Clemson Baseball Preview vs. Wake Forest

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Kyle Parker leads Clemson with a .391 batting average along with 17 homers.

Clemson vs. Wake Forest

Clemson (32-17, 14-10 ACC), ranked as high as #22 in the nation, will play at Wake Forest (12-35, 4-20 ACC entering Wednesday’s game at UNC Greensboro) in a three-game series at Wake Forest Baseball Park this weekend. Game times are 6:00 PM (Friday), 6:00 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday). 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.

The Series

Clemson and Wake Forest have met 166 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 118-47-1 lead in the series dating back to the 1901 season. The two teams have faced each other at least one time every year since 1954.

In the three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in 2009, Clemson won all three games by scores of 4-1, 6-1, and 7-3. In 2008 at Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons won the first two games by scores of 13-11 and 5-3 before Clemson rallied for a 12-11 win in the series-finale behind three home runs by Kyle Parker. The Tigers also played at Wake Forest in 2007, as Clemson won two of three games.

The Tigers hold a 45-25 lead all-time in games played at Wake Forest and a 101-35-1 advantage in ACC regular-season games. Jack Leggett has a 39-15 record against Wake Forest as Clemson’s head coach. He was 1-1 against the Demon Deacons as Western Carolina’s head coach, meaning he has a 40-16 all-time record against Wake Forest.

The Starting Pitchers

In game-one, Wake Forest will start sophomore lefty Austin Stadler (2-3, 5.82 ERA) on the mound. The Midlothian, VA native has made 11 starts for a total of 65.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 69 hits (.282 opponents’ batting average) and 28 walks with 53 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with junior lefthander Casey Harman (6-1, 3.29 ERA) on Friday. The South Burlington, VT native has made 12 starts for a total of 76.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 67 hits (.233 opponents’ batting average) and 21 walks with 61 strikeouts.

In game-two, the Demon Deacons will send out sophomore righthander Michael Dimock (2-8, 6.43 ERA) on the mound. The Greensboro, NC native has made 10 starts and three relief appearances for a total of 63.0 innings pitched. He has yielded 81 hits (.308 opponents’ batting average) and 21 walks with 52 strikeouts.

Clemson will counter with sophomore righty Scott Weismann (4-2, 5.01 ERA) on Saturday. The Boxborough, MA native has made 12 starts for a total of 64.2 innings pitched. He has given up 70 hits (.276 opponents’ batting average) and 20 walks with 54 strikeouts.

In game-three, Wake Forest will start freshman lefty Tim Cooney (3-6, 6.01 ERA) on the mound. The Collegeville, PA native has made 12 starts for a total of 70.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 80 hits (.279 opponents’ batting average) and 22 walks with 47 strikeouts.

The Tigers’ starting pitcher for game-three on Sunday has yet to be determined.

The Demon Deacons

Wake Forest, led by first-year Head Coach Tom Walter, enters Wednesday’s game at UNC Greensboro with a 12-35 overall record and 4-20 ACC mark after being swept at North Carolina last weekend. The Demon Deacons are 11-15 at home this season.

Wake Forest is averaging 5.7 runs per game and hitting .269 with a .411 slugging percentage and .361 on-base percentage. The team has totaled 109 doubles, two triples, 40 home runs, and 79 stolen bases.

Mike Murray is hitting a team-best .343 with three homers, 12 doubles, and 39 RBIs. Steven Brooks is batting .335 with six homers, 18 doubles, and a team-high 22 stolen bases. Ryan Semeniuk has added eight home runs and 13 steals, while Pat Blair (11) and Mac Williamson (10) have also totaled double-digit steals.

The pitching staff has a 6.63 ERA and .292 opponents’ batting average along with 309 strikeouts against 201 walks in 411.1 innings pitched. Senior righthander Joel Ernst has two of the team’s four saves along with a 3.99 ERA in 29.1 innings pitched over 25 relief appearances. The Demon Deacons are fielding at a .948 clip as well.

The Tigers

Clemson, ranked as high as #24 in the nation, enters the series at Wake Forest with a 32-17 overall record and 14-10 ACC mark after defeating Furman 12-1 at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC on Tuesday night. The Tigers, who have won seven games in a row and also swept Maryland on the road last weekend, are 7-8 on opponents’ home fields in 2010.

The Tigers are averaging 8.8 runs per game and hitting .308 with a .495 slugging percentage and .413 on-base percentage thanks to 289 walks and 46 hit-by-pitches. Clemson has also totaled 109 doubles, nine triples, 66 homers, and 84 stolen bases.

Kyle Parker leads the team with a .391 batting average along with 17 homers, 10 doubles, 50 RBIs, 59 runs, and a .519 on-base percentage in 46 games. John Hinson is batting .360 with 11 homers, 56 RBIs, and a team-high 20 stolen bases. Jeff Schaus has added 11 long balls and a team-high 64 RBIs, while Mike Freeman is riding a 17-game hitting streak.

The pitching staff has a 4.53 ERA and .274 opponents’ batting average. It has allowed 159 walks against 332 strikeouts. Righties David Haselden, Alex Frederick, Tomas Cruz, and Jonathan Meyer all have two saves apiece. The Tigers are fielding at a .960 clip as well.

Five Tigers hail from the state of North Carolina, Wilson Boyd (Hickory), Hinson (Asheville), Addison Johnson (Pfafftown), Richie Shaffer (Charlotte), and Josh Thrailkill (Arden).

Tigers Set School Record For Grand Slams

Clemson has totaled eight grand slams in 2010, most in school history. Furthermore, eight different Tigers have accounted for the eight grand slams. The eight grand slams broke the previous Clemson record of six, held by the 1991 and 2004 teams. The national record for grand slams in one season is 12, set by Oklahoma State in 1996.

The Tigers pulled off a rare feat of hitting two grand slams at #15 South Carolina on March 7, 2010. Chris Epps and Phil Pohl both hit grand slams in Clemson’s 19-6 win. It was the first time the Tigers hit two grand slams in one game since March 3, 1991. That day, the Tigers accomplished the feat in a 17-5 win over Louisiana-Lafayette at Las Vegas, NV.

No Tiger has hit two grand slams in one season since 2006, when Andy D’Alessio hit two. He also hit two grand slams in 2005. Therefore, if Wilson Boyd, Epps, Mike Freeman, John Hinson, Brad Miller, Kyle Parker, Pohl, or Jeff Schaus hits another grand slam this year, they would be the first to hit two in one season since D’Alessio did it in 2006.

Brady Striking Out Batters in Bunches

Red-shirt freshman righthander Kevin Brady (Gaithersburg, MD) has 28 strikeouts against only seven walks in only 24.2 innings pitched over 14 appearances (two starts) this season. He leads the team in both strikeouts per nine innings pitched (10.2) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.0-to-1).

Brady has emerged as one of the team’s top pitchers out of the bullpen and has made spots starts during the 2010 season. He is 1-0 with a 4.01 ERA and has not allowed a home run as well.

Clemson Pounds Furman 12-1 at Fluor Field

Jeff Schaus, Wilson Boyd, and John Hinson all hit home runs to lead #22 Clemson to a 12-1 victory over Furman at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC on May 11. The Tigers scored seven runs in the fifth inning to break the game open, thanks in part to a two-run homer by Schaus and a grand slam by Boyd. Mike Freeman went 4-for-5 with two doubles to pace the Tigers, who had 14 hits. Hinson went 3-for-6 with three RBIs, while Boyd added five RBIs. Starter Scott Firth earned his first career win by tossing 6.0 innings, allowing six hits, one run, and one walk with four strikeouts. The Paladins failed to advance a runner past second base after the leadoff batter of the game scored.

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