Baseball Preview vs. South Carolina & Notes
Clemson vs. South Carolina
Clemson (4-2), ranked as high as #15 in the country, will face #2 South Carolina (7-0) in a three-game series at three different sites this weekend. Game times are 6:00 PM on Friday at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in Charleston, SC, 2:00 PM on Saturday at Carolina Stadium in Columbia, SC, and 2:00 PM on Sunday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, SC. Clemson will be the designated home team and occupy the first-base dugout on Friday.
Sunday’s game will be available live via webcast at ESPN3. All three games will 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.
Tigers Return to Charleston
When Clemson faces South Carolina on Friday, it will mark the first time since 2003 that the Tigers play in Charleston. On March 16 and 17, Clemson played Georgia Southern at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, as the Tigers won both games by scores of 11-1 and 8-0. The series was originally slated to be played at Georgia Southern’s home field in Statesville, GA, but inclement weather and poor field conditions forced the move.
Clemson and South Carolina have met 295 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 168-125-2 lead in the series dating to the 1899 season. South Carolina is Clemson’s most-played rival in history.
In 2011, the Gamecocks won two of three games. South Carolina topped Clemson 6-3 in Columbia, then the Tigers downed the Gamecocks 10-5 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. In the series-finale, South Carolina edged the Tigers 5-4 at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC.
In 2010, the Tigers won two of the three games during the regular season, including a 4-3 victory at Clemson and a 19-6 win in Columbia. At Fluor Field, South Carolina rallied late to defeat the Tigers 7-5. The rivalry moved to the three-game format (with games at each team’s home stadium and a neutral-site game) for the first time in 2010. Then in the 2010 College World Series, the Gamecocks defeated Clemson twice in two games to advance to the Championship Series.
In 2009, Clemson and South Carolina split the four-games series. In 2008, South Carolina won all four matchups. In 2007, South Carolina won the first three meetings before Clemson won the final matchup by a score of 14-5 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. In 2006, the Tigers won three of four meetings, while the two teams split the four-game season series in both 2004 and 2005.
The Gamecocks hold a 76-67-2 lead in the series in Columbia. The Tigers hold a 95-42 advantage in the series in games played at Clemson and a 48-25 mark at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. South Carolina leads 7-6 in neutral-site contests.
Jack Leggett is 33-34 against South Carolina as Clemson’s head coach, including 17-13 in games played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, 16-15 in Columbia, and 0-6 in neutral-site contests. Leggett was also 3-8 against the Gamecocks as Western Carolina’s head coach, meaning he is 36-42 all-time against South Carolina.
The Starting Pitchers
In game-one, South Carolina will start senior lefthander Michael Roth (1-0, 0.69 ERA) on the mound. The Greer, SC native has made two starts for a total of 13.0 innings pitched. He has allowed four hits (.091 opponents’ batting average) and three walks with 13 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with junior righthander Kevin BradyKevin Brady
RS Jr. RH Pitcher
#19 6-3, 220
View Full Profile (0-0, 0.90 ERA) on Friday. The Gaithersburg, MD native has made two starts for a total of 10.0 innings pitched. He has allowed eight hits (.222 opponents’ batting average) and two walks with nine strikeouts.
In game-two, the Gamecocks will send out junior righty Matt Price (1-0, 1.80 ERA) on the mound. The Sumter, SC native has made two starts for a total of 10.0 innings pitched. He has given up one hit (.032 opponents’ batting average) and four walks with 15 strikeouts.
Clemson will counter with junior righty Dominic LeoneDominic Leone
Jr. RH Pitcher
#6 5-11, 195
View Full Profile (2-0, 3.27 ERA) on Saturday. The Norwich, CT native has made two starts for a total of 11.0 innings pitched. He has allowed eight hits (.229 opponents’ batting average) and four walks with 10 strikeouts.
In game-three, South Carolina will start junior righthander Colby Holmes (2-0, 0.00 ERA) on the mound. The Conway, SC native has made two starts for a total of 10.2 innings pitched. He has yielded four hits (.121 opponents’ batting average) and three walks with 12 strikeouts.
The Tigers’ starter for game-three on Sunday has yet to be determined.
South Carolina, led by 16th-year Head Coach Ray Tanner and ranked as high as #2 in the nation, enters the series against #15 Clemson with a 7-0 overall record after defeating Presbyterian College 2-1 on Tuesday. The Gamecocks, who have played all seven of their games at home in 2012, own a 17-game winning streak dating to last season. It is the nation’s longest active winning streak.
The Gamecocks possess other notable streaks. They have won 15 straight home games dating to 2011. South Carolina has also won 20 of its last 23 one-run games dating to 2010 and is 4-0 in one-run games in 2012.
South Carolina is averaging 5.3 runs per game and hitting .274 with a .411 slugging percentage and .337 on-base percentage. The team has totaled seven doubles, four triples, five home runs, and three stolen bases.
Christian Walker is hitting a team-high .381 with one homer and eight RBIs. Evan Marzilli has reached base safely in all seven games and is hitting .357 with all three of the team’s stolen bases. LB Dantzler leads the team in both home runs (2) and RBIs (9).
The pitching staff has an 0.86 ERA and .112 opponents’ batting average along with 74 strikeouts against 13 walks in 63.0 innings pitched. Its 1.1 runs allowed per game is the best mark in the nation. Sophomore righthander Forrest Koumas has a team-high two saves, while junior lefty Tyler Webb has one save and 11 strikeouts against no walks in 6.1 innings pitched over two relief appearances. The Gamecocks are fielding at a .985 clip as well.
Clemson, ranked as high as #15 in the nation, enters the series against #2 South Carolina with a 4-2 overall record after winning two of three games over Maine last weekend. The Tigers have played all six games at home this season.
The Tigers are averaging 6.2 runs per game and hitting .285 with a .440 slugging percentage and .384 on-base percentage. Clemson has also totaled 10 doubles, one triple, six homers, and six stolen bases in 10 attempts.
Phil PohlPhil Pohl
#9 5-11, 215
View Full Profile is hitting .476 with two homers, two doubles, nine RBIs, and a .577 on-base percentage. Richie ShafferRichie Shaffer
#8 6-3, 205
View Full Profile, who is listed as questionable for the South Carolina series with a groin injury, is hitting .364 with two homers, two doubles, and eight RBIs.
Two starting outfielders have ties to the Charleston area. Centerfielder Thomas BrittleThomas Brittle
RS Jr. Outfielder
#4 5-8, 170
View Full Profile, who played two seasons (2009,10) at College of Charleston, is hitting .333 with a .500 on-base percentage. Rightfielder Brad FelderBrad Felder
#3 6-0, 200
View Full Profile is hitting .250 with a steal. He played three seasons (2008,10,11) at The Citadel, whose home field is Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
The pitching staff has a 2.83 ERA and .290 opponents’ batting average. The staff has allowed 16 walks against 45 strikeouts, good for a 2.81-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Freshman righthander Daniel GossettDaniel Gossett
Fr. RH Pitcher
#23 6-0, 160
View Full Profile has the team’s lone save, while sophomore righty Kevin PohleKevin Pohle
So. RH Pitcher
#21 6-3, 180
St. Louis, MO
View Full Profile has a 2-0 record and has not allowed an earned run in 7.0 innings pitched over two relief appearances. The Tigers are fielding at a .967 clip as well.
Bradley & Price Awards to Be Presented Sunday
After Sunday’s game at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Clemson’s MVP of the three-game series will be given the Bob Bradley Award in a ceremony at home plate. Also, South Carolina’s MVP will be given the Tom Price Award. Both Bradley and Price served as Baseball SIDs at their respective schools for decades. Bradley passed away in 2000, while Price passed away in 2008.
The awards have been presented every year since 2001. Catcher Spencer KieboomSpencer Kieboom
#22 6-0, 220
View Full Profile won the Bob Bradley Award in 2011.
• Clemson has three comeback wins among its four overall victories in 2012.
The Tigers moved up one spot to #15 in this week’s Baseball America rankings after going 2-1 in three games last week. Clemson also moved up four spots to #19 in the Sports Weekly coaches poll and five spots to #20 in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
Clemson has had at least one final top-25 ranking in 15 of Head Coach Jack Leggett’s first 18 seasons in Tigertown. The Tigers have also been ranked #1 for 20 weeks by at least one of the three major polls under Leggett. Their last #1 ranking came on February 12, 2007 by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
Brittle Setting the Table
Junior outfielder Thomas Brittle (Cross, SC) has emerged as Clemson’s everyday leadoff batter and centerfielder in his first active season as a Tiger. In 2009 and 2010, Brittle played at College of Charleston alongside his brother, Owen. He transferred to Clemson prior to the 2011 season and sat out that year due to NCAA transfer rules.
In 2012, Brittle has given the Tigers an effective leadoff batter, as he is hitting .333 with one double, one triple, one RBI, six runs, a .500 on-base percentage thanks to six walks against only two strikeouts, and two stolen bases in six games (six starts).
Brittle has also shown a penchant for making stellar plays in centerfield, including several diving catches. He had a remarkable three outfield assists in one game against UAB in the second game of a doubleheader on February 18.
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