Clemson Baseball Preview vs. Eastern Michigan & notes


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Clemson vs. Eastern Michigan

Clemson (0-0), ranked as high as #4 in the nation, will open the 2011 season against Eastern Michigan (0-0) in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this weekend. Game times are 4:00 PM (Friday), 1:00 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday).

All three games will be available live via webcast on TigerCast at ClemsonTigers.com. All three games will also be broadcast live on the radio by WCCP (104.9 FM) out of Clemson and can be heard live on the internet at WCCPFM.com. Live stats will be available at ClemsonTigers.com for all three games as well.



The Series

Clemson and Eastern Michigan have met two times on the diamond, with Eagles holding a 2-0 lead in the series dating back to 1975. Both meetings took place in the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons. On May 23, 1975, Eastern Michigan downed the Tigers 5-3 in Ypsilanti, MI in Clemson’s first game of the NCAA Tournament. On June 13, 1976, Eastern Michigan edged the Tigers 3-2 in 10 innings in Clemson’s first game of the 1976 College World Series.



The Starting Pitchers

In game-one, Eastern Michigan will start junior righthander Kendall Lewis on the mound. The Huntsville, OH native had a 7-4 record and 4.21 ERA in 14 starts for a total of 83.1 innings pitched in 2010. He yielded 81 hits (.255 opponents’ batting average) and 37 walks with 62 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with junior righthander Scott Weismann on Friday. The Boxborough, MA native had a 9-2 record and 4.90 ERA in 19 appearances (18 starts) for a total of 97.1 innings pitched in 2010. He allowed 102 hits (.268 opponents’ batting average) and 34 walks with 73 strikeouts.

In game-two, the Eagles will send out senior lefthander Robert Wendzicki on the mound. The Brook Park, OH native had a 1-0 record and 1.93 ERA in 15 relief appearances for a total of 14.0 innings pitched in 2010. He gave up 12 hits (.250 opponents’ batting average) and four walks with nine strikeouts.

Clemson will counter with sophomore righty Dominic Leone on Saturday. The Norwich, CT native had a 3-2 record and 4.78 ERA in 22 appearances (10 starts) for a total of 58.1 innings pitched in 2010. He yielded 69 hits (.292 opponents’ batting average) and 22 walks with 40 strikeouts.

In game-three, Eastern Michigan is tentatively slated to start sophomore righty Steve Weber on the mound. The North Royalton, OH native had a 2-6 record and 7.20 ERA in 16 appearances (nine starts) for a total of 50.0 innings pitched in 2010. He allowed 57 hits (.291 opponents’ batting average) and 28 walks with 37 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with sophomore righthander Kevin Brady on Sunday. The Gaithersburg, MD native had a 1-0 record and 4.58 ERA in 22 appearances (two starts) for a total of 37.1 innings pitched in 2010. He gave up 47 hits (.315 opponents’ batting average) and eight walks with 45 strikeouts.



The Eagles

Eastern Michigan, led by third-year Head Coach Jay Alexander, is a member of the Mid-American Conference and like the Tigers will play its first game of the season on Friday. The Eagles are coming off a 27-32 season, which included a 13-14 record in the MAC.

Eastern Michigan returns 19 lettermen and seven position starters along with 11 of its 13 pitchers from a season ago. The Eagles are scheduled to play their first 15 games of the year away from home.

Senior infielder Ben Magsig hit a team-high .331 with a .495 on-base percentage in 2010. Senior infielder Zack Leonard added a .306 batting average with six homers, 13 doubles, and 53 RBIs a season ago.



The Tigers

Clemson enters the season-opening series against Eastern Michigan ranked as high as #4 in the nation (by Collegiate Baseball). Clemson is also ranked #5 in the Sports Weekly preseason poll and #10 in the Baseball America preseason poll. The Tigers are coming off a 45-25 season in 2010 when they advanced to the College World Series for the 12th time in school history.

The Tigers return four position starters in 2011 and 20 lettermen overall. Among the top returnees are senior outfielder Jeff Schaus, who batted .320 with 15 homers and an ACC-high 87 RBIs. Junior infielder Brad Miller hit a team-high .357 with a .458 on-base percentage, while junior infielder John Hinson batted .351 with 17 homers, 75 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases.

The Tiger pitching staff had a 4.69 ERA and 486 strikeouts against 230 walks in 2010. Senior righthander Alex Frederick had a team-high four saves along with a 7-2 record and 3.75 ERA in 33 appearances (one start) in 2010.



Worth Noting

• Clemson’s first 33 games of the 2011 season will be played in the Carolinas.



Tigers Picked to Win ACC Atlantic & Overall Title in 2011

Clemson was picked to finish first in the ACC Atlantic Division by the 12 league coaches in the preseason. The Tigers received eight first-place votes to win the ACC Atlantic Division, ahead of Florida State’s four first-place votes.

Behind Clemson and Florida State in the ACC Atlantic Division predictions were N.C. State, Maryland, Boston College, and Wake Forest.

Virginia was picked to win the ACC Coastal Division title with nine first-place votes. Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Duke rounded out the ACC Coastal Division preseason picks.

Clemson was picked to win the ACC overall title with seven first-place votes, while Florida State (3) and Virginia (2) also received votes to win the league title.



Polls

Clemson enters the 2011 season ranked #4 in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll. The Tigers are also ranked #5 in the Sports Weekly preseason poll and #10 in the Baseball America preseason poll. It is the 23rd consecutive season that Clemson has had at least one preseason top-25 ranking.

With Clemson’s final top-25 ranking in 2010, it marks the 37th week in a row the Tigers have been ranked in the top 25 of at least one of the three major polls dating to the start of the 2009 season.

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.



Scoring Streak

Clemson has scored at least one run in 137 consecutive games dating to the 2008 season. It is the fourth-longest streak in Tiger history. The school record for consecutive games without being shut out is 232 (set between 1984-86). Clemson’s current streak is the eighth of 100 games or more in school history.


Leggett Leading a Consistent Winner

Head Coach Jack Leggett has a 769-356-1 (.683) record at Clemson in his 18th season. The legendary Bill Wilhelm has the most wins of any Tiger coach with 1,161 in 36 seasons (1958-93) at Clemson. Leggett’s 769 wins are second-most in school history. No other Clemson coach has more than 70 wins while in Tigertown. Leggett earned win #700 as the leader of the Tiger program in Clemson’s 10-1 win over Duke on April 5, 2009.

Through Leggett’s first 17 seasons at Clemson, he has 769 wins. Only six other programs (Florida State, Wichita State, Rice, Miami (FL), Cal State Fullerton, Louisiana State) have more wins over that span from 1994-10. He also does not have a losing record against any SEC team as Clemson’s head coach.

What makes Leggett’s win total even more impressive is the fact that he has not shied away from playing stiff competition. Since 2004, when the strength of schedule ratings were first kept at WarrenNolan.com, Clemson’s strength of schedule has been one of the 17 toughest in the nation each of the last seven seasons, including six of the seven years with at least a strength of schedule #10 or better (2004 (#5), 2005 (#4), 2006 (#1), 2007 (#17), 2008 (#2), 2009 (#9), and 2010 (#5)).



Leggett #21 on All-Time NCAA Wins List

Jack Leggett has 1,146 career wins in 31 seasons as a head coach. That victory total is good for 21st place on the all-time NCAA Division I list. Leggett is two wins behind Jay Bergman (1,148), who is in 20th place, and 15 wins behind the late Bill Wilhelm, who is tied for 15th place with 1,161 wins in 36 seasons (1958-93) as Clemson’s head coach. Leggett also owns the seventh-most wins among active coaches.



Five Tigers Share Captain Title

Five Tigers were selected as team captains, as voted on by the players, prior to the 2011 season. Senior outfielder Chris Epps, junior infielder John Hinson, junior infielder Brad Miller, junior catcher Phil Pohl, and graduate righthander Justin Sarratt were all named captains. Epps and Sarratt were captains in 2010 as well.



Preseason Individual Honors

Several Tigers received accolades in the preseason. Below is a list of all Tigers who received preseason recognition.



Kevin Brady, RHP

• #14 prospect in the ACC for the 2011 draft by Perfect Game



Alex Frederick, RHP

• First-Team All-ACC by SEBaseball.com



John Hinson, INF

• Third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball

• #50 player in the nation by CollegeBaseballDaily.com

• #75 prospect in the nation for the 2011 draft by Baseball America

• #9 prospect in the ACC for the 2011 draft by Baseball America

• #15 prospect in the ACC for the 2011 draft by Perfect Game

• #6 third-baseman in the nation by CollegeBaseball360.com

• First-team All-ACC (DH) by Baseball America

• First-team All-ACC by Perfect Game

• First-Team All-ACC by SEBaseball.com



Spencer Kieboom, C

• #15 prospect in the ACC for the 2012 draft by Perfect Game



Will Lamb, OF/LHP/1B

• #84 prospect in the nation for the 2011 draft by Baseball America

• #4 prospect in the ACC for the 2011 draft by Perfect Game



Brad Miller, INF

• Second-team All-American by CollegeBaseballLineup.com

• Third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball

• #58 player in the nation by CollegeBaseballDaily.com

• #35 prospect in the nation for the 2011 draft by Baseball America

• #4 prospect in the ACC for the 2011 draft by Baseball America

• #6 prospect in the ACC for the 2011 draft by Perfect Game

• #34 junior in the nation by Baseball America



Jeff Schaus, OF

• Second-team All-American by CollegeBaseballLineup.com

• Second-team All-American by NCBWA

• Third-team All-American by Baseball America

• #2 senior in the nation by Baseball America

• First-team All-ACC by Baseball America

• First-team All-ACC by Perfect Game

• First-Team All-ACC by SEBaseball.com

• #20 prospect in the ACC for the 2011 draft by Perfect Game



Richie Shaffer, 1B/3B

• #30 sophomore in the nation by Baseball America

• #4 prospect in the ACC for the 2012 draft by Baseball America

• #5 prospect in the ACC for the 2012 draft by Perfect Game



Steve Wilkerson, INF

• #8 newcomer in the ACC by Baseball America



Future ACC Tournament Sites

The 2011 ACC Tournament will be played at Durham (NC) Bulls Athletic Park, where it was last played in 2009, while the 2012 tourney will return to NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, NC, where it was played for the first time in 2010. The 2013 ACC Tournament will also be played in Durham. Locations for the tournament after the 2013 season have yet to be determined.


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