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(6-3, 5.31 ERA) on Saturday. The Norwich, CT native has made 12 starts for a total of 62.2 innings pitched. He has surrendered 67 hits (.288 opponents’ batting average) and 29 walks with 48 strikeouts.
In game-two, the Seminoles will send out freshman righthander Mike Compton (9-0, 2.59 ERA) on the mound. The Branson, MO native has made 12 starts for a total of 62.2 innings pitched. He has given up 49 hits (.222 opponents’ batting average) and 22 walks with 42 strikeouts.
Clemson will counter with sophomore righty Kevin PohleKevin Pohle
So. RH Pitcher
#21 6-3, 180
St. Louis, MO

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(5-2, 2.91 ERA) on Sunday. The Saint Louis, MO native has made 10 starts and two relief appearances for a total of 58.2 innings pitched. He has given up 59 hits (.269 opponents’ batting average) and 24 walks with 34 strikeouts.
Both team’s starting pitchers for game-three on Monday have yet to be determined.

The Seminoles
Florida State, led by 33rd-year Head Coach Mike Martin and ranked as high as #1 in the nation, enters the series at Clemson with a 40-9 overall record and 21-3 ACC mark after splitting a pair of midweek games at Stetson. Florida State, who became the first team to reach the 40-win mark in 2012, is 14-4 on opponents’ home fields. The Seminoles are 11-1 in one-run games and have won all 12 weekend series in 2012, as their last regular-season series loss came against Clemson in Tallahassee to close the 2011 regular season.
Florida State is averaging 7.0 runs per game and hitting .286 with a .426 slugging percentage and .407 on-base percentage thanks to 275 walks and 75 hit-by-pitches against 342 strikeouts. The team has also totaled 108 doubles, nine triples, 34 home runs, and 53 stolen bases in 74 attempts.
James Ramsey leads the team with a .400 batting average along with 10 doubles, six triples, 11 homers, 41 RBIs, 61 runs, 44 walks, and a .533 on-base percentage. Jayce Boyd is batting .399 with 18 doubles, three home runs, 52 RBIs, and eight steals, while Devon Travis is hitting .333 with 17 doubles, five homers, and 30 RBIs. Sherman Johnson has a .431 on-base percentage thanks to 52 walks, while Justin Gonzalez has seven homers and a team-high 10 steals.
The pitching staff has a 3.27 ERA and .245 opponents’ batting average along with 353 strikeouts against 165 walks in 438.0 innings pitched. Junior righthander Robert Benincasa has a 4-0 record, 12 saves, an 0.61 ERA, a .154 opponents’ batting average, and 41 strikeouts against only five walks in 29.1 innings pitched over 24 relief appearances. Florida State, who has allowed 43 steals in 70 attempts, is fielding at a .970 clip as well.

The Tigers
Clemson enters the series against #1 Florida State with a 29-20 overall record and 14-10 ACC mark after defeating Tennessee Tech 9-8 in 10 innings at home on Tuesday. The Tigers, who are also coming off two wins in three games over College of Charleston last weekend, are 18-13 at home in 2012.
The Tigers are averaging 5.9 runs per game and hitting .278 with a .391 slugging percentage and .366 on-base percentage thanks to 213 walks and 40 hit-by-pitches against 305 strikeouts. Clemson has also totaled 75 doubles, 14 triples, 31 homers, and 45 stolen bases in 62 attempts.
Richie ShafferRichie Shaffer
Jr. 3rd Base
#8 6-3, 205
Charlotte, NC

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, who has reached base via a hit or walk in 27 consecutive games, leads the team with a .351 batting average along with 15 doubles, two triples, nine homers, 42 RBIs, 47 walks, five steals, and a .481 on-base percentage. Steve WilkersonSteve Wilkerson
So. 2nd Base
#17 6-1, 185
Roswell, GA

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is hitting .329 and is riding an 11-game hitting streak. Thomas BrittleThomas Brittle
RS Jr. Outfielder
#4 5-8, 170
Cross, SC

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is batting .328 with six doubles, seven triples, 33 RBIs, eight steals, and is riding a 22-game hitting streak.
The pitching staff has a 3.81 ERA and .268 opponents’ batting average in 451.0 innings pitched. The staff has allowed 178 walks against 375 strikeouts, good for a 2.11 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Junior righty Scott FirthScott Firth
Jr. RH Pitcher
#20 6-0, 165
Buffalo Grove, IL

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is 4-0 with one save, a 2.03 ERA, and .219 opponents’ batting average in 40.0 innings pitched over 18 relief appearances. The Tigers are fielding at a .972 clip as well.

Worth Noting
Phil PohlPhil Pohl
Sr. Catcher
#9 5-11, 215
Cooperstown, NY

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, Richie Shaffer, and Jason StolzJason Stolz
Sr. Infielder
#2 6-2, 205
Marietta, GA

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have started all 49 games in 2012.

Brittle Streaking
Thomas Brittle is riding a 22-game hitting streak, tied for the eighth-longest hitting streak in Clemson history. He is 40-for-105 (.381) with four doubles, six triples, two homers, 27 RBIs, 23 runs, four steals, and only eight strikeouts during his current 22-game hitting streak. It is the 20th hitting streak of 20 games or more in Clemson history, while he became the 19th Tiger with a hitting streak of 20 games or more.

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