Coming off a three-game weekend sweep of Wright State, the 5-1 Tigers ramp up their schedule with a four-game week against in-state competition.
Clemson will play at home on Tuesday at 4 p.m. against the Tom Riginos-coached Winthrop Eagles, and then will go against rival South Carolina a three-game, multi-site set on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Tigers and Gamecocks will open their series at 6 p.m. at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday, and then will move to Greenville's Fluor Field for a 2 p.m. game on Saturday. The series will conclude with a 3 p.m. game on Sunday in Columbia.
Last Week’s Game Notes
Clemson swept Wright State by a combined score of 18-3 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on February 23 and 24. The Tigers outhit the Raiders .278 to .247 and totaled seven doubles, one homer, 16 walks against only 12 strikeouts, and seven steals. Steve Wilkerson went 6-for-11 (.545) with a homer, double, three RBIs, three runs, and three steals. The Tiger pitching staff had a 1.00 ERA and allowed only three of Wright State’s 39 baserunners to score in the series. Clemson committed just one error and fielded at a .992 percentage.
In game-one on February 23, which was the first game of a doubleheader, Wilkerson went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and two RBIs to lead Clemson to a 5-3 win over Wright State. The Tigers scored two runs in the eighth inning to take a 5-1 lead, then Wright State scored two runs in the ninth inning and put the potential tying run on first base before Matt Campbell recorded the save. Starter Daniel Gossett allowed one run with six strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched to earn the victory. Wright State outhit the Tigers 10-7, but Clemson had seven walks.
In game-two on February 23, which was the second game of a doubleheader, five Tiger pitchers combined to blank Wright State in Clemson’s 6-0 win. Freshman Clate Schmidt pitched 4.0 innings in his first career start to earn the victory. Wilkerson went 3-for-4 with a double to lead Clemson’s 11-hit attack, while Jon McGibbon went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Wright State totaled nine hits, five walks, and five hit-by-pitches, but Clemson did not allow any of the Raiders’ 19 baserunners to score. Wright State also put six leadoff batters on base, but Clemson turned four double plays.
In game-three on February 24, Scott Firth pitched 8.0 scoreless innings and Clemson scored five two-out runs in the seventh inning in its 7-0 victory over Wright State. Firth allowed just five hits (all singles), no runs, and two walks with four strikeouts to earn the win. He was aided by Steven Duggar, who threw out two runners at the plate to save runs on outfield assists. Shane Kennedy and Jay Baum both had two-out hits that scored multiple runs in the seventh inning. The Tigers amassed seven hits in the contest despite totaling no hits in the first five innings.
2013 Season Notes
Clemson has a 5-1 overall record and 0-0 ACC mark on the season. Clemson has won four games in a row after falling to William & Mary on February 16. In the final two games against the Raiders, Clemson recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 2009, when it did so against Presbyterian College and USC Upstate on March 17,18. It also marked the first time since 2002 (against Maine on March 21,22) that Clemson won back-to-back games by shutout against the same team.
The Tigers are hitting .292 with a .400 slugging percentage and .365 on-base percentage thanks to 20 walks and three hit-by-pitches against only 26 strikeouts in 2013. The team has also totaled 15 doubles, two homers, and nine stolen bases. The Tigers are 4-for-4 with two doubles and nine RBIs in four plate appearances with the bases loaded as well.
Steve Wilkerson is leading the team with a .478 batting average along with two doubles, one homer, seven RBIs, five runs, and a team-high three stolen bases. Freshman Steven Duggar is batting .350 with three outfield assists, while Shane Kennedy and Thomas Brittle are both hitting .300.
The pitching staff has a 2.50 ERA and .253 opponents’ batting average in 54.0 innings pitched this season. It has allowed 50 hits and 18 walks with 40 strikeouts, good for a 2.22 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Senior righthander Scott Firth is 2-0 with an 0.60 ERA and a .149 opponents’ batting average in 15.0 innings pitched over two starts. Daniel Gossett is 1-0 with an 0.77 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 11.2 innings pitched over two starts. Matt Campbell has both of Clemson’s saves as well.
Clemson is fielding at a .984 clip, as it has committed only four errors, including just one error by a starting infielder. The Tigers have also turned eight double plays.