By Trey McCurry.
With the 2011 baseball season in the book, TCI is embarking on a series highlighting the careers of the seniors on the 2011 team. Part one of the series features outfielder Jeff Schaus.
Schaus was a four-year starter for the team and left his mark on the record books during his time as a Tiger. He finished his career with a .320 batting average and in the top-10 of six different all-time offensive categories. The Naples, Florida native finished third in games (258) and at-bats (973), tied for fourth in hits (311), sixth in runs (213), and seventh in doubles (61) and RBI (211).
TCI recently sat down with Schaus to talk about his career at Clemson. “It has been the best four years I could ask for and I have enjoyed every minute of it,” said #3.
“It has been such an honor to be able to play for such a quality coach and person as Coach Leggett. During my four years here, he has taught me so many things that will better prepare me for the future.”
Schaus came to Clemson after an outstanding career at Barron Collier High School. Following his high school career, he was ranked as the #47 prospect in the nation by Perfect Game and #68 prospect by Baseball America. He was drafted in the 35th round by the Texas Rangers but chose to come to Clemson.
Schaus made an immediate impact during his freshman campaign in Tigertown. He was one of only three Tigers to appear in all 59 games in 2008, and started 58 contests. For the season, #3 hit .315 with 41 runs, 13 doubles, one triple, three homers, 31 RBI, and four steals while leading the team in walks (33) and on-base percentage (.415). Schaus was at his best in ACC action as he led the team in regular-season play with a .360 batting average and .462 on-base percentage, which were also the highest marks by an ACC freshman in 2008. Among the other highlights for #3 during his freshman season were 17 multi-hit games, a 12-game hitting streak, and a streak of seven consecutive games with at least two hits.
Schaus continued where he left off during his sophomore season at Clemson. As a first-team All-ACC selection, he hit .320 with 60 runs, 14 doubles, one triple, 13 homers, 50 RBI, 42 walks, a .424 on-base percentage, and nine steals in 66 games (65 starts). He was tied for the team-lead in runs and homers while leading the team with four outfield assists. #3 again led the Tigers in ACC play as well with a .367 batting average and .445 on-base percentage while being named ACC Co-Player-of-the-Week once. Among the other highlights from his sophomore season were 21 multi-hit games and two walk-off hits. Schaus hit a walk-off grand slam to lift Clemson to a 5-3 win over #19 Coastal Carolina in the middle of the season before hitting a two-run walk-off double to lead the Tigers to a 5-4 win over Tennessee Tech in the opening game of the 2009 NCAA Clemson Regional.
The 2010 season may have been Schaus’ best season in a Clemson uniform. As a second-team All-ACC selection, he hit .320 with 69 runs, 14 doubles, two triples, 15 homers, 87 RBI, 32 walks, and nine steals in 70 games. He was also the only Tiger to play and start in all 70 games in 2010. Those numbers put #3 among the top players in the nation as well. His 87 RBI tied for the second most in school history and was fourth in the nation. Schaus’ 70 games and 284 at-bats also tied for eighth-most in school history. He led the ACC in RBI while finishing seventh in hits (91) and tied for seventh in runs. Schaus had a team-tying-high 29 multi-hit games and a team-high 25 multi-RBI games with four outfield assists and tying for the ACC lead with 31 RBI in regular-season conference games. #3 had a career game against Georgia Southern as well, as he went 3-for-5 with a career-high two homers and six RBI. In the postseason, Schaus was named to the Auburn Regional All-Tournament team after going 6-for-18 (.333) with a double and five RBI in four games. The next weekend in the Clemson Super Regional, he was 9-for-15 (.600) with two doubles and five RBI in three games. After being drafted in the 27th round by the Cleveland Indians, Schaus had a tough decision to make but ultimately decided to return for his final season on the diamond at Clemson.
In 2011, Schaus continued his excellent play as a Tiger. As a second-team All-ACC selection, he hit .323 with 43 runs, 20 doubles, two triples, 43 RBI, a .427 on-base percentage, 41 walks and four hit-by-pitches against on 15 strikouts, and 10 steals in 63 games. He was one of only three Tigers to start every game and had 20 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI games. Among some of the highlights from 2011 were reaching base via a hit or walk in each of the first 37 games of the season as well as registering his 300th career hit. He became just the 21st ACC player and sixth Tiger to reach that mark.
For his career, Scahus finished batting .320 with 213 runs, 61 doubles, six triples, 31 homers, 211 RBI, 148 walks, and 32 steals. He was even better in ACC regular-season games. In 120 games (120 starts), #3 hit .341 with a .428 on-base percentage along with 28 doubles, four triples, 11 homers, 86 RBI, 104 runs, 64 walks, and 17 steals.
Schaus has nothing but fond memories of his time as a Tiger and wanted to leave one last message for the fans.
“I was extremely fortunate to be able to play in front of such passionate fans for four years,” said #3. “The fans are really what made this experience all that it was. I just want to say thank you to them and that I will always have a special place in my life for Clemson University.”