Our coverage of this year’s ACC Tournament is underway. We will be live in Greensboro and keep you updated with stories and pictures and information throught the week. Be sure to check the site early and often for the latest.
Below are the Clemson game notes for the ACC Tournament:
Clemson (39-17), the #2 seed and champion of the ACC Atlantic Division, will open its ACC Tournament slate by playing #7-seed N.C. State (36-20) on Wednesday at 8:00 PM on the first day of the ACC Tournament. The Tigers will be the designated home team and occupy the third-base dugout.
After a day off on Thursday, the Tigers will play #6-seed Virginia Tech (36-19) on Friday at 4:00 PM. Clemson will be the designated visiting team and occupy the first-base dugout in that game.
Clemson’s third game will be against #3-seed Georgia Tech (44-11) on Saturday at 4:00 PM. The home team for Saturday’s game will be determined by a coin flip. All three of Clemson’s games in the ACC Tournament will be televised live by Fox Sports South.
The games will be played at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, NC. It will be the first time the ACC Baseball Tournament is held in Greensboro. The round-robin format, in its fourth year, features two separate four-team divisions that guarantees all eight teams will play a minimum of three games and maximum of four games during the ACC Tournament.
The other division is comprised of #1-seed Virginia, #4-seed Miami (FL), #5-seed Florida State, and #8-seed Boston College. The winner of each division will meet in the ACC Championship Game on Sunday at 1:00 PM. The contest will be televised live by SportSouth and the winner of the game will receive an automatic bid into the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
The Series (N.C. State)
Clemson and N.C. State have met 176 times, with the Tigers holding a 107-68-1 lead in the series dating back to 1921. Earlier this season, Clemson swept the Wolfpack at Doug Kingsmore Stadium by a combined score of 31-19. Last year at N.C. State, Clemson also swept the three-game series by a combined score of 29-17 to close the regular season.
The Tigers hold a 17-10 lead in ACC Tournament games. The last time the two teams met in the ACC Tourney was 2008, when the Wolfpack defeated Clemson 10-0 in seven innings. That win snapped the Tigers’ nine-game winning streak over the Wolfpack in the ACC Tournament. The Tigers also hold a 13-11 advantage in neutral-site contests.
Jack Leggett has a 41-18 record against N.C. State as Clemson’s head coach, including an 8-1 mark in the ACC Tournament. Leggett was 7-18 against N.C. State as Western Carolina’s head coach, meaning he has a 48-36 all-time record against the Wolfpack.
The Series (Virginia Tech)
Clemson and Virginia Tech have met 57 times, with the Tigers holding a 34-21-2 lead in the series dating back to 1902. Earlier this season, Clemson swept the Hokies at Doug Kingsmore Stadium by a combined score of 21-10. Last year at Virginia Tech, the Hokies won the first two games before the Tigers answered with a win in the series-finale.
The Tigers and Hokies have never met in the ACC Tournament. In fact, when the Hokies play Georgia Tech on Thursday, they will be playing their second game in the ACC Tourney and first since 2005. The Tigers also hold a 5-1 advantage in neutral-site contests.
Jack Leggett has an 18-3 record against Virginia Tech as Clemson’s head coach. Leggett was 1-3 against Virginia Tech as Western Carolina’s head coach, meaning he has a 19-9 all-time record against the Hokies.
The Series (Georgia Tech)
Clemson and Georgia Tech have met 203 times, with the series tied 100-100-3 dating back to 1902. Earlier this season, Georgia Tech swept the Tigers at Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta by a combined score of 23-12. Last year at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Clemson won the final two games of the series after the Yellow Jackets won the first matchup.
The Tigers hold a 14-9 lead in ACC Tournament games. The last time the two teams met in the ACC Tourney was 2008, when the Tigers defeated Georgia Tech 10-4. The Tigers also hold a 17-7 advantage in neutral-site contests.
Jack Leggett has a 34-30 record against Georgia Tech as Clemson’s head coach, including a 7-5 mark in the ACC Tournament. Leggett was 3-5 against Georgia Tech as Western Carolina’s head coach, meaning he has a 37-34 all-time record against the Yellow Jackets.
The Starting Pitchers (N.C. State)
N.C. State will start senior lefthander Alex Sogard (1-2, 5.49 ERA) on the mound. The Phoenix, AZ native has made nine starts and four relief appearances for a total of 39.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 51 hits (.331 opponents’ batting average) and 16 walks with 19 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with junior lefthander Casey Harman (6-2, 3.98 ERA) on Wednesday. The South Burlington, VT native has made 14 starts for a total of 86.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 81 hits (.247 opponents’ batting average) and 26 walks with 70 strikeouts.
The Starting Pitchers (Virginia Tech)
Both teams have yet to name their starting pitchers for Friday’s game.
The Starting Pitchers (Georgia Tech)
Both teams have yet to name their starting pitchers for Saturday’s game.
N.C. State, led by 14th-year Head Coach Elliott Avent, enters the ACC Tournament with a 36-20 overall record and 15-15 ACC mark after sweeping Duke at home last weekend. N.C. State is riding a four-game winning streak and is 2-0 in neutral-site games in 2010.
N.C. State is averaging 9.5 runs per game and hitting .331 with a .545 slugging percentage and .432 on-base percentage thanks to 305 walks and 84 hit-by-pitches. The team has also totaled 148 doubles, 14 triples, 90 home runs, and 41 stolen bases.
Kyle Wilson leads the team with a .379 batting average, six homers, 29 RBIs, a .505 on-base percentage, and 12 stolen bases. Drew Poulk is batting .367 with 20 doubles, 13 homers, 67 RBIs, while his cousin Dallas Poulk is hitting .363 with 20 doubles, 10 homers, and 55 RBIs. Andrew Ciencin has added 19 doubles, nine homers, and a team-high 68 RBIs, while Chris Schaeffer (11), Pratt Maynard (10), and Harold Riggins (10) have all totaled double-digit long balls.
The pitching staff has a 4.99 ERA and .273 opponents’ batting average along with 434 strikeouts against 238 walks in 503.2 innings pitched. Junior lefthander Grant Sasser has four of the team’s eight saves along with a 2.84 ERA, a .191 opponents’ batting average, and 43 strikeouts against 16 walks in 44.1 innings pitched over 22 relief appearances. N.C. State is fielding at a .959 clip as well.
Virginia Tech, led by fourth-year Head Coach Pete Hughes and ranked as high as #18 in the nation, enters the ACC Tournament with a 36-19 overall record and 16-14 ACC mark after being swept at North Carolina last weekend. The Hokies are 1-1 in neutral-site games in 2010.
Virginia Tech is averaging 7.9 runs per game and hitting .323 with a .518 slugging percentage and .401 on-base percentage. The team has also totaled 134 doubles, 20 triples, 70 home runs, and 59 stolen bases.
Steve Domecus is hitting .372 with 25 doubles, 11 homers, 56 RBIs, and 10 steals, while Austin Wates is batting .369 with 14 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, 48 RBIs, and a team-high 15 stolen bases. Tim Smalling, who did not play in the Clemson series earlier this season due to injury, is hitting .362 with seven homers and 35 RBIs, while Ronnie Shaban has added eight home runs and 60 RBIs along with a .359 batting average.
The pitching staff has a 4.70 ERA and .263 opponents’ batting average along with 466 strikeouts against 174 walks in 483.0 innings pitched. Senior righthander Ben Rowen has all five of the team’s saves along with a 4-1 record, 3.07 ERA, .214 opponents’ batting average, and 52 strikeouts against only seven walks in 44.0 innings pitched over 33 relief appearances. The Hokies are fielding at a .968 clip as well.
The Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech, led by 17th-year Head Coach Danny Hall and ranked as high as #6 in the nation, enters the ACC Tournament with a 44-11 overall record and 21-9 ACC mark after winning two of three games at Boston College last weekend. The Yellow Jackets, who have lost back-to-back games only twice this year and have not lost three games in a row, are 1-0 in neutral-site games in 2010.
Georgia Tech is averaging 9.4 runs per game and hitting .329 with a .585 slugging percentage and .427 on-base percentage thanks to 291 walks and 69 hit-by-pitches. The team has also totaled 120 doubles, 25 triples, 111 home runs, and 53 stolen bases.
Seven different Yellow Jackets have hit at least nine home runs, including Tony Plagman, who has totaled 19 home runs, 15 doubles, 70 RBIs, and a .713 slugging percentage. Thomas Nichols is batting a team-high .384 with 10 homers and 39 RBIs, while Derek Dietrich is hitting .374 with 16 home runs, 58 RBIs. Dietrich led the league with 13 homers in ACC games. Chase Burnette is batting .354 with 15 long balls and 62 RBIs, while Matt Skole is batting .346 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs. Jeff Rowland has added nine homers, seven triples, 10 doubles, and a team-high 11 stolen bases, and Cole Leonida has totaled 11 homers and 52 RBIs.
The pitching staff has a 3.82 ERA and .261 opponents’ batting average along with 468 strikeouts against 166 walks in 492.0 innings pitched. Senior righthander Andrew Robinson has seven of the squad’s 12 saves along with a 4-0 record, 2.45 ERA, and 23 strikeouts against eight walks in 29.1 innings pitched over 23 relief appearances. The Yellow Jackets are fielding at a .970 clip as well.
Clemson, ranked as high as #16 in the nation, enters the ACC Tournament with a 37-19 overall record and 18-12 ACC mark after sweeping #7 Florida State at home last weekend. The Tigers, who have won four games in a row and 12 of their last 14 contests, are 2-1 in neutral-site games in 2010.
The Tigers are averaging 8.8 runs per game and hitting .305 with a .489 slugging percentage and .410 on-base percentage thanks to 323 walks and 52 hit-by-pitches. Clemson has also totaled 118 doubles, 11 triples, 75 homers, and 96 stolen bases.
Kyle Parker leads the team with a .373 batting average along with 18 homers, 14 doubles, 56 RBIs, 69 runs, and a .508 on-base percentage in 53 games. John Hinson is batting .333 with 12 homers, 60 RBIs, and a team-high 21 stolen bases. Jeff Schaus has added 13 long balls and an ACC-high 71 RBIs, while Brad Miller is hitting .365 with a .478 on-base percentage.
The pitching staff has a 4.63 ERA and .275 opponents’ batting average. The staff has allowed 191 walks against 383 strikeouts. Senior righthander Tomas Cruz has a team-high three saves, while junior righty Alex Frederick has a 6-0 record in his last seven appearances (one start). The Tigers are fielding at a .961 clip as well.
Five Tigers hail from the state of North Carolina, Wilson Boyd (Hickory), Hinson (Asheville), Addison Johnson (Pfafftown), Richie Shaffer (Charlotte), and Josh Thrailkill (Arden).
Clemson’s ACC Tournament History
This is the 37th ACC Baseball Tournament, and Clemson has been to the finals in 21 of the previous 36 tournaments, 10 more than any other school. Clemson has won nine ACC Tournaments in history, more than any other school, including in 2006 when it defeated N.C. State 8-4 in the championship game. Clemson has a 99-57 record in ACC Tournament games. The Tigers also have the most All-ACC Tournament selections (53) in history.
Prior to capturing the 2006 title, the Tigers had not won it all since 1994. That was Jack Leggett’s first year as Clemson’s head coach. Clemson defeated Florida State 4-1 in the championship game held in Greenville (SC) Municipal Stadium.
Leggett has been on the field to accept the championship trophy three times in all. In 1993, then Head Coach Bill Wilhelm was suspended for the championship game. Leggett, then the top assistant for the Tigers, was in charge for that 1993 title game, an 11-7 win over N.C. State. Clemson’s nine ACC Tournament titles came in 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, and 2006. Wilhelm is credited with the first seven tournament titles.
Clemson has been a consistent team in tournament play. The Tigers have won at least two tournament games in 31 of their previous 36 appearances. The only years that Clemson did not win at least two games were 1998 (0-2), 2001 (1-2), 2003 (0-2), 2008 (1-2), and 2009 (1-2). While Clemson has won the title just once since 1994, the Tigers have been to the championship round seven of the last 16 years. Clemson is also one of only two teams to play in all 36 ACC Tournaments. The Tigers join Virginia as the only teams to play in every ACC Tourney.
Only 14 times in the 36-year history has the #1 seed captured the title. Clemson has done it six times, Georgia Tech and North Carolina three times, and Florida State and Miami (FL) once.
The Tigers have won the ACC Tournament with a perfect record five times. The Tigers were 3-0 in 1976 and 1978 in winning both events at Clemson, then they had a 4-0 record in winning the title at Raleigh, NC in 1980. Clemson’s only other perfect run through the tournament came in 1991, when a Tiger team that won a school-record 60 games had a 5-0 mark in the ACC Tournament held at Greenville, SC.
This will be the 14th time the tournament is held in the state of North Carolina after it was played at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in 2009. However, it will be the first time the ACC Tournament is held in Greensboro. Furthermore, the Tigers have not played a game in the city of Greensboro since May 19, 1951. That day, Clemson fell to Duke 5-0 in the Southern Conference Tournament.
Prior to 2009, the previous time it was played in the Tar Heel State was in 1999, when it was played at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The 2011 and 2013 tournaments are scheduled to be played at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, while the 2012 tourney will return to NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro.
Clemson has a winning record against every ACC team (excluding Boston College and Virginia Tech, who have not faced the Tigers in the event) in tournament play with the exception of Florida State. Clemson is 8-10 against the Seminoles in the ACC Tournament. The Tigers are also 8-4 against Duke, 14-9 versus Georgia Tech, 12-0 against Maryland, 2-1 versus Miami (FL), 16-11 against North Carolina, 17-10 versus N.C. State, 10-7 against Virginia, and 12-5 versus Wake Forest. That computes to a 99-57 record and 63.5-percent winning mark. Only Florida State (66.7) and Boston College (66.7) have better winning percentages than Clemson in ACC Tournament play.
Clemson was the dominant team when the ACC Tournament was played at Greenville, SC from 1987-95. In those nine tournaments, Clemson posted a 36-12 record, won the event four times, and finished second on two other occasions. Clemson won at least three games in eight of the nine tournaments held in Greenville as well.
The ACC Tournament began in 1973 and has been held every year but one since then. In 1979, Clemson won the regular-season title and was declared the conference champion. The tournament was not held because of a scheduling conflict between school exam schedules and the tourney. Clemson has been declared conference champion 14 times in history, more than any other school.
• All three of Clemson’s weekend starting pitchers during the latter stages of the 2010 season hail from New England. Casey Harman (South Burlington, VT), Scott Weismann (Boxborough, MA), and Dominic Leone (Norwich, CT) are coincidentally the only three Tigers from New England.
The Tigers moved up four spots to #18 in the Sports Weekly coaches poll this week after going 4-0 in four games last week. The Tigers also moved into the Baseball America rankings at #25 and the Collegiate Baseball poll at #16. With Clemson’s top-25 ranking this week, it marks the 33rd week in a row the Tigers have been ranked in the top 25 of at least one of the three major polls dating to the start of the 2009 season.
Clemson has had at least one final top-25 ranking in 13 of Head Coach Jack Leggett’s first 16 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.
Tigers #15 in Unofficial RPI
Through games of May 23, Clemson has an unofficial RPI of #15 according to WarrenNolan.com. The Tigers have also played the nation’s 12th-toughest schedule according to WarrenNolan.com.
Clemson has an 18-11 record against teams with an RPI of 50 or better. Only four other schools have more top-50 RPI wins than the Tigers. There are 301 schools that play Division I baseball.
Tigers Capture ACC Atlantic Division Title
Thanks to a regular-season-ending sweep against #7 Florida State at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from May 20-22, the Tigers captured their first ACC Atlantic Division title since 2006 and their second overall. Clemson finished in a tie with Florida State at 18-12, but the Tigers claimed the division championship thanks to the three-game sweep over the Seminoles. In 2010, Clemson won its 22nd ACC regular-season title, more than any other school.
Tigers Win Football & Baseball Division Crowns
Clemson swept #7 Florida State on the diamond in May to capture the ACC Atlantic Division title. In doing so, Clemson became the first ACC school to win a division title in both football and baseball in the same academic year. The ACC went to a division format when it expanded to 12 teams in the 2005-06 academic year. Clemson won the Atlantic Division football title this past fall with a 6-2 league record, then it posted an 18-12 mark in baseball this spring.
There is one common denominator on the two Tiger teams. Kyle Parker was the starting quarterback in all 14 football games in the fall of 2009. He had 20 passing touchdowns and 2,526 passing yards, both school freshman records. This spring, Parker has hit a team-high 18 home runs and also leads the team in batting average (.373), slugging percentage (.725), and on-base percentage (.508).
Parker is the first Division I athlete in history to throw 20 touchdown passes and hit at least 18 home runs in the same academic year. He is also the first ACC athlete to play on an ACC division championship team in football and baseball in the same academic year.
Clemson 12-6 Against ACC Tournament Teams
Clemson, who was 18-12 during the ACC regular-season slate, had a 12-6 record against teams that made the 2010 ACC Tournament. That includes three-game sweeps of N.C. State, Virginia Tech, and #7 Florida State. The Tigers also defeated Boston College twice in three games, won one of three games at #1 Virginia, and lost all three contests at #5 Georgia Tech. Clemson’s 66.7 winning percentage tied Virginia for the best by any ACC team against teams who made the ACC Tourney.
Clemson was 6-3 against the teams in its bracket, including 3-0 records against N.C. State and Virginia Tech along with an 0-3 mark against Georgia Tech. The Tigers were 6-6 against the four teams (Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Wake Forest) that did not make the ACC Tournament.
Tale of Three Seasons Thanks to Close Results
Clemson’s 2010 season can be broken down into three parts. The Tigers got off to a 17-2 start, thanks in part to a 5-2 record in games decided by two runs or less, that enabled them to move as high as #5 in the coaches poll.
But Clemson dropped 15 of its next 23 games (8-15 record) and stood at 25-17 in early May. Eleven of those 15 losses were by two runs or less, one of the major reasons for the Tigers’ slide. The Tigers were 0-11 in games decided by two runs or less during that 23-game span.
However, since losing to Florida Gulf Coast by a score of 4-2 on May 1, the Tigers have won 12 of their last 14 games (12-2 record) and rallied from three games down to Florida State to capture the ACC Atlantic Division crown with their three-game sweep over the Seminoles from May 20-22. In that 14-game stretch, Clemson is 3-0 in games decided by two runs or less. The Tigers are 8-13 in games decided by two runs or less overall in 2010.
Clemson #8 in the Nation in Attendance
A total of 146,665 fans have been in attendance for Clemson’s 32 home dates in 2010, an average of 4,583 per date. That figure is #8 in the nation in 2010. It is also the fifth-best figure in Tiger history. Clemson’s top-10 figure in 2010 marks the 17th straight top-20 national standing and ninth in a row in the top 10.
Three Tigers Named to All-ACC Team
Three Tigers were named First or Second-Team All-ACC in 2010. Junior outfielder Kyle Parker was the Tigers’ lone First-Team All-ACC selection, while senior second-baseman Mike Freeman and junior outfielder Jeff Schaus were named Second-Team All-ACC. The team was compiled by a vote of the 12 ACC head coaches.
It was the second time Parker was named First-Team All-ACC, as he received that same honor as a freshman in 2008. Parker became the first two-time, First-Team All-ACC player at Clemson since Kris Harvey accomplished the same feat in 2004 and 2005. Schaus was also a First-Team All-ACC selection as a sophomore in 2009.
In 2010, Parker is hitting .373 with 18 homers, 14 doubles, 56 RBIs, 69 runs, a .725 slugging percentage, 47 walks, a .508 on-base percentage, and four steals in 53 games. Schaus is batting .307 with 13 homers, 10 doubles, two triples, an ACC-high 71 RBIs, 58 runs, and six steals in 56 games. Freeman is hitting .323 with seven homers, 19 doubles, one triple, 48 RBIs, 56 runs, and 11 stolen bases along with an outstanding .970 fielding percentage.
Stolz Makes Instant Impact in Return to Lineup
Sophomore infielder Jason Stolz (Marietta, GA) suffered a back injury in late March and missed 13 games as a result. He had been the starting third-baseman in the early portion of the 2010 season. His injury helped open the door for John Hinson to be the everyday starter at third base. Hinson has responded with a .333 batting average, 12 homers, and 60 RBIs in 2010.
But Stolz always kept his head in the game and earned his chance to be re-inserted into the starting lineup, this time at a different position. With the defensive struggles of Brad Miller at shortstop, Stolz was given the chance to make his first career start at shortstop against Presbyterian on May 18. He responded with a 2-for-4 performance along with his first home run of the season and two RBIs. He also went 2-for-4 and made several dazzling defensive plays in each of the three games at the starting shortstop in Clemson’s sweep over #7 Florida State from May 20-22.
In his four games as the starting shortstop, Stolz is 8-for-16 (.500) with a homer, five RBIs, three runs, and a steal. His recent surge has raised his batting average to .254 on the season.
Clemson Sweeps #7 Seminoles to Win Division Title
Clemson, ranked #22 in the nation, swept #7 Florida State by a combined score of 25-15 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from May 20-22. Clemson outhit the Seminoles .343 to .216 and totaled 36 hits, a .426 on-base percentage, and seven stolen bases, while the Tiger pitching staff had a 4.33 ERA. Wilson Boyd went 5-for-9 (.556) with a homer, four RBIs, three runs, and four walks, while Brad Miller went 7-for-13 (.538) with a homer, double, five RBIs, six runs, two walks, and a steal. Jason Stolz added six hits in 12 at-bats. Alex Frederick allowed just four hits and two earned runs with seven strikeouts while recording two victories.
In game-one on May 20, Boyd’s two-out, run-scoring single capped a three-run eighth inning to give Clemson a 9-8 win over Florida State. The Seminoles scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to take the lead, but the Tigers used six hits, including a two-out, run-scoring double by Miller to tie the score, and Boyd’s game-winning single to take the lead for good. Tomas Cruz retired both batters he faced in the ninth inning to record the save. Miller went 5-for-5 with a homer, double, three RBIs, and four runs to pace Clemson’s 17-hit attack. Boyd went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, while Kyle Parker added two doubles.
In game-two on May 21, Clemson scored six runs in the third inning en route to an 8-4 win over Florida State. The Tigers used five hits and three walks to score six runs in the third, highlighted by a two-run single by Parker and a three-run double by Richie Shaffer. Shaffer went 3-for-4 to lead Clemson’s 11-hit attack, while Boyd went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer in the fifith inning. Scott Weismann pitched 6.1 innings and allowed just three hits and three runs to earn the win. David Haselden pitched the final 2.2 innings to close out the game. The two sophomore righthanders combined to limit the Seminoles to only five hits.
In game-three on May 22, Frederick tossed 4.2 scoreless innings in relief of one-hit ball to lead Clemson to an 8-3 win over Florida State. With the victory, the Tigers captured the ACC Atlantic Division crown. The Tigers scored all eight of their runs in the first four innings, including three runs in the first inning and four two-out runs in the third inning. The Tigers outhit the Seminoles 8-6, including a team-high two hits by Stolz. Frederick allowed just one hit, no runs, and two walks with five strikeouts to earn the win.