Clemson vs. Duke
Clemson (31-13, 8-7 ACC), ranked as high as #14 and back in action after a six-day break for final exams, will play host to Duke (15-28, 1-16 ACC) in three games from Sunday to Tuesday. The game on Sunday will start at 7:00 PM, while the games Monday and Tuesday will both start at 7:15 PM. All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Properties and can be heard live via the internet at www.clemsontigers.com. Live stats will also be available for all three games on Clemson's website. All three games will be broadcast live by WSBF, 88.1 FM (Clemson University student station) as well.
Clemson holds a 101-57-1 lead in the series dating back to 1904. Since 1963, Clemson is 78-19 against the Blue Devils. The Tigers have also won 10 in a row in the series dating back to a 5-3 loss at Clemson on April 17, 1999. Last season, Clemson swept Duke in three games by a combined score of only 11-5. Two seasons ago at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Clemson swept Duke by a combined score of 26-7. Clemson is 31-4 all-time against Duke at Doug Kingsmore Stadium as well.
Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 21-7 against Duke as Clemson's skipper, including a 10-2 mark at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Kyle Frank leads all current Tigers with a .448 (13-for-29) batting average with five RBIs against Duke in eight career games. Michael Johnson also has two homers and eight RBIs in eight career contests against the Blue Devils. No current Tiger has ever recorded a win over Duke, but Patrick Hogan and Tyler Lumsden have each picked up a save apiece. A total of five current pitchers have combined for just five relief appearances and 8.1 innings pitched against the Duke offense.
The Starting Pitchers
Duke will start three righthanders against the Tigers. Freshman Russell Durfee (0-3, 5.30 ERA) will start game one Sunday. Durfee has only walked 11 in 35.2 innings pitched in eight starts and three relief appearances. He has also allowed just one home run. Senior Jeff Alleva (3-6, 4.31 ERA) will start Monday. Alleva has walked only 14 while striking out 51 in a team-high 62.2 innings pitched for the Blue Devils. Junior Kevin Thompson (2-8, 4.78 ERA) will start game three. Thompson has allowed just 15 walks and 50 hits in 52.2 innings pitched.
Clemson will counter with sophomore lefthander Tyler Lumsden (7-0, 3.05 ERA) in game one. Lumsden has had two no decisions in his last two starts and is holding opponents to a .225 batting average. Junior righty Patrick Hogan (2-2, 3.96 ERA) will start game two Monday. Hogan is coming off one of his best outings as a Tiger against #4 Georgia Tech, where he pitched a career-high 8.0 innings and struck out a career-high eight in earning the win last weekend. Junior righthander Steven Jackson (6-2, 4.73 ERA) will start Tuesday. Jackson has made 10 starts and is second to Lumsden in innings pitched (59.0).
Duke will come into the series, like the Tigers, after a six-day break for final exams. In its last series, Maryland won two of three games at Durham. The Blue Devils, who are 1-11 on the road this season, are hitting .272 as a team, led by Brian Patrick's .359 batting average. He also has a team-best six homers and 38 RBIs. Adam Murray is the only other Blue Devil above .300, as he is at .311. Murray also leads the team with 10 stolen bases. The Blue Devil pitching staff sports a 5.05 ERA, led by reliever Jim Perry. Perry has a 1.31 ERA in 20.2 innings pitched. The staff has a respectable 2.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio as well. Defensively, Duke is fielding at a .949 percentage.
Clemson is coming off a three-game sweep of #4 Georgia Tech last weekend. Brad McCann had seven more RBIs in the series to up his season total to 55, best on the team by 21 RBIs. Zane Green is hitting a team-best .346, while Michael Johnson has a team-best .503 on-base percentage thanks to 49 walks. Johnson also has nine homers on the season and 55 for his career, just four shy of the Tiger career record of 59 held by Jeff Baker (2000-02). Overall, Clemson is hitting .309 as a team and is fielding at a .971 mark. Clemson also has a 4.04 team ERA overall, but a 2.68 ERA and 23-2 record at home. The seven Tiger freshman hurlers have combined to allow only one homer all season.
Khalil Greene to Throw Out First Pitch Sunday
Khalil Greene, the unanimous 2002 National Player-of-the-Year, will throw out the first pitch prior to Sunday's game with Duke. Greene, a member of the Mobile (AA) BayBears, is in Greenville to play the G-Braves in a three-game series from Thursday to Sunday.
Youngsters Wearing Uniforms to Get in Free
All youngsters attending the Clemson-Duke series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from May 4-6 who wear a youth league baseball jersey will receive free admission. Gates will open 90 minutes prior to the first pitch of each game.
After its six-day break for final exams, Clemson will play its final 12 games in a 14-day span. The Tigers will play eight of their next nine games at home, followed by a regular-season-ending series at Wake Forest.