Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Clemson vs. Wake Forest Preview
CLEMSON, S.C. (CU SID) -- Clemson (23-11, 9-6 ACC), ranked as high as #17 in the nation, will host Wake Forest (19-17, 4-11 ACC) in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this weekend. Game times are 6:30 PM (Friday), 6:30 PM (Saturday), and 1:00 PM (Sunday).
All three games will be available live via webcast on TigerCast at ClemsonTigers.com. All three games will also be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will be available at ClemsonTigers.com for all three games as well.
Clemson and Wake Forest have met 175 times, with the Tigers holding a 121-53-1 lead in the series dating to the 1901 season. The two Last year at Wake Forest Baseball Park, the Demon Deacons swept the Tigers by a combined score of 14-3, which included wins by scores of 5-2, 2-1, and 7-0. The two last met at Clemson in 2011, when the Tigers won two of three games by a combined score of 15-13.
The Tigers hold a 61-19-1 lead over the Demon Deacons in games played at Clemson and a 49-8 lead at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson also holds a 104-41-1 advantage in ACC regular-season games. Jack Leggett has a 42-21 record against Wake Forest as Clemson’s head coach, including a 22-5 mark at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Starting Pitchers
In game-one, Wake Forest will start sophomore righty Matt Pirro (3-4, 5.87 ERA) on the mound. The Syracuse, NY native has made eight starts for a total of 38.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 41 hits (.270 opponents’ batting average) and 24 walks with 21 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with sophomore righty Daniel Gossett (4-2, 3.04 ERA) on Friday. The Lyman, SC native has made eight starts for a total of 50.1 innings pitched. He has surrendered 41 hits (.215 opponents’ batting average) and 18 walks with 42 strikeouts.
In game-two, the Demon Deacons will start senior righty Justin Van Grouw (3-4, 4.54 ERA) on the mound. The Oakland, NJ native has made eight starts and one relief appearance for a total of 39.2 innings pitched. He has given up 48 hits (.302 opponents’ batting average) and 15 walks with 31 strikeouts.
Clemson will counter with freshman lefty Matthew Crownover (4-0, 2.94 ERA) on Saturday. The Ringgold, GA native has made seven starts and one relief appearance for a total of 33.2 innings pitched. He has surrendered 29 hits (.234 opponents’ batting average) and seven walks with 19 strikeouts.
In game-three, Wake Forest will start senior lefthander Austin Stadler (5-2, 2.39 ERA) on the mound. The Midlothian, VA native has made eight starts for a total of 49.0 innings pitched. He has yielded 44 hits (.240 opponents’ batting average) and 15 walks with 41 strikeouts.
The Tigers will counter with freshman righthander Clate Schmidt (3-1, 4.04 ERA) on Sunday. The Acworth, GA native has made seven starts and two relief appearances for a total of 35.2 innings pitched. He has surrendered 50 hits (.331 opponents’ batting average) and 16 walks with 20 strikeouts.
The Demon Deacons
Wake Forest, led by fourth-year Head Coach Tom Walter, enters the series at #17 Clemson with a 19-17 overall record and 4-11 ACC mark after defeating High Point in a pair of midweek games by a combined score of 26-13. The Demon Deacons, who are also coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of Virginia at home last weekend, are 5-6 on opponents’ home fields in 2013.
Wake Forest is averaging 6.3 runs per game and hitting .278 with a .395 slugging percentage and .389 on-base percentage thanks to 188 walks and 42 hit-by-pitches against 249 strikeouts. The team has also totaled 52 doubles, 10 triples, 24 home runs, and 48 stolen bases in 62 attempts.
Evan Stephens leads the team with a .391 batting average and 11 stolen bases. Matt Conway is hitting .341 with two homers, 11 doubles, and 25 RBIs, while Pat Blair is batting .288 with a team-high 16 steals. Blair also has a .488 on-base percentage thanks to a national-best 41 walks. Jack Carey leads the team in homers (6) and RBIs (29) as well.
The pitching staff has a 4.54 ERA and .276 opponents’ batting average along with 226 strikeouts against 149 walks in 323.0 innings pitched. Sophomore righthander Connor Kaden has a team-high three saves along with a 2.25 ERA in 20.0 innings pitched over a team-tying-high 13 relief appearances. Wake Forest, who has allowed 40 steals in 60 attempts, is fielding at a .964 clip as well.
Clemson, ranked as high as #17 in the nation, enters the series against Wake Forest with a 23-11 overall record and 9-6 ACC mark after winning midweek games at Western Carolina (12-9) on Tuesday and against Presbyterian College (5-4) at home on Wednesday. The Tigers, who are also coming off a three-game sweep at Boston College last weekend, are 14-7 at home in 2013. Clemson is riding a seven-game winning streak as well, its longest streak since an eight-game winning streak in 2011.
The Tigers are averaging 5.3 runs per game and hitting .277 with a .362 slugging percentage and .344 on-base percentage thanks to 112 walks and 15 hit-by-pitches against 222 strikeouts. Clemson has also totaled 56 doubles, five triples, 11 homers, and 51 stolen bases in 76 attempts.
Tyler Slaton is hitting .341, while Garrett Boulware is hitting .325 with six doubles, one triple, six homers, and 30 RBIs. Shane Kennedy has two home runs, two doubles, two triples, and 20 RBIs. Thomas Brittle has added a team-high 13 steals as well.
The pitching staff has a 3.33 ERA and .258 opponents’ batting average in 308.0 innings pitched. The staff has allowed 106 walks against 212 strikeouts, good for a 2.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Junior righthander Matt Campbell has six of the team’s 10 saves. The Tigers are fielding at a .972 clip as well.
• Clemson is 20-2 when scoring at least four runs and 15-0 when scoring at least six runs.
Krieger Stepping Right in at Shortstop as a Freshman
Freshman infielder Tyler Krieger (Johns Creek, GA) has stepped right in to be the everyday starter at shortstop, as he has started all 34 games there. He has been steady in the field, committing only eight errors for a solid .949 fielding percentage. He is also a big reason Clemson is among the league leaders in turning double plays, as the Tigers have turned 33 double plays in 34 games.
Krieger has also been one of the team’s best hitters of late, raising his batting average to .267. In his last 13 at-bats, he has nine hits.
With the Tigers trailing 4-3 in the eighth inning against Presbyterian College on April 10, he led off with a triple and scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Then with two outs in the ninth inning and the score tied, he lined an 0-2 pitch down the right-field line for a walkoff single to give Clemson a 5-4 victory.
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