Greenville, SC -
The road to Omaha and the College World Series begins during the offseason. Extra practices can be the difference in making the field of 64. On October 10, as part of the month-long Drivetoberfest at West End Field, two Upstate universities will get a jumpstart on the competition during the First Annual West End Field Fall Classic, featuring the Clemson Tigers and Furman Paladins with two separate intrasquad scrimmages.
Tickets for this doubleheader will be just $5, giving fans the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Tigers' and Paladins' 2008 teams from any of the great seats at West End Field. Gates will open at 3:00 PM, as Furman will have batting/infield practice prior to their intrasquad game at 4:00 PM. Clemson will then have batting/infield practice prior to their game at 7:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased at the Drive Box Office or by calling (864) 240-4528.
"Fans will not want to miss out on this exciting event as two of the premier local college teams hone their skills in preparation for the 2008 season," commented Drive General Manager Mike deMaine. "In addition all concession stands will be open at West End Field, providing all attendees the opportunity to purchase any of their favorite food options that we offer."
In between the two games, players from both teams will be available for photos and autographs during a session along the concourse level. This session will give fans the perfect opportunity to get up close with stars from both teams.
"The autograph session will give fans a great opportunity to interact with some of the best college baseball players, not just in the area but the country as well," added deMaine.
Neither Furman nor Clemson are strangers to West End Field, as both teams played regular season games at the Drive's home field during the 2007 season, and will once again call West End Field home for games in 2008. Furman will host the University of South Carolina on April 22, and less than 24 hours later Clemson and Presbyterian will call West End Field home on April 23. In addition, Furman will play Tennessee on May 13.
"The facility that the Drive have in Greenville is second to none," said Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett. "It is such a great opportunity for our players to play on a professional-caliber field, as well as showcase their talents to our fans in the Greenville area."
Despite having a team-record 11 players selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, nine of which signed professional contracts, the Tigers will once again be a contender in the ACC. Led by catcher Doug Hogan and shortstop Stan Widmann, both of whom were drafted but opted to return in 2008, along with an incoming class of recruits that ranks #21 in the country, the Tigers will look for their 23rd consecutive season with 39 or more victories and 22nd straight NCAA Regional appearance.
Considered one of the premier college coaches, Leggett became the second-youngest coach in NCAA history to reach the 1,000-win plateau and 29th head coach to accomplish the feat during the 2007 season. During his 14-year tenure with the Tigers, Leggett has produced eight Regional Championships along with five College World Series berths. More than 80 former Tigers have signed professional baseball contracts under Leggett's guidance, including National Players-of-the-Year Kris Benson (1996) and Khalil Greene (2002).