Clemson vs. North Carolina
Clemson (6-7, 0-0 ACC) will open its ACC schedule when it plays host to #9 North Carolina (14-3, 1-0 ACC) this weekend at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Game times are 7:15 PM (Friday), 4:00 PM (Saturday), and 2:00 PM (Sunday). All three games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network and can be heard live via the internet at ClemsonTigers.com. Saturday's game will be televised live by C-SET in its first ever college baseball telecast. Live stats will also be available on Clemson's website for all three games.
Clemson and North Carolina have met 161 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 91-69-1 lead in the series dating back to the 1901 season. Last year at Chapel Hill, the Tigers won two of three games, including a 4-2 thriller in 10 innings in the series finale. The two teams also split two one-run games in the ACC Tournament. Two years ago at Clemson, the Tigers won two of three games.
The Tigers hold a 42-22-1 advantage over North Carolina all-time in games played at Clemson, including a 34-8 lead at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson also holds a 72-51 advantage in games played in the ACC regular season.
Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett is 26-13 against the Tar Heels as Clemson's head coach, including an 11-4 record at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Starting Pitchers
In game one, North Carolina will start sophomore lefthander Andrew Miller (4-0, 0.84 ERA) on the mound. The Gainesville, FL native has made five starts for a total of 32.1 innings pitched. He has allowed just 24 hits and 11 walks while striking out 38. He has yet to allow a home run and is holding opponents to a .212 batting average.
The Tigers will counter with junior righthander Josh Cribb (1-1, 3.74 ERA) on the mound Friday. The Lake View, SC native has made four starts for a total of 21.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 30 hits and five walks while striking out 19.
In game two, the Tar Heels will send out sophomore righthander Daniel Bard (3-1, 1.12 ERA) to the mound. The Charlotte, NC native has made four starts for a total of 24.0 innings pitched. He has allowed just 11 hits and eight walks while striking out 25. He has not allowed an extra base hit and is holding opponents to a .134 batting average.
Clemson will counter with junior righty Kris Harvey (2-1, 4.37 ERA) on Saturday. The Catawba, NC native had been the Sunday starter during the first four weekends, but has been moved up a day in the rotation. In 22.2 innings pitched over four starts, he has allowed 26 hits and five walks while striking out 19.
In game three, North Carolina will start junior lefty Adam Kalkhof (2-0, 2.55 ERA). The Durham, NC native has made four starts for a total of 17.2 innings pitched. He has yielded 18 hits and just one walk while striking out 14. Opponents are hitting .257 off him as well.
The Tigers will counter with junior lefty Robert Rohrbaugh (0-1, 6.00 ERA) Sunday. The Littlestown, PA native has made three starts and two relief appearances for a total of 15.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 21 hits and nine walks with 11 strikeouts.
The Tar Heels
North Carolina, led by seventh-year Head Coach Mike Fox and ranked as high as #9, enters the series with a 14-3 overall record and 1-0 conference mark. The Tar Heels only played Virginia Tech once last weekend due to snowy conditions in Blacksburg, VA. They also beat Princeton in a three-game series earlier this week at Chapel Hill, NC. The Tar Heels' only losses came in a tournament at East Carolina. All three losses were by one run against Arizona State, Ohio State, and Michigan.
The Tar Heels, who are 1-0 on the road this year, are hitting .296 with a .389 on-base percentage. Seth Williams is hitting a team-best .400, while Mike Daniel is batting .386. Justin Webb has a team-high four homers and 13 RBIs, while Matt Ellington has added three home runs and 19 RBIs. The team has also stolen 23 bases in 25 attempts and allowed just eight steals in 19 attempts thanks to Webb throwing out eight of 15 basestealers this year. The team is fielding at a .966 clip.
North Carolina sports one of the best pitching staffs and weekend rotations in the country. The trio of Andrew Miller, Daniel Bard, and Adam Kalkhof have combined for 77 strikeouts and a 1.34 ERA in 74.0 innings pitched. The trio has allowed just 53 hits and 20 walks as well. Matt Danford has all of the team's three saves. The entire pitching staff has a 1.52 ERA and .200 opponents' batting average. Only twice in 2005 has a team had at least 10 hits against the Tar Heels.
Clemson enters the series with a 6-7 overall record after downing Furman 11-1 on Wednesday. The team, which is 4-2 at home, is hitting .291 overall and is led by sophomore Tyler Colvin, who is hitting .410, including 13-for-25 (.520) in the last seven games. Travelers Rest, SC native and freshman Taylor Harbin has 20 hits, including 11 for extra bases, in the first 13 games and is hitting .357. The team is fielding at an ACC-best .976 clip as well, committing just 12 errors through 13 games in 2005. The pitching staff has a 4.38 ERA and .292 opponents' batting average. Stephen Clyne has the team's lone save.
Tigers Defeat Furman 11-1 Wednesday
Clemson pounded out 15 hits en route to an 11-1 victory over Furman on March 16 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers scored nine runs in the first two innings, highlighted by a three-run double in the first inning by Andy D'Alessio and a three-run homer by Kris Harvey in the second inning. Brad Chalk was a perfect 3-for-3 with two walks, while Stan Widmann added three hits. Ben Hall also hit his first homer as a Tiger. Stephen Faris pitched 5.0 shutout innings in a starting role to earn the win. The win broke the Tigers' three-game losing streak.
Starting with Friday's game against North Carolina, Clemson will play 33 games during a 45-day span leading up to exams, meaning the team will play on 73 percent of the days during that stretch. Starting next week, the Tigers will play a five-game week for six consecutive weeks.
Clemson is 31-2 in ACC home-opening series dating back to the 1994 season, however none of those series were against North Carolina.
Clemson is 6-for-11 (.545) with a homer and 16 RBIs with the bases loaded this season. Andy D'Alessio is 2-for-2 with a double, homer, and seven RBIs in that situation in 2005.
Clemson 3-2 Against Top-25 Teams in 2005
Thanks to the three-game sweep of #18 UC Irvine from February 25-27 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Clemson is 3-2 against top-25 ranked teams in 2005. In over 11 seasons at Clemson, Head Coach Jack Leggett has 131 wins over teams ranked in the top 25. Only three times in his first 11 seasons has he had a losing record against teams in the top 25.
Tigers Tough to Beat at Home Under Leggett
In his 12th season, Head Coach Jack Leggett has a 518-227 overall record at Clemson, including a 202-106 mark against ACC teams. He has been especially tough in home ACC series, where he has a 104-26 (.800) record. The conference team with the most success has been Florida State, who has won seven games in 18 tries at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Even when an opposing ACC team is victorious at Clemson, it usually means that team only won one of three games. In 44 ACC home series under Leggett, Clemson has lost only three series...losing two of three to N.C. State in 1996, getting swept by Florida State in 2002, and losing two of three to the Seminoles in 2004. Georgia Tech also split a pair of games in a rain-shortened series in 1997.
Widmann an Offensive Threat
Freshman Stan Widmann (Hurst, TX) has started all 13 games at shortstop for the Tigers. After going 1-for-12 in the first four games, he has raised his batting average to .341 thanks to going 14-for-32 (.438) in the last nine games. He is one of three true freshmen who have started the majority of the games "up the middle" (shortstop, second base, centerfield) this season.
Junior righthander Josh Cribb (Lake View, SC) has become the Friday starter this season after two years out of the bullpen. He emerged at the end of 2004 as one of the most dominant Tiger pitchers. In four starts this season, he has a 1-1 record and 3.74 ERA against outstanding competition. He has also struck out 20 against only five walks, good for a 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
In three seasons with the Tiger program, he has made six starts and 31 relief appearances for a total of 107.1 innings pitched. He has a 3.77 career ERA and has allowed just 26 walks while striking out 97. His 2.18 walks per nine innings pitched mark is fourth-best in school history and one spot ahead of former Tiger great Kris Benson. His 3.73 strikeout-to-walk ratio is also second-best in school history, behind only Benson's mark of 4.51.
Faris Atop ACC ERA List
Sophomore righty Stephen Faris (Richmond, VA) has allowed only one run in 14.0 innings pitched over one start and four relief appearances this season. His 0.64 ERA is tops in the ACC. To be among the conference leaders, a pitcher must pitch as many innings as team games played. Faris, who is 1-0, has allowed just 11 hits and four walks, and has allowed only one extra base hit, that being a double