Clemson vs. Gardner-Webb
Clemson (17-11) will host Gardner-Webb (15-12-1) on Wednesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM. The game will be available live 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 Gardner-Webb have met eight times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding an 8-0 lead in the series dating to 1975. The first seven meetings took place at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
In their most-recent meetings in 2011, the two teams played a three-game, weekend series. Clemson won the first two games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium by scores of 13-1 and 12-0, then the Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 5-1 at Boiling Springs, NC in the series-finale.
The Tigers lead 7-0 in games played at Clemson, all of which have been played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Jack Leggett has a 7-0 record against Gardner-Webb as Clemson's head coach, including a 6-0 record at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Starting Pitchers
Gardner-Webb will start senior righthander Conner Scarborough (1-3, 1.29 ERA) on the mound. The High Point, NC native has made 10 relief appearances and two starts for a total of 28.0 innings pitched. He has allowed 25 hits (.238 opponents' batting average) and seven walks with 21 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with senior righty Jonathan Meyer (1-0, 4.80 ERA) on Wednesday. The San Diego, CA native has made eight relief appearances for a total of 15.0 innings pitched. He has surrendered 22 hits (.344 opponents' batting average) and two walks with 14 strikeouts.
Gardner-Webb, led by 11th-year Head Coach Rusty Stroupe, enters Wednesday's game at Clemson with a 15-12-1 overall record and 4-5 Big South Conference mark after winning two of three games at Winthrop last weekend. The Bulldogs are 5-6 on opponents' home fields in 2013.
Gardner-Webb is averaging 4.6 runs per game and hitting .252 with a .347 slugging percentage and .340 on-base percentage thanks to 92 walks and 34 hit-by-pitches against 202 strikeouts. The team has also totaled 51 doubles, five triples, nine home runs, and 43 stolen bases in 60 attempts.
Benji Jackson leads the team with a .366 batting average, nine doubles, one homer, 16 RBIs, and three steals. Henry Rundio has added a team-high three homers, 15 RBIs, and a team-high nine stolen bases.
The pitching staff has a 2.83 ERA and .235 opponents' batting average along with 206 strikeouts against 90 walks in 251.1 innings pitched. Senior righty Jeff Howell has four of the team's five saves along with a 4.41 ERA in 16.1 innings pitched over 12 relief appearances. Gardner-Webb, who has allowed 35 steals in 45 attempts, is fielding at a .961 clip as well.
Clemson enters Wednesday's game against Gardner-Webb with a 17-11 overall record and 6-6 ACC mark after defeating #1 North Carolina once in three games on the road last weekend. The Tigers are 12-7 at home in 2013.
The Tigers are averaging 5.1 runs per game and hitting .268 with a .350 slugging percentage and .335 on-base percentage thanks to 87 walks and 14 hit-by-pitches against 194 strikeouts. Clemson has also totaled 45 doubles, three triples, nine homers, and 36 stolen bases in 56 attempts.
Garrett Boulware leads the team in batting average (.347), homers (4), and RBIs (25). Shane Kennedy is Clemson's hottest hitter, as he is batting .308 with two homers, 16 RBIs, and a team-high .405 on-base percentage.
The pitching staff has a 3.58 ERA and .268 opponents' batting average in 254.0 innings pitched. The staff has allowed 84 walks against 173 strikeouts, good for a 2.06 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Senior righty Scott Firth has moved into the closer role and has a 3.19 ERA in 42.1 innings pitched this season. The Tigers are fielding at a .971 clip as well.
The Tigers are in second place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings with a 6-6 league record. Florida State is in first place in the division with an 8-4 record. North Carolina is atop the overall ACC standings at 9-2. In the overall ACC standings, Clemson is tied for sixth place with Duke. The top-eight teams in the overall ACC standings will play in the 2013 ACC Tournament at Durham, NC.
Freshman lefthander Matthew Crownover (Ringgold, GA) has made an immediate impact for the Tigers in 2013 just over a year after undergoing "Tommy John" surgery. He was Clemson's top midweek starter during the first half of the season and made his first-ever weekend start at #1 North Carolina on April 1, a game Clemson won 5-4 in 11 innings.
Crownover is 3-0 with a 3.62 ERA and .245 opponents' batting average. In 27.1 innings pitched over six starts and one relief appearance, he has totaled 15 strikeouts against only six walks.
Pitching away from home for the first time in his career and in his home state, he tossed 5.0 strong innings in a starting role at Georgia to earn the win in Clemson's 9-1 victory on March 26. He gave up just four hits, one run, and two walks with four strikeouts.