Clemson Baseball vs Auburn Notes
Clemson vs. Auburn
Feb. 22-24, 2001
Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Clemson, SC
Fri.: 3:00 PM (WCCP) * Sat.: 2:00 PM (WCCP) * Sun.: 2:00 PM (WCCP)
Game 1: Steve Reba (RHP; 12-3, 2.58 ERA in 2001) vs. Levale Speigner
(RHP; 2-0, 3.00 ERA)
Game 2: Matt Henrie (RHP; 6-3, 3.06 ERA in 2001) vs. Colby Paxton
(RHP; 2-0, 3.27 ERA)
Game 3: Steven Jackson (RHP; 2-1, 5.35 ERA in 2001) vs. Eric Brandon
(RHP; 1-0, 2.70 ERA)
Clemson Opens 2002 Season
Clemson (0-0) will play Auburn (7-1) beginning Friday at Doug
Kingsmore Stadium. The two teams will play at 3:00 PM on Friday and
at 2:00 for both Saturday and Sunday in what is the season opener for
Clemson returns 23 lettermen, including four of its top five hitters
and all of its starting pitchers from a team that finished 41-22 last
season and lost to eventual national champion Miami in the Super
Regional round. Senior ace Steve Reba will take the mound on Friday
and look to repeat a 2001 season that saw him lead the ACC in wins,
ERA, strikeouts and opponents' batting average. Senior captain Khalil
Greene returns from an All-ACC season to lead the infield after
delaying his professional baseball aspirations.
One of the best junior trios in the nation will lead the Tigers at
the plate. Jeff Baker, Michael Johnson and Jarrod Schmidt are all
preseason All-Americans that finished among the ACC's top six in home
runs. Baker is the top returning home run hitter in college baseball
after hitting 23 home runs last season. Johnson became the first
Tiger ever to hit four home runs in a postseason in 2001 and Schmidt
followed his 9-0 pitching performance as a freshman with an
outstanding 2001 at the plate.
Matt Henrie will start Saturday's game two. The junior had a breakout
season in 2001 in which he finished fourth in the ACC in opponents'
batting average. Sophomore Steven Jackson is looking to nail down the
third spot in the rotation and will start on Sunday.
Clemson has won 14 of its last 16 home openers at Doug Kingsmore
Stadium. The Tigers are 6-2 in season openers under Head Coach Jack
Clemson Picked Second in Preseason
Expectations are always high for the baseball players and coaches at
Clemson, but never have the expectations from the media been as high.
Clemson was tabbed as the second best team in the preseason by
Baseball America, the highest preseason prediction ever for the
Clemson baseball program. Other preseason polls picked the Tigers
among the nation's elite. Baseball Weekly ranked Clemson fifth while
Collegiate Baseball placed the Tigers sixth.
Head Coach Jack Leggett Honored By Former School
Jack Leggett enters his ninth season at Clemson with a record of
380-155 (.710). Clemson has made the NCAA Tournament and won at least
40 games in all of his season at the helm. Since his arrival at Tiger
Town in 1994, Clemson has been the fifth winningest program in the
Leggett came to Clemson from Western Carolina and was honored by his
former school in October. He was inducted into the Western Carolina
Athletic Hall of Fame for his outstanding leadership and his many
accomplishments. He finished his nine-year Catamount career with a
302-226 (.572) record. Leggett led Western to an unprecedented five
consecutive Southern Conference Championships and five straight NCAA
tournament bids from 1985-89. Perhaps his most impressive statistic
is the 100% graduation rate for all who played for him four seasons.
Clemson vs. Auburn
Auburn leads the all-time series with Clemson 40-34-3, but Clemson is
9-1 in the last 10 meetings against Auburn. Clemson won the most
recent meeting between the two schools in 1998, a 9-4 victory in the
championship game of the Olive Garden Classic. Auburn knocked Clemson
out of the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament with a 11-5 victory
in 1994, Jack Leggett's first season at the helm.
Clemson defeated Auburn 11-1 in the Atlantic Regional of the NCAA
Tournament in 1989 and won the next seven meetings between the two
teams. The teams first met in 1901 when the Tigers of Clemson, led by
head coach John Heisman, defeated Auburn 8-0.
Auburn has been Clemson's opponent for a home opener four times and
Clemson has won all of those games, the last being a 9-6 victory for
Clemson in 1993. Clemson also won its season opener in 1988 at Auburn
by an 8-1 score.
About the Auburn Tigers
While Clemson is making its 2002 debut on Friday, Auburn will be
playing its ninth game of the season. The Tigers are ranked 25th by
Baseball Weekly and are coming off a 13-0 win over Troy State on
Tuesday. Auburn is now 7-1 on the year.
Bobby Huddleston leads the Auburn offense with a .536 average and 15
hits. Trent Pratt is one of two Tigers to start every game and one of
five hitting over .400 on the young season. He also leads the team
with three home runs and 19 RBIs.
Righthander Cory Dueitt leads the pitching staff with a 2-0 record
and 2.70 ERA. Righthander Levale Speigner also has a 2-0 record while
Eric Brandon is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA. Ken Clayton has a team-high 11
strikeouts in just six innings.
Skipper Steve Renfroe is in his second season with Auburn after
guiding the Tigers to a 37-21 record (15-15 SEC) last season.
Schedule Packed With Tough Opponents
Clemson will be playing its latest season opener since 1987 when it
takes on the 25th-ranked Tigers of Auburn. The game will be the first
of many against top-25 opponents for Clemson. There are currently
five teams on Clemson's schedule ranked in the top-25. The Tigers
will play 26 games against 10 teams that advanced to the postseason
in 2001, seven of which reached a regional final.
Clemson has had success against top-25 teams in the Jack Leggett era.
The Tigers have 92 wins against top-25 teams since 1994, including
five wins last season.
Clemson Picked to Win ACC
The Atlantic Coast Conference's nine head coaches selected Clemson as
the top pick to win the conference championship in 2002 with five
first place votes and 77 points.
The Tigers return seven position players and three starting pitchers
from their 2001 squad which finished second in the ACC regular season
standings and compiled an overall record of 41-22.
In the voting, Florida State finished a close second with 74 points
and four first place votes after finishing the 2001 season as the
regular season champion. ACC Tournament Champion Wake Forest finished
in third place tallying 57 points. The Demon Deacons finished last
season with a 44-18 overall record.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fill the fourth place slot with 56
points, while North Carolina placed fifth in the balloting with 45
points. The Tar Heels were followed by N.C. State who finished with
33 points and then Duke with 29 points. Virginia was selected to
finish eighth with 24 points and Maryland ninth with nine points.
2002 ACC Coaches Preseason Predicted Order of Finish
School Points 2001 Record/Finish
1. CLEMSON (5) 77 41-22, 17-7 ACC
2. Florida State (4) 74 47-19, 20-4 ACC
3. Wake Forest 57 44-18, 16-8 ACC
4. Georgia Tech 56 41-20, 13-11 ACC
5. North Carolina 45 31-26, 9-15 ACC
6. N.C. State 33 32-29, 9-15 ACC
7. Duke 29 23-33, 10-13 ACC
8. Virginia 24 25-31, 9-15 ACC
9. Maryland 9 17-37, 4-19 ACC
Four Tigers Named Preseason All-Americans
Jeff Baker, Michael Johnson Steve Reba and Jarrod Schmidt have been
named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association 2002
preseason All-America teams.
Johnson and Baker were selected to the first team, Reba was a
second-team selection while Schmidt garnered third-team honors. Baker and Schmidt were also named to Baseball America's 2002
Preseason All-America teams. Baker was a first-team selection, while
Schmidt garnered second-team honors.
Scouting directors of Scouting directors of major league clubs voted
on the Baseball America preseason teams and made their selections
based on performance, talent and major league potential.
Tigers Eyeing Return to Omaha
Jack Leggett's program will be looking to repeat some of its own
recent history in 2002 with a return to the College World Series.
After losing in the Super Regional to Texas A&M in 1999, the 2000
team came back strong and advanced to Omaha. Now, the 2002 Tigers
hope to advance past last year's Super Regional loss to eventual
national champion Miami and make Clemson's 10th appearance in the
College World Series.
Omaha is literally on the minds of the players everyday. All of their
hats have the word "Omaha" stitched inside the paw on the back of
their caps. As a part of their warmups for practice, the players jog
to the outfield and touch the banner signifying Clemson's last CWS
appearance in 2000. On their way in and out of the clubhouse from the
dugout, players touch a home plate that hangs on the wall. The plate
is a memento from one of the Tigers' CWS appearances in the 1990s
that Head Coach Jack Leggett had dug up from Rosenblatt Stadium in
Omaha. The 2002 team is hoping to add its own memorabilia to the
Clemson baseball tradition.
Captains Named for 2002 Season
Outfielder Kyle Frank, third baseman Khalil Greene, first baseman
Michael Johnson and pitcher Steve Reba have been named team captains
for the 2002 season head baseball coach Jack Leggett announced. "After looking at the voting, the team decided we have a lot of
capable leaders, but this group stands out," Leggett said. "I think
they will be outstanding leaders that will help guide this team to
where it plans to be at the end of the year. All four are good
examples of what this program is about in all different ways."
Radio and Televison Schedule Announced
Fifty of Clemson's 56 regular season baseball games and all
postseason games will be broadcast live on the radio in joint
partnership between Clemson Tiger Sports Properties and WCCP-FM
(104.9) in Clemson. In addition, the Tigers will have six games
televised by either Fox Sports Net South or Comcast/Charter Cable. Clemson Tiger Sport Properties will broadcast 36 regular-season
Clemson baseball games this season, including all 24 conference
games. The broadcast schedule also features 12 non-conference games,
including all four games with South Carolina, two games with Georgia,
one game each with Coastal Carolina, Winthrop, Wofford and a
three-game series with Maine, the alma mater of Clemson head coach
The network will also broadcast all postseason contests, including
all games the Tigers play at the ACC Tournament and in the NCAA
Tournament. Additionally, WCCP in Clemson will broadcast another 14
games giving the Tigers a radio presence in 50 of its 56 regular
season games. Ed Jensen will handle the play-by-play duties for games
The Tigers will play three games on Fox Sports Net South, two as part
of the ACC baseball package - vs. Wake Forest and at Virginia - and
another vs. Georgia Tech. Clemson will also play three games - two
vs. South Carolina and another vs. Wofford - on Comcast/Charter Cable.
Corbin, O'Sullivan Promoted
Clemson baseball coaches Tim Corbin and Kevin O'Sullivan received
promotions in the offseason. Corbin will now have an associate head
coach and recruiting coordinator title, while O'Sullivan will be
assistant head coach and pitching coach. Corbin is in his ninth year
with the program, while O'Sullivan is in his fourth season. This is the second promotion for Corbin since he has been at Clemson.
He was named assistant head coach in 1998. All nine of his recruiting
classes at Clemson have been ranked in the top 25 in the nation,
including the 1999 class, which was ranked number-one. Clemson has
advanced to the NCAA Tournament all eight of his previous seasons at
O'Sullivan has been at Clemson since the 1999 season as the Tigers
pitching coach. The Tigers have ranked among the national leaders in
team ERA each of the last two seasons and the team had a 2.27
strikeout/walk ratio in 2001, fourth best in school history. One of
his protégés current senior Steve Reba, led the ACC in wins last year
with a 12-3 record.
Bakich Named Volunteer Assistant Coach
Erik Bakich is the newest addition to the Clemson coaching staff.
Bakich comes to Clemson from East Carolina where he served as
assistant strength and conditioning coach.
"We are extremely pleased to add Erik to our staff," said Head Coach
Jack Leggett. "He comes from an excellent program and he was an
excellent player. He is highly motivated and will bring a lot of
energy as we strive towards our goal of getting to Omaha." Bakich was a standout baseball player for East Carolina from
1999-2000 where the team won back-to-back CAA Conference
championships and earned number one seeds at the LSU and
Louisiana-Lafayette Regionals. Bakich was named to the All-Regional
team at LSU as a third baseman after garnering a unanimous
All-Tournament selection at the Bell South Hurricane Classic in
Miami, FL in the 1999 season.
After the 2000 season, Bakich signed a professional contract with the
Springfield Capitals of the Frontier League in the Independent
Professional Baseball League. He also played professional baseball
during the 2001 season before moving on to East Carolina as an
assistant strength coach.
"This is a tremendous opportunity and I am definitely excited to be
here at Clemson," said Bakich. "I feel fortunate to be part of such a
great tradition and a great program."
Recruiting Class Ranked Seventh by Collegiate Baseball
The Clemson baseball recruiting class that enrolled in school in
August was ranked seventh in the nation by Collegiate Baseball, the
magazine announced last fall. Clemson had the highest-ranked class in
the ACC. Only two other schools were ranked in the top 30. Florida
State was ranked ninth and Georgia Tech was ranked 14th.
"I'm extremely excited about the potential of this class," said
ninth-year head coach Jack Leggett. "Our staff has done a good job at
getting these guys to come to Clemson, now it is up to them to go out
there and perform. So far, I'm encouraged by what I see from this
The class consists of 11 newcomers, nine freshmen and two junior
college transfers, and features five players who were drafted in
June's MLB amateur draft. Tyler Lumsden was a fifth-round draft pick
by the Florida Marlins. He is joined by other draftees David Slevin
(11th, Rockies), Garrick Evans (23rd, Blue Jays), Bart Hunton (46th,
Reds) and Collin Mahoney (48th, Angels).
"Every year that (associate head coach) Tim Corbin has been at
Clemson, his hard work has paid off," Leggett said. "Together with
(assistant head coach) Kevin O'Sullivan, they have been able to
identify talent that has found success here. The three of us work
well together in the recruiting process."
Clemson One of Six Teams Never to Miss Super Regional Round
Clemson's 8-2 victory over Seton Hall last June marked the third
consecutive year that Clemson has advanced to at least the Super
Regional of the NCAA Tournament, which expanded from a 48- to 64-team
field prior to the 1999 season. The expansion created the Super
Regional Round, which pits the winners of 16 sub-regionals with the
victors there advancing to the College World Series.
The Tigers won the Fayetteville, AR Regional in 1999 to advance to
the Super Regional at Texas A&M, while last year the Tigers won the
Clemson Regional and advanced to host Mississippi State in the Super
Clemson is one of just six schools to appear in all three Super
Regional rounds. The Tigers are joined by Florida State, LSU, Miami,
Southern California and Stanford to make a Super Regional every year.
Clemson in the NCAA Tournament
Clemson made its 27th appearance in the NCAA Baseball Tournament in
2001, the seventh-best total in the nation. It marks the 15th
consecutive selection for the tournament, which is the third longest
active streak. The Tigers are 73-57 all-time in the NCAA tournament
with nine appearances in the College World Series. Clemson finished
as the regular season runner-up in the Atlantic Coast Conference last
season behind Florida State. Clemson was 17-7 in ACC action and 41-22
overall, including a 27-8 mark at home.
Return of the Long Ball
The proliferation of home runs returned to Clemson in 2001. The
Tigers smashed 85 home runs this season. That is more than double the
2000 season out put of 37 dingers. Fifteen of the 37 homers in 2000
came at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, while Clemson has more than tripled
the total and hit 54 out of Kingsmore Stadium in 2001. The fences to
the stadium were moved in 10 feet prior to the start of 2001. Jeff Baker's total of 23 led the ACC a season ago. Michael Johnson
finished fourth in the league with 17. Jarrod Schmidt also hit 15
home runs to tie for sixth in the ACC.
Khalil Greene came on strong at the end of the season and finished
with 12. He joins Baker, Schmidt and Johnson with at least 10 home
runs this season. Clemson last had four players with 10 or more home
runs in 1997 when five players had double-digit totals. Matthew
LeCroy led the Tigers with a school best 24, followed by Kurt
Bultmann (16), Gary Burnham (15), Jason Embler (14) and Matt Padgett
Baker, Baker, RBI Maker
The leader of the 2001 attack on offense was undoubtedly Jeff Baker,
who is the top returning power hitter in college baseball this
season. Not only were his 23 home runs the second-best total in
school history, but his 75 RBIs led the ACC and were the ninth best
total in school history.
Top Five Home Run Seasons
Player Year GP HR
Eric Macrina 1991 69 24
Matthew LeCroy 1997 64 24
Jeff Baker 2001 61 23
Jim McCollom 1985 64 21
Keith Williams 1993 65 19
Baker has also hit 34 home runs in his first two years, which is the
school record for home runs hit during a player's freshman and
sophomore years. His 34 home runs in his first two seasons are five
more than Matthew LeCroy, who is tied for the most career home runs
with 53. LeCroy hit 29 home runs by the end of his sophomore season
in Clemson (1996). Jarrod Schmidt and Michael Johnson are tied fifth
most by a freshman and sophomore.
Most Home Runs in First Two Seasons
Player Fr./So. Career Years
Jeff Baker 34 34 2000-01
Matthew LeCroy 29 53 1995-97
Patrick Boyd 25 28 1998-01
Kurt Bultmann 21 43 1996-99
Joe DeBerry 20 35 1989-91
Shane Monahan 20 32 1993-95
Jim McCollom 20 52 1982-85
Michael Johnson 20 20 2000-01
Jarrod Schmidt 20 20 2000-01
Mike Couture 19 32 1987-90
Keith Williams 16 35 1991-93
Ray Williams 14 34 1984-87
Jim Crowley 12 43 1988-91
Multiple Home Run Games
The feat of one player homering twice in a game was a somewhat
frequent occurrence for the Tigers in 2001. The two home runs hit by
Michael Johnson in a 17-1 win over Virginia on May 12 marked the 10th
time in the 2001 season that a Tiger hit two home runs in the same
game. Jeff Baker hit in the North Carolina game on April 28 marked
the fifth time that season and the seventh time of his career that he
hit two homers in the same game. He leads Clemson in that category.
Jarrod Schmidt is the only other current Tiger with multiple home
runs in more than one game. He hit two home runs April 6 at Florida
State and again April 14 vs. Duke. The 10 multi-home run games this
season is the most in school history.
Multi HR Games in 2001
Player Multi HR Games
Jeff Baker 5
Michael Johnson 3
Jarrod Schmidt 2
Multi HR Games in a Season by Individual
Player Multi HR Games Year
Jeff Baker 5 2001
Matthew LeCroy 4 1997
Eric Macrina 3 1991
Michael Johnson 3 2001
19 tied at 2 including current Tigers:
Jarrod Schmidt 2 2001
Jeff Baker 2 2000
Records in Range for Greene
Khalil Greene assured himself a spot in the Clemson batting record
books last season when he set new standards for being hit by a pitch
in an inning (2), game (3), season (21) and career (47). But the
senior looks to set more notable records with another standout season
in 2002. Greene currently is ranked near the top of many career
categories at Clemson including tied for fourth in doubles (62),
eighth in RBIs (185), ninth in hits (269), at-bats (784) and total
bases (418) and 18th in batting average (.343). The outstanding
defensive player also set a new Clemson mark last season for fielding
percentage by a shortstop. His .965 fielding percentage broke Bill