South Carolina Preview

South Carolina Preview

Baseball

South Carolina Preview

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By Trey McCurry.

Clemson (4-2), ranked as high as #15 in the nation, plays South Carolina (7-0), ranked as high as #2 in the nation, in a three-game series this weekend. Friday’s game, played at Joe Riley Park in Charleston, SC, will be at 6:00PM and the Tigers will be the designated home team. Game two will be held on Saturday at Carolina Stadium in Columbia and will be played at 2:00PM. The series finale on Sunday starts at 2:00PM at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Series

Clemson and South Carolina have met 295 times on the diamond, with the Tigers holding a 168-125-2 lead in the series. The 295 meetings with the Gamecocks are the most by Clemson against any one opponent. The first meeting took place in 1899 and the teams have met every year but one (1984) since 1945. South Carolina leads the all-time series 7-6 on neutral sites and has won the last six meetings between the squads at neutral sites. The Gamecocks also hold a 76-67-2 advantage in games played in Columbia. The Tigers lead the series 95-42 at Clemson and are 48-25 in games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Gamecocks

South Carolina, led by 16th-year Head Coach Ray Tanner, is a member of the Southeastern Conference. They are 7-0 on the season and ranked #2 by Collegiate Baseball and #3 by Baseball America and in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Gamecocks are coming off a 2-1 win over Presbyterian College on Tuesday after sweeping series against VMI and Elon to open the season. South Carolina was picked to finish second in the SEC East by SEC coaches in 2012 and is coming off a 55-14 (22-8) season that saw them win their second straight national championship in 2011.

On the season, the Gamecocks are hitting .274 as a team with seven doubles, four triples, five homers, 20 walks, and 37 strikeouts while averaging 5.3 runs per game. Junior Christian Walker leads South Carolina at the plate batting .381 with a homer, three runs, and eight RBI. Junior Evan Marzilli is hitting .357 with a triple, four RBI, six runs, and has the team’s only three stolen bases. Junior LB Dantzler leads the team in homers (2) and RBI (9).

The South Carolina pitching staff has a 0.86 ERA this season allowing only 23 hits (.112 opponents’ batting average) and 13 walks against 74 strikeouts in 63.0 innings. Senior Michael Roth is the team’s ace with a 0.69 ERA in two starts and has allowed only four hits and three walks against 13 strikeouts in a team-high 13.0 innings. Junior Colby Holmes is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts over 10.2 innings. Sophomore Forrest Koumas is the team’s closer with two saves in two appearances.

The Tigers

Clemson enters the series 4-2 after taking two-of-three games from UAB and Maine at home to open the season. The Tigers are ranked as high as #15 in the nation (by Baseball America) and are also ranked #19 by ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and #20 by Collegiate Baseball.

On the season, the Tigers are hitting .285 as a team with 10 doubles, one triple, six homers, six stolen bases, 26 walks and 26 strikeouts while averaging 6.2 runs per game. Senior Phil Pohl leads Clemson at the plate batting .476 with two doubles, two homers, and six runs (all tied for the team lead) and has a team-high nine RBI. Sophomore Steve Wilkerson is hitting .500 with two doubles, six runs, and a team-best two stolen bases while junior Richie Shaffer is batting .364 with two doubles, two homers, and eight RBI. Sophomore Jon McGibbon leads the team in walks (7) while junior Thomas Brittle has six walks and the team’s only triple.

The Clemson pitching staff has a 2.83 ERA this season allowing 60 hits (.290 opponents’ batting average) and 16 walks against 45 strikeouts in 54.0 innings. Sophomore Kevin Pohle leads the pitching staff with a 2-0 record and 0.00 ERA in 7.0 innings over two relief appearances. Juniors Kevin Brady and Dominic Leone are the team’s top two starts. Brady is 0-0 with a 0.90 ERA in two starts and has nine strikeouts in 10.0 innings pitched. Leone, 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts, leads the team in strikeouts (10) and innings pitched (11.0). Freshman Daniel Gossett has the team’s only save.

Projected Starting Lineups

South Carolina

C        #21 Grayson Greiner (FR/.292 BA with 2 2Bs, 2 RBI, and 3 BBs in 7 games in 2012)

1B      #13 Christian Walker (JR/.381 BA with 1 HR, 8 RBI, and 3 BBs in 7 games in 2012)

2B      #8 TJ Costen (FR/.375 BA with 1 3B, 1 HR, and 2 RBI in 6 games in 2012)

SS      #9 Joey Pankake (FR/.273 BA with 1 3B, 1 HR, and 6 runs in 7 games in 2012)

3B      #20 LB Dantzler (JR/.200 BA with 1 2B, 2 HRs, and 9 RBI in 7 games in 2012)

LF      #3 Tanner English (FR/.292 BA with 1 3B, 5 RBI, and 5 runs in 7 games in 2012)

CF      #31 Evan Marzilli (JR/.357 BA with 1 3B, 4 RBI, and 3 SB in 7 games in 2012)

RF      #26 Adam Matthews (SR/.158 BA with 1 2B, 2 BBs, and 3 runs in 7 games in 2012)

DH     #33 Kyle Martin (FR/.364 BA with 1 2Bs , 1 RBI and 1 runs in 3 games in 2012)

 

Clemson

C        #22 Spencer Kieboom (JR/.238 BA with 2 2Bs, 1 HR, and 7 RBI in 6 games in 2012)

1B      #12 Jon McGibbon (SO/.067 BA with 3 runs, 7 BBs, and 1 RBI in 6 games in 2012)

2B      #17 Steve Wilkerson (SO/.500 BA with 2 2Bs, 6 runs, and 5 RBI in 3 games in 2012)

SS      #2 Jason Stolz (SR/.304 BA with 2 runs, 1 BB, and 1 stolen base in 6 games in 2012)

3B      #8 Richie Shaffer (JR/.364 BA with 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, and 8 RBI in 6 games in 2012)

or       #13 Jay Baum (FR/.100 BA with 1 2B, 1 run, and 1 BB in 5 games in 2012)

LF      #1 Dominic Attansio (SO/.300 BA with 4 runs and 1 BB in 4 games in 2012)

CF      #4 Thomas Brittle (*JR/.333 BA with 1 2B, 1 3B, and 6 BBs in 6 games in 2012)

RF      #3 Brad Felder (*GR/.250 BA with 1 HR, 2 runs, and 4 RBI in 6 games in 2012)

DH     #9 Phil Pohl (SR/.476 BA with 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, and 9 RBI in 6 games in 2012)

 

Projected Starting Pitchers

In game one, South Carolina will start senior lefthander Michael Roth. The Greer, SC native is 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts in 2012. In 13.0 innings, he has allowed four hits (.091 opponents’ batting average) and three walks against 13 strikeouts.

 

Clemson will counter with redshirt junior righthander Kevin Brady. The Gaithersburg, MD native is 0-0 with a 0.90 ERA in two starts in 2012. In 10.0 innings, he has allowed eight hits (.222 opponents batting average) and two walks against nine strikeouts.

 

In game two, the Tigers will start junior righthander Dominic Leone. The Norwich, CT native is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts in 2012. In 11.0 innings, he has allowed eight hits (.229 opponents’ batting average) and four walks against 10 strikeouts.

 

The Gamecocks will counter with junior righthander Matt Price. The Sumter, SC native is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts in 2012. In 10.0 innings, he has allowed only one hit (.032 opponents’ batting average) and four walks against 15 strikeouts.

 

In game three, South Carolina will start junior righthander Colby Holmes. The Conway, SC native is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts in 2012. In 10.2 innings, he has allowed four hits (.121 opponents’ batting average) and three walks against 12 strikeouts.

 

Clemson’s starter has not been determined. However, it is expected to be one of three players: senior righthander David Haselden, junior righthander Scott Firth, or sophomore righthander Kevin Pohle.

 

Worth Noting

  • This weekend will feature both teams’ first games away from their home stadiums in 2012. The Tigers were 11-8 on their opponents’ home field last season and 4-3 at neutral sites in 2011. The Gamecocks were 12-8 on their opponents’ home field and 7-2 at neutral sites in 2011.
  • Even though the teams have met 13 times at neutral sites, the meeting in Charleston will mark the first between the two teams in the city. Other neutral site locations between the teams include Anderson, SC (series tied 1-1), Orangeburg, SC (Clemson leads 2-0), Sumter, SC (Clemson leads 1-0), Spartanburg, SC (Clemson leads 1-0), Greenville, SC (SC leads 2-1), and Omaha, NE (SC leads 4-0).
  • Clemson is 15-9-1 on March 2, including a 0-2 mark at neutral sites. The Tigers are 21-6 all-time on March 3, including a 4-2 mark on the road. Clemson is 17-7 all-time on March 4, including a 14-1 mark at home.
  • Head Coach Jack Leggett is 36-42 all-time against South Carolina. He is 33-34 against the Gamecocks as the Tigers skipper and was 3-8 against South Carolina at Western Carolina.

 

Tiger Career Stats vs. South Carolina

Player                  AVG   G-S    AB     R       H       RBI   BB     SO     HR     Other

Jon McGibbon         .500   2-0     2        0        1        1        0        1        0        2B

Phil Pohl                .364   7-4     11      3        4        6        1        2        1        2 2B, HBP, SH

Jason Stolz             .333   9-8     24      3        8        3        1        6        0        2 2B, HBP, 2 SH

Spencer Kieboom    .333   6-5     15      2        5        1        3        0        0        SH

Richie Shaffer         .269   8-8     26      9        7        5        5        7        2        2 2B, 2 HBP

Dominic Attanasio   .000   1-0     1        0        0        0        0        1        0

 

Player                  ERA   G-S    W-L   IP      H       ER     BB     SO     OBA

David Haselden       1.88   4-1     1-0     14.1   8        3        4        8        .178

Kevin Brady            1.93   2-0     0-0     4.2     3        1        0        4        .188

Joseph Moorefield   4.91   3-0     1-0     3.2     3        2        0        2        .214

Scott Firth              7.71   1-0     0-0     2.1     3        2        1        1        .300

Dominic Leone        8.31   4-1     0-1     4.1     6        4        4        0        .316

Jonathan Meyer      19.29 2-0     0-0     2.1     3        5        2        2        .273

 

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