Clemson Baseball Preview vs. George Mason


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Clemson vs. George Mason

        Clemson
(0-0), ranked as high as #1 in the nation, will open its 2007 schedule
when it plays host to George Mason (0-0) this weekend in a three-game
series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.  Game times are 4:00 PM
(Friday), 2:00 PM (Saturday), and 12:00 PM (Sunday).  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

        Clemson
and George Mason have met six times on the diamond, with the Tigers
holding a 6-0 lead in the series dating back to the 1995 season.

    The two teams met in three-game
series during both the 1995 and 1999 seasons at Doug Kingsmore
Stadium.  Clemson earned sweeps in both series.  In six
games, the Tigers have outscored the Patriots 86-11.


The Starting Pitchers

        In game
one, George Mason will start junior righthander J.J. Pannell on the
mound.  The Springfield, VA native had a 2-5 record and 7.61 ERA
in nine starts and six relief appearances over 62.2 innings pitched in
2006.  He also struck out 51 against 34 walks.

      The Tigers will counter
with junior righty P.J. Zocchi on Friday.  The Bronx, NY native
had a 6-0 record and 2.81 ERA in seven starts and 11 relief
appearances over 67.1 innings pitched in 2006.  He struck out 66
against 26 walks as well.

  In game two, the Patriots will send out
sophomore lefthander Mike Modica on the mound.  The Sewell, NJ
native had a 3-3 record and 7.97 ERA in eight relief appearances and
five starts over 49.2 innings pitched in 2006.  He also struck
out 22 with 34 walks.

        The Tigers
will counter with junior righthander David Kopp on Saturday.  The
Margate, FL native had a 6-2 record and 4.32 ERA in 13 relief
appearances and seven starts over 58.1 innings pitched during the 2006
season.  He struck out 46 and walked 21 as well.

      In game three, George
Mason will start freshman righthander Ryan Brecko on the mound.

   Clemson will counter with sophomore lefty
Ryan Hinson on Sunday.  The Rock Hill, SC native had a 4-0 record
and 3.82 ERA in 18 relief appearances and one start over 30.2 innings
pitched in 2006.  He also struck out 31 with 18 walks.


The Patriots

        The
Patriots are led by 26th-year Head Coach Bill Brown and have yet to
play a game this year.  They are coming off a 2006 season with a
20-31 overall record and 12-18 record in the Colonial Athletic
Conference.

     Junior catcher Jason Bour is
the leading returning hitter in terms of batting average.  The
Centreville, VA native hit .313 with two homers and 20 RBIs a season
ago.  He is one of just 12 returning lettermen on the 2007 club,
as the Patriots lost 15 from 2006.  The 2007 squad has no seniors
as well.


The Tigers

        Clemson
enters the season-opening series against George Mason ranked #1 in the
nation by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.  The Tigers
are coming off a 53-16 season in 2006 when it played in the College
World Series for the 11th time in history.

   One Tiger hails from the state of
Virginia, but will not play.  Graham Stoneburner, a Richmond, VA
native, is a freshman utility player who will miss the 2007 season due
to a torn ACL suffered in the preseason.


Tigers Picked to Finish First in ACC By Coaches

        Clemson
was picked to finish first in the ACC by the 12 league coaches in the
preseason.  The Tigers received nine first-place votes to win the
entire ACC regular-season title, while Georgia Tech had two and
Virginia had one.

       The Tigers were
also tabbed to win the ACC Atlantic Division title with 11 first-place
votes and 71 points, ahead of Florida State (one first-place vote),
N.C. State, Wake Forest, Boston College, and Maryland.  North
Carolina was picked to win the ACC Coastal Division with 60 points,
ahead of Miami (FL), Virginia, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and
Duke.



Four Tigers Named Preseason All-American

        Four
Tigers were named to at least one preseason All-America team. 
Senior first-baseman Andy D'Alessio was named first-team
All-American by NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball along with earning
second-team honors by Rivals.com.  Junior second-baseman Taylor
Harbin was tabbed with second-team honors by Baseball America and
third-team honors by Collegiate Baseball.  Junior outfielder Brad
Chalk was tabbed with first-team All-America honors by Baseball
America.  Junior lefthander Daniel Moskos also received
second-team accolades by NCBWA, Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball,
and Rivals.com.


Polls

        Clemson
moved to the #1 spot in the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball
polls on Monday, replacing Rice in the top spot after it went 1-3 in
four games last week.  There will not be another Sports Weekly
poll until later this month, as Clemson was ranked #2 in its preseason
poll.

   It is also the 20th week the Tigers have
been ranked #1 by at least one of the major polls in Head Coach Jack
Leggett's 14th season at Clemson.

Moving to the nation's top spot in the polls is not
unique to Tiger baseball.  In 2006, Clemson was ranked #2 in
Baseball America's preseason poll, but moved to #1 in its poll on
February 6 and opened the season on February 17 against James Madison
with that ranking.


Clemson 26-9 Against Top-25 Teams in 2006

        Clemson
had a 26-9 record against top-25 teams in 2006.  In 13 years at
Clemson, Head Coach Jack Leggett has 173 wins over teams ranked in the
top 25.  Only three times in his first 13 years has he had a
losing record against teams in the top 25.



Tigers Tough to Beat at Clemson

        Clemson
has been tough to beat historically at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, and
that was the case in 2006.  Clemson was 36-5 at home, an 87.8
winning percentage in the friendly confines.  Clemson hit .318 in
the 41 games at home, with a 51-17 advantage in home runs over the
opposition and a .505 slugging percentage to just .301 for the
opposition.  Clemson had a .976 fielding percentage at home, and
stole 72-86 bases, an 83.7-percent success rate.

  Clemson had great balance on offense at home in
2006, with eight of the nine starting position players hitting .313 or
better.  Brad Chalk led the way with a .371 batting average at
home, while Tyler Colvin batted .369 and Taylor Harbin hit .361. 
Andy D'Alessio led the team in home runs at home with 11 long balls
and 51 RBIs, while Colvin hit eight homers with 45 RBIs.

    Clemson's pitching was outstanding
in posting the 36-5 record at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. 
Clemson's opponents hit just .225 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, and the
Tiger pitching staff had a 2.52 ERA for the 41 games.  The
opposition had a 7.08 ERA against the Tiger offense.

  Clemson's starting pitching was nothing short
of incredible at home.  Weekend starters Stephen Faris, Jason
Berken, and Josh Cribb were a combined 21-0 at home with a 1.89 ERA. 
They combined to allow just 16 extra-base hits, including only five
home runs, in 617 combined opponent at-bats.

      Cribb was 8-0 at home
with a 2.38 ERA.  Faris was 7-0 with a 1.41 ERA and a .183
opponent batting average.  Berken was 6-0 with a 2.01 ERA, and
allowed just two extra-base hits.

       Clemson was 36-5
at home, but all five of the losses came against non-conference
teams.  Clemson was a perfect 15-0 at home in the ACC, the first
time the Tigers had a perfect league mark at home since 1988, when
Bill Wilhelm's Tigers were 11-0 at home in the ACC. 
Clemson's 36 wins at home were the most since the 2002 team had a 36-9
home record.

   Clemson has an all-time record of 892-199
at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, an 81.8 winning percentage.  The
Tigers are 290-60 in home ACC games over the years in the facility as
well.  Doug Kingsmore Stadium was opened in 1970.


Tigers Tough to Beat at Home Under Leggett

        In his
13 seasons, Head Coach Jack Leggett has a 608-259 overall record at
Clemson, including a 254-125 mark against ACC teams.  He has been
especially tough in home ACC series, where he has a 130-30 (.813)
record.  The ACC team with the most success has been Florida
State, who has won seven games in 21 tries at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. 
The Tiger skipper only added to his fine record in 2006 by sweeping
all five home opponents in league play (15-0 record).

        Even
when an opposing ACC team is victorious at Clemson, it usually means
that team only won one of three games.  In 54 ACC home series
under Leggett, Clemson has lost only four series...losing two of three
to N.C. State in 1996, getting swept by Florida State in 2002, losing
two of three to the Seminoles in 2004, and losing two of three to
Georgia Tech in 2005.  The Yellow Jackets also split a pair of
games in a rain-shortened series in 1997.


Leggett Leading a Consistent Winner

        Head
Coach Jack Leggett has a 608-259 (.701) record at Clemson in his 13
seasons.  The legendary Bill Wilhelm has the most wins of any
Tiger coach with 1,161 in 36 seasons (1958-93) at Clemson. 
Leggett's 608 wins are second-most in school history.  No other
Clemson coach has more than 70 wins while in Tigertown.

      His 608 wins since 1994
are fourth-most in the nation during that span.  Only three other
programs (Florida State, Wichita State, Rice) have more wins over that
span from 1994-06.  Furthermore, he has led the Tigers to at
least 39 wins every year he has been at the helm of the program. 
Clemson along with Florida State and Wichita State are the only three
programs in the nation to win at least 39 games every year since
1994.


Tigers Won Their Last 16 Home Games

        Clemson
ended the 2006 season with the nation's longest home winning streak
at 16 games.  Since suffering a 5-4 loss against Furman at Doug
Kingsmore Stadium on April 19, Clemson won its last 16 games at home
to close out the 2006 season.  Ironically, Oral Roberts had the
second-longest home winning streak (14) to end the season.  If
the Golden Eagles had defeated the Tigers in either one of the close
super regional games, it would have ended Clemson's home winning
streak and given them the nation's longest streak to end the
season.  Nine of the 16 games were against top-25 ranked teams. 
Clemson finished with a 36-5 home record in 2006 as well.


Sunshine Streak

        When
Clemson finished off a three-game sweep of Florida State with an 11-2
victory at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on May 14, it gave Clemson a
three-game series sweep of both Florida State and Miami (FL) during
the 2006 season.  From March 31 to April 2, Clemson won three
straight over the Hurricanes in Coral Gables.

       Clemson is just
the second school in history and the first since 1948 to sweep (three
games or more) Florida State and Miami in the same year.  That
year, Rollins won four straight from Florida State and four in a row
from Miami.  Both series were a pair of two-game, home-and-home
series.  It was the first year of Florida State's baseball
program and just the fourth year of baseball for Miami.

        Clemson
swept Miami in both 2005 and 2006, and has seven consecutive wins over
the Hurricanes.  Clemson is the first school in history to record
a three-game sweep of the Hurricanes in consecutive years. 
Florida State came close in 2002 and 2003.  The Seminoles
recorded a sweep in Coral Gables in 2002, then won the first two games
in Coral Gables in 2003 before the two teams tied in the last game of
the series.

Clemson's seven-game win streak against Miami is the
longest for any program against the Hurricanes since Florida State won
seven straight in their series with Miami from 1990 and 1991. 
The record for consecutive wins by a program over Miami is 12 by
Florida State (1966-71).  That is also the last time someone beat
them eight straight.  That streak began when current Florida
State Head Coach Mike Martin was a player for the Seminoles.

From 2005 to date, Clemson has won 11 consecutive
games against teams from the state of Florida, dating to a 7-3 April
3, 2005 victory (second game of doubleheader) at Florida State.


D'Alessio Likes 'Em Loaded

        If you
had to use one phrase to describe Andy D'Alessio, it might just be
"run-producer."  The first-baseman had a knack for driving in
runs in all kinds of situations in 2006.  He totaled 85 RBIs on
only 78 hits.  The 2005 season saw him do the same, as he had 60
RBIs on only 58 hits.

  But no stat proved his value in producing runs
more than his stats with the bases loaded.  In 2006, he was
8-for-11 (.727) with two doubles, two home runs, and 23 RBIs with the
bases full.  In 2005, he was 6-for-9 with two home runs and 18
RBIs with the bases loaded.  Therefore in his career (2004-06),
he is 16-for-26 (.615) with four homers and 48 RBIs with the bases
full.



D'Alessio Moving Up Home Run, RBI Charts

        A year
after Kris Harvey totaled 25 home runs in 2005, second-most in the
nation, Andy D'Alessio provided the big bat in the Tiger lineup in
2006 with 23 long balls.  He also has 42 career home runs,
ninth-most in Tiger history.


Chalk Enters 2007 on a 16-Game Hit Streak

        Brad
Chalk ended his sophomore season on a 16-game hitting streak and will
carry that over into the 2007 season.  During the streak, he is
hitting .419 with a .538 on-base percentage.  In the game before
the streak started against College of Charleston, he went hitless, but
still reached base via a walk.  And since he had a 10-game
hitting streak entering the game against the Cougars, he has hit
safely in 26 of the last 27 games.  He also has reached base
safely via a hit or walk in each of the last 27 games.


Future ACC Tournament Sites

        The
2007 and 2008 ACC Tournaments will be played at The Baseball Grounds
of Jacksonville (FL), where the tourney was played in 2005 and 2006. 
In 2009, the ACC Tournament will be held in Boston, MA at historic
Fenway Park.

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