Clemson Baseball Preview vs. Virginia Tech

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Clemson vs. Virginia Tech

Clemson (21-20-1, 7-13-1 ACC) will play host to Virginia Tech (18-23, 4-17 ACC) this weekend in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Game times are 7:15 (Friday), 7:00 (Saturday), and 1:00 (Sunday). All three games will be shown live via webcast 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 Tech have met 48 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 27-19-2 lead in the series dating back to the 1902 season. Last year at Virginia Tech, the Tigers swept the Hokies by a combined score of 19-10. The Tigers also swept Virginia Tech at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in 2006 by a combined score of 29-9. Clemson has won eight games in a row in the series.

The Tigers hold a 15-7-1 lead over Virginia Tech in games played at Clemson and 9-2 lead in games played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers also hold an 8-1 advantage in ACC regular-season games.

Jack Leggett has an 11-1 record against Virginia Tech as Clemson?s head coach, including a 3-0 mark at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Leggett was 1-3 against Virginia Tech as Western Carolina?s head coach, meaning he has a 12-4 all-time record against the Hokies.

The Starting Pitchers

In game-one, Virginia Tech will start junior righthander Rhett Ballard (2-4, 4.75 ERA) on the mound. The High Point, NC native has made three starts and 18 relief appearances for a total of 47.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 48 hits (.270 opponents? batting average) and 25 walks with 51 strikeouts. He also has three saves and has yielded just two stolen bases in six attempts.

The Tigers will counter with freshman righty Graham Stoneburner (4-2, 3.93 ERA) on Friday. The Richmond, VA native has made nine starts and two relief appearances for a total of 52.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 51 hits (.252 opponents? batting average) and 11 walks with 36 strikeouts.

The Hokies have yet to determine their starting pitchers for the final two games of the series.

Clemson will start junior lefthander Ryan Hinson (2-5, 5.02 ERA) on Saturday. The Rock Hill, SC native has made nine starts and two relief appearances for a total of 52.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 61 hits (.292 opponents? batting average) and 16 walks with 44 strikeouts.

The Tigers will start junior righthander D.J. Mitchell (4-3, 3.23 ERA) on Sunday. The Rural Hall, NC native has made nine starts and four relief appearances for a total of 61.1 innings pitched. He has yielded 59 hits (.250 opponents? batting average) and 26 walks with 58 strikeouts.

The Hokies

Virginia Tech, led by second-year Head Coach Pete Hughes, enters the series at Clemson with an 18-23 overall record and 4-17 ACC mark after defeating Radford 5-4 on Tuesday. The Hokies, who are 6-12 on opponents? home fields, are also coming off one win in three games against N.C. State over the weekend.

Virginia Tech is averaging 6.7 runs per game and hitting .297 with a .383 on-base percentage. The Hokies have totaled 81 doubles, 15 triples, and 31 home runs along with 49 steals in 72 attempts, including 14 stolen bases by Austin Wates.

Matt Hacker is hitting a team-best .378 with three homers and 20 RBIs in just 24 games, while Wates is batting .340. Anthony Sosnokie is the team?s leading run producer with six homers and 35 RBIs. Sean O?Brien has a team-best .474 on-base percentage thanks to 42 walks and six hit-by-pitches as well.

The pitching staff has a 5.86 ERA and .297 opponents? batting average along with 276 strikeouts against 185 walks in 361.0 innings pitched. Junior righthander Rhett Ballard has a team-high three saves and 51 strikeouts in 47.1 innings pitched over 21 appearances (three starts). The Hokies are fielding at a .955 clip as well.

The Tigers

Clemson enters the series against Virginia Tech with a 21-20-1 overall record and 7-13-1 ACC mark after winning midweek games against Western Carolina (6-0) on Tuesday and Presbyterian (12-7) on Wednesday. Clemson, who has a 14-10 home record, also split a three-game series at Duke 1-1-1 last weekend.

The Tigers are hitting .279 with a .365 on-base percentage and 43 stolen bases in 62 attempts. Mike Freeman is hitting .323 to lead the team, while Ben Paulsen is batting .314 with 11 doubles, 11 homers, and 35 RBIs along with a .421 on-base percentage. Jeff Schaus is up to .308 after totaling 14 hits in the last five games as well.

The pitching staff has a 4.65 ERA and .276 opponents? batting average. Lefthander Craig Gullickson has a team-best 3.00 ERA, while Matt Vaughn has nine saves and 32 strikeouts against six walks in 21 relief appearances. The Tigers are fielding at a .963 clip as well.

Delk Streaking on the Mound

Junior righthander Trey Delk (Elgin, SC) has become one of Clemson?s top midweek pitchers in recent weeks. The first-year Tiger, who played at Spartanburg Methodist College for two seasons (2006,07), has not allowed an earned run in his last two outings that have covered 12.2 innings pitched.

Against #10 South Carolina on April 16, he pitched the final 5.2 innings, allowing four hits, one unearned run, and one walk with three strikeouts. In his next outing at Western Carolina on April 22, he made his first career start. In that game, he picked up his first career win by tossing 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in the Tigers? 6-0 win against a Catamount team that entered the game hitting .314 on the season.

With his recent impressive appearances, he has a 3.32 ERA in one start and eight relief appearances this season. In 21.2 innings pitched, he has allowed 17 hits (team-best .210 opponents? batting average) and no home runs with 20 strikeouts.

Delk spent his first season after high school with the South Carolina program in 2005. He did not pitch in any games and received a red-shirt that year. In two relief appearances against the Gamecocks in 2008, he has pitched 7.2 innings, allowing only four hits, no earned runs, and two walks with five strikeouts against one of the nation?s most-potent lineups.

Delk Helps Tigers Blank Catamounts 6-0

Trey Delk pitched 7.0 scoreless innings of two-hit ball with seven strikeouts to lead Clemson to a 6-0 win over Western Carolina at Hennon Stadium on April 22. Delk earned his first win as a Tiger in his first career start, as he walked just two batters. He teamed with Justin Sarratt and Matt Vaughn to shut out a team who entered the game hitting .314. Clemson scored three runs in the second inning after the first two batters were retired. Clemson later hit three doubles in the ninth inning to score two runs. Jeff Schaus had a game-high three hits, Mike Freeman went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, and Wilson Boyd added two of Clemson?s five doubles in the game.

Tigers Top Blue Hose 12-7 at Greenville, SC

Clemson scored 11 runs in the first three innings and totaled 15 hits in the game en route to a 12-7 victory over Presbyterian at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC on April 23. The Tigers, who were facing the Blue Hose for the first time since 1950, scored six runs in the first inning, two runs in the second, and three runs in the third. Jeff Schaus and Ben Paulsen each totaled three hits apiece, while Paulsen added a double, three runs scored, and four RBIs. Chris Epps went 2-for-4 with three RBIs as well. Every Presbyterian starter had at least one hit, as the team totaled 17 hits in the contest. Craig Gullickson pitched 3.1 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win.

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