Clemson Baseball Preview vs. #25 Coastal Carolina
Clemson vs. Coastal Carolina
Clemson (12-9) will play host to #25 Coastal Carolina (21-4) in a two-game
series on Tuesday (7:15 PM) and Wednesday (4:00 PM) at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The games will be broadcast live on the radio by WCCP (104.9 FM) out of Clemson.
Live stats will be available online at ClemsonTigers.com as well.
Clemson and Coastal Carolina have met 37 times on the diamond, with the Tigers
holding a 31-6 lead in the series dating back to 1986. The two teams have played
every year since 1988. Clemson defeated the Chanticleers 9-4 at Clemson in 2004
thanks in part to a double and homer by Travis Storrer. Earlier this year on
February 19, Coastal Carolina rallied to defeat the Tigers 3-2 in a game played
at Myrtle Beach, SC. Pinch-hitter DJ Burns hit a walkoff single in the ninth
inning to give the Chanticleers the win. Prior to that, the last 19 games in the
series were played at Clemson. Clemson is 23-4 against them in games played at
Clemson and is 18-4 against them under Jack Leggett.
The Starting Pitchers
Coastal Carolina will start senior lefthander Jake Hurry (4-1, 2.83 ERA) in game
one Tuesday. The East Moline, IL native pitched 7.0 strong innings in a no
decision against the Tigers earlier this year, allowing two runs on five hits.
On the season, he has made six starts and one relief appearance for a total of
35.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 26 hits and 23 walks while striking out 24.
He has also allowed just one homer and is holding opponents to a .210 batting
The Tigers will counter with freshman righty David Kopp (1-2, 5.71 ERA) on
Tuesday. The Margate, FL native has made two starts and five relief appearances
for a total of 17.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 17 hits and six walks while
striking out 10. He is coming off a solid performance at Old Dominion last
Tuesday in which he pitched 7.0 scoreless innings of two-hit ball to earn his
first career victory.
The Chanticleers will send out junior righty Ricky Shefka (4-0, 1.69 ERA) in
game two Wednesday. The Kinston, NC native has made six starts for a total of
42.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 35 hits and six walks while striking out
Clemson will counter with senior righthander Jeff Hahn (0-1, 3.92 ERA) on
Wednesday. The Winchester, VA native has made one start and six relief
appearances for a total of 20.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 20 hits and nine
walks while striking out 23. He is coming off a career-high 10-strikeout
peformance in a start at Old Dominion last Wednesday.
Coastal Carolina, ranked as high as #25 and led by 10th-year Head Coach Gary
Gilmore, enters the midweek series with a 21-4 overall record and 5-1 Big South
mark after winning two of three games against Virginia Military over the
weekend. The Chanticleers, who are 4-1 on the road, have allowed at least 10
hits in a game on only five occasions, with a high of 12 hits allowed (twice).
In fact, they have not allowed double-digit hits in the last nine games.
Coastal Carolina is hitting .282 as a team and is led by Kevin Entsminger, who
is batting .353 with 14 RBIs. Mike Costanzo is hitting .349 with three homers
and 23 RBIs, while Michael DeJesus has a team-high 24 RBIs. The team likes to
run, as it has stolen 52 bases in 70 attempts, including a perfect 9-9 by Jon
Foisy. The team also has an excellent .411 on-base percentage thanks to 145
walks and 36 hit-by-pitches.
The Chanticleers sport a 2.61 team ERA and .218 opponents' batting average.
Costanzo, the team's closer, has seven saves and a 3-1 record in 15 relief
appearances. He has yet to allow an earned run in 21.0 innings pitched, and has
allowed just 11 hits and seven walks while striking out 25. The Springfield, PA
native has also allowed just two extra base hits (both doubles) and is holding
opponents to a .151 batting average. The team is fielding at a .969 clip as
Clemson enters the midweek series with Coastal Carolina with a 12-9 overall
record and 5-1 ACC mark after sweeping Maryland in College Park over the weekend
by a combined score of 32-7. The two games against the Chanticleers are the
Tigers' only home games during an 11-game stretch, as they will go on the road
to #6 Florida State this weekend.
Clemson, who is 6-3 at home, is hitting .278 overall and is led by freshman
second-baseman Taylor Harbin. The Travelers Rest, SC native is hitting .368 with
13 doubles, three homers, and 19 RBIs to go along with a .989 fielding
percentage. Herman Demmink has raised his batting average to .324 and has eight
doubles. Kris Harvey and Andy D'Alessio lead the team with five home runs
apiece, while Harvey has a team-best 24 RBIs. The Tigers are fielding at a solid
.973 clip as well.
The pitching staff has been spectacular of late, as its ERA has fallen to 3.26
(thanks to allowing just 17 runs in the last nine games) and opponents' batting
average to .252. The staff also has a 2.58 strikeout-to-walk ratio, currently
the second-best figure in school history. Stephen Faris has been a stopper out
of the bullpen, as he leads the ACC with an 0.39 ERA in 23.1 innings pitched. He
has allowed just 13 hits and eight walks while striking out 20 in 23.1 innings
Leggett Reaches 900-Career-Win Mark
Jack Leggett, who won his 500th game as Clemson's head coach in 2004, won his
900th career game in the first game of a doubleheader at Maryland on March 26.
The win came in dramatic fashion, as the team overcame an early three-run
deficit and scored a run in the eighth to tie the score. Maryland then loaded
the bases in the 10th inning, only to have reserve second-baseman Ben Hall make
a tremendous, game-saving, leaping catch, which allowed Herman Demmink to hit a
two-run double in the 13th inning to win the game. After the second game of the
doubleheader, which the Tigers won 12-0, he was given a Gatorade shower outside
Leggett became just the 35th coach in NCAA history to reach the 900-career-win
mark as a Division I head coach and holds a 901-519 (.635) record in his 26th
ERA Dropping Fast
Thanks to a starting rotation of Josh Cribb, Kris Harvey, and Robert Rohrbaugh,
along with a bullpen with the likes of Stephen Faris, the team has lowered its
ERA to 3.26 in recent weeks. In the last nine games, Clemson has allowed just 17
runs, only 14 of which have been earned. Clemson's ERA stood at 4.67 and record
was 5-7 after a loss at #4 South Carolina on March 13. But in the nine games
since, the team has a 7-2 record, has yet to allow more than four runs in a
game, has a 1.50 ERA, and a .192 opponents' batting average.
Harbin Perfect at Second Base
Taylor Harbin not only leads the team with a .368 batting average, he has been
near perfect in the field. In 92 chances, he has committed only one error. The
one (throwing) error came in the first game of a doubleheader at Maryland on
March 26 after he moved to shortstop in extra innings. Therefore he has not
committed an error in 89 chances at his usual position of second base. He is a
big reason the Tigers have a .973 fielding percentage, ahead of the Clemson
single-season record of .971, which was set in 2002.
Faris Leading ACC in ERA
Sophomore righty Stephen Faris (Richmond, VA) has allowed only one run in 23.1
innings pitched over one start and seven relief appearances this season, and has
an ACC-best 0.39 ERA. Faris, who is 2-0 with a save, has allowed just 13 hits
and eight walks while striking out 20, and has allowed only one extra base hit,
that being a double. Opponents are only hitting .171 off him as well.
In a single week from March 22-26, he earned a save and win at Old Dominion and
at Maryland, respectively. In those two relief outings, he allowed no runs and
two hits with nine strikeouts in 8.0 innings pitched.
Tigers Split Two Games at Old Dominion
Clemson split a two-game series at Old Dominion from March 22-23 at Bud
Metheny Complex. Both games were one-run decisions, as Clemson came out on top
in the first game 1-0. Old Dominion won game two 3-2. Tiger pitchers combined to
allow just eight hits and one earned run in the two-game set.
In game one, David Kopp and Stephen Faris combined on a two-hit shutout of Old
Dominion in a 1-0 win on March 22. Kopp, who was making just his second career
start and first on the road, allowed just two hits and one walk to earn his
first career win. Faris pitched the final 2.0 innings without allowing a hit
with three strikeouts to earn his first career save. The Monarchs did not have a
runner go past second base. Tyler Colvin's two-out, run-scoring double in the
seventh inning proved to be the game-winner. Taylor Harbin scored the winning
run after reaching on a throwing error and advancing to third on another
throwing error by the pitcher on a failed pickoff attempt.
In game two, two Tiger errors led to two unearned runs in Old Dominion's 3-2 win
on March 23. The Monarchs scored the winning run in the fifth inning on a wild
pitch by Jeff Hahn. Hahn, pitching in his home state of Virginia, struck out a
career-high 10 batters in 5.2 innings pitched. For the second-straight night,
Colvin had all the Tiger RBIs, as he lined a two-run homer in the third inning.
Clemson outhit Old Dominion 7-6, but left nine runners on base.
Clemson Sweeps Maryland in College Park
Clemson outscored Maryland 32-7 in a three-game series sweep at College Park
from March 25-26. The Tigers upped their ACC win streak to five games, improving
to 5-1 in league play. Clemson hit .326 in the series compared to Maryland's
.190 average. Brad Chalk had seven hits in 11 at-bats, while Herman Demmink
added six hits, including three doubles and a homer from his leadoff spot.
Meanwhile, the pitching staff had a stellar 1.74 ERA and struck out 35 compared
to just eight walks in the series. Each Tiger starting pitcher went 7.0 innings,
and the bullpen did not allow a run and allowed just four hits with 12
strikeouts in 10.0 innings pitched. Maryland was hindered by 11 errors in the
series as well.
In game one, Clemson pounded out 14 hits en route to a 14-3 win at Maryland on
March 25. Freshmen Chalk and Taylor Harbin each had three hits. Chalk scored
four runs and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances, while
Harbin added two doubles. Clemson scored at least two runs in five different
innings and capitalized on six Terrapin errors. Josh Cribb allowed just two
earned runs, five hits, and one walk while striking out seven in 7.0 innings
pitched to earn the win. Cribb along with relievers Daniel Moskos and Drew
Fiorenza combined to strikeout 10 against only one walk.
In game two, which was the first game of a doubleheader on March 26, Clemson won
a 6-4 thriller in 13 innings to give Head Coach Jack Leggett his 900th career
win. Demmink's two-run double with two outs in the 13th inning proved to be the
game-winner. Demmink homered earlier in the game as well, as he was 4-for-6 with
three RBIs. Ben Hall's spectacular leaping catch with the score tied, two outs,
and the bases loaded in the 10th inning prevented the Terrapins from walking off
with the win. Reliever Stephen Faris pitched 6.0 scoreless innings of two-hit
ball out of the bullpen to earn the win. He also struck out six. Maryland left
16 runners on base.
In game three, which was the second game of a doubleheader on March 26, Clemson
exploded for eight runs in the third inning to blast Maryland 12-0 and sweep the
series. Andy D'Alessio's two-run homer in the third was the highlight of the
inning. Harbin added a homer and three RBIs, while Demmink hit two doubles in
the third inning. Robert Rohrbaugh struck out a career-high nine batters in 7.0
innings pitched to earn the win. Eleven different Tigers had at least one hit,
while all nine starters had at least one hit and scored at least one run through