Clemson Baseball Preview vs. South Carolina


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Clemson vs. South Carolina

        Clemson
(25-10), ranked as high as #13 in the nation, will travel to Columbia
to take on #4 South Carolina (28-8) on Wednesday at Sarge Frye Field
in the third of four scheduled matchups between the two rivals during
the regular season.  First pitch for Wednesday's game is
scheduled for 7:06 PM.  The game will be televised live by CSS. 
The game will also be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger
Sports Network.  Live stats will be available on Clemson's
athletic website at ClemsonTigers.com as well.  The two teams
will play again on April 25 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.


The Series

        Clemson
and South Carolina have met 277 times on the diamond, with Clemson
holding a 162-113-2 lead in the series dating back to the 1899
season.  South Carolina is Clemson's most-played rival in
history.

    Earlier this season in March, the
Gamecocks won both games of a weekend series by scores of 12-0 at Doug
Kingsmore Stadium and 3-2 in Columbia.

Last season, Clemson won three of four meetings with
the Gamecocks, including each of the last three games.  South
Carolina won the first game by a score of 6-2 in Columbia, then
Clemson won 6-4 the following day in Tigertown.  Then in April,
Clemson won by scores of 3-2 (at Columbia) and 10-5 (at
Clemson).

        The two
teams split the four-game season series in both the 2004 and 2005
seasons.  The Gamecocks hold a 71-65-2 lead over Clemson all-time
in games played at South Carolina.  Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett
is 27-22 against South Carolina as Clemson's head coach, including a
14-10 record in games played at South Carolina.  The Tigers are
13-14 against a top-10 Gamecock club under Leggett as well.


The Starting Pitchers

        South
Carolina will start sophomore righty Mike Cisco (2-2, 5.44 ERA) on the
mound Wednesday.  The Mount Pleasant, SC native has made eight
starts and one relief appearance for a total of 46.1 innings pitched. 
He has allowed 53 hits (.290 opponents' batting average) and eight
walks with 35 strikeouts.

The Tigers have yet to determine their starting
pitcher.


The Gamecocks

        South
Carolina, led by 11th-year Head Coach Ray Tanner, enters Tuesday's
game against Wofford with a 28-8 overall record and 9-6 SEC mark after
winning two of three games against Auburn at home this past weekend. 
The Gamecocks, who are 16-4 at home, are ranked as high as #4 in the
country.

     South Carolina has outscored
its opponents by a combined score of 310-135 this season.  Six of
its eight losses have been by one run.  Offensively, the team is
hitting .318 with a .407 on-base percentage, 62 home runs, and 175
walks.  The team has swiped 36 bases in 41 attempts and has 29
sacrifice bunts.  The Gamecocks are 26-0 when they total at least
as many hits as their opponents and 2-8 when they get outhit. 
One of those two wins was against Clemson on March 4 when the Tigers
outhit the Gamecocks 8-7.

       Trent Kline is
hitting a team-best .353 with 12 doubles, five homers, and 28 RBIs. 
James Darnell is batting .350 with 11 long balls and 39 RBIs along
with a current 10-game hitting streak.  Justin Smoak, who is
riding a 17-game hitting streak, has totaled 11 homers and 42 RBIs to
go along with his .342 batting average.

       The pitching staff
has a 3.09 ERA and .226 opponents' batting average.  The team
has allowed just 128 walks with 353 strikeouts.  Junior righty
Wynn Pelzer has a 2.45 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 22.0 innings pitched
out of the bullpen.

        The
Gamecocks have one of the nation's best defenses, as they have
committed just 32 errors in 36 games, good for a .977 fielding
percentage.


The Tigers

        Clemson
enters the game at South Carolina with a 25-10 overall record and 10-5
ACC mark after winning two of three games at Wake Forest over the
weekend.  The Tigers, who are 7-5 on the road this season, also
bring a #13 national ranking into Wednesday's game.

    The team is hitting .289 with a .372
on-base percentage.  Brad Chalk is hitting a team-best .416 with
a .537 on-base percentage.  Doug Hogan is hitting .325 with five
homers and 20 RBIs.  Taylor Harbin leads the squad with 31 RBIs
and 13 doubles.  Marquez Smith, the lone Tiger to start all 35
games in 2007, is hitting .309 with a team-high six homers and 28 RBIs
as well.

        The
pitching staff has a 3.35 ERA and .248 opponents' batting average. 
It has combined to strike out 300 against 97 walks.  Daniel
Moskos has a team-high six saves, while Stephen Clyne has an 0.37 ERA
and .182 opponents' batting average along with two saves in 17
relief appearances.  The team is fielding at a .971 clip as
well.


Worth Noting

*       Clemson is
16-0 when its opponents commit two or more errors.



Polls

        Clemson
stayed at the #14 spot in the Baseball America poll and jumped to #13
in the Collegiate Baseball poll on Monday after going 2-1 in three
games last week.  Clemson also stayed at #15 in the Sports Weekly
poll.

        The
Tigers' #1 ranking by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball on
February 12 was their first since February 27, 2006, when Clemson was
ranked #1 by those same two polls.  The Tigers have been ranked
#1 for 20 weeks by at least one of the major polls in Head Coach Jack
Leggett's 14th season at Clemson.


Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio Among Tigers' Best

        Clemson
has a solid 3.35 ERA through 35 games this season.  But the
Tigers have been especially good at striking out the opposition
without giving them "free passes."  The staff has combined
for 300 strikeouts against only 97 walks, good for a 3.09
strikeout-to-walk ratio.  That is the second-best mark in school
history, trailing only the 3.16 figure that the 1996 staff had, which
includes future Major Leaguers Kris Benson, Billy Koch, Ken Vining,
and Matt White.  The 2007 staff's 8.67
strikeouts-per-nine-innings-pitched mark is also the best figure since
the 1996 staff's mark of 9.69.



Tigers Take Two of Three at Wake Forest

       
Clemson, ranked #14 in the nation, won two of three games at
Wake Forest from April 13-15, as the Tigers won the first and last
games of the series.  Clemson did not commit an error in the
series, while Tiger pitchers combined for 30 strikeouts against only
four walks.  Brad Chalk was 5-for-6, Wilson Boyd was 5-for-9, and
Ben Paulsen was 5-for-10 to lead the Tigers, who outhit Wake Forest
.291 to .277 in the series.

        In
game-one, Daniel Moskos pitched 6.0 strong innings and five Tigers
combined for 12 hits in Clemson's 6-2 victory at Wake Forest on
April 13.  Moskos struck out seven and allowed just one run to
earn the win.  D.J. Mitchell pitched 2.0 hitless and scoreless
innings of relief to close out the game.  Boyd and Chalk each had
three hits, while Taylor Harbin added two hits and three RBIs. 
Addison Johnson went 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored as
well.  The Tigers' three-run sixth inning proved to be the
difference.  Clemson did not commit an error and held Wake Forest
to 1-for-13 with runners on base.

  In game-two, Brett Linnenkohl's walkoff single
in the ninth inning gave Wake Forest a 6-5 win over Clemson at Hooks
Stadium on April 14.  The loss snapped the Tigers' 17-game
winning streak in the series.  Tyler Smith walked to lead off the
ninth, went to second on a balk, and scored two batters later on
Linnenkohl's single over the head of Johnson in left field. 
After the Demon Deacons scored three runs in the fifth inning after
the first two batters of frame were retired, Clemson scored four runs
in the sixth on two-run doubles by both Doug Hogan and Mitchell. 
But Evan Ocheltree's solo homer in the bottom of the sixth tied the
score.  Mitchell and Chalk led Clemson with two hits apiece,
while Linnenkohl had three of Wake Forest's 10 hits.

        In
game-three, Clemson escaped with a 5-4 win at Wake Forest on April
15.  The Demon Deacons scored two runs in the ninth and had the
potential tying run on second base with one out before the game was
eventually called due to heavy rain.  The two teams waited 90
minutes until the game was finally called, and there was also a
69-minute weather delay at the end of the fourth inning.  Ryan
Hinson pitched 7.0 strong innings, allowing two runs on nine hits with
eight strikeouts against no walks to earn the win.  Andy
D'Alessio went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs as well.

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