Clemson (27-13), ranked as high as #13 in the nation, will host Western Carolina (26-16 entering Tuesday's game against Kennesaw State) on Wednesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM. The game will be available via webcast on TigerCast at ClemsonTigers.com. The game will also be broadcast live on the radio by WCCP (104.9 FM) out of Clemson. Live stats will be available online at ClemsonTigers.com as well.
Clemson and Western Carolina have met 70 times, with the Tigers leading 55-15 in the series dating to the 1974 season. The two teams have played at least one game every year since 1978. Earlier this season on April 9, the Tigers defeated the Catamounts 12-9 in Cullowhee, NC. Clemson led 9-3 before Western Carolina scored six runs in the seventh inning to tie the score. But the Tigers scored three runs in the ninth inning for the three-run victory.
Western Carolina defeated Clemson twice in one year for the first time ever in 2012 when the Catamounts won both games of the home-and-home series. Western Carolina won 8-4 in Cullowhee on March 14, then totaled 22 hits in its 13-8 win at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 4.
The Tigers lead 38-5 in games played at Clemson, all of which have been played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Jack Leggett has a 29-10 mark against Western Carolina as Clemson's head coach, including 19-4 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Leggett served as head coach at Western Carolina from 1983-91 and won 302 games in nine seasons there. He was also 3-15 against the Tigers as the Catamount skipper.
The Starting Pitchers
Both starting pitchers for Wednesday's game have yet to be announced.
Western Carolina, led by sixth-year Head Coach Bobby Moranda, enters Tuesday's game against Kennesaw State with a 26-16 overall record and 15-6 Southern Conference mark after sweeping Georgia Southern at home over the weekend. The Catamounts, who have won seven games in a row since losing to Clemson on April 9, is 8-6 on opponents' home fields in 2013.
Western Carolina is averaging 6.5 runs per game and hitting .302 with a .465 slugging percentage and .369 on-base percentage thanks to 136 walks and 40 hit-by-pitches against 288 strikeouts. The team has also totaled 106 doubles, 12 triples, 39 home runs, and 32 stolen bases in 48 attempts.
Julian Ridings is hitting a team-best .417 with 12 doubles, four triples, seven homers, 29 RBIs, and eight steals. Tyler White is batting .356 with 19 doubles, nine homers, and 41 RBIs, while Aaron Attaway is hitting .337 with 12 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, and 37 RBIs. Bradley Strong has a team-high 10 stolen bases as well.
The pitching staff has a 4.41 ERA and .276 opponents' batting average along with 355 strikeouts against 177 walks in 379.2 innings pitched. Senior righthander Preston Hatcher has 10 of the team's 12 saves along with a 6-2 record and 3.19 ERA in 31.0 innings pitched over 23 relief appearances. Western Carolina, who has allowed 47 steals in 67 attempts, is fielding at a .960 clip as well.
Clemson, ranked as high as #13 in the nation, enters Wednesday's game against Western Carolina with a 27-13 overall record and 13-8 ACC mark after falling twice in three games at Miami (FL) last weekend. The Tigers, who have won 11 of their last 13 games, are 17-7 at home in 2013.
The Tigers are averaging 4.9 runs per game and hitting .270 with a .355 slugging percentage and .340 on-base percentage thanks to 138 walks and 15 hit-by-pitches against 261 strikeouts. Clemson has also totaled 58 doubles, nine triples, 13 homers, and 59 stolen bases in 88 attempts.
Tyler Slaton is hitting a team-best .324. Shane Kennedy is batting .307 with four doubles, three triples, two homers, a team-high .400 on-base percentage, and 10 steals, while Garrett Boulware is batting .303 with seven homers and 31 RBIs.
The pitching staff has a 3.08 ERA and .257 opponents' batting average in 362.0 innings pitched. The staff has allowed 123 walks against 248 strikeouts, good for a 2.02 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Junior righty Matt Campbell has six of the team's 12 saves, while senior righthander Scott Firth has three saves. The Tigers are fielding at a .972 clip as well.
The Tigers remained in the top 25 of two polls after going 1-2 last week. Clemson fell one spot to #13 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and dropped five spots to #25 in the Baseball America rankings. The Tigers fell out of the Sports Weekly coaches poll after their #24 ranking last week.
The Tigers are tied for second place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings with a 13-8 league record. N.C. State is in first place in the division with a 14-7 record, while the Tigers are tied with Florida State at 13-8. North Carolina is atop the overall ACC standings at 18-2. In the overall ACC standings, Clemson is tied for fourth place. The top-eight teams in the overall ACC standings will play in the 2013 ACC Tournament at Durham, NC.
Only Need One
In a seven-game span from April 7-19, Clemson won three games by a score of 1-0. That was a remarkable feat in such a short period time considering those gave the Tigers just 30 all-time wins by a score of 1-0. Clemson won games by that score at Boston College on April 7, against Wake Forest at home on April 13, and at Miami (FL) on April 19 as a part of its 11-game winning streak.
The victory at Boston College was Clemson's first by a score of 1-0 since May 16, 2006, when the Tigers defeated College of Charleston at home.
Clemson's three 1-0 victories in April came in a seven-game span. In its previous 1,403 games (from March 5, 1992 to April 6, 2013), the Tigers had just three 1-0 wins.
The three 1-0 wins in one season tied the school record, previously established by the 1979 team. All three of the 1-0 wins in 2013 have been in ACC games. Prior to 2013, Clemson had just two 1-0 wins in an ACC game in history. Those 1-0 ACC wins came at South Carolina in the first game of a doubleheader on May 7, 1968 and against Maryland at home on April 19, 1980.
Koerner Another Freshman Contributor
Righthander Brody Koerner (Concord, NC) has joined Matthew Crownover, Zack Erwin, and Clate Schmidt as freshmen who have made a significant contribution to Clemson's 3.08 team ERA in 2013. In 18.2 innings pitched over six appearances (three starts), he has a 2.89 ERA with 15 strikeouts as one of the team's top midweek starters. He has held the opposition to a .254 batting average, including a .206 batting average with runners on base.
The four freshmen mentioned above along with Clemson's other freshman who has appeared on the mound (Jackson Campana) have combined to pitch 144.1 innings, allowing 51 earned runs. That equates to a 3.18 ERA for the Tigers' five freshmen in 2013.