Clemson Baseball Preview vs. Texas Tech


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Clemson vs. Texas Tech

        Clemson
(7-7), ranked #19 in the unofficial RPI, will travel to Texas to play
at Texas Tech (13-6), ranked #20 in the unofficial RPI, this weekend
at Dan Law Field in Lubbock, TX.  Game times are 7:30 PM EST
(Friday), 3:00 PM EST (Saturday), and 1:00 PM EST (Sunday). 


Webcasts Available for Texas Tech Series

        Clemson
baseball fans that will not be traveling to Lubbock, TX for the
three-game series at Texas Tech from March 19-21 can tune in via the
internet, as all three games of the series will be webcasted through
Texas Tech's College Sports Pass.

     The College Sports Pass will
provide both audio (Red Raider Baseball Radio Network) and video of
the three game series between Texas Tech and Clemson and it can be
accessed through Texas Tech's official athletic website,
www.texastech.com.  Fans can purchase a month-long subscription
for just $6.95, and that will allow full access to the site for the
weekend.  The College Sports Pass works in conjunction with Real
Networks and users must have the Real Player installed on their
computer system.

      For more information,
including account setup and technical support, log on to
www.texastech.com.


The Series

        Clemson
and Texas Tech have met just once on the diamond.  The two played
in the Pepsi/Johnny Quick Best-of-the-West Tournament in Fresno, CA on
March 18, 1993.  Chad Phillips and Andy Taulbee combined for a
four-hit shutout in the Tigers' 5-0 win in that game.  The two
pitchers struck out 12 and did not allow a walk.

Head Coach Jack Leggett has never faced Texas Tech,
however he and the Tigers played in the 1997 NCAA Central Regional at
Texas Tech.  The Red Raiders lost their first two games of the
tourney, while the Tigers went 1-2, losing to Rice (led by Lance
Berkman) and Southwest Texas State after defeating Nevada.  It
will also be the Tigers' first trip to the state of Texas since the
College Station Super Regional in 1999.


The Starting Pitchers

        In game
one, Texas Tech will start senior righthander Steven Thomas (2-1, 2.89
ERA).  The Kingwood, TX native has started three games and
appeared in four others in 2004.  In 28.0 innings pitched, he has
allowed 23 hits while striking out 26.

      Clemson will counter
with sophomore righthander Jason Berken (2-1, 5.17 ERA) Friday. 
The De Pere, WI native has started three games and allowed just 11
hits in 15.2 innings pitched for a .196 opponents' batting
average.

    In game two, the Red Raiders will
send out junior lefty Dallas Braden (1-1, 4.94 ERA) to the mound. 
The Stockton, CA native has started five games and pitched a total of
23.2 innings.  Braden has allowed 27 hits and five walks while
striking out 30.

      In game three, junior
righthander Michael McGowan (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will start for the Red
Raiders.  The 6'5", 265-pound native of Carrollton, TX has
started just two games and pitched a total of 9.2 innings.  He
has allowed just six hits, three walks, and no runs while striking out
eight.

        Clemson's
starters for Saturday's and Sunday's games have not yet been
determined.


Texas Tech Overview

        Texas
Tech, led by 18th-year Head Coach Larry Hays, enters this weekend's
action with a 13-6 record.  The Red Raiders lost 4-1 at New
Mexico Tuesday.  Texas Tech, which has an astroturf infield and
grass outfield, sports a 10-3 home record and has played just one game
on an opponent's home field.

       The team is
hitting .329, led by Madison Edwards (.385).  Michael Mask is
hitting .380 with seven homers and 29 RBIs.  The Red Raiders have
stolen 46 bases in 52 attempts, which is a big reason they are
averaging 10.9 runs per game.  Josh Brady leads the squad with 11
stolen bases in 11 attempts.  The team has also been patient at
the plate, walking over five times a game.

The pitching staff has a 4.18 ERA and .264 opponents'
batting average.  The staff has a 2.38 walks per nine innings
pitched mark as well.  The team is also fielding at a .966
clip.



Clemson Overview

        Clemson
enters the Texas Tech series with a 7-7 record after a 9-4 victory
over Coastal Carolina Tuesday.  Despite the .500 record, Clemson
has outscored its opponents 94-63, a margin of 31 runs.

     The Tigers are hitting .278 as
a team, led by Brad McCann's .410 batting average.  The junior
third baseman also has four homers, five doubles, and 17 RBIs. 
Eleven of his 17 RBIs have come in the last four games.  Travis
Storrer is second with a .333 batting average.  He also is riding
a 10-game hitting streak.  In the last four games, Clemson has
stolen 13 bases as well after stealing only six in the first 10
games.  Clemson also sports a 3.89 ERA, 9.75 strikeouts per nine
innings pitched mark, and .960 fielding percentage.


Tigers Blast Coastal Carolina 9-4 Tuesday

        Clemson
hit four home runs and Kris Harvey pitched 5.1 quality innings to lead
the Tigers to a 9-4 win over Coastal Carolina March 16 at Doug
Kingsmore Stadium.  Travis Storrer, Andy D'Alessio, John
Ingram, and Brad McCann each hit long balls which accounted for seven
of the nine runs.  The other two runs came came in the seventh
inning when pinch-runner Daniel Pritchard stole home and Russell
Triplett scored on a balk.  The runs scored on consecutive plays
without a pitch being thrown.  Harvey allowed just one run and
one walk while striking out five to earn his fourth victory of the
year.  McCann's three-run blast in the eighth inning was the
Tigers' only hit with runners in scoring position in 11 at-bats. 
Patrick Hogan struck out four in 1.1 innings pitched to earn his third
save of the season.


Tigers #19 in RPI

        The
only rating system the NCAA uses to determine selections and seedings
is the RPI, or the Ratings Percentage Index.  Although the NCAA
does not release its official RPI, Boyd Nation has come up with an RPI
index that is all but the same as the official RPI.  He uses
numbers from previous seasons to verify his formulas.

     In the March 15 release, his
RPI index has Clemson #19 despite the 6-7 record.  The Tigers
play arguably the toughest schedule in the nation in 2004. 
Clemson can thank a brutal non-conference schedule for its high RPI
ranking.  Clemson is actually ahead of Auburn (#26), despite the
SEC Tigers 16-2 record and 2-1 series victorty over Clemson.  The
RPI only counts games against Division I teams and is for games
through March 14.

        Not
only have the Tigers played a tough schedule, it has played many of
their games away from home.  After this weekend's action at
Texas Tech, Clemson will have played seven home games, eight road
games, and two neutral-site games, meaning 10 of its first 17 games
will have been played away from home.


Road Trip

       
Including the ACC Tournament in May, Clemson will take to the
road for eight of the 14 weekends in 2004.  The Tigers schedule
includes weekend series/games at East Carolina, South Carolina, Texas
Tech, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, and Duke.  Clemson
is scheduled to play 32 regular-season home games and 24 games away
from home in 2004.

        The
Tigers only play six full weekend series at home this year. 
Those series include Auburn, Wake Forest, Maryland, N.C. State,
Florida State, and Central Florida.



Striking Difference

        This
year, Clemson's pitching staff has proven to be a power-type staff,
a departure from recent Tiger teams.  The 2004 team, which has
struck out at least 10 batters in nine of the last 12 games, has
struck out 138 in 127.1 innings pitched overall, good for a 9.75
strikeouts per nine innings pitched mark.  The staff has also
allowed just 47 walks, meaning it has a 2.94 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 
The Tiger single-season records in each category are 9.69 and 3.16,
respectively, both set in the record-setting 1996 season that featured
the likes of Kris Benson, Billy Koch, and Ken Vining.  Since
1996, the Tigers have not had a strikout per nine innings pitched mark
better than 7.88.

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