Clemson Baseball Preview vs. #4 South Carolina


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Clemson vs. South Carolina

Clemson (18-13) will play host to #4 South Carolina (28-5) Wednesday at Doug
Kingsmore Stadium in the third of four matchups between the two rivals. First
pitch is scheduled for 7:15 PM. The game will be broadcast live on the radio by
the Clemson Tiger Sports Network and can be heard live via the internet at
ClemsonTigers.com. Live stats will also be available on Clemson's website. The
game is designated as a "Solid Orange" event. The game will be televised live by
Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast. Clemson will play the final of four games
against the Gamecocks next Wednesday at 7:00 PM at Sarge Frye Field.



The Series

Clemson and South Carolina have met 269 times on the diamond, with Clemson
holding a 157-110-2 lead in the series dating back to 1899. South Carolina is
Clemson's most-played rival in history.

Earlier this season on March 12,13, South Carolina won two close games, 6-3 and
6-5, despite the Tigers out-hitting the Gamecocks .310 to .284. Last season, the
two split four games.

The Tigers hold an 88-38 lead over South Carolina all-time in games played at
Clemson and 41-21 lead in games played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 22-19 against South Carolina as Clemson's head
coach, including a 10-9 record in games played at Clemson.



Tiger Leaders in 2005 Games vs. Gamecocks

Travis Storrer and Stan Widmann both went 3-for-7 (.429) in the first two
games against South Carolina earlier this season to lead the team. Taylor Harbin
was 4-for-10 (.400), while Tyler Colvin (3-for-8), Kris Harvey (3-for-9), and
Herman Demmink (3-for-9) also had productive games.

Career-wise, Demmink and Storrer have each hit two homers against the Gamecocks,
while Storrer has a team-high seven RBIs in five games against the in-state
rivals.



The Starting Pitchers

South Carolina will start freshman righthander Andrew Cruse (3-0, 2.49 ERA) on
the mound Wednesday. The Cornelius, NC native has made 10 relief appearances,
therefore he will be making his first career start. In 21.2 innings pitched, he
has allowed 17 hits and four walks while striking out 14.

The Tigers will counter with sophomore righty Stephen Faris (2-1, 0.50 ERA) on
Wednesday. The Richmond, VA native has made two starts and eight relief
appearances for a total of 36.1 innings pitched. He has allowed only 19 hits and
13 walks while striking out 34. He also leads the nation in ERA and the ACC in
opponents' batting average (.165).



The Gamecocks

South Carolina, led by ninth-year Head Coach Ray Tanner and ranked #4 in the
nation, enters Wednesday's game with a 28-5 overall record and 8-4 SEC mark
after sweeping #6 Louisiana State in Baton Rouge over the weekend. The
Gamecocks, who are 8-2 on opponents' home fields, have won nine games in a row.

South Carolina has outscored its opponents 254-100 and is hitting .305 on the
season. Jon Willard is hitting a team-best .395, while Steve Pearce (.352),
Michael Campbell (.349), Davy Gregg (.349), Steven Tolleson (.328), and Chris
Brown (.323) are also having productive seasons for the Gamecocks, who have
totaled 43 homers. Pearce leads the team with nine homers and 30 RBIs, while
Tolleson has stolen 13 bases in 15 attempts.

Perhaps the best facet of the Gamecocks is their outstanding defense. They are
among the national leaders with a .977 fielding percentage, committing only 28
errors in 33 games.

The Gamecock pitching staff sports a 2.65 ERA and .226 opponents' batting
average. Closer Brent Marsh has seven saves and a 2.03 ERA in 10 appearances.
South Carolina has struck out 281 batters against only 94 walks in 295.0 innings
pitched, good for a 3.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The staff is also allowing
opponents only a .295 on-base percentage. It has allowed teams to total at least
10 hits in only six games this year, including a high of 13 (three times), and
have not yielded double-digit runs all season.

Two Gamecocks, Ryan Mahoney and Mark Stanley, both have brothers who are former
Tigers. Mahoney, whose brother Collin (RHP) played three seasons (2002-04) at
Clemson, and Stanley, whose brother Henrí (OF) played four years (1997-00) at
Clemson, have both been inserted into the starting lineup in recent weeks. Both
former Tigers are currently playing in the minor leagues.



The Tigers

Clemson enters Wednesday's game against South Carolina with an 18-13 overall
record and 9-3 ACC mark after sweeping Duke in a three-game series over the
weekend. The Tigers, whose last seven losses have been by a combined 10 runs,
are 6-8 on opponents' home fields in 2005.

The Tigers upped their season batting average to .296 thanks to hitting .349 in
the Duke series. The team also is hitting .320 with runners in scoring position
thanks to going 21-for-34 (.618) against the Blue Devils. The team's hottest
hitter is freshman centerfielder Brad Chalk, who is 18-for-35 (.514) in his last
12 games. He has raised his season average to .368 and has a .442 on-base
percentage. The other two Tiger freshmen "up the middle" are also doing well at
the plate, as Taylor Harbin (2B) is hitting .373 and Stan Widmann (SS) is
hitting .300.

The pitching staff has a 3.46 ERA and .259 opponents' batting average. The staff
also has a 8.37 strikeouts per nine innings pitched mark, the best figure since
the 1996 staff (9.69) that had the likes of Kris Benson, Billy Koch, and Ken
Vining. Clemson has not allowed a home run in 11 straight games and has yielded
an ACC-low nine long balls in 2005.



Tigers & Catamounts Halted in Fifth Inning

With Clemson leading Western Carolina 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning
in Cullowhee, NC on April 12, the game was halted due to inclement weather and
wet field conditions. The game will resume at Clemson on April 19 at 5:00 PM.
The regularly-scheduled game between the two will start at 7:15 PM barring a
late finish to the halted game.

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