Clemson Home Finale With USC Upstate

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By Sports Department

CLEMSON, S.C. (CU SID) -- Clemson (37-15), ranked as high as #14 in the nation, will host USC Upstate (25-25) on Tuesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM. The contest is the Tigers’ last regular-season home game of the season.
The game will be available 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.

The Series
Clemson and USC Upstate have met twice, with the Tigers winning both games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The last meeting took place on April 21, 2010, a game the Tigers won 22-4. On March 18, 2009, Clemson defeated the Spartans 14-0. Jack Leggett is 2-0 against USC Upstate as Clemson’s head coach. Leggett was also 6-2 against the Spartans as Western Carolina’s head coach, meaning he is 8-2 all-time against USC Upstate.

The Starting Pitchers
USC Upstate will start senior lefthander Chris Cox (5-3, 3.11 ERA) on the mound. The Simpsonville, SC native has made nine starts and two relief appearances for a total of 46.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 53 hits (.286 opponents’ batting average) and 15 walks with 28 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with freshman righthander Brody Koerner (1-1, 2.67 ERA) on Tuesday. The Concord, NC native has made five relief appearances and four starts for a total of 27.0 innings pitched. He has surrendered 21 hits (.214 opponents’ batting average) and 21 walks with 27 strikeouts.

The Spartans
USC Upstate, led by 16th-year Head Coach Matt Fincher, enters Tuesday’s game at #14 Clemson with a 25-25 overall record and 8-16 Atlantic Sun mark after being swept at Kennesaw State over the weekend. The Spartans are 7-12 on opponents’ home fields in 2013.
USC Upstate, who is 4-8 in one-run games, is averaging 6.1 runs per game and hitting .291 with a .388 slugging percentage and .375 on-base percentage thanks to 187 walks and 59 hit-by-pitches against 268 strikeouts. The team has also totaled 89 doubles, 13 triples, 18 home runs, and 32 stolen bases in 34 attempts.
Gaither Bumgardner is hitting a team-best .327 with 33 RBIs, while Luke Weber is batting .319 with four homers and 35 RBIs. Brandon Patterson (.318), Brody Greer (.317), and Trey Richardson (.311) are also hitting .311 or better, while Richardson has added eight home runs and 43 RBIs.
The pitching staff has a 4.14 ERA and .267 opponents’ batting average along with 335 strikeouts against 163 walks in 441.0 innings pitched. Sophomore righty Chad Sobotka has seven of the team’s eight saves along with a 2.87 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 31.1 innings pitched over 21 relief appearances. USC Upstate, who has allowed 39 steals in 61 attempts, is fielding at a .961 clip as well.

The Tigers
Clemson, ranked as high as #14 in the nation, enters Tuesday’s game against USC Upstate with a 37-15 overall record and 17-10 ACC mark after sweeping Georgia Southern in a three-game series at home last weekend. The Tigers, who have won seven games in a row and 21 of their last 25 games, are 25-9 at home in 2013.
The Tigers are averaging 5.7 runs per game and hitting .283 with a .365 slugging percentage and .366 on-base percentage thanks to 224 walks and 24 hit-by-pitches against 329 strikeouts. Clemson has also totaled 73 doubles, 14 triples, 15 homers, and 91 stolen bases in 126 attempts.
Shane Kennedy leads the team in batting average (.326) and on-base percentage (.419) along with totaling four homers, 30 RBIs, and 16 steals. Garrett Boulware is batting .314 with seven homers and 43 RBIs, while Steve Wilkerson is hitting .307 with 15 doubles. Thomas Brittle has added a team-high 18 stolen bases as well.
The pitching staff has a 2.88 ERA and .257 opponents’ batting average in 472.0 innings pitched. The staff has allowed 165 walks against 340 strikeouts, good for a 2.06 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Junior righty Matt Campbell has seven of the team’s 14 saves, while senior righty Scott Firth has four saves. The Tigers are fielding at a .971 clip as well.

Worth Noting
• Clemson’s 2.88 ERA is its best mark since 1992 (2.86 ERA).

Polls
The Tigers moved up in the top 25 of all three polls after going 7-0 in seven games last week. Clemson moved up one spot to #14 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and two spots to #17 in the Baseball America rankings. The Tigers also moved up three spots to #19 in the USA Today coaches poll.

ACC Standings
The Tigers are in third place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings with a 17-10 league record. Florida State is in first place in the division with a 17-9 record, while N.C. State is second at 16-9. North Carolina is atop the overall ACC standings at 20-5. In the overall ACC standings, Clemson is in fifth place. The top-eight teams in the overall ACC standings will play in the 2013 ACC Tournament at Durham, NC.

Eight Shutouts
The Clemson pitching staff has accumulated eight shutouts in 2013, its highest total since it had 10 shutouts in the 1996 season with the likes of Kris Benson and Billy Koch. Only one of the eight shutouts has seen a Tiger pitch a complete game, therefore seven of the eight shutouts have been team shutouts.
The school record for shutouts in a season is 11, set by the 1977 team. Clemson’s eight shutouts in 2013 are tied for fourth-most in Tiger history.

Seven Wins in Seven Days
Clemson won seven games in seven days from May 6-12. The Tigers won a pair of doubleheaders during the stretch, one over Maryland on May 6 and one at Furman on May 8. Clemson completed the week with a three-game sweep of Georgia Southern from May 10-12.
It marked the first time Clemson won seven games in a seven-day period since March 3-9, 1994. During that stretch, Clemson outscored the opposition 60-29.
Overall, Clemson has won at least seven games in seven days 14 times, but this was the first time Clemson did it in the month of May.
The first time it was accomplished came from March 14-19, 1970, when Head Coach Bill Wilhelm’s team posted a 7-1 record in that six-day period. From February 24-28, 1982, a five-day period, Clemson had a 7-0 record and outscored the opposition 55-20. That is the only time Clemson has won seven games in five days.
The most wins in a seven-day period in Clemson history took place from March 1-7, 1987, when the Tigers posted an 8-1 record during that time period.

Gibson Providing Late-Season Spark
Freshman outfielder Maleeke Gibson (Sumter, SC) has come on late in the season to provide a spark in the Tiger lineup. He has played 10 of the last 11 games with seven starts and is 11-for-32 (.344) with 11 RBIs, 12 runs, and six steals in the those 10 games.
Overall, he is hitting .240 with two doubles, 13 RBIs, 16 runs, and seven stolen bases in 31 games (18 starts). In the doubleheader at Furman on May 8, he went 4-for-10 with four RBIs and three steals.

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