Archive for March, 2009
Clemson (18-7), ranked as high as No. 17 in the nation, will travel to Athens to take on No. 1 Georgia (22-3) on Tuesday night at Foley Field.Clemson vs. Georgia
Clemson (18-7), ranked as high as #17 in the nation, will travel to Athens to take on #1 Georgia (22-3) on Tuesday night at Foley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM. The game will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will also be available at ClemsonTigers.com.
The two teams will play again on Wednesday at Doug Kingsmore. First pitch for that game is scheduled for 7:06 PM. Wednesday’s game will be televised live by CSS as well.
Clemson and Georgia have met 214 times on the diamond, with the Bulldogs holding a 116-96-2 advantage in the series that dates back to the 1900 season. Georgia is Clemson’s second-most played rival in school history, trailing only South Carolina (284).
Last season, the Bulldogs won both games by a combined score of 17-7. Georgia won in Athens by a score of 11-3, then the Bulldogs won the following day at Clemson by a score of 6-4. In 2007, Clemson won both games that were decided by a total of three runs.
The Bulldogs lead 68-40 in games played at Georgia. Jack Leggett is 19-14 against Georgia as Clemson’s head coach, including 7-12 at Foley Field. Leggett was also 3-12 against the Bulldogs as head coach at Western Carolina, therefore he is 22-26 all-time against the Bulldogs.
The Starting Pitchers
Georgia will start senior lefthander Jason Leaver (2-0, 5.93 ERA) on the mound. The Springfield, OH native has made four starts for a total of 13.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 12 hits (.231 opponents’ batting average) and six walks with 15 strikeouts.
Clemson has yet to determine its starting pitcher for Tuesday’s game.
Georgia, led by eighth-year Head Coach David Perno and ranked as high as #1 in the nation, enters Tuesday’s game against #17 Clemson with a 22-3 overall record and 7-2 SEC mark after sweeping Tennessee in a three-game series on the road over the weekend. The Bulldogs, who are 14-1 at home, started the year 14-0 and have won eight of their last nine games.
Georgia is averaging 9.8 runs per game and hitting .329 with a .569 slugging percentage and .425 on-base percentage. The team has also totaled 62 doubles, seven triples, 47 homers, and 36 stolen bases in 45 attempts.
Junior first-baseman Rich Poythress, a candidate for national player-of-the-year, is hitting .447 with seven doubles, 13 homers, 47 RBIs, a .936 slugging percentage, 22 walks against only nine strikeouts, a .556 on-base percentage, and three steals. Johnathan Taylor is batting .394 with a team-high 15 stolen bases, while Joey Lewis is hitting .365 with 12 doubles, eight homers, and 27 RBIs.
The pitching staff has a 3.51 ERA and .251 opponents’ batting average along with 238 strikeouts against 85 walks in 223.0 innings pitched. Junior righty Dean Weaver has four of the team’s five saves along with a 0.55 ERA and 16 strikeouts against only three walks in 16.1 innings pitched over 12 relief appearances. The Bulldogs are fielding at a .964 clip as well.
Clemson, ranked as high as #17 in the nation, enters Tuesday’s game at #1 Georgia with an 18-7 overall record and 7-5 ACC mark after winning two of three games at Boston College over the weekend. Clemson is 4-5 on opponents’ home field this season.
The Tigers are averaging 6.4 runs per game and are hitting .284 with a .426 slugging percentage and .379 on-base percentage. Clemson has also totaled 40 doubles, six triples, 23 homers, and 37 stolen bases in 48 attempts.
Ben Paulsen is hitting a team-best .396 with seven doubles, two triples, five homers, and a team-high 25 RBIs. Mike Freeman is batting .337 with a .459 on-base percentage along with seven stolen bases. Freeman is also 29-for-67 (.433) in the last 16 games. Kyle Parker, who missed the entire Boston College series in order to attend spring football practice, has added three homers and 18 RBIs in 22 games.
The pitching staff has a 3.37 ERA and .237 opponents’ batting average. The staff has allowed 69 walks against 214 strikeouts, good for a 3.1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Ryan Hinson has made a team-high 12 relief appearances with six walks and 23 strikeouts, while Tomas Cruz has a 2-1 record, two saves, and a 2.75 ERA in 10 relief appearances. The Tigers are fielding at a .968 clip as well.
The Tigers moved up three spots to #17 in the Sports Weekly coaches poll this week after going 4-1 in five games last week. Clemson also remained at #22 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and unranked in the Baseball America poll.
Miller Going Gloveless at the Plate
Freshman shortstop Brad Miller (Windermere, FL) never used batting gloves at the plate during his prep career at Olympia High School, where he earned numerous accolades. When Miller, who is one of only three Tigers to start every game this season, started his first season at Clemson, he decided to wear batting gloves on a regular basis, a period that lasted the first 20 games of the 2009 season. In those 20 games, he hit just .222 (16-for-72).
So Miller decided to make a change back to his old ways of not wearing batting gloves starting with the doubleheader against Elon on March 24. That move has helped to pay dividends, as he is hitting .435 (10-for-23) in the last five games since making the switch. Overall, he is hitting .274 on the season with two homers and 16 RBIs. He has also walked 20 times against 12 strikeouts and has six steals.
C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson
This will be the longest of long shots considering backs like Knowshon Moreno and Javon Ringer weren’t even a thought in the in the Heisman race last year, but with James Davis off to the NFL, Spiller has the Clemson backfield all to himself and could come up with a massive season. He was hurt last year and was held to just 629 yards and seven touchdowns (with three against Citadel), but when he was right, he was a difference maker. The offensive line is suspect, there’s a new starting quarterback, and Spiller has to prove he can stay through a full season, but there’s a shot he could make a Ringer-like jump up in production. If nothing else, he’ll be considered among the top backs, and the top players, for the 2010 NFL Draft.
Tigers, with a couple of one run victories in Chestnut Hill on Saturday night to storm to the lead in the ACC Atlantic Division. Way to go Tigers, come home and lets beat those Dawgs on Tuesday and Wed.
Clemson, SC – Head Coach Oliver Purnell announced Friday that junior forward Trevor Booker will be returning to Clemson for his senior season. The native of Whitmire, SC was the leading scorer and rebounder for the Tigers’ 23-9 team that ranked 24th in the final Associated Press poll. Booker earned second-team All-ACC honors when he became the first ACC player to lead the league in field goal percentage and rebounding in the same season since Tim Duncan of Wake Forest in 1996-97. He is the first underclassman to accomplish the feat since Clemson’s Dale Davis in 1989-90.
“I am excited to get to play with my brother and the entire recruiting class we have coming in next season,” Booker said. “I’m almost done academically, and that is an important factor for me in this decision. After talking it over with coaches and my parents, I feel there are a lot of areas in which I can improve. As a team, we have a desire to go above and beyond what we’ve accomplished in this program thus far.”
Booker, whose brother Devin will be a freshman for the Tigers next season, averaged 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.0 blocked shots per game as a junior. He was a first-team All-District selection by the USBWA and All-ACC Defensive Team honoree as well by the ACSMA.
Entering his senior year, Booker will have 1,239 points and 792 rebounds. His point total is fifth-highest in Clemson history for a junior. He already ranks seventh in school history in career rebounds and needs just 208 as a senior to become the third player at Clemson with at least 1,000 rebounds. Only Tree Rollins and Dale Davis, both of whose jerseys are retired at Clemson, have 1,000 career rebounds. Booker also ranks fifth in Clemson history with 204 blocks, most by any player 6-foot-7 or shorter.
“I am extremely pleased Trevor is excited and looking forward to returning for his senior year,” Purnell said. “Any time you have your best player on board with two feet and optimistic about your future, you have a chance to do big things. I love the fact he understands the importance and value of receiving his degree from Clemson University. His optimism for next season is a plus. With 10 scholarship players returning and an outstanding recruiting class coming in, I certainly share in his optimism.”