Tiger weekend starters all under 2.00 ERA as Clemson prepares for Virginia

Cavaliers' opening 14-game winning streak snapped by Maryland on Sunday, Tigers face Charleston Southern on Wednesday

Baseball - Clate Schmidt

Photo by Mark Crammer

Baseball - Clate Schmidt

Having opened its conference season by winning a series over preseason ACC favorite N.C. State, the Clemson baseball team will continue league play this weekend with a three-game set against against one of the conference's hottest teams.

Virginia's Cavaliers - unbeaten in their first 14 games before losing to Maryland 4-2 on Sunday - will visit Doug Kingsmore Stadium for games Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Tigers will again play one mid-week home game - this one against Charleston Southern on Wednesday, March 13, at 4 p.m. The Bucs are 8-8 this season after winning two of three games against Siena over the weekend.

Last Week’s Game Notes

Clemson went 3-1 in four games this past week, which included a midweek win over Wofford at home and two wins in three games at No. 8 N.C. State over the weekend.

On the week, the Tigers outscored their opponents 27-15 and batted .281 with a .400 slugging percentage and .391 on-base percentage. They also totaled five doubles, one triple, three homers, 19 walks, six hit by-pitches, and 10 stolen bases. Clemson had a .955 fielding percentage.

Jay Baum paced the Tigers by going 7-for-16 (.438) with a double and four steals. Shane Kennedy was 5-for-12 (.417) with a triple, three RBIs, and four runs, while Garrett Boulware went 5-for-14 (.357) with two homers, one double, five RBIs, four runs, and three walks.

The Tiger pitching staff had a 2.57 ERA and .268 opponents’ batting average on the week. The staff also allowed 38 hits and 11 walks with 27 strikeouts in 35.0 innings pitched.

In two relief appearances on the week, Kyle Schnell pitched 5.0 strong innings. He allowed five hits, one run, and one walk with four strikeouts.

The top-five starters in the lineup combined to go 10-for-13 (.769) with seven RBIs, nine runs, and five steals to lead Clemson to a 9-2 win over Wofford at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on March 6. Baum and Kennedy both went 3-for-3, Steven Duggar totaled a game-high four RBIs, and Steve Wilkerson amassed a game-high three runs. The Tigers totaled 11 hits and seven walks in the game. Starter Matthew Crownover won his first game as a Tiger by allowing just three hits, one run, and no walks with three strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched.

Clemson then won two of three games at N.C. State by a combined score of 18-13 at Doak Field from March 8-10. The Wolfpack outhit the Tigers .294 to .257, and Clemson had a .366 on-base percentage to N.C. State’s .358 on-base percentage. Boulware led the Tigers by going 5-for-11 (.455) with two homers, one double, five RBIs, four runs, and three walks. The Tiger pitching staff had a 3.12 ERA and 23 strikeouts against 10 walks in 26.0 innings pitched.

In game-one on March 8, Boulware went 4-for-5 with two homers, five RBIs, and three runs to lead Clemson to a 10-5 win over N.C. State. Trailing 4-0, the Tigers scored three runs in the fourth inning and five runs in the fifth inning off Wolfpack ace Carlos Rodon to take the lead for good. Boulware’s three-run homer, his first career long ball, in the fifth inning gave Clemson a 7-4 lead. Jon McGibbon added three hits in Clemson’s 11-hit attack. Starter Daniel Gossett totaled nine strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched to earn the victory.

In game-two on March 9, Thomas Brittle hit a grand slam in the second inning to lift Clemson to a 7-4 win over N.C. State. Brittle’s long ball gave Clemson a 5-1 lead, then five Tiger pitchers worked out of several jams to allow only four of N.C. State’s 20 baserunners to score and strand 15 runners on base. Schnell pitched 2.2 scoreless innings in relief to earn his first victory as a Tiger, while Matt Campbell pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record the save. N.C. State outhit the Tigers 16-6, but it walked nine and hit two batters.

In game-three on March 10, four N.C. State pitchers allowed only one of the Tigers’ 14 baserunners to score in its 4-1 win over Clemson. The Tigers stranded 10 runners on base, including nine in scoring position, and had two runners gunned down at the plate after singles in the sixth and seventh inning. Both teams totaled 10 hits, while N.C. State added two insurance runs in the eighth inning on a two-out double by pinch-hitter Sam Morgan. Scott Firth allowed just one earned run in 6.2 innings pitched, but suffered the loss.

2013 Season Notes

Clemson has a 9-5 overall record and 2-1 ACC mark on the season. The Tigers are in second place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings behind Florida State (3-0), which opened conference play by sweeping Boston College. Clemson is tied for third place in the overall ACC standings. North Carolina leads the ACC Coastal Division with a 3-0 league mark.

The Tigers, who are averaging 4.9 runs per game, are hitting .254 with a .341 slugging percentage and .331 on-base percentage thanks to 44 walks and 11 hit-by-pitches. The team has also totaled 23 doubles, one triple, five homers, and 20 stolen bases. Since the first game of the season, a game Clemson won 2-0, the Tigers are 8-0 when scoring more than two runs and 0-5 when scoring two runs or less. Clemson is fielding at a .972 percentage.

Boulware leads the team with a .359 batting average, four doubles, two homers, and 11 RBIs. Wilkerson is batting .309 with three doubles, one homer, 10 RBIs, and a team-high six stolen bases.

The pitching staff has a 2.36 ERA and .243 opponents’ batting average in 126.0 innings pitched this season. It has allowed 115 hits and 45 walks with 100 strikeouts, good for a 2.22 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Clemson has allowed three earned runs or less in 13 of its 14 games as well.

All three weekend starters have ERAs of 1.56 or better. Firth is 2-2 with an 0.98 ERA, Gossett is 2-1 with a 1.46 ERA, and Clate Schmidt is 2-0 with a 1.56 ERA.

Schnell has been Clemson’s best long reliever this season. He is 1-0 and has surrendered only one run and seven hits in 11.0 innings pitched, good for an 0.82 ERA and a .175 opponents’ batting average. Matt Campbell has all four of the team’s saves along with a 1.59 ERA in six relief appearances.

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