Clemson Baseball Preview vs. Virginia

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Clemson vs. Virginia

Clemson (7-3, 0-0 ACC), ranked as high as #4 in the nation, will host #6 Virginia (13-1, 0-0 ACC) in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this weekend. Game times are 5:00 PM (Friday), 2:00 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday). All three games will be available live via webcast on TigerCast at All three games will also be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will be available at for all three games as well.

The Series

Clemson and Virginia have met 143 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 102-41 lead in the series dating back to the 1955 season. Last year in Charlottesville, the top-ranked Cavaliers won two of three games despite both teams scoring a total of 12 runs in the series.

In the 2009 ACC Tournament at Durham, NC, Virginia edged Clemson 6-5. The two teams did not meet in the 2008 or 2009 regular seasons. In 2007 at Clemson, the Cavaliers beat the Tigers twice in three games. In 2006, Virginia swept Clemson by a combined score of 19-7. Virginia, who has won 11 of the last 13 meetings, has won each of the last three series against Clemson, with the Tigers’ last series win coming in 2005 in Tigertown.

The Tigers hold a 52-10 lead over the Cavaliers in games played at Clemson and a 40-8 lead at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson also holds a 92-34 advantage in ACC regular-season games. Jack Leggett has a 31-21 record against Virginia as Clemson’s head coach, including a 16-5 mark at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Leggett was 2-0 against Virginia as head coach at Vermont, meaning he is 33-21 all-time against the Cavaliers.

The Starting Pitchers

In game-one, Virginia will start junior lefthander Danny Hultzen (3-0, 0.87 ERA) on the mound. The Bethesda, MD native has made three starts for a total of 20.2 innings pitched. He has allowed eight hits (.121 opponents’ batting average) and one walk with 36 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with junior righthander Scott Weismann (2-1, 5.40 ERA) on Friday. The Boxborough, MA native has made three starts for a total of 15.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 14 hits (.241 opponents’ batting average) and three walks with 11 strikeouts.

In game-two, the Cavaliers will send out senior righty Tyler Wilson (3-0, 1.42 ERA) on the mound. The Midlothian, VA native has made three starts for a total of 19.0 innings pitched. He has yielded 14 hits (.206 opponents’ batting average) and five walks with 23 strikeouts.

In game-three, Virginia will start senior righthander Cody Winiarski (2-1, 1.86 ERA) on the mound. The Madison, WI native has made three starts for a total of 19.1 innings pitched. He has given up 14 hits (.206 opponents’ batting average) and four walks with 17 strikeouts.

The Tigers’ starting pitchers for game-two and game-three have yet to be determined.

The Cavaliers

Virginia, led by eighth-year Head Coach Brian O’Connor and ranked as high as #6 in the nation, enters the series at #4 Clemson with a 13-1 overall record and 0-0 ACC mark after topping Marshall 1-0 on Tuesday. Virginia, who has won seven games in a row, are 1-0 on opponents’ home fields.

Virginia is averaging 7.6 runs per game and hitting .309 with a .391 slugging percentage and .397 on-base percentage. The team has totaled 33 doubles, three triples, no home runs, 15 sacrifice bunts, and 18 stolen bases.

John Hicks is hitting .370 with six doubles and 11 RBIs, while Danny Hultzen is battting .361 with four doubles, one triple, and 13 RBIs. Steven Proscia has a team-high 14 RBIs, while seven different Cavaliers have stolen at least two bases in 2011.

The pitching staff has a 1.50 ERA and .197 opponents’ batting average along with 146 strikeouts against 23 walks in 126.0 innings pitched. Sophomore righthander Branden Kline has five saves and has not allowed a run in 6.2 innings pitched over six relief appearances. The pitching staff has not allowed more than four runs in a game this season and has yielded just three stolen bases in 10 attempts. Virginia is fielding at a .993 clip, as the Cavaliers have committed just four errors.

The Tigers

Clemson, ranked as high as #4 in the nation, enters the series against #6 Virginia with a 7-3 overall record and 0-0 ACC mark after falling twice in three games to #4 South Carolina from March 4-8. The Tigers are 6-1 at home this season.

The Tigers are averaging 8.9 runs per game and hitting .343 with a .469 slugging percentage and .460 on-base percentage. Clemson has also totaled 16 doubles, four triples, six homers, and 21 stolen bases.

Spencer Kieboom is hitting a team-high .500 with a team-high 11 RBIs. Phil Pohl is batting .423 with four doubles, one homer, and seven RBIs. Brad Miller is hitting .400 with eight RBIs and 15 walks against four strikeouts, while Chris Epps is hitting .306 with two homers, six RBIs, and five steals.

The pitching staff has a 3.17 ERA and .212 opponents’ batting average in 88.0 innings pitched. The staff has allowed 22 walks against 71 strikeouts. David Haselden has the team’s lone save. The Tigers are fielding at a .974 clip as well.

Worth Noting

• Clemson has outscored its opponents 9-1 in the first inning in 2011.

• Clemson has lost its three games by a combined five runs (1.7 runs per loss). The Tigers have won their seven games by a combined 61 runs (8.7 runs per win).

Haselden Quietly Getting the Job Done

Junior righthander David Haselden (Spartanburg, SC) has a 1-0 record, one save, and a 1.06 ERA in 17.0 innings pitched over five appearances (two starts) this season. Haselden started the season in the bullpen, but with his stellar outing against #4 South Carolina on March 8 and Kevin Brady’s injury, Haselden has cemented his place as a solid starter for the Tigers. In his start against the Gamecocks, he pitched 6.0 scoreless innings of three-hit ball.

Haselden has allowed just 11 hits (.196 opponents’ batting average), including only one extra-base hit, and three walks with 10 strikeouts in 2011. His excellent control has been on display for three seasons. In 75.2 innings pitched over 34 appearances (five starts) in his career, he has allowed just 17 walks against 55 strikeouts, good for a 3.24 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 2.02 walks-per-nine-innings-pitched mark.

Gamecocks Take Two From Tigers in Top-Five Battle

The #4 South Carolina Gamecocks won two of three games over #4 Clemson at three different sites from March 4-8. Clemson outscored the Gamecocks 17-16 and outhit them .313 to .234. Clemson also had a .404 on-base percentage compared to a .308 on-base percentage for South Carolina. But the Gamecocks only stranded 17 runners on base to Clemson’s 22 and South Carolina turned seven double plays on defense. Spencer Kieboom, who received the Bob Bradley Award as Clemson’s MVP of the three-game series, went 4-for-10, while Brad Miller also went 4-for-10.

In game-one at Carolina Stadium in Columbia on March 4, Brady Thomas, Christian Walker, and Scott Wingo all hit two-run homers to lift South Carolina to a 6-3 win over Clemson. The Tigers scored three runs in the second inning on Phil Pohl’s two-run double and Jason Stolz’s run-scoring single. But that was the only one of five innings in which Clemson scored after putting its leadoff batter on base. Michael Roth pitched 7.0 strong innings to earn the win, while Matt Price pitched 1.2 perfect innings to record the save.

In game-two at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson on March 6, Clemson scored six runs in the eighth inning for a come-from-behind 10-5 win over South Carolina. The Gamecocks scored four runs in the seventh inning to take a 5-3 lead. Trailing 5-4, the Tigers scored six runs on six hits in the eighth inning to pull out the win. Every Tiger starter scored at least one run and nine of the 10 Tigers in the lineup had at least one hit. Clemson outhit South Carolina 15-5, as Stolz had a game-high three hits. Jeff Schaus added two doubles and three RBIs. Joseph Moorefield pitched 2.0 hitless and scoreless innings with two strikeouts to close out the game and earn his first career win. Six Gamecock pitchers combined to issue eight walks and South Carolina committed four errors, as its 14-game winning streak came to an end.

In game-three at Fluor Field in Greenville on March 8, pinch-hitter Jake Williams hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning to break a 1-1 tie and lift South Carolina to a 5-4 win over Clemson. Richie Shaffer’s solo homer in the fourth inning gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead. But the Gamecocks scored four runs in the seventh and another run in the eighth to build a 5-1 lead. Clemson rallied with three runs in the ninth inning and had the potential tying run at third base before Price struck out the Tigers’ last hope to earn the save. Clemson outhit South Carolina 9-8, but the Gamecocks turned three crucial double plays, including one in the ninth inning. Starter David Haselden pitched 6.0 scoreless innings of three-hit ball with five strikeouts.

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