Clemson Baseball ACC Tournament preview and notes
|Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 8:24 PM-|
Clemson to Play in the 38th ACC Tournament
Clemson (39-17), the #6 seed, will open its ACC Tournament slate by playing #3-seed Georgia Tech (39-17) on Wednesday at 11:00 AM on the first day of the ACC Tournament. The Tigers will be the designated visiting team and occupy the first-base dugout.
The Tigers will then play #2-seed Florida State (40-15) on Thursday at 3:00 PM. Clemson will be the designated home team and occupy the third-base dugout in that game. The Tigers will face two of the three First-Team All-ACC starting pitchers in Mark Pope (Georgia Tech) and Sean Gilmartin (Florida State). Clemson will be the only team to face two First-Team All-ACC starting pitchers in the ACC Tourney.
After a day off on Friday, Clemson’s third game will be against #7-seed N.C. State (33-23) on Saturday at 11:00 AM. The home team for Saturday’s game will be determined by a coin flip. All three of Clemson’s games in the ACC Tournament will be televised live by Regional Sports Network, which includes Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Florida.
The games will be played at Durham (NC) Bulls Athletic Park. It will be the seventh time the ACC Baseball Tournament is held in Durham and the fifth time at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The event was also held at that park in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2009. The round-robin format, in its fifth year, features two separate four-team divisions that guarantees all eight teams will play a minimum of three games and maximum of four games during the ACC Tournament.
The other division is comprised of #1-seed Virginia, #4-seed North Carolina, #5-seed Miami (FL), and #8-seed Wake Forest. The winner of each division will meet in the ACC Championship Game on Sunday at 1:00 PM. It will be televised live by Regional Sports Network and the game’s winner will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Tourney.
All of Clemson’s ACC Tourney games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will be available at ClemsonTigers.com for all Tiger games.
The Series (Georgia Tech)
Clemson and Georgia Tech have met 205 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 102-100-3 lead in the series dating back to the 1902 season. The two squads have faced each other at least one time every year since 1974.
Earlier this season at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, the Tigers won game-one 4-2 and game-three 3-1, while the Yellow Jackets won game-two 5-1. In 2010 at Atlanta, GA, the Yellow Jackets swept the Tigers by scores of 8-6, 4-3, and 11-3. Then in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, NC, Clemson topped Georgia Tech 9-3.
The Tigers hold a 15-9 lead in ACC Tourney games. The last time the two teams met in the tourney was the aforementioned 2010 meeting. The two also played in the 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002, and 2000 ACC Tourneys. The Tigers hold an 18-7 advantage in neutral-site contests as well.
Jack Leggett has a 37-31 record against Georgia Tech as Clemson’s head coach, including an 8-5 mark in the ACC Tournament. He was 3-5 against the Yellow Jackets as Western Carolina’s head coach, meaning he is 40-36 all-time against Georgia Tech. Of Leggett’s 68 games coached against Georgia Tech as Clemson’s skipper, 61 have come against a top-25 Yellow Jacket squad, as he has a 33-28 record in those 61 meetings.
The Series (Florida State)
Clemson and Florida State have met 120 times on the diamond, with the Seminoles holding a 64-55-1 lead in the series dating back to 1958.
The two teams last met in a three-game series at Dick Howser Stadium from May 19-21, 2011. The Tigers won the final two games of the series by scores of 7-4 and 8-5 after the Seminoles won game-one 8-6. In 2010 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on the final weekend of the regular season, the Tigers swept the Seminoles by scores of 9-8, 8-4, and 8-3.
The Seminoles hold a 10-8 lead in ACC Tournament games. The two last met in the ACC Tournament in 2007 at Jacksonville, FL, as the Tigers were victorious 5-1. That was the only meeting between the two in the ACC Tourney from 2003-10. From 1992-02, Clemson and Florida State met at least one time in the ACC Tournament every year except one (1998). The Tigers hold a 12-11 advantage in neutral-site contest as well.
Jack Leggett has a 31-37 record against Florida State as Clemson’s head coach, including a 6-10 mark in the ACC Tournament. All 68 of Leggett’s games coached against Florida State have been against a top-25 ranked Seminole team.
The Series (N.C. State)
Clemson and N.C. State have met 180 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 108-71-1 lead in the series dating back to the 1921 season. The two teams have faced each other at least one time every season since 1953.
Earlier this season at Doak Field, the Wolfpack won the first two games by scores of 6-0 and 5-3 before Clemson won game-three 7-3. In the three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in 2010, Clemson won all three games by scores of 12-7, 12-6, and 7-6. Then in the ACC Tournament at Greensboro, NC, the Wolfpack downed the Tigers by a score of 13-8.
The Tigers hold a 17-11 lead in ACC Tournament games. The last time the two teams met in the ACC Tourney was the aforementioned 2010 matchup. In 2008 at Jacksonville, FL, the Wolfpack defeated Clemson 10-0 in seven innings. That win snapped the Tigers’ nine-game winning streak over the Wolfpack in the ACC Tournament. The Tigers also hold a 13-12 advantage in neutral-site contests.
Jack Leggett has a 42-21 record against N.C. State as Clemson’s head coach, including an 8-2 mark in the ACC Tournament. Leggett was 7-18 against N.C. State as Western Carolina’s head coach, meaning he has a 49-39 all-time record against the Wolfpack.
The Starting Pitchers (Georgia Tech)
Georgia Tech will start junior righthander Mark Pope (11-3, 1.54 ERA) on the mound. The Marietta, GA native has made 14 starts for a total of 105.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 81 hits (.210 opponents’ batting average), including only 13 extra-base hits, and 21 walks with 85 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with sophomore righty
Dominic LeoneDominic Leone
#6 5-11, 185
View Full Profile (5-2, 3.67 ERA) on Wednesday. The Norwich, CT native has made 10 starts and three relief appearances for a total of 56.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 42 hits (.207 opponents’ batting average) and 24 walks with 63 strikeouts.
The Starting Pitchers (Florida State)
Florida State will start junior lefthander Sean Gilmartin (10-1, 1.35 ERA) on the mound. The Moorpark, CA native has made 14 starts and one relief appearance for a total of 100.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 67 hits (.187 opponents’ batting average) and 16 walks with 113 strikeouts.
Clemson’s starting pitcher for Thursday’s game against Florida State has yet to be determined.
The Starting Pitchers (N.C. State)
Both team’s starting pitchers for Saturday’s game between Clemson and N.C. State have yet to be determined.
The Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech, led by 18th-year Head Coach Danny Hall and ranked as high as #8 in the nation, enters the ACC Tournament with a 39-17 overall record and 22-8 ACC mark after winning two of three games at Virginia Tech to close the regular season. The Yellow Jackets, who tied for the ACC’s best record, sports an 0-1 record in neutral-site contests in 2011.
Georgia Tech is averaging 6.7 runs per game and hitting .308 with a .445 slugging percentage and .390 on-base percentage thanks to 239 walks and 39 hit-by-pitches against 402 strikeouts. The team has also totaled 119 doubles, 15 triples, 40 home runs, and 61 stolen bases in 76 attempts.
Freshman Kyle Wren is hitting a team-high .370 with 11 doubles, six triples, one homer, 32 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases. Matt Skole is hitting .351 with 15 doubles, eight home runs, and a team-high 55 RBIs, while Jake Davies is batting .349 with 13 doubles, one triple, four homers, and 33 RBIs. Jacob Esch has added a team-high 21 doubles and Brandon Thomas has a team-high 18 steals.
The pitching staff has a 2.86 ERA and .231 opponents’ batting average along with 485 strikeouts against 180 walks in 501.0 innings pitched. Sophomore righthander Luke Bard has eight of the team’s nine saves along with a 3.32 ERA in 40.2 innings pitched over 23 appearances (one start). Georgia Tech, who has allowed 45 steals in 56 attempts, is fielding at a .968 clip as well.
Florida State, led by 32nd-year Head Coach Mike Martin and ranked as high as #7 in the nation, enters the ACC Tournament with a 40-15 overall record and 19-11 ACC mark after falling twice in three games to Clemson at home to close the regular season. The Seminoles, who are 16-5 in their last 21 games, are 2-0 in neutral-site contests.
Florida State is averaging 7.4 runs per game and hitting .292 with a .449 slugging percentage and .411 on-base percentage thanks to a national-best 331 walks and 71 hit-by-pitches against 423 strikeouts. The team has also totaled 128 doubles, eight triples, 52 home runs, and 71 stolen bases in 90 attempts.
James Ramsey leads the team with a .349 batting average along with 17 doubles, three triples, nine homers, 57 RBIs, and 10 steals. Jayce Boyd is hitting .341 with 12 doubles, four triples, five homers, 53 RBIs, and nine stolen bases. Mike McGee is hitting .338 with 12 doubles, 10 homers, and 50 RBIs, while Devon Travis is batting .333 with 21 doubles, six home runs, and 32 RBIs.
The pitching staff has a 3.52 ERA and .242 opponents’ batting average along with 418 strikeouts against 204 walks in 496.0 innings pitched. Senior righthander Daniel Bennett has a team-high 12 saves along with a 3-1 record, 2.31 ERA, and 41 strikeouts in 46.2 innings pitched over 34 relief appearances. Florida State, who has allowed 29 steals in 50 attempts, is fielding at a .972 clip as well.
N.C. State, led by 15th-year Head Coach Elliott Avent, enters the ACC Tournament with a 33-23 overall record and 15-15 ACC mark after sweeping Boston College on the road to close the regular season. N.C. State, who was won five games in a row, is 1-1 in neutral-site contests.
N.C. State is averaging 6.1 runs per game and hitting .282 with a .405 slugging percentage and .375 on-base percentage thanks to 238 walks and 54 hit-by-pitches against 396 strikeouts. The team has also totaled 111 doubles, 13 triples, 32 home runs, and 29 stolen bases in 43 attempts.
Pratt Maynard is batting a team-best .335 with 19 doubles, one triple, five homers, and 40 RBIs, while shortstop Chris Diaz is hitting .328 with six stolen bases and a .976 fielding percentage. Harold Riggins is batting .311 with a team-best .439 on-base percentage as well.
The pitching staff has a 4.20 ERA and .256 opponents’ batting average along with 432 strikeouts against 190 walks in 493.1 innings pitched. Sophomore righthander Chris Overman is 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA, has six of the team’s 10 saves, and has allowed 31 hits (.214 opponents’ batting average) and seven walks with 37 strikeouts in 42.0 innings pitched over 25 relief appearances. N.C. State, who has allowed 54 steals in 74 attempts, is fielding
Clemson, ranked as high as #14 in the nation, enters the ACC Tournament with a 39-17 overall record and 17-13 ACC mark after defeating #4 Florida State twice in three games in Tallahassee over the weekend. The Tigers, who have won 25 of their last 30 games, sport a 2-2 neutral-site record.
The Tigers are averaging 7.2 runs per game and hitting .320 with a .455 slugging percentage and .408 on-base percentage thanks to 269 walks and 42 hit-by-pitches against 346 strikeouts. Clemson has also totaled 110 doubles, 16 triples, 39 homers, and 98 stolen bases in 129 attempts.
Brad MillerBrad Miller
#13 6-1, 185
View Full Profile is hitting an ACC-best .431 with a .536 on-base percentage and 21 steals. Will LambWill Lamb
#30 6-6, 175
View Full Profile has hit safely in 41 of his last 44 games and is batting .343 on the season. Phil PohlPhil Pohl
#9 5-11, 210
View Full Profile is batting .328 with 17 doubles, four homers, and 31 RBIs. John HinsonJohn Hinson
#4 6-1, 180
View Full Profile has a .326 batting average, seven homers, 35 RBIs, 21 stolen bases, and is riding a 12-game hitting streak. Richie ShafferRichie Shaffer
#8 6-3, 205
View Full Profile leads the team in homers (10), RBIs (45), and runs (58) as well.
The pitching staff has a 3.12 ERA and .228 opponents’ batting average in 495.2 innings pitched. The staff has allowed 164 walks against 441 strikeouts, good for a 2.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Junior righthander
Scott WeismannScott Weismann
#33 6-0, 190
View Full Profile has a team-high six saves and 47 strikeouts against 15 walks in 20 appearances (eight starts). The Tigers are fielding at a .969 clip as well.
Clemson’s ACC Tournament History
This is the 38th ACC Baseball Tournament, and Clemson has been to the finals in 21 of the previous 37 tournaments, nine more than any other school. Clemson has won nine ACC Tournaments in history, more than any other school, including in 2006 when it defeated N.C. State 8-4 in the championship game. Clemson has a 100-59 record in ACC Tournament games. The Tigers also have the most All-ACC Tournament selections (53) in history.
Prior to capturing the 2006 title, the Tigers had not won it all since 1994. That was Jack Leggett’s first year as Clemson’s head coach. Clemson beat Florida State 4-1 in the title game held in Greenville (SC) Municipal Stadium.
Leggett has been on the field to accept the championship trophy three times in all. In 1993, then Head Coach Bill Wilhelm was suspended for the championship game. Leggett, then the top assistant for the Tigers, was in charge for that 1993 title game, an 11-7 win over N.C. State. Clemson’s nine ACC Tournament titles came in 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, and 2006. Wilhelm is credited with the first seven tournament titles.
Clemson has been a consistent team in tournament play. The Tigers have won at least two tournament games in 31 of their previous 37 appearances. While Clemson has won the title just once since 1994, the Tigers have been to the championship round seven of the last 17 years. Clemson is also one of only two teams to play in all 37 ACC Tournaments. The Tigers join Virginia as the only teams to play in every ACC Tourney.
Only 14 times in the 37-year history has the #1 seed captured the title. Clemson has done it six times, Georgia Tech and North Carolina three times, and Florida State and Miami (FL) once.
The Tigers have won the ACC Tournament with a perfect record five times. The Tigers were 3-0 in 1976 and 1978 in winning both events at Clemson, then they had a 4-0 record in winning the title at Raleigh, NC in 1980. Clemson’s only other perfect run through the tournament came in 1991, when a Tiger team that won a school-record 60 games had a 5-0 mark in the ACC Tournament held at Greenville, SC.
This will be the 15th time the tournament is held in the state of North Carolina after it was played at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro in 2010 and Durham Bulls Athletic Park in 2009. Prior to 2009, the previous time it was played in the Tar Heel State was in 1999, when it was played at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The 2012 tourney will return to NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, while the 2013 tournament is scheduled to be played at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Clemson has a winning record against every ACC team (excluding Boston College, who has not faced the Tigers in the event) in tournament play with the exception of Florida State and Virginia Tech. Clemson is 8-10 against the Seminoles and 0-1 against the Hokies in the ACC Tournament. The Tigers are also 8-4 against Duke, 15-9 versus Georgia Tech, 12-0 against Maryland, 2-1 versus Miami (FL), 16-11 against North Carolina, 17-11 versus N.C. State, 10-7 against Virginia, and 12-5 versus Wake Forest. That computes to a 100-59 record and 62.9-percent winning mark. Only Florida State (67.0) has a better winning percentage than Clemson in ACC Tournament play.
Clemson was the dominant team when the ACC Tournament was played at Greenville, SC from 1987-95. In those nine tournaments, Clemson posted a 36-12 record, won the event four times, and finished second on two other occasions. Clemson won at least three games in eight of the nine tournaments held in Greenville as well.
The ACC Tournament began in 1973 and has been held every year but one since then. In 1979, Clemson won the regular-season title and was declared the conference champion. The tournament was not held because of a scheduling conflict between school exam schedules and the tourney. Clemson has been declared conference champion 14 times in history, more than any other school.
• Clemson has played 24 games against top-50 RPI teams (according to WarrenNolan.com), 15 of which have been against teams in the top seven of the RPI. Clemson has an RPI of #8 according to WarrenNolan.com.
• Clemson won seven weekend series in a row to close the regular season. The Tigers also won each of their last six ACC series and seven of the 10 ACC series.
• Clemson pitchers have combined for a 1.16 ERA and .174 opponents’ batting average along with 52 strikeouts in 46.2 innings pitched in the ninth inning.
The Tigers moved up one spot to #14 in this week’s Sports Weekly coaches poll after going 3-1 in four games last week. Clemson also moved up four spots to #14 in the Baseball America rankings and remained at #18 in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
Clemson has had at least one final top-25 ranking in 14 of Head Coach Jack Leggett’s first 17 seasons in Tigertown. The Tigers have also been ranked #1 for 20 weeks by at least one of the three major polls under Leggett. Their last #1 ranking came on February 12, 2007 by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
The Tigers finished in second place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings with a 17-13 league record in 2011. In the division, Florida State finished in first place with a 19-11 record, while N.C. State and Wake Forest tied for third at 15-15. Virginia and Georgia Tech tied for the best overall ACC record (22-8). In the overall ACC standings, Clemson finished in sixth place.
Clemson #9 in the Nation in Average Home Attendance
Entering this week’s action, a total of 137,837 fans have been in attendance for Clemson’s 32 home dates in 2011, an average of 4,307 per date. That figure is #9 in the nation and second-best in the ACC in 2011. It is also on pace to be the sixth-highest figure in Tiger history for a season. Through the 2010 season, Clemson had a top-20 national figure in attendance for 17 straight seasons and a top-10 national figure in attendance for nine years in a row.
Clemson Leading the ACC in Batting Average
Clemson is leading the ACC in batting average at .320, 12 points higher than second-place Georgia Tech (.308). The .320 batting average is Clemson’s best mark since 2002, when that team, with the likes of Khalil Greene, Jeff Baker, and Michael Johnson, batted .324.
The Tigers, who also lead the ACC with 98 stolen bases, are third in the ACC in ERA (3.12). The 3.12 ERA is Clemson’s best mark since 1996, when that team, with the likes of Kris Benson and Billy Koch, had a 3.03 ERA. Clemson is one of the few teams in the nation in the top 10 in batting average and opponents’ batting average (.228) as well.
Five Tigers Named to All-ACC Team
Five Tigers were named First or Second-Team All-ACC in 2011. Junior shortstop Brad Miller and sophomore first-baseman Richie Shaffer were both named First-Team All-ACC, while junior outfielder Will Lamb, junior DH/UT Phil Pohl, and senior outfielder
Jeff SchausJeff Schaus
#3 6-1, 205
View Full Profile were named Second-Team All-ACC. The team was compiled by a vote of the 12 ACC head coaches.
Miller, who was also named ACC Player-of-the-Year, leads the ACC in batting average (.431) and on-base percentage (.536) along with totaling 11 doubles, three triples, four homers, 44 RBIs, and 21 stolen bases in 49 games. Shaffer is batting .316 with 13 doubles, two triples, 10 homers, 45 RBIs, 58 runs, and a .445 on-base percentage.
Lamb has hit safely in 41 of his last 44 games and is batting .343 with 13 steals. Pohl is hitting .328 with 17 doubles, four homers, and 31 RBIs. Schaus, who was a First-Team All-ACC selection in 2009 and a Second-Team All-ACC pick in 2010, is hitting .322 with 17 doubles, two triples, 40 RBIs, and a .427 on-base percentage. Schaus became the first Tiger to be named All-ACC three times since Khalil Greene (2000-02).
Miller Named ACC Player-of-the-Year
Brad Miller was named ACC Player-of-the-Year on May 23, voted on by the 12 ACC head coaches. The junior shortstop, who leads the ACC in both batting average (.431) and on-base percentage (.536) by a wide margin, has totaled 11 doubles, three triples, four homers, 44 RBIs, 49 runs, a .605 slugging percentage, 37 walks, and a team-tying-high 21 stolen bases in 49 games (47 starts) in 2011.
Miller became the first Tiger to be named ACC Player-of-the-Year since shortstop Khalil Greene, who won the award in 2002 on the way to earning national player-of-the-year honors. Miller, who is also one of 36 semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy, became Clemson’s 12th ACC Player-of-the-Year.
Pohl Named Third-Team Academic All-American
Phil Pohl was named Third-Team Academic All-American, announced by CoSIDA on May 24. The Capital One Academic All-America baseball team was selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America to recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performance on the field and in the classroom. Pohl was also named First-Team Academic All-District III.
Pohl was selected as the third-team designated hitter on the Academic All-America team. He is the Tiger baseball team’s first Academic All-American since 1995 (Paul Galloway). The Cooperstown, NY native and co-captain is hitting .328 with 17 doubles, four homers, 31 RBIs, 38 runs, and five steals in 53 games (50 starts).
In the classroom, Pohl completed the 2011 spring semester with a 3.74 career GPA in management. He was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll each of his first two seasons at Clemson and was honored during the 2010 College World Series Opening Ceremonies for having the team’s best GPA. Pohl has also been involved in several community service projects during his time at Clemson.
Tigers Top #4 Seminoles Twice on the Road
Clemson, ranked as high as #15 in the nation, won two of three games over #4 Florida State by a combined score of 21-17 at Dick Howser Stadium from May 19-21. Clemson outhit the Seminoles .305 to .241 and had a .411 on-base percentage, six homers, 19 walks, and four steals. The Tigers also hit two homers in each of the three games.
Chris EppsChris Epps
#26 6-1, 195
Stone Mountain, GA
View Full Profile went 5-for-9 with a homer, while Brad Miller went 5-for-11 with a homer and double. Richie Shaffer added two home runs in the series. The Tiger pitching staff had a 5.19 ERA and 25 strikeouts against 12 walks in 25.0 innings pitched. David HaseldenDavid Haselden
#29 6-4, 240
View Full Profile pitched 4.1 innings over two relief appearances and allowed just one hit and no earned runs, while Scott Weismann pitched 2.1 hitless and scoreless innings with two saves.
In game-one on May 19, Florida State scored in five of the first six innings and outlasted Clemson 8-6. After Miller’s solo homer in the first, the Seminoles scored six combined runs in the first four innings to take a 6-1 lead. But the Tigers battled back to cut the Seminole lead to 8-6 in the eighth inning before Florida State worked out of a bases-loaded jam. Sean Gilmartin pitched 7.0 effective innings to earn the win, while Daniel Bennett pitched the final 1.1 innings to record the save. Shaffer added a solo homer in the sixth inning for the Tigers, who outhit the Seminoles 10-9.
In game-two on May 20, Clemson built a 7-0 lead after five innings and held on for a 7-4 win over Florida State. The Tigers scored four runs in the third inning and added two runs in the fifth inning on Will Lamb’s two-run homer. The Seminoles chipped away with two runs in the sixth inning and two runs in the eighth. But Weismann closed the door and picked up the save. Starter
Justin SarrattJustin Sarratt
#23 5-9, 170
View Full Profile earned the win by tossing 5.1 effective innings. Miller, Lamb, and Jeff Schaus had three hits apiece to lead Clemson, who outhit Florida State 13-7 and drew eight walks. Schaus registered his 300th career hit in the game as well.
In game-three on May 21, Clemson jumped out to a 5-0 lead and held on for an 8-5 win over Florida State. Highlighted by a solo homer by Shaffer, the Tigers scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a 5-0 lead. James Ramsey’s three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning and two Seminole runs in the eighth inning narrowed Clemson’s lead to 6-5. But John Hinson’s solo homer in the ninth inning helped the Tigers to the three-run win. Schaus had a team-high two hits for the Tigers, who outhit the Seminoles 9-8. Haselden pitched 2.2 hitless and scoreless innings in relief to earn the win, while Weismann retired all three batters he faced to record the save.