Clemson vs. Florida State Series
Clemson and Florida State have been among the elite teams of college
baseball for some time. Both teams are ranked in the top 15 of all
three college baseball polls this week.
Clemson has won each of the last five meetings against the Seminoles,
but Florida State still holds a 42-40 all-time lead in the series.
Clemson, however has the upperhand since Florida State joined the ACC
in 1992, as the Tigers hold a 24-17 lead in games played since that
Clemson has been dominant at Kingsmore Stadium, winning 13 of the 15
meetings since Florida State joined the ACC. That includes last year
when Clemson swept the second ranked Seminoles. Clemson added a
victory in the ACC Tournament on May 18, 8-4. That is the last time
the two teams met.
Florida State has an 8-4 lead in games at Tallahassee since 1992. The
two teams have split 14 ACC Tournament games played in that time
period (1992-00). The neutral site record shows how close the teams
have been over the years.
How good have the two programs been in recent years. Both teams have
ranked in the top 20 of at least one poll in 36 of the last 41 games.
Both teams have been ranked in the top 10 in 25 of the 41 meetings
since the Seminoles joined the ACC. Florida State has been ranked in
the top 10 in the nation each of the last 32 times they have met the
Tigers. That streak will be extended this weekend.
The Tigers have upset a top-10 Florida State team 16 times in the
last nine seasons. Heading into this year, 16 of Jack Leggett's 87
top-25 wins since he became Clemson coach in 1994 have come against
Clemson has beaten a number-one ranked Florida State team just once,
an 8-4 win in Tallahassee in 1999. But, Clemson has beaten a Florida
State team ranked as high as number-two in the country by at least
one poll, four times. Three of those have come within the last five
meetings between the two teams. Clemson beat a second-ranked Florida
State team in the 1999 ACC Tournament, 8-7. The Tigers defeated a
second-ranked Florida State team at Clemson last year by scores of
8-7 and 5-4.
Tigers from Florida
Clemson has five current players on its roster from the state of
Florida. The list includes starting shortstop Khalil Greene and
starting pitcher Matt Henrie. Both figure to play important roles
when Clemson goes to Tallahassee this weekend.
Greene is a native of Key West, FL. He is hitting .266 this season
with three home runs and 18 RBIs. He led the Clemson team in hitting
last year as a sophomore. Henrie is from Jupiter, FL and has a 3-0
record with a 2.08 ERA.
The other three Tigers from Florida are Patrick Boyd (Palm Harbor),
Seth Miller (Lakeland) and Ryan Klosterman (Montverde). Boyd, a
preseason All-American, has played in just one game this year due to
a back injury. He hopes to return to the Clemson lineup in mid to
late April. Miller is a reserve catcher who is hit .378 for his 19
games and 45 at bats. Klosterman has played in 10 games as a reserve
infielder and is 0-6at the plate.
Greene Sets HBP Records
Who is the Ron Hunt of Clemson baseball? The answer is starting
shortstop Khalil Greene who believes in getting on base anyway he
can. Hunt set many records for being hit by a pitch in his major
league career with the Mets and Expos. Greene is establishing records
in that area at Clemson.
Greene has already been hit 15 times this season, just two off the
Clemson single season mark of 17 set by Mike Hampton in 1994 and Gary
Burnham in 1995. Greene has now been hit 41 times in his career, an
all-time Clemson record. He is just in the middle of his junior year.
Burnham owned the all-time record with 39 HBP recorded between
Greene was hit five times in the New York Tech series, including a
single game record three times in the first game of the series, a
24-3 win. That included being hit twice in one inning in that game,
also a first in Clemson baseball history.
Greene has now been hit by a pitch 15 times and walked 15 times this
season. He has a .415 on-base percentage for his 109 at bats.
Johnson on a Hot Streak
Clemson's top hitter of late is first baseman Michael Johnson. The
sophomore from Georgetown, SC leads the Clemson team in batting
average (.414), slugging percentage (.793) and on-base percentage
(.556) through the first 29 games.
That would be a significant accomplishment, leading in all three
categories for the course of a season. However, you don't have to go
back very far in the history books to find the last time that has
happened. Current Tiger Khalil Greene accomplished that batting
triple last year.
Johnson has been especially hot of late at the plate. He has a
seven-game hitting streak and has had multiple hits in five of those
seven games. In the last seven games he is 15 for 27 at the plate and
has seven RBIs. Including a two-home run game against New York Tech
on March 30, Johnson has eight home runs for the season, second on
Johnson played in just 44 games last year and hit .306 with three
home runs and 27 RBIs. He had a two home run game against Old
Dominion on February 20th, but a hand injury limited his
effectiveness at midseason. He missed 15 games due to the injury.
Johnson has been around the game for some time. He played for his
father, Mike Johnson, Sr., at Georgetown High. His father played
college baseball for Erskine from 1966-69. Clemson hs been in his
blood for sometime. Johnson's grandfather, Farrel Owens, played
football and baseball at Clemson in the 1950s. He also attended
Clemson's summer baseball came six consecutive years between 1992-97.
Baker Leads in Homers and RBIs
Clemson third baseman Jeff Baker has a seven-game hitting streak
going. The sophomore from Woodbridge, VA has improved his batting
average to .390 for the season after going 11 for his last 21 over
the last five games.
Baker has nine home runs and 41 RBIs to lead the Tiger team in both
categories. He had eight RBIs and eight hits and seven runs scored in
the three games in the New York Tech series. His best game of the
year took place against Ohio University on March 11 when he had a 4-4
day and drove in seven runs. He also had a six-RBI game against
Richmond in the second game of the year, a contest in which he hit a
pair of home runs.
Baker now has 20 home runs for the season. He led the Tigers in that
category a year ago with 11. He had 64 RBIs and a .313 batting
average last year also. Obviously he is going to improve on those
figures this season.
Clemson Pitching Improved
Clemson's pitching staff has made a strong performance in recent
games. The Tigers had a team ERA of 6.52 through the first 10 games
of the season. But, Clemson has now lowered that figure to 4.27 for
After allowing 63 earned runs in the first 10 games, Clemson has
allowed just 60 in the last 19 games.
Over the last 11 games Clemson has allowed one or no earned runs
eight times. Clemson held a 20th ranked Wake Forest team to one
earned run in each of its victories in Winston-Salem. The team
allowed just one earned run in three wins over New York Tech last
weekend. Four of the last five games Clemson has had double figures
in strikeouts as a staff.
Reba Leads Starters
Steve Reba has been Clemson's top pitcher this year. The junior from
Fort Wayne, IN has a 5-0 record and a 1.99 ERA, both tops on the
club. He has gained wins over Richmond, Oregon State, Ohio, Maryland
and New York Tech. He has had more strikeouts than walks in every
appearance and has a 40/12 strikeout/walk ratio this year.
Reba had just two starts in 19 appearances last year, but had a 3-0
record with 33 strikeouts and just 15 walks. He has now won nine
straight decisions and has not suffered a defeat since May of 1999.
In other words, he has a perfect record this century.
Henrie Most Improved Pitcher
The "Where did he come from," award for Clemson baseball for this
year goes to Matt Henrie. The sophomore from Jupiter, FL and Cardinal
Newman High School appeared in just five games in 1999 and had an ERA
of 13.50. He pitched just 3.1 innings for the season. He red-shirted
the 2000 season.
So far this year, Henrie has a 3-0 record and a sterling 2.08 ERA. He
has won his last three starts, victories over Maryland, Wake Forest
and New York Tech. During those three games he has allowed just one
earned run in 19 innings, has 16 strikeouts and just six walks.
Henrie was named ACC Pitcher of the Week earlier this year when he
shutout Maryland 7-0. He pitched six innings and allowed just three
hits, no runs and struck out five of the 25 batters he faced.
Clemson Falls to #28 Winthrop
Jason Colson and Bennett Stapf belted home runs and Ben Thurmond
earned his seventh win of the year, leading 28th-ranked (Collegiate
Baseball) Winthrop to an 8-4 win over 8th-ranked Clemson at Doug
Winthrop improved to 27-5-1 for the season, adding Clemson to a
growing list of standout college programs it has beaten this year.
Winthrop has two wins apiece over Kentucky and Florida, and also has
triumphs over Alabama, North Carolina and N.C. State. Tuesday night's
win was Winthrop's ninth in a row, and 15th in the 16 games played
since March 10th.
Thurmond was outstanding with the exception of the seventh inning
when he allowed a three-run homer to Casey Stone. He did not allow
Clemson any hits in five of the innings he worked. He struck out
eight and walked three in 8 1/3 innings of work.
Winthrop wasted little time taking a lead. Josh Ury opened the game
with a double to left center. One out later Jason Colson hit his team
best seventh home run of the season off Tiger starter and loser
Patrick Hogan. Hogan, a red-shirt freshman from Columbia, SC was
making his first start as a Tiger.
Clemson countered with a run of its own in the bottom of the first.
With one out, Kyle Frank and Khalil Greene had back-to-back singles
to left field. That brought up Jeff Baker, Clemson's leader in RBIs
for the season, and he delivered a single to right to score Frank.
Winthrop increased its lead to 4-1 with two runs in the third. Todd
Leathers opened the inning with a single to center. One out later
cleanup hitter Bennett Stapf homered the left field. Stas Swerdzewski
followed with a single. Jack Leggett then brought in Kevin Lynn, who
finished the inning with consecutive strikeouts.
Lynn allowed just one run over the next five innings. That came in
the fourth when Jordan Webb singled, went to second on a sacrifice,
to third on a single by Ury and scored on a ground out to short by
Leathers. Lynn had his best outing of the season. Entering the game
with an ERA close to 8.0, the native of North Augusta, SC pitched six
innings, allowed four hits, two runs, struck out seven and walked
Clemson finally got to Thurmond in the bottom of the seventh. Ryan
Riley led off with a single and moved to second when Steve Pyzik
reached on an error by third baseman Jason Colson. Stone then
followed with his first home run of the season, a shot to right
field. It was just the second career home run in 193 career games for
Stone, his first ever at Kingsmore Stadium.
That brought Clemson to within 5-4, but that was as close as the
Tigers could get. Winthrop added three more runs in the top of the
ninth to take control of the game. The key hit of the ninth inning
rally was a two-run single by catcher Stas Swerdzewski.
Clemson Wins NY Tech Series 51-3
After a 24-3 win over the New York Institute of Technology on Friday,
Clemson claimed 13-0 and 14-0 victories on Saturday. It marked the
first time since Feb. 16, 1992 that Clemson won two games by shutout
in the same day. Clemson swept Eastern Kentucky, 7-0 and 22-0 at
Kingsmore Stadium that day.
Clemson outscored New York Tech 51-3 in the three-game series played
over two days. It was the most runs scored in a three-game series by
Clemson since 1997 when the Tigers outscored Coastal Carolina 52-16
in a three-game set. The 48-run margin over the three games was the
highest combined victory margin in a three-game series since 1969
when Clemson out-scored Buffalo 61-9 in three consecutive games.
Boyd Returns, then Returns to Bench
Patirck Boyd played his first game of the season March 11 in the 17-4
win over Ohio University. The senior preseason All-American sat out
all of preseason practice and missed the team's first 13 games of the
season with a stress fracture in his back.
Boyd was 1 for 3 with a double and scored two runs against Ohio, but
the pain continued and forced him to miss the two games with Georgia
Southern. On March 14, he flew with team doctor Byron Harder to
Tampa, FL to be checked out by a back specialist, who works primarily
with major and minor league baseball players. The short-term
prognosis is not good for Boyd, who is about halfway through the 5-6
week rehabilitation process.
Boyd was a 1999 All-American and is a 2001 preseason second-team
All-American by Baseball America. He is a career .341 hitter with a
.442 on-base percentage and 49 stolen bases in three seasons. The
senior from Palm Harbor, FL ranks in the school's career top-10 lists
in five different categories, including walks, doubles, runs scored,
hits and RBIs.
This year the Clemson most valuable player of the Clemson vs. South
Carolina series will win the Bob Bradley Award. The award will be
given to the top player from Clemson over the four game series
between the two teams each year. South Carolina's top player will be
presented the Tom Price Award. Both Bradley and Price had a
tremendous positive influence on the baseball programs at Clemson and
South Carolina as the school's sports information directors. Bradley
passed away this past Oct. 30. He had served as Clemson's baseball
SID for 45 years and still served as Clemson's official scorer for
most of the 2000 season. Price continues to serve the South Carolina
baseball program in an emeritus capacity.
Clemson, South Carolina to Play Two More Times
After splitting the first two games with the visiting team getting
the victory, Clemson and South Carolina will meet two more times this
season. The Tigers and Gamecocks will not meet again until a midweek
game on April 18 in Columbia and a week later on April 25 in Clemson.
The last the teams played four times in one season was in 1996.
Clemson swept the four games that season by a combined 30-7. Clemson
and South Carolina regularly played four-game series from 1993-1997.
Riley Named ACC Player of the Week
Clemson's Ryan Riley earned ACC Player of the Week honors on Feb. 26
after the Tigers went 3-2 in five games in Las Vegas, NV against UNLV
and Oregon State.
Riley, a senior second baseman, earned ACC Player of the Week honors
after leading Clemson in a three-game series vs. Oregon State and a
two-game series at UNLV. For the week, the Seattle, WA, native
notched 11 hits, nine RBIs and a .524 batting average. He finished
the five-game stretch with 21 at bats as well as contributing seven
runs, three doubles and two home runs. Riley had at least one hit in
all five contests and went 3 for 4 on two occasions and missed
hitting for the cycle in the finale vs. Oregon State by a triple. He
had a single, a double and an inside-the-park home run.
Advance Tickets On Sale
Advance reserved tickets for the remaining baseball games against
South Carolina and the three-game series versus Georgia Tech are now
on sale. Each reserved ticket is $7 and orders are being taken on a
first-come-first-served basis at the Clemson Athletic Ticket Office.
The ticket office is located at the northwest corner of Memorial
Stadium and is open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Fans may also call
during those hours at 1-800-CLEMSON or (864) 656-2118.
Reserved Advanced Ticket Sales
April 20 Georgia Tech 7:15 PM
April 21 Georgia Tech 7:00 PM
April 22 Georgia Tech 2:00 PM
April 25 South Carolina 7:15 PM