Baseball Preview vs. N.C. State & Notes
Clemson vs. N.C. State
Clemson (22-9, 8-7 ACC) will host #17 N.C. State (19-15, 9-6 ACC) in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this weekend. Game times are 6:30 PM (Friday), 12:00 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday).
Saturday’s game will be televised live by Regional Sports Network, while the games on Friday and Sunday will be available via webcast on ESPN3. All three games will also be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will be available at ClemsonTigers.com for all three games as well.
Clemson and N.C. State have met 181 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 109-71-1 lead in the series dating back to the 1921 season. The two have faced each other at least one time every season since 1953. The Tigers have won 10 of the last 14 games in the series.
Last year in Raleigh, the Wolfpack defeated the Tigers twice in three games. Clemson then topped N.C. State 6-3 in the ACC Tournament in Durham, NC. In the three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in 2010, Clemson won all three games by scores of 12-7, 12-6, and 7-6. Then in the ACC Tourney, the Wolfpack downed the Tigers 13-8.
The Tigers hold a 55-22-1 lead over the Wolfpack in games played at Clemson and a 42-14 lead at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson also holds an 86-56 advantage in ACC regular-season games.
Jack Leggett has a 43-21 record against N.C. State as Clemson’s head coach, including a 21-5 mark at Doug Kingsmore Stadium and a 17-8 record against top-25 ranked Wolfpack squads. Leggett was 7-18 against N.C. State as head coach at Western Carolina, meaning he is 50-39 all-time against the Wolfpack.
The Starting Pitchers
In game-one, N.C. State will start junior righty Ethan Ogburn (3-2) on the mound. The High Point, NC native has made five starts and four relief appearances for a total of 41.0 innings pitched. He has surrendered 32 hits (.218 opponents’ batting average) and six walks with 37 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with junior righthander Kevin Brady (1-2, 2.72 ERA) on Friday. The Gaithersburg, MD native has made eight starts for a total of 39.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 34 hits (.236 opponents’ batting average) and 16 walks with 40 strikeouts.
In game-two, the Wolfpack will send out freshman lefthander Carlos Rodon (5-0, 1.41 ERA) on the mound. The Holly Springs, NC native has made eight starts and one relief appearance for a total of 57.1 innings pitched. He has given up 41 hits (.202 opponents’ batting average) and 15 walks with 67 strikeouts.
Clemson will counter with junior righty Dominic Leone (5-2, 5.18 ERA) on Saturday. The Norwich, CT native has made eight starts for a total of 40.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 37 hits (.261 opponents’ batting average) and 22 walks with 34 strikeouts.
In game-three, N.C. State will start freshman righty Logan Jernigan (3-1, 5.08 ERA) on the mound. The Four Oaks, NC native has made seven starts and one relief appearance for a total of 28.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 15 hits (.147 opponents’ batting average) and 20 walks with 35 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with sophomore righty Kevin Pohle (4-1, 1.94 ERA) on Sunday. The Saint Louis, MO native has made six starts and two relief appearances for a total of 41.2 innings pitched. He has given up 39 hits (.257 opponents’ batting average) and 14 walks with 27 strikeouts.
N.C. State, led by 16th-year Head Coach Elliott Avent and ranked as high as #17 in the nation, enters the series at Clemson with a 22-9 overall record and 9-6 ACC mark after defeating Elon at home 14-2 on Wednesday. N.C. State, who also lost two of three games at Maryland last weekend, is 5-6 on opponents’ home fields and 4-5 in one-run games in 2012.
N.C. State is averaging 7.2 runs per game and hitting .292 with a .423 slugging percentage and .374 on-base percentage thanks to 135 walks and 17 hit-by-pitches against 187 strikeouts. The team has totaled 76 doubles, nine triples, 16 home runs, and 58 stolen bases in 67 attempts.
Chris Diaz is hitting a team-best .362 with 10 doubles, one homer, and 30 RBIs, while Ryan Mathews is batting .333 with five hoome runs and 21 RBIs. Trea Turner is among the national leaders in stolen bases with 31 in 32 attempts and has a .320 batting average. Jake Fincher has added 12 steals as well.
The pitching staff has a 3.14 ERA and .220 opponents’ batting average along with 264 strikeouts against 99 walks in 278.1 innings pitched. Junior righthanders Ethan Ogburn and Chris Overman both have two saves apiece. N.C. State, who has allowed 29 steals in 39 attempts, is fielding at a .970 clip as well.
Clemson enters the series against #17 N.C. State with a 19-15 overall record and an 8-7 ACC mark after splitting a pair of midweek games. The Tigers defeated Furman by a score of 12-5 on Tuesday before falling at home to Georgia 8-7 on Wednesday. The Tigers, who are 13-9 at home, also swept Duke on the road last weekend.
The Tigers are averaging 5.7 runs per game and hitting .277 with a .390 slugging percentage and .367 on-base percentage thanks to 148 walks and 29 hit-by-pitches against 209 strikeouts. Clemson has also totaled 51 doubles, eight triples, 22 homers, and 33 stolen bases in 44 attempts.
Richie Shaffer leads the team with a .377 batting average along with 13 doubles, one triple, seven homers, 33 RBIs, 34 walks, five steals, and a .506 on-base percentage. The Charlotte, NC native has also totaled multiple hits in each of the last seven games. Steve Wilkerson is batting .350, while Thomas Brittle is hitting .330 with four doubles, three triples, one homer, 18 RBIs, and five steals. Brittle is 16-for-31 (.516) with 12 RBIs and 12 runs in the last seven games.
The pitching staff has a 3.58 ERA and .268 opponents’ batting average in 307.0 innings pitched. The staff has allowed 122 walks against 268 strikeouts, good for a 2.20 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Junior righty Scott Firth has an 0.66 ERA and a .206 opponents’ batting average in 27.1 innings pitched over 13 relief appearances. The Tigers are fielding at a .968 clip as well.
Three Former Tigers on Major League Rosters
Three former Clemson baseball players are on Major League rosters in 2012. The list includes infielder Jeff Baker, outfielder Tyler Colvin, and lefthander Tony Sipp.
Baker is in his eighth year in the Majors and fourth year with the Chicago Cubs. Baker, who is tied for the Tiger record with 59 career home runs from 2000-02, played for the Colorado Rockies in the 2007 World Series. He entered the 2012 season with 316 hits and 33 homers in his MLB career.
Colvin (2004-06), in his fourth Major League season and first with the Colorado Rockies, saw limited action with the Chicago Cubs in the latter stages of the 2009 season before bursting onto the scene in a big way in 2010. He was one of the best rookies in the National League in 2010 when he totaled 18 doubles, five triples, 20 home runs, and 56 RBIs in 135 games.
Sipp, who batted .280 and had a 2-2 pitching record for the Tigers in 2004, was called up to Cleveland in 2009 and is in his fourth year with the Indians. In 2011, he was 6-3 with a 3.03 ERA and .201 opponents’ batting average in 62.1 innings pitched over 69 relief appearances. Entering the 2012 season, Sipp had a 3.43 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 165.1 innings pitched over 185 relief appearances in his Major League career.
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