Clemson Baseball Preview vs. Georgia


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Clemson vs. Georgia

        Clemson
(18-9), ranked as high as #16 in the country, will travel to Athens to
take on Georgia (10-17) at Foley Field on Tuesday.  First pitch
is scheduled for 7:06 PM.  The Bulldogs will make the return trip
to Clemson on Wednesday night at 7:15 PM.  Tuesday's game will
televised live by CSS and will be broadcast live on the radio by
Clemson Tiger Sports Network.  The game will also be available
via webcast on ACCSelect in non-CSS markets only.  Live stats
will be available at ClemsonTigers.com as well.



The Series

        Clemson
and Georgia have met 210 times on the diamond, with the Bulldogs
holding a 114-94-2 lead in the series that dates back to 1900. 
Georgia is Clemson's second-most played rival in school history,
trailing only South Carolina (277).

   Last year, the two teams split the two
games, as each team won on its home field.  At Foley Field, the
Bulldogs outlasted Clemson 12-11 thanks to Josh Morris' walkoff
single with two outs in the 10th inning.  A day later, the Tigers
defeated the Bulldogs 10-7 behind four RBIs by Andy D'Alessio.

        The
Bulldogs lead 67-39 in games played at Georgia, including winning
eight of the last 10 meetings at Foley Field.  Each of the last
three meetings in Athens have been one-run victories by the Bulldogs
as well.  Jack Leggett is 17-12 against Georgia as Clemson's
head coach, including 6-11 in Athens.


The Starting Pitchers

        Georgia
will start freshman righthander Dean Weaver (1-1, 9.20 ERA) on the
mound Tuesday.  The Douglasville, GA native has made three starts
and four relief appearances for a total of 14.2 innings pitched. 
He has allowed 23 hits (.359 opponents' batting average) and four
walks with 11 strikeouts.  He has also not given up a home
run.

        The Tigers
will counter with sophomore righty D.J. Mitchell (1-0, 4.32 ERA) on
Tuesday.  The Rural Hall, NC native has made six relief
appearances and one start for a total of 16.2 innings pitched. 
He has allowed 14 hits (.219 opponents' batting average) and four
walks with 16 strikeouts.



The Bulldogs

       
Georgia, led by sixth-year Head Coach David Perno, enters
Tuesday's game against Clemson with a 10-17 overall record and 3-6
SEC mark after losing all three games to Florida at Foley Field this
past weekend.  The Bulldogs, who are 9-14 at home, have lost six
of their last seven games despite totaling double-digit hits in five
of those seven games.  Georgia was the SEC's lone
representative in the 2006 College World Series.

      The team is hitting .270
with a .344 on-base percentage.  Georgia has also totaled 17
homers and 35 stolen bases in 42 attempts.  Rich Poythress leads
the team with a .385 batting average in 39 at-bats, while Gordon
Beckham, son of a former South Carolina quarterback (also named
Gordon) from 1979-82, is hitting .316 with seven homers and 28 RBIs,
both team-highs.

   The pitching staff has a solid 3.55 ERA
and .245 opponents' batting average.  The Bulldog pitchers have
combined to strike out 186 against 107 walks.  Junior righthander
Joshua Fields has both of Georgia's saves along with a 5.23 ERA and
28 strikeouts in 20.2 innings pitched.  The team sports a .963
fielding percentage as well.


The Tigers

        Clemson
enters Tuesday's game against Georgia with an 18-9 overall record
and 5-4 mark in the ACC after falling twice in three games against
Miami (FL) at Doug Kingsmore Stadium over the weekend.  The
Tigers, who are 1-4 on the road this season, also bring a #16 national
ranking into the game.

  The team is hitting .290 with a .369 on-base
percentage.  Brad Chalk is hitting a team-best .413 with a .522
on-base percentage.  His streak of reaching base via a hit, walk,
or hit-by-pitch ended at 50 games on Friday.  Doug Hogan is
hitting .378 with four homers and 14 RBIs.  Marquez Smith and
Taylor Harbin are tied for the team lead with 23 RBIs apiece. 
First-baseman Andy D'Alessio, who suffered a pulled groin in the
second inning on Sunday, is listed as doubtful for Tuesday's
game.

        The
pitching staff has a 3.19 ERA and .238 opponents' batting average. 
It has combined to strike out 232 against 81 walks.  Daniel
Moskos has a team-high six saves, while Stephen Clyne has an 0.41 ERA
and .154 opponents' batting average in 12 outings.  The team is
fielding .967 as well.

        Clemson
has two players from the state of Georgia on its 2007 roster. 
Sophomore lefthander William Bond (Lawrenceville) and freshman
infielder Ben Paulsen (Acworth) both hail from the state of
Georgia.


Polls

        Clemson
fell to #18 in the Baseball America poll and #16 in the Collegiate
Baseball poll on Monday after going 3-2 in five games last week. 
Clemson also fell to #17 in the Sports Weekly poll.

        The
Tigers' #1 ranking by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball on
February 12 was their first since February 27, 2006, when Clemson was
ranked #1 by those same two polls.  The Tigers have been ranked
#1 for 20 weeks by at least one of the major polls in Head Coach Jack
Leggett's 14th season at Clemson.



Smith Heating Up in Late Innings

        Senior
third-baseman Marquez Smith (Ocala, FL) is hitting .320 overall with
four homers and 23 RBIs this season.  But as the game progresses,
his batting average rises drastically.  In the first four innings
of games, Smith is just 10-for-48 (.208).  From the fifth inning
on, he is 23-for-55 (.418).



Hurricanes Take Two From Tigers

        Miami
(FL) won the first and last games of a three-game series at Doug
Kingsmore Stadium from March 30 to April 1.  The Hurricanes
outscored the Tigers 18-13 and outhit Clemson .276 to .268. 
Marquez Smith hit a team-best .444 with four walks.  Clemson's
pitchers had a 5.00 ERA and struck out 29 batters.

       In game-one on
March 30, Miami scored 10 unanswered runs to come away with a 10-3
victory over Clemson.  The Tigers took a 3-0 lead in the third
inning, but the Hurricanes responded with four runs in the fourth
inning, highlighted by Dennis Raben's three-run homer.  Miami
added three runs in the seventh inning on Yonder Alonso's three-run
long ball, then Alonso added a solo homer in the ninth inning. 
The loss snapped Clemson's 21-game home ACC winning streak and
seven-game winning streak over Miami.  P.J. Zocchi suffered his
first loss in 11 career decisions.  Brad Chalk's 50-game streak
of reaching base also came to an end.

       In game-two on
March 31, three Tiger pitchers limited Miami to only three hits in
Clemson's 4-1 victory.  Starter Ryan Hinson earned the win by
pitching 6.0 innings, allowing three hits, one run, and two walks with
six strikeouts.  Stephen Clyne pitched 2.0 hitless and scoreless
innings, while Daniel Moskos pitched a perfect ninth inning to record
the save.  All three of Miami's hits came consecutively in the
fifth inning when the Hurricanes scored their only run of the game. 
Clemson scored three runs in the third inning, aided by a Hurricane
error.  The Tigers tacked on another run in the fifth inning
thanks in part to another error.  Chalk had a game-high three
hits, as Clemson totaled seven hits in the game.

       In game-three on
April 1, Miami rallied after an 89-minute rain delay to defeat Clemson
7-6.  With the Hurricanes ahead 4-2, the Tigers tied the score in
the fifth inning when Addison Johnson hit a run-scoring double and
came around to score on a passed ball.  The Tigers took the lead
the following inning on Ben Paulsen's RBI double to left field. 
But pinch-hitter Gus Menedez's two-out, bloop single in the seventh
inning plated two runs and gave Miami the lead for good.  Johnson
led the Tigers with three hits and two RBIs.  A throwing error by
David Kopp on a potential double play led to three unearned runs for
the Hurricanes in the fifth inning.  Each team totaled three
double plays as well.

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