Tigers likely to have their hands full again when Maine visits this weekend

Jack Leggett's alma mater took one of three from Miami last weekend, beat Tigers once in hard-fought 2012 series

Clemson starting pitcher Jake Long, a star at T.L. Hanna in Anderson, pitches during the second inning against Eastern Michigan at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson starting pitcher Jake Long, a star at T.L. Hanna in Anderson, pitches during the second inning against Eastern Michigan at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.

The Tiger baseball team had its hands full last weekend against Eastern Michigan, and Clemson fans should expect more of the same this week when Maine, Jack Leggett's alma mater, visits Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Black Bears opened their season last weekend against Miami at Coral Gables, and grabbed one of three games from the favored Hurricanes.

The last time Maine visited Clemson, in 2012, the Black Bears won the opener, 6-5, and the Tigers rallied to win a pair of hard-fought games, 9-5 and 9-6.

The defending America East regular-season conference champions, Maine won 37 games last season under league coach of the year Steve Trumper. The Black Bears return the nucleus of their team from last season, including 2013 America East pitcher of the year Tommy Lawrence.

The teams will play Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Some notes on Clemson's opening weekend:

- The three Eastern Michigan games were decided by a total of five runs.

- Clemson coach Jack Leggett picked up career victories #1,265 and #1,266. He is only one win shy of the late Ron Fraser's total of 1,267. Fraser is in 10th place in all-time wins at the Division I level.

- Clemson batters totaled 10 stolen bases and 14 walks against only 17 strikeouts in the series.

- Clemson pitchers combined for 27 strikeouts against only four walks in the series.

- Red-shirt freshman Andrew Cox went 4-for-9 (.444) with a .615 on-base percentage in his first three games as a Tiger.

- Steven Duggar went 5-for-12 (.417) with four steals in the series. He has hit safely in 12 straight games, including the last nine games of 2013.

- Matthew Crownover struck out a career-high nine batters in 5.0 innings pitched on Saturday to earn the win.

- Nine pitchers saw action for the Tigers against Eastern Michigan. Clay Bates and Clate Schmidt each made two appearances in relief.

- The Tigers posted a .284 team batting average and had a 3.86 ERA.

- Clemson pitchers gave up no home runs in the series, and combined for 27 strikeouts in 28 innings pitched.

- Freshman Chris Okey hit .250 and drove in a team-best five runs.

- Starting center fielder Tyler Slaton went just 1-for-11 at the plate, despite hitting the ball well on numerous occasions. He walked three times, while Andrew Cox, Garrett Boulware and Jon McGibbon drew two walks each.

- Steven Duggar will carry a 12-game hitting streak into the Maine series.

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