Tigers Travel To Virginia to Close Out Regular Season
CLEMSON, SC -- Sixth-ranked Clemson (40-12) will face off with Liberty (30-19) Thursday at 4:00 PM at Worthington Stadium in Lynchburg, VA. Clemson is coming off a three-game sweep against #2 Florida State this past Saturday through Monday. Liberty is coming off a three-game sweep against Coastal Carolina this past weekend. The game will not be broadcast on the Clemson Sports Network.
Liberty, led by third-year Head Coach Dave Pastors, is hitting .314 as a team with a 4.80 team ERA. The Flames sport a 17-8 home record and 14-5 record in Big South play. The Flames have two former Tigers on their squad, twin brothers Brian and Darren Adams. Brian, a lefty, lettered three times at Clemson, while Darren, a righty, saw limited action in just one action in Tigertown.
Keith Butler leads Liberty with a .412 batting average along with 32 steals in 38 attempts. The team as a whole has stolen 175 bases in 223 attempts. Seven different Flames have double-digit steal totals. Liberty also has a .947 fielding percentage.
Lefty closer Josh Brey heads up a pitching staff that has seven complete games and 15 saves. Fourteen of the saves have come by Brey, who has a 0.74 ERA and has allowed just one extra base hit in 24.1 innings this season. Righthander Dan Valentin, who is tentatively scheduled to start against the Tigers, has a 7-1 record and 1.64 ERA along with three shutouts as well. The righthander is allowing only a ..125 opponent batting average and has 68 strikeouts in 49.1 innings pitched.
Clemson is led at the plate by Khalil Greene, who is hitting .360 with four homers and 47 RBIs. Casey Stone has also been hot of late, as he is 11-for-17 with nine RBIs in his last four games to up his season average to .342. Clemson is hitting .296 as a team with a .971 fielding percentage.
Clemson's starter on the mound will freshman righthander Ryan Childs (4-1, 4.35 ERA), a native of Gaithersburg, MD. Clemson sports a 3.69 team ERA. Nick Glaser leads the Tiger bullpen with 13 saves, one shy of a Tiger single-season record.
The two teams played three times in 1999 at Clemson, with the Flames winning the first two games by 10-9 and 11-8. Clemson won game three 11-6. The only other meeting came in 1988 at Clemson, as the Tigers won 7-5.
Clemson (40-12, 15-6) will close out its regular-season with three games at Virginia (23-27-1, 9-12 ACC) beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday at 12:00 PM. The first game was originally scheduled for Friday, but was pushed back due to Virginia players' conflicting exam schedules. Both games on Saturday will be nine-inning affairs. The two teams will conclude the series Sunday at 1:00. All three games will be broadcast on the Clemson Sports Network.
Virginia, led by 20th-year Head Coach Dennis Womack, last played on May 2 against Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers won that game 5-4 and have won three games in a row. Virginia won the last two of three games at Maryland from April 28-30. Virginia has a 14-13-1 home record. The team is hitting .300 and has a 5.67 ERA along with a .954 fielding percentage.
Robbie Marvin leads Virginia with a .342 batting average. Ben Himes is hitting .313 with nine homers and 29 RBIs. Jon Benick leads the team with 45 RBIs and has a .289 batting average along with seven homers.
Closer and righthander Tim LaVigne has seven saves and a 3-0 record in 32.1 innings pitched. Reliever Dan Street also has a 3-0 record along with allowing just one earned run in 27.1 innings pitched this season. The Cavaliers' starting rotation has not yet been determined.
Clemson will start Ryan Mottl (7-2) in game one, Jarrod Schmidt (7-0) in game two, and Scott Berney (8-4) is game three. Pitching Coach Kevin O'Sullivan was a catcher at Virginia in the early 90s.
The two teams have met 110 times dating back to 1955. Clemson holds a 86-24 advantage in the series. Last season, the Tigers won two of three games by scores of 5-4 in 11 innings and 12-5. Virginia won game one of that series by a 9-3 count.
Thanks to a three-game sweep over Florida State, Clemson has put itself in position to challenge for the #1 seed in the 27th ACC Tournament, which will be held in the Charlotte area for the first time. The tournament begins May 16, but Clemson's first game will be on May 17.
In the final weekend of regular-season play, Clemson plays at Virginia, Georgia Tech plays at Wake Forest, and Florida State plays at North Carolina. The Yellow Jackets' can eliminate both Wake Forest and Florida State from getting the #1 seed by winning one game this weekend.
Clemson's 15-6 league record is one game behind league-leader Georgia Tech (16-5) and two games ahead of third-place Florida State (13-8) and Wake Forest (13-8). One win by the Tigers, who play at Virginia this weekend, or one loss by the Seminoles and the Demon Deacons will guarantee Clemson no worse than the #2 seed in the tourney. Clemson must win two more games than Georgia Tech this coming weekend to garner the #1 seed, unless Clemson wins two games, Georgia Tech gets swept, and either or both Wake Forest and Florida State sweep this weekend. In that scenario, three or four teams could be tied at a 16-8 league record. If Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest are tied at 16-8, Wake Forest will be the #1 seed and Clemson would be the #2 seed. If Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Florida State are tied at 16-8, Clemson would be the #1 seed. If Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Wake Forest are all tied at 16-8, Clemson would be the #1 seed. Clemson could still finish as low as the #4 seed.
Clemson has won eight ACC Tournament titles, the last coming in 1994 in Greenville, SC. Clemson has a 80-39 (.672) record in tournament history. Last season, Clemson made it to the championship round, but fell to Wake Forest. The Tigers have also 20 ACC Regular-Season Championships, the last coming in 1995.
Tigers Move Into Second Place in ACC Standings
Clemson's 15-6 conference record is good for second place in the conference. The Tigers are one game out of first place Georgia Tech, who is 16-5 in league play. Florida State and Wake Forest are tied for third at 13-8. The Tigers have finished in the top three in the standings for 27 of the last 29 seasons. Since 1957, the season before Bill Wilhelm's first of 36 seasons at Clemson, the Tigers have not finished worse than fifth in the ACC.
Team W-L Pct GB W-L-T Pct
1. Georgia Tech 16-5 .762 ---- 39-13 .750
2. CLEMSON 15-6 .714 1.0 40-12 .769
3. Wake Forest 13-8 .619 3.0 36-14-1 .716
Florida State 13-8 .619 3.0 41-12 .774
5. North Carolina 11-10 .524 5.0 42-11 .792
6. Virginia 9-12 .429 7.0 23-27-1 .461
7. N.C. State 10-14 .417 7.5 28-26 .519
8. Maryland 5-16 .238 11.0 22-31 .415
9. Duke 4-17 .190 12.0 15-36 .294
Note: Standings through games of Tuesday, May 9
* Michael Johnson broke his left hand when he was hit by a pitch in the first inning against Western Carolina on April 26. X-rays taken on May 1 confirmed the fracture. He will be out of action until mid-to-late May. He will not play at Liberty or at Virginia, and his status for the ACC Tournament is doubtful.
Clemson Wins 40 Games for 15th Straight Season
Clemson has won at least 40 games for 15 straight seasons. The Tigers reached that mark against #4 Florida State on May 8, a 7-4 Tiger win. Clemson has also participated in 13 straight NCAA Tournaments. Both marks rank in the top-five in the country currently. Clemson is tied for fourth in consecutive tournament appearances, trailing only Miami (FL) (27), Florida State (22), and Oklahoma State (19). Wichita State also a 13-year run in the tournament. As far as consecutive 40-win seasons, Clemson is fourth in the country with its 15-year streak. The Tigers trail only Florida State (22), Wichita State (22), and Oklahoma State (20) in that area . Notre Dame and Louisiana State are tied for fifth with 11 straight 40-win seasons (note: the previously listed streaks for opponents are before the 2000 season).
* Khalil Greene is 18-for-34 (.529) with 11 RBIs in his last eight games. He is hitting a team-best .360 and has a current 10-game hitting streak. In the three games against #2 Florida State, he was 7-for-11 (.636) with five RBIs. He is also hitting a team-best .422 in ACC play.
* Casey Stone is 11-for-17 (.647) with nine RBIs in his last four games.
* After starting the season 1-for-28, Justin Singleton is 20-for-45 (.444) since.
* Clemson hit .312 against Florida State in three games
* Clemson is 7-2 in one-run games and 7-2 in two-run games this year.
* Clemson is 27-1 when it totals 10 hits or more in a game.
Individual Player Miscellaneous Batting Stats
Below is a look at Tiger batters' batting averages in certain situations.
Overall Bases Two
# Player Average Loaded Outs RISP
14 Khalil Greene .360 .500 .316 .464
26 Casey Stone .342 .571 .344 .348
19 Jeff Baker .335 .500 .333 .316
31 Michael Johnson .313 .375 .273 .250
42 Ryan Riley .305 .000 .400 .417
41 Brian Ellis .288 .667 .277 .357
11 Justin Singleton .288 .250 .229 .333
1 Henrí Stanley .278 .111 .229 .200
24 Patrick Boyd .270 .400 .349 .309
9 Steve Pyzik .267 ----- .167 .300
33 Mike Calitri .264 1.000 .235 .265
2 Bradley LeCroy .263 .000 .214 .167
25 Jarrod Schmidt .226 .250 .229 .180
8 Brian Holstad .192 ----- .273 .200
15 Ryan Hub .188 .000 .182 .214
TEAM .296 .397 .288 .307
Starting Rotation's Success Thanks to Two-Out Success
Clemson's three-man weekend rotation of Jarrod Schmidt, Ryan Mottl, and Scott Berney, all righthanders, has a combined 22-6. Perhaps the biggest reason for the outstanding numbers is their ability to get batters out with two outs in an inning. Schmidt is has a .173 opponent batting average with two outs, while Mottl has a .176 mark and Berney has a .206 mark. The three have combined to allow a .187 (50-for-267) batting average with two outs this season. Berney has the best overall opponent batting average (.228), while Mottl has a .250 mark overall and Schmidt stands at .266 overall. As a team, Clemson has a .201 opponent batting average in 2000. Reliever Steve Reba has the best two-out opponent batting average among non-starters. He has allowed just two hits in 25 at bats (.080) with two outs in 2000.
Reba on a Roll After Month-Long Absence
Steve Reba (Fort Wayne, IN) got off to a great start in 2000, as he was 1-0 with a 0.55 ERA in his first 16.1 innings pitched over five outings. He also had a streak before his injury where he went 10.1 consecutive innings without allowing a hit and 13.1 straight innings without allowing a run. But in late March, the righthander experienced the dreaded "sore arm" and missed nearly a month of action. The ninth-round pick out of high school by the Cubs made his first appearance after his absence on April 21 at Duke. He struck out four batters in 1.1 innings. Against #2 Florida State on back-to-back nights (May 6,7), he retired all nine batters he over the two games to pick up a save, the first of his career, and a win. Overall in 2000, Reba is 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA. He also has a team-best .171 opponent batting average, including a .115 average against lefthanded batters, along with 27 strikeouts against only eight walks in 23.1 innings pitched.
ACC Tournament Tickets Available
Fans can purchase all-session passes to the ACC Tournament for $45 through the Charlotte Knights Box Office at (704) 36-HOMER. Fans can also find out more information on www.aaknights.com, the Knights' official website. The tournament will be held at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, SC for the first time ever. A six-session pass is available for $30, and each sessions' ticket price is $5 in advance and $6 on gameday. Students with ID, children 18 and under, and senior citizens 60 and over can purchase tickets for just $30 for an all-session pass, $15 for a six-session pass, and $3 per session if purchased in advance; $4 per session on gameday.
NCAA Regional Tickets Available
The Clemson ticket office will begin accepting reservations for tournament passes to the 2000 NCAA Regional Baseball Tournament on Tuesday, May 9. Each reserve seat tournament pass is $50 and can be purchased through the ticket office between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM at the Clemson Ticket office at Clemson Memorial Stadium.
Orders will not be processed if Clemson does not play host to a regional. Checks and money orders will be returned if Clemson does not host a regional. The NCAA will announce sites Monday, May 15. The four-team regional format will feature six games, to be held May 26-28. All season ticket holders have priority in reserving their seats until May 19. Reserved tickets can be picked up at the ticket office between May 23-25 between 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
Tickets that have not been picked up by May 26 will be available 90 minutes prior to the first game at the third base gate at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. No tickets will be mailed. For more information, call 1-800 CLEMSON or 864-656-2118.