May 17, 2009
Overall Season Record: 39-17
ACC Regular-Season Record: 19-11
Last Week: 5-0
Mon. W, Neutral* vs. Furman, 8-5
Tue. W, Home vs. College of Charleston, 5-2
Thu. W, Away vs. N.C. State, 13-8
Fri. W, Away vs. N.C. State, 11-5
Sat. W, Away vs. N.C. State, 5-4
* – Greenville, SC (Fluor Field)
Wed. – Sun. ACC Tournament at Durham (NC) Bulls Athletic Park
Clemson, ranked as high as #14 in the nation, went 5-0 in five games this past week. The Tigers won midweek games against Furman at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC and College of Charleston at home on Tuesday before sweeping N.C. State on the road over the weekend.
Wilson Boyd and Ben Paulsen both tallied four hits to lead Clemson to an 8-5 victory over Furman at Fluor Field on May 11. The Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead thanks to Boyd’s three-run double in the first inning and Paulsen’s two-run homer in the third. The Paladins scored four runs in the eighth but got no closer. Boyd went 4-for-5 with a double, triple, three RBIs, and two runs. Jason Stolz also went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two walks. Starter David Haselden pitched 5.0 strong innings, allowing five hits, one run, and one walk with six strikeouts to earn his first career win. Justin Sarrattretired all four batters he faced to record his first career save.
Four Tiger pitchers limited College of Charleston to two unearned runs on six hits in Clemson’s 5-2 win at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on May 12. Clemson held the Cougars in check after they entered the game hitting .358 and on a 10-game winning streak, the nation’s longest streak at the time. The Tigers also improved to 21-0 all-time against the Cougars. Starter Scott Weismann pitched 5.0 scoreless innings to earn the victory, while Matt Vaughn pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record the save. John Nester went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, and three runs, while Stolz went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. Jeff Schaus added a home run and two RBIs as well.
Clemson swept N.C. State in a three-game series at Doak Field from May 14-16. It was Clemson’s first sweep at N.C. State since 1995. The Tigers outscored N.C. State 29-17 and outhit the Wolfpack .342 to .283. Clemson also totaled 15 runs in the first inning, totaled eight stolen bases, and committed just two errors in the series. Boyd went 6-for-12 (.500) with three doubles, five RBIs, and three walks. Stolz went 5-for-10 (.500), whileChris Epps went 5-for-11 (.455) with a homer, three RBIs, and three walks.
In game-one on May 14, Clemson totaled 15 hits and nine walks en route to a 13-8 victory over N.C. State. The Tigers scored six runs in the first inning and never looked back. Clemson later built a 13-2 lead with four runs in the seventh inning before the Wolfpack scored five runs in the ninth inning. Epps, Mike Freeman, and Brad Miller all totaled three hits and at least two RBIs apiece to lead Clemson. Epps went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Freeman went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs, and Miller went 3-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs, and two runs. Starter Trey Delk pitched 6.0 innings, allowing five hits and two runs to earn the win.
In game-two on May 15, Clemson scored five runs in the first inning and five runs in the third inning on its way to an 11-5 win over N.C. State. The Tigers tallied 14 hits and stole seven bases without committing an error on defense. Stolz went 3-for-3 with an RBI, two runs, and two stolen bases. Schaus, Boyd, and Nester added two hits apiece. Starter Casey Harman pitched 5.0 innings and struck out eight against no walks to earn the victory, while Sarratt, Ryan Hinson, and Vaughn combined to pitch 4.0 scoreless innings to close out the game. The four Tiger hurlers combined for 12 strikeouts against no walks as well.
In game-three on May 16, Clemson scored four runs in the first inning and held on for a 5-4 win over N.C. State. Epps hit the first pitch of the game over the fence for a homer, then Boyd hit a two-out, two-run double later in the frame before Nester’s run-scoring single. The Wolfpack got within 4-3 and 5-4, but the Tigers worked out of several jams to maintain the lead. Six Tiger pitchers combined to allow just six hits. Clinton McKinneypitched 1.2 perfect innings in relief to earn the victory, while Tomas Cruz struck out the only batter he faced to record the save. Paulsen, Boyd, and Nester led Clemson’s nine-hit attack with two hits apiece, while Boyd added two doubles and two RBIs.
During the week, the Tigers outscored their opposition 42-24 and hit .333 with a .492 slugging percentage and .423 on-base percentage thanks to 27 walks against only 24 strikeouts while tallying 11 stolen bases. The pitching staff had a 4.00 ERA and .266 opponents’ batting average along with 40 strikeouts against 18 walks in 45.0 innings pitched. The Tigers also committed just three errors in five games, good for a .984 fielding percentage.
Boyd led the Tigers by going 11-for-20 (.550) with four doubles, one triple, eight RBIs, six runs, four walks, and a stolen base on the week. Stolz went 9-for-16 (.563) with a double, five RBIs, four runs, two walks, and three stolen bases. Nester also went 7-for-20 (.350) with three doubles, one homer, and three RBIs. On the mound, Weismann allowed just one run on five hits in 6.2 innings pitched over two appearances (one start).
The Tigers sport a 39-17 overall record and 19-11 ACC mark on the season. The Tigers finished the regular season second in the ACC Atlantic Division standings and third in the overall standings behind Florida State (19-9) and North Carolina (19-10). In fact, Clemson tied for the most ACC wins this year. Clemson also has a 27-8 home record, 10-9 road record, and 2-0 neutral-site mark.
Along with their current five-game winning streak, the Tigers have won seven of their last eight games, 11 of their last 13 games, and 14 of their last 17 games. Prior to Saturday’s win against the Wolfpack, the Tigers entered the day #6 in the nation in the unofficial RPI according to both BoydsWorld.com and WarrenNolan.com.
On the season, Clemson is hitting .303 with a .457 slugging percentage and .393 on-base percentage in 56 games. Paulsen is hitting a team-best .369 with 15 doubles, four triples, 11 homers, and 54 RBIs, while Boyd is hitting .338 with 12 doubles, three triples, three homers, 36 RBIs, and 23 walks against only 11 strikeouts in 142 at-bats. In the last seven games, Boyd is 16-for-26 (.615) with five doubles, two triples, eight RBIs, and eight runs. Schaus is hitting .337 with 12 doubles, one triple, 11 homers, 43 RBIs, a .440 on-base percentage thanks to 37 walks against only 18 strikeouts, and nine stolen bases. Kyle Parker has added 11 homers and 49 RBIs as well.
But perhaps Clemson’s hottest hitter is Stolz. He is riding a 10-game hitting streak, tied for the longest streak by a Tiger in 2009. During his streak, he is 17-for-32 (.531) with three doubles, 10 RBIs, 10 runs, a .605 on-base percentage, and five stolen bases. On the season, the freshman third-baseman is hitting .341 with a .424 on-base percentage and six steals.
The pitching staff has a 3.58 ERA and .251 opponents’ batting average along with 466 strikeouts against 171 walks in 505.1 innings pitched this season. The Tigers are fielding at a .969 clip as well.
Graham Stoneburner is 5-3 with a 3.51 ERA and 63 strikeouts against only 17 walks in 56.1 innings pitched over 17 appearances (seven starts). Harman is 7-3 with a 4.01 ERA and 67 strikeouts against only 11 walks in 19 appearances (10 starts). Weismann is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in 28.0 innings pitched over 15 appearances (two starts), while McKinney is 4-0 with a 2.86 ERA in 22.0 innings pitched over 12 relief appearances.
The Tigers will take at least three days off before they play their first game in the ACC Tournament at Durham (NC) Bulls Athletic Park on either Wednesday or Thursday. Clemson, the #3 seed, is in the same bracket as #2-seed North Carolina, #6-seed Virginia, and #7-seed Duke. Clemson will play each of those three teams in the tournament at dates and times to be announced by the ACC office on Sunday.