Clemson Baseball Preview vs. Virginia Tech

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Clemson vs. Virginia Tech

Clemson (25-12, 11-7 ACC), ranked as high as #18 in the country, will travel to Blacksburg, VA to take on Virginia Tech (22-12, 7-10 ACC) in a three-game series at English Field this weekend. Game times are 5:30 PM (Friday), 5:30 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday).

All three games of the series will be shown live via webcast at and all three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will also be available at for all three games against Virginia Tech.

The Series

Clemson and Virginia Tech have met 51 times on the baseball diamond, with the Tigers holding a 30-19-2 lead in the series dating back to the 1902 season.

In 2008 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, the Tigers swept the Hokies by a combined score of 31-14. In 2007 at English Field, Clemson also swept the series by a combined score of 19-10, as all three games were decided by three runs. Clemson has won 11 games in a row in the series dating back to 2005, when the Hokies won by a score of 11-7 in Blacksburg in the first-ever matchup between the two as ACC foes.

The Hokies hold an 11-7-1 lead in games played in Blacksburg, but the Tigers have won five games in a row at Virginia Tech. Clemson is also 11-1 against the Hokies in ACC regular-season games.

Jack Leggett has a 14-1 record against the Hokies as Clemson’s head coach, including a 5-1 record at English Field. He was also 1-3 against the Hokies as Western Carolina’s head coach. Therefore, he is 15-4 all-time against Virginia Tech as a head coach.

The Starting Pitchers

In game-one, Virginia Tech will start senior righty Rhett Ballard (4-2, 4.28 ERA) on the mound. The High Point, NC native has made eight starts and one relief appearance for a total of 48.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 46 hits (.251 opponents’ batting average) and 23 walks with 39 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with freshman lefty Chris Dwyer (4-2, 4.40 ERA) on Friday. The Swampscott, MA native has made nine starts for a total of 47.0 innings pitched. He has given up 35 hits (.210 opponents’ batting average) and 18 walks with 46 strikeouts.

In game-two, the Hokies will send out sophomore lefthander Justin Wright (3-1, 3.96 ERA) on the mound. The Chesterfield, VA native has made seven starts for a total of 36.1 innings pitched. He has yielded 40 hits (.276 opponents’ batting average) and eight walks with 30 strikeouts.

Clemson will counter with junior righthander Justin Sarratt (3-1, 4.96 ERA) on Saturday. The Gaffney, SC native has made six starts and four relief appearances for a total of 32.2 innings pitched. He has yielded 29 hits (.234 opponents’ batting average) and six walks with 23 strikeouts.

In game-three, Virginia Tech will start freshman righty Mathew Price (3-1, 5.00 ERA) on the mound. The Marietta, GA native has made six starts and one relief appearance for a total of 36.0 innings pitched. He has given up 38 hits (.257 opponents’ batting average) and 25 walks with 35 strikeouts.

The Tigers’ starter for Sunday has yet to be determined.

The Hokies

Virginia Tech, led by third-year Head Coach Pete Hughes, enters the series against #18 Clemson with a 22-12 overall record and 7-10 ACC mark after defeating High Point on the road by a score of 22-13 on Wednesday. The Hokies are one of the ACC’s hottest teams, as they have a league-best four-game winning streak in conference games and six-game winning streak overall. Virginia Tech, who is 10-8 at home, also swept Maryland in a three-game series on the road last weekend.

Virginia Tech is averaging 9.1 runs per game and hitting .325 with a .494 slugging percentage and .415 on-base percentage. The team has also totaled 92 doubles, seven triples, 35 home runs, 52 hit-by-pitches, and 38 stolen bases in 50 attempts.

Mike Kaminski is hitting a team-best .414. Steve Domecus is batting .397 with four homers and 37 RBIs, while Austin Wates is hitting .362 with a team-best 12 steals. Steve Bumbry, who hit three homers at High Point on Wednesday, has a team-high eight home runs.

The pitching staff has a 5.20 ERA and .284 opponents’ batting average along with 269 strikeouts against 127 walks in 303.0 innings pitched. Sophomore righthander Brandon Fisher has a team-high three saves, 3.00 ERA, and .197 opponents’ batting average in 21.0 innings pitched over 13 relief appearances. The Hokies are fielding at a .952 clip as well.

The Tigers

Clemson, ranked as high as #18 in the nation, enters the series at Virginia Tech with a 25-12 overall record and 11-7 ACC mark after defeating Western Carolina twice by a combined score of 24-3 in a two-game midweek series against Western Carolina. The Tigers also won two of three games at home against #5 Miami (FL) over the weekend. Clemson is 5-7 on opponents’ home fields as well.

The Tigers are averaging 6.9 runs per game and hitting .296 with a .449 slugging percentage and .389 on-base percentage. Clemson has also totaled 64 doubles, 10 triples, 37 homers, and 46 stolen bases in 60 attempts.

Ben Paulsen is hitting a team-best .388 with 13 doubles, four triples, eight homers, and 41 RBIs. Kyle Parker is Clemson’s hottest hitter of late. He was 7-for-8 in the two-game series against Western Carolina and is hitting .323 with eight homers and 39 RBIs on the season. Jeff Schaus is also hitting .309 with a .430 on-base percentage thanks to 27 walks against only 12 strikeouts.

The pitching staff has a 3.64 ERA and .243 opponents’ batting average. It has allowed 109 walks against 318 strikeouts, good for a 2.9-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Tomas Cruz has a 2-1 record, three saves, and a 2.12 ERA in 15 relief appearances. The Tigers are fielding at a .968 clip as well.

Two Tigers hail from the state of Virginia, Will Lamb (Seaford) and Graham Stoneburner (Richmond).

ACC Standings

The Tigers are in first place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings with an 11-7 record. Clemson is ahead of Boston College and Florida State, who are tied for second place in the division with a 9-7 record. The Tigers are also tied for the second place in the overall ACC standings among the 12 league members. Georgia Tech (10-5-1) has the ACC’s best record, while Clemson and Miami (FL) are tied for the second-best ACC mark.

Clemson Pounds Western Carolina Twice

Clemson, ranked #18 in the nation, won both games of a home-and-home midweek series against Western Carolina on April 14,15. Clemson outscored the Catamounts by a combined score of 24-3 and outhit them .368 to .206. Kyle Parker went 7-for-8 with a homer, six RBIs, and five runs, Ben Paulsen added four hits, and Wilson Boyd totaled three hits and six RBIs. The Tiger pitching staff had a 1.50 ERA and 25 strikeouts against only three walks in the series as well.

Jeff Schaus, Paulsen, and Parker all totaled three hits apiece to lead #18 Clemson to an 11-1 win over Western Carolina at Hennon Stadium on April 14. The Tigers’ 3-4-5 hitters combined to go 9-for-12 with seven runs, as Clemson accumulated 13 hits in all. Mike Freeman and Boyd added three RBIs apiece. Clemson broke the game open with three runs in the sixth inning and five runs in the seventh inning. Starter Graham Stoneburner pitched 7.0 innings, allowing five hits, one run, and two walks with 11 strikeouts to earn the win. Stoneburner, Kyle Deese, and Will Lamb also combined to strike out 16 batters.

Parker went 4-for-5 with a grand slam to lead Clemson to a 13-2 victory over Western Carolina at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 15. The Tigers totaled 15 hits, including four doubles and two homers. Clemson scored six runs in the first inning before the Catamounts recorded an out. Paulsen added a home run, Jason Stolz went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, and Boyd went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Five Tiger pitchers combined for nine strikeouts against only one walk, while seven Catamount hurlers combined to issue nine walks. Alex Frederick earned his first win as a Tiger by pitching 2.0 scoreless innings with three strikeouts in relief.

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