Tigers Play Host to ETSU & Winthrop in Mid-Week Games
Clemson, SC - Top-ranked Clemson (23-1) is riding a 10-game winning streak and unanimous #1 ranking into mid-week games with East Tennessee State and Winthrop. The Tigers and Buccaneers (7-17) will play Tuesday at 7:15 PM at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Wednesday, Clemson will play host to Winthrop (13-15) at 7:15 PM. Tuesday's game will be broadcast by WCCP-FM (104.9), while Wednesday's game will be available on Clemson Tiger Sports Properties, which is also broadcast via the internet at www.clemsontigers.com. Live stats will also be available for both games at Clemson's athletic website.
The Tigers hold a 17-6 advantage in the series with East Tennessee State dating back to 1969. The two teams last played in 1999, when Clemson downed the Buccaneers 18-1. Clemson has won seven games in a row in the series. East Tennessee State's last win came on March 12, 1985, a 10-6 win in Johnson City, TN. Jack Leggett is 1-0 against the Buccaneers as Clemson's head coach, and was 17-6 as the skipper at Western Carolina.
East Tennessee State has lost five games in a row, including losing three games this past weekend at The Citadel. In game two of that series, Citadel pitcher T.A. Fulmer no-hit East Tennessee State. The Buccaneers have also lost 13 of their last 15 games after starting the year 5-4. They are lead in hitting by senior outfielder Kirk Keithley, who is hitting .427 with 10 steals. The Buccaneers, who are 1-14 on the road, already have four players with double-digit steals, and have stolen 56 bases as a team in 66 attempts. They are also hitting .267 as a team while allowing opponents to hit .327. East Tennessee State's ERA is 6.97.
The Buccaneers will start senior lefty Jackson Simerly (0-1) on the mound Tuesday. He has pitched 24.0 innings, allowing 30 hits and six walks to go along with a 4.74 ERA. Clemson will send out junior righty B.J. LaMura to the mound. LaMura is 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in 15.0 innings pitched. He has only allowed five hits and one run while striking out 16. He also has a miniscule .102 opponents' batting average and has not allowed an extra-base hit this season.
Michael Johnson had his 20-game hitting streak snapped Sunday, but still leads the team with 12 homers and is second with a .416 batting average. Clemson is hitting .355 as a team, while holding its opponents to .233.
Clemson is 13-2 all-time against Winthrop. One of the two Winthrop wins came last season, an 8-4 win at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Eagles other win came in 1982. Leggett is 2-1 against the Eagles as Clemson's head coach and was 3-0 as the Catamounts' head man.
Winthrop split a four-game series with Kent State this past weekend. They have played in hostile stadiums already in 2002, as they played two games at Florida, one at Texas, one at Baylor, and three at Georgia Tech. Winthrop is hitting .274 as a team with a 5.20 team ERA. The Eagles, who are 0-11 on the road, are led in hitting by Todd Leathers, who is hitting .340 with five homers and 14 RBIs. Both Clemson and Winthrop's starting pitchers have yet to be determined.
The status of Clemson starting second baseman David Slevin is still in doubt as of Monday afternoon. Slevin injured his right wrist while avoiding an errant throw to first base in Sunday's game with Maryland. X-rays taken on his injured wrist were negative; however, an MRI will be taken Monday night or Tuesday morning to determine if there is any ligament damage. Slevin is hitting .386 in 22 games. He also has been outstanding in the field, committing just three errors.