Clemson Baseball Preview for First Pitch Invitational


by -
    |

Tigers to Play Three Opponents in First Pitch Invitational

Clemson (2-1), ranked as high as #5 in the nation, will play three games against three opponents in the second-annual First Pitch Invitational from February 25-27. Clemson had a 3-0 record in the first First Pitch Invitational in 2010.

The Tigers’ first game will be against Cincinnati (1-2) on Friday at 4:00 PM at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson will then take on Charleston Southern (2-2) on Saturday at 1:00 PM at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers will conclude the tournament against Michigan State (3-0) on Sunday at 1:00 PM at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC. Clemson will be the designated visiting team against the Spartans.

The Friday game against Cincinnati will be available live via webcast on TigerCast at ClemsonTigers.com. All three games will 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 also be available at ClemsonTigers.com for all three games.

The Series (Cincinnati)

Clemson and Cincinnati have met three times on the diamond, with the Bearcats holding a 2-1 lead in the series dating to 1936.

On April 16, 1936, Cincinnati topped the Tigers 9-4 in Clemson. In 1980, the two teams played twice at Winter Park, FL. Cincinnati won the first matchup by a score of 10-7. Three days later, the Tigers were victorious 8-2.

The Series (Charleston Southern)

Clemson and Charleston Southern have met 14 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 14-0 lead in the series dating to 1976. The two teams have not met since 2004, when Clemson edged the Buccaneers 3-2 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Each of the last eight meetings have taken place at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Tigers lead 11-0 in games played at Clemson, all of which have been played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Jack Leggett has an 8-0 record against Charleston Southern as Clemson’s head coach, all of which have been played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Series (Michigan State)

Clemson and Michigan State have met 16 times on the diamond, with the Spartans holding a 9-6-1 lead dating to the 1935 season. The first 14 meetings took place at Clemson, while the last two games were played at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC.

Clemson downed Michigan State 10-2 at Fluor Field on February 20, 2010. In 2009, the Tigers won both games by scores of 15-2 and 6-1, respectively. The first game that year took place at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, while the second was at Fluor Field.

Prior to the 2009 meetings, the two teams last met in 1958, when they played twice 10 days apart. Clemson won the first meeting by a score of 7-5 in seven innings on March 24 in the season-opener. That was the late Bill Wilhelm’s first game as head coach at Clemson. Wilhelm went on to win 1,161 games in 36 seasons (1958-93) at Clemson. The Spartans topped the Tigers in the second and final meeting of the season on April 3 by a score of 3-2. That was Wilhelm’s first loss as Clemson’s head coach as well. Therefore, Wilhelms’ first-ever win and first-ever loss both came against the Spartans.

The Starting Pitchers (Cincinnati)

The Bearcats will start junior lefthander Brad Mergen (0-0, 6.75 ERA) on the mound. The Albany, MN native has made one relief appearance for a total of 1.1 innings pitched. He has allowed two hits (.400 opponents’ batting average) and one walk with no strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with junior righthander Scott Weismann (1-0, 5.40 ERA) on Friday. The Boxborough, MA native has made one start for a total of 5.0 innings pitched. He has allowed five hits (.250 opponents’ batting average) and one walk with four strikeouts.

The Starting Pitchers (Charleston Southern)

The Buccaneers will start senior righthander Anthony Markham (1-0, 4.91 ERA) on the mound. The Summerville, SC native has made two relief appearances for a total of 7.1 innings pitched. He has allowed five hits (.192 opponents’ batting average) and one walk with eight strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with junior righthander David Haselden (0-0, 0.00 ERA) on Saturday. The Spartanburg, SC native has made two relief appearances for a total of 5.0 innings pitched. He has yielded three hits (.188 opponents’ batting average) and no walks with three strikeouts.

The Starting Pitchers (Michigan State)

The Spartans will start sophomore righthander Andrew Waszak (1-0, 1.80 ERA) on the mound. The Rochester Hills, MI native has made one start for a total of 5.0 innings pitched. He has yielded six hits (.300 opponents’ batting average) and three walks with two strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with sophomore righty Kevin Brady (1-0, 1.69 ERA) on Sunday. The Gaithersburg, MD native has made one start for a total of 5.1 innings pitched. He has given up two hits (.100 opponents’ batting average) and one walk with 10 strikeouts.

The Bearcats

Cincinnati, led by 16th-year Head Coach Brian Cleary, enters the First Pitch Invitational with a 1-2 overall record after winning one of three games in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge in Florida last weekend. The Bearcats defeated Ohio State 11-5 before falling to Illinois (7-3) and Michigan State (8-4).

The Bearcats are averaging 6.0 runs per game and hitting .300 with a .370 slugging percentage and .391 on-base percentage. The team has also totaled five doubles and one triple.

Justin Glass is hitting a team-high .545 (6-for-11) with a double and three RBIs, while Jake Proctor is 5-for-12 (.417). Jake Saylor has added two doubles and four RBIs, both team-highs.

The pitching staff has a 7.50 ERA and .388 opponents’ batting average along with 15 strikeouts against nine walks in 24.0 innings pitched. Freshman lefthander Jason Pascuzzi has four strikeouts against no walks in 3.0 scoreless innings pitched. The Bearcats are field at a .981 clip as well.

The Buccaneers

Charleston Southern, led by third-year Head Coach Stuart Lake, enters the First Pitch Invitational with a 2-2 overall record after defeating Furman 5-3 on Tuesday. The Buccaneers also won one of three games against North Florida last weekend. All four of Charleston Southern’s games this season have been played at CSU Ballpark.

The Buccaneers are averaging 3.8 runs per game and hitting .293 with a .406 slugging percentage and .356 on-base percentage. The team has also totaled seven doubles, one triple, two homers, and five stolen bases.

Walt Quattlebaum is hitting a team-best .538 (7-for-13) with two RBIs, while Brantley Meier is 7-for-16 (.438) with two steals. Nick Chinners is 6-for-14 (.429) with a homer and two RBIs. Sophomore infielder Ben Qualkinbush, a graduate of nearby D.W. Daniel High School and brother of Clemson SID Graduate Assistant William Qualkinbush, has appeared in one game off the bench this season.

The pitching staff has a 4.25 ERA and .278 opponents’ batting average along with 28strikeouts against 12 walks in 36.0 innings pitched. Junior righty Corey Deighan has both of the team’s saves along with four strikeouts against no walks in 2.0 scoreless innings pitched. Charleston Southern is fielding at a .953 clip as well.


The Spartans

Michigan State, led by third-year Head Coach Jake Boss, Jr., enters the First Pitch Invitational with a 3-0 overall record after winning all three of its games in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge in Florida last weekend. The Spartans won one-run games against Notre Dame (2-1) and Seton Hall (5-4) before topping Cincinnati 8-4 on Sunday.

The Spartans are averaging 5.0 runs per game and hitting .343 with a .495 slugging percentage and .381 on-base percentage. The team has also totaled eight doubles, two triples, one home run, and two stolen bases.

Brandon Eckerle is hitting a team-high .667 (8-for-12) with two steals, while Torsten Boss is 5-for-11 (.455) with two doubles and a triple. Jeff Holm is 4-for-11 (.364) with a double, triple, homer, and a team-high five RBIs.

The pitching staff has a 2.42 ERA and .263 opponents’ batting average along with 12 strikeouts against 10 walks in 26.0 innings pitched. Sophomore righthander Tony Wieber and junior lefty Trey Popp have one save apiece. The Spartans are fielding at a .981 clip as well.

The Tigers

Clemson, ranked as high as #5 in the nation, enters the First Pitch Invitational with a 2-1 overall record after taking two of three games against Eastern Michigan at Doug Kingsmore Stadium last weekend.

The Tigers are averaging 8.3 runs per game and hitting .337 with a .469 slugging percentage and .470 on-base percentage thanks to 25 walks and four hit-by-pitches. Clemson has also totaled five doubles, one triple, two homers, and eight stolen bases.

Spencer Kieboom leads the team with a .556 batting average. His eight RBIs in the Eastern Michigan was the most by any ACC player during the opening weekend of the season. Chris Epps has both of Clemson’s home runs and was the only ACC player to tally multiple long balls during the opening weekend. Jason Stolz is 3-for-6 with a .700 on-base percentage, while John Hinson is hitting .455 with six runs, two doubles, and a triple.

The pitching staff has a 3.67 ERA and .228 opponents’ batting average. The staff has allowed six walks against 26 strikeouts. Righthander David Haselden has the team’s lone save and has not allowed a run in 5.0 innings pitched over two relief appearances in 2011. The Tigers are fielding at a .972 clip as well.

Tigers 7-1 All-Time at Fluor Field

Fluor Field, the home of the Boston Red Sox A affiliate Greenville Drive since 2006, is modeled after Fenway Park, with identical field dimensions and a “Green Monster.” The Tigers have played eight games at the ballpark since 2007 and are 7-1.

In 2007, Clemson downed Wofford 6-3 in its first-ever game at Fluor Field. In 2008, the Tigers defeated Presbyterian College 12-7 and Furman 11-5. In 2009, Clemson topped Michigan State 15-2 and Furman 8-5. In 2010, Clemson beat the Spartans 10-2, fell to #15 South Carolina 7-5, and defeated Furman 12-1 at Fluor Field. Therefore, the Tigers have outscored the opposition 79-32 in their eight games at Fluor Field.

Worth Noting

• Clemson has held its opponents to 3-for-28 (.107) with two outs in 2011.

Polls

The Tigers fell two spots to #6 in the Collegiate Baseball poll this week after going 2-1 in three games last week. Clemson also dropped one spot to #11 in the Baseball America poll. The first inseason Sports Weekly poll will be released on February 28. Clemson was ranked #5 in the preseason by Sports Weekly. With Clemson’s top-25 ranking this week, it marks the 38th 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.

Clemson #7 in the Nation in Average Home Attendance

A total of 15,530 fans have been in attendance for Clemson’s three home dates in 2011, an average of 5,177 per date. That figure is #7 in the nation and best in the ACC in 2011. It is also on pace to be the best figure in Tiger history for a season. Through the 2010 season, Clemson had a top-20 national figure in attendance for 17 straight seasons and a top-10 national figure in attendance for nine years in a row.

Leggett Tied for #20 on All-Time NCAA Wins List

Jack Leggett has 1,148 career wins in 32 seasons as a head coach. That victory total is good for 20th place (tied) on the all-time NCAA Division I list. Leggett is tied with Jay Bergman (1,148) and is 13 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.

The Brady Hunch

Sophomore righthander Kevin Brady (Gaithersburg, MD) only started five combined games on the mound in his first two seasons at Clemson. But Head Coach Jack Leggett has inserted Brady into the weekend rotation during the early stages of the season. In Brady’s first start of the year against Eastern Michigan on February 20, he struck out 10 batters in 5.1 innings pitched to earn the win. He also allowed just two hits, one run, and one walk.

Brady has used his hard fastball to record an outstanding strikeout-to-walk ratio in his career. In 53.1 innings pitched over 27 career appearances (six starts), he has allowed just 14 walks against 63 strikeouts, good for a 4.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 10.63 strikeouts-per-nine-innings-pitched mark. If he had enough innings (100 is the minimum) to qualify for the Tiger recordbook, he would be second and third, respectively, in those categories.

Wilhelm Inducted Into College Baseball Hall of Fame

Bill Wilhelm, Clemson’s head baseball coach for 36 seasons from 1958-93, was one of seven members of the 2011 class inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame on Feburary 21. The Hall of Fame in Lubbock, TX inducted its first class in 2006. Wilhelm is the first person associated with Clemson to be inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Wilhelm, who passed away at the age of 81 on December 24, 2010, posted a record of 1,161-536-10 in 36 years as a head coach, all at Clemson. The 1,161 wins are the most in school history in any sport. In 36 seasons, he never had a losing record and led the Tigers to the College World Series six times (1958,59,76,77,80,91). He coached Clemson to 11 ACC Championships, 16 top-25 seasons, 17 NCAA Tournament appearances, and 19 ACC regular-season titles (including ties). Wilhelm also coached 20 All-Americans, 27 players who went on to play in the Major Leagues, 88 First-Team All-ACC selections, and 100 players who signed a pro contract.

Also inducted were Arizona outfielder Terry Francona (1978-80), Southern catcher Danny Goodwin (1972-75), Duke shortstop Dick Groat (1951,52), Grambling State Head Coach Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones (1926-77), Arizona State outfielder Oddibe McDowell (1983,84), and Cal State Fullerton first-baseman Tim Wallach (1978-79). The members of the 2011 Hall of Fame class will be honored during the induction ceremony on July 3 in Lubbock, TX as a part of the College Baseball Foundation’s annual celebration.

Tigers Take Two Over Eastern Michigan to Open Season

Clemson, ranked as high as #4 in the nation, won two of three games over Eastern Michigan by a combined score of 25-11 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from February 18-20. The Tigers outhit the Eagles .337 to .228 and totaled 25 walks and eight steals. Spencer Kieboom went 5-for-9 with a double and eight RBIs, while Chris Epps hit both of Clemson’s home runs in the series. Brad Miller added three hits and six walks along with four stolen bases. The Tiger pitching staff had a 3.67 ERA and 26 strikeouts against only six walks.

In game-one on February 18, Clemson totaled 16 hits and 10 walks en route to a 14-3 win over Eastern Michigan. Every Tiger starter had at least one hit. Epps led off the season for Clemson with a homer, then the Tigers added three more runs in the first inning and never relinquished the lead. The Tigers added three runs in the third, fourth, and seventh innings. Miller went 2-for-3 with three runs, two RBIs, and two walks, Kieboom went 1-for-2 with four RBIs and two of the team’s five sacrifice flies, and John Hinson added three runs and three walks. Scott Weismann, the first of four Tiger pitchers, pitched 5.0 solid innings with four strikeouts to earn the victory.

In game-two on February 19, Daniel Russell scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the eighth inning to give Eastern Michigan a 7-6 win over Clemson. The Eagles scored three runs in both the second and fourth innings to build a 6-0 lead, but the Tigers evened the score on Phil Pohl’s run-scoring single in the seventh inning. Clemson stranded 11 runners on base against only seven for Eastern Michigan. Russell went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two runs to pace Eastern Michigan, who outhit the Tigers 11-9. Kieboom went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs to lead Clemson.

In game-three on February 20, Kevin Brady struck out 10 batters to lead Clemson to a 5-1 win over Eastern Michigan. In 5.1 innings pitched, Brady allowed just two hits, one run, and one walk to earn the win. David Haselden pitched 3.0 innings, allowing just two hits, no runs, and no walks with two strikeouts to record the save. Brady, Haselden, and Jonathan Meyer combined to limit the Eagles to five hits and one walk with 12 strikeouts. Epps hit a two-run homer in the third inning to give Clemson a 3-0 lead. Hinson went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs, and two steals, while Jason Stolz reached base in all four of his plate appearances.

Rate this Story:
6 votes

    |
Loading...

Grantham happy to be home after seeing Barcelona terrorist attack

WATCH: Brownell and players discuss Barcelona attack

Georgia Tech dismisses leading rusher

Clemson in top group for Elite 2019 OL

Clemson leads ACC football topping Power 5 ranks

Three Tigers ranked in ESPN's Top 70 fantasy football players

All signs pointing to Kelly Bryant starting at quarterback in the opener

Former Clemson DE waived by Titans

WATCH: Tankersley gets his first NFL interception
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest