Tigers looking for another road win tonight at Western Carolina

Jonathan Meyer will pitch for the Tigers, who lost to the Catamounts twice last season for the first time ever

Baseball - Tyler Slaton

Photo by Mark Crammer

Baseball - Tyler Slaton

The Clemson baseball team (21-11), ranked as high as 17th in the nation, will travel to Cullowhee, N.C. to face Western Carolina (19-15) on Tuesday, then the Tigers will host Presbyterian College (18-15) on Wednesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

First pitch for Tuesday’s game is scheduled for 6 p.m., while Wednesday’s contest will start at 6:30 p.m.

The Presbyterian game will be available live via webcast on TigerCast at ClemsonTigers.com. Both games will be broadcast live on the radio by WCCP (104.9 FM). Live stats will be available online at ClemsonTigers.com for both games as well.

The WCU Series

Clemson and Western Carolina have met 69 times, with the Tigers leading 54-15 in the series dating back to the 1974 season. The teams have played at least one game every year since 1978.

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, and then totaled 22 hits in its 13-8 win at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on April 4.

The Tigers hold a 15-10 advantage in games played at Cullowhee. Jack Leggett has a 28-10 mark against Western Carolina as Clemson’s head coach, including an 8-6 record at Hennon Stadium. Leggett served as head coach at Western Carolina from 1983-91 and won 302 games in nine seasons there. He was 3-15 against the Tigers as the Catamount skipper.

The Starting Pitchers

Western Carolina will start senior lefthander Adam Curtis (1-1, 3.05 ERA) on the mound. The Arden, NC native has made four starts for a total of 20.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 24 hits (.282 opponents’ batting average) and five walks with 17 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with senior righthander Jonathan Meyer (2-0, 3.68 ERA) on Tuesday. The San Diego, CA native has made eight relief appearances and one start for a total of 22.0 innings pitched. He has surrendered 27 hits (.307 opponents’ batting average) and two walks with 20 strikeouts.

The Catamounts

Western Carolina, led by sixth-year Head Coach Bobby Moranda, enters Tuesday’s game against No. 17 Clemson with a 19-15 overall record and 9-6 Southern Conference mark after winning two of three games at Furman over the weekend. The Catamounts are 11-6 at home in 2013.

Western Carolina is averaging 5.8 runs per game and hitting .284 with a .436 slugging percentage and .346 on-base percentage thanks to 96 walks and 28 hit-by-pitches against 240 strikeouts. The team has also totaled 75 doubles, 11 triples, 29 home runs, and 28 stolen bases in 40 attempts.

Tyler White leads the team with a .329 batting average, 13 doubles, eight homers, and 31 RBIs. Aaron Attaway is batting .323 with 10 doubles, three triples, six home runs, and 30 RBIs. Julian Ridings is batting .385 with six stolen bases as well.

The pitching staff has a 4.33 ERA and .271 opponents’ batting average along with 280 strikeouts against 146 walks in 307.2 innings pitched. Senior righthander Preston Hatcher has seven of the team’s nine saves along with a 4-2 record and 2.84 ERA in 25.1 innings pitched over 18 relief appearances. Western Carolina, who has allowed 38 steals in 56 attempts, is fielding at a .963 percentage.

The Tigers

Clemson, ranked as high as No. 17 in the nation, enters Tuesday’s game at Western Carolina with a 21-11 overall record and 9-6 ACC mark after sweeping Boston College on the road over the weekend. The Tigers, who have won five games in a row, are 7-4 on opponents’ home fields and 13-7 at home in 2013.

The Tigers are averaging 5.1 runs per game and hitting .272 with a .357 slugging percentage and .336 on-base percentage thanks to 98 walks and 14 hit-by-pitches against 213 strikeouts. Clemson has also totaled 55 doubles, four triples, 10 homers, and 44 stolen bases in 67 attempts.

Tyler Slaton leads the team with a .351 batting average, while Garrett Boulware is hitting .327 with five homers and 29 RBIs. Shane Kennedy is batting .318 with two homers, 19 RBIs, and a team-high .403 on-base percentage. Thomas Brittle has a team-high 13 steals.

The pitching staff has a 3.32 ERA and .256 opponents’ batting average in 290.0 innings pitched. The staff has allowed 100 walks against 201 strikeouts, good for a 2.01 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Junior righthander Matt Campbell has six of the team’s nine saves. The Tigers are fielding at a .973 rate.

Worth Noting

• Clemson’s bullpen has pitched 13.1 innings in a row without allowing a run.

• Clemson is 10-1 when committing no errors and 11-10 when committing at least one error.

ACC Standings

The Tigers are in second place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings with a 9-6 league record. Florida State is in first place in the division with a 10-5 record. North Carolina is atop the overall ACC standings at 12-2. In the overall ACC standings, Clemson is tied for fourth place with Georgia Tech. The top-eight teams in the overall ACC standings will play in the 2013 ACC Tournament at Durham, NC.

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