Georgia Preview

Georgia Preview

Baseball

Georgia Preview

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By Trey McCurry.

Clemson (11-11) travels to #18 Georgia (17-8) on Tuesday night for a 7:00PM contest at Foley Field scheduled to be televised by CSS.

The Series

Clemson and Georgia have met 220 times on the diamond, with the Bulldogs holding a 117-101-2 lead in the series. The Bulldogs are the Tigers second-most played opponent with the first meeting between the squads in 1900, while the teams have met at least once every season since 1959. Clemson has won the past four meetings between the teams after Georgia had won the previous four. The Bulldogs lead the series 68-43 in games at Athens, including a 13-9 lead in Athens over Jack Leggett-led Clemson teams. Leggett is 26-28 all-time against Georgia, going 23-16 at Clemson and 3-12 against the Bulldogs while at Western Carolina.

The Bulldogs

Georgia, led by 11th-year Head Coach David Perno, is a member of the Southeastern Conference. The Bulldogs are 17-8 (3-3 SEC) and are 15-6 at Foley Field so far in 2012. Georgia is ranked #18 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and #25 in the Baseball America Poll. The Bulldogs are coming off a series loss at Vanderbilt after defeating #14 Georgia Tech 7-1 at home last Tuesday. Earlier in the season, Georgia dropped a 5-3 decision at home to Western Carolina, the only common between the teams so far this season. The Bulldogs were picked to finish third in the SEC East in the SEC Coaches Preseason Poll. Georgia is coming off a 33-32 (16-14 SEC) season in 2011 that ended in the Corvallis Regional.

On the season, the Bulldogs are hitting .284 as a team with 41 doubles, four triples, 15 homers, 22 stolen bases, 102 walks, 24 HBPs, and 160 strikeouts while averaging 5.4 runs per game. Junior Curt Powell leads Georgia at the plate batting .365 with four doubles, a triple, a homer, 11 RBI, and a team-best 20 runs. Junior Kyle Farmer is the Bulldogs top power threat, hitting .330 and leading the team in doubles (13) and RBI (18) while tying for the team-lead in homers (3). Freshman Hunter Cole, batting .319, also has three homers and a team-high five stolen bases while senior Colby May has a team-best 13 walks.

The Georgia pitching staff has a 2.54 ERA this season allowing 193 hits (.238 opponents’ batting average) and 58 walks against 188 strikeouts in 223.2 innings. Redshirt sophomore Alex Wood is the team’s ace with a 3-1 record and 2.00 ERA in six starts while leading the team in ERA, innings (36.0), and strikeouts (39) and tying a team-best in wins. Freshman Pete Nagel is 0-0 with a 2.81 and has a team-leading .194 opponents’ batting average in 25.2 innings. Junior Bryan Benzor (3-1, 2.79 ERA) is tied for the team-high in wins and has a team-leading 13 appearances. Junior Blake Dieterich is the team’s closer with four saves and also has three wins and a 0.93 ERA in 19.1 innings over 12 appearances.

The Tigers

Clemson enters the series 11-11 (3-6 ACC) and is on a three-game losing streak, dropping three games at Virginia last weekend to end a five-game winning streak. The Tigers are 1-6 away from home this season, including 0-5 on opponent’s home fields.

On the season, the Tigers are hitting .265 as a team with 33 doubles, three triples, 15 homers, 19 stolen bases, 96 walks and 134 strikeouts while averaging 5.3 runs per game. Sophomore Steve Wilkerson leads Clemson at the plate batting .393 with five doubles, a triple, 13 RBI, 16 runs, and is tied for the team lead with four stolen bases while also having 10 multi-hit games (in 19 games) along with two four-hit games. Junior Richie Shaffer is hitting .316 with 17 RBI and leads the team with eight doubles, 20 runs, and 23 walks while tying for a team-best four homers. Senior Phil Pohl is at .304 with four doubles, four homers, 15 runs, and leads the team in RBI (22) and HBPs (8) while fellow senior Jason Stolz is hitting .303 with four doubles, a homer, and three stolen bases. Senior Brad Felder is tied for the team-lead in homers (4) and stolen bases (4).

The Clemson pitching staff has a 3.61 ERA this season allowing 203 hits (.270 opponents’ batting average) and 82 walks against 172 strikeouts in 197.0 innings. Sophomore Kevin Pohle leads the pitching staff with a 3-1 record and 1.88 ERA in 28.2 innings over six appearances (four starts). Junior Kevin Brady leads the team in innings (30.1) and strikeouts (33) while junior Dominic Leone has 19 strikeouts in 26.2 innings. Junior Scott Firth is 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 17.1 innings over nine appearances while junior Jonathan Meyer has 19 strikeouts in 21.0 innings in a team-high 10 appearances. Sophomore Matt Campbell has a team-leading two saves, while freshman Daniel Gossett and Meyer have each recorded a save.

Projected Starting Lineups

Clemson

C        #22 Spencer Kieboom (JR/.227 BA with 2 2Bs, 1 HR, 9 RBI, and 8 BBs in 19 games in 2012)

1B      #12 Jon McGibbon (SO/.193 BA with 1 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, and 10 BBs in 19 games in 2012)

2B      #17 Steve Wilkerson (SO/.393 BA with 5 2Bs, 1 3B, 13 RBI, and 16 runs in 19 games in 2012)

SS      #2 Jason Stolz (SR/.303 BA with 4 2Bs, 1 HR, 8 RBI, and 3 SB in 22 games in 2012)

3B      #8 Richie Shaffer (JR/.316 BA with 8 2Bs, 1 3B, 4 HRs, and 17 RBI in 22 games in 2012)

LF      #1 Dominic Attansio (SO/.186 BA with 1 2B, 6 RBI, 9 runs, and 5 BBs in 17 games in 2012)

CF      #18 Tyler Slaton (FR/.179 BA with 2 RBI, 4 runs, 4 BBs, and 1 SB in 16 games in 2012)

RF      #3 Brad Felder (GR/.203 BA with 2 2Bs, 4 HRs, 10 RBI, and 4 SB in 20 games in 2012)

DH     #9 Phil Pohl (SR/.304 BA with 4 2Bs, 4 HRs, 22 RBI, and 8 HBPs in 22 games in 2012)

 

Georgia

C        #5 Brandon Stephens (SO/.228 BA with 3 2Bs, 1 HR, 4 RBI, and 7 runs in 24 games in 2012)

1B      #25 Colby May (SR/.292 BA with 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, 10 RBI, and 13 BBs in 23 games in 2012)

2B      #3 Levi Hyams (SR/.233 BA with 2 2Bs, 1 3B, 2 HRs, and 15 RBI in 25 games in 2012)

SS      #17 Kyle Farmer (JR/.330 BA with 13 2Bs, 3 HRs, 18 RBI, and 19 runs in 24 games in 2012)

3B      #8 Curt Powell (JR/.365 BA with 4 2Bs, 1 3B, 1 HR, and 11 RBI in 24 games in 2012)

LF      #6 Hunter Cole (FR/.319 BA with 6 2Bs, 3 HRs, 12 RBI, and 5 SB in 25 games in 2012)

CF      #11 Conor Welton (SO/.274 BA with 1 2B, 11 RBI, 10 runs, and 3 SB in 25 games in 2012)

RF      #16 Peter Verdin (SR/.271 BA with 2 2Bs, 1 3B, 11 RBI, and 5 HBPs in 25 games in 2012)

DH     #22 Brett DeLoach (JR/.262 BA with 3 2Bs, 1 HR, 9 RBI, and 10 BBs in 22 games in 2012)

 

Projected Starting Pitchers

Clemson will start freshman righthander Daniel Gossett. The Lyman, SC native is 1-2 with a 6.60 ERA in seven appearances (two starts) in 2012. In 15.0 innings, he has allowed 15 hits (.259 opponents batting average) and seven walks against 18 strikeouts.

Georgia will counter with freshman righthander David Sosebee. The Cleveland, GA native is 2-0 with a 0.79 ERA in five appearances (four starts) in 2012. In 11.1 innings, he has allowed 10 hits (.250 opponents batting average) and one walk against one strikeout.

Worth Noting

  • Jack Leggett is 2-6 against ranked Georgia teams while at Clemson, with five (1-4) of those games coming against top-10 Bulldog squads.
  • The Tigers last won three straight series against Georgia from 1991-94, when the teams played three-game series. In that four-year stretch, Clemson won 10 of 12 games from the Bulldogs.
  • Clemson is 29-10 all-time at March 27 with a 6-4 mark on the road.
  • The Tigers are 386-354-7 all-time against current SEC squads, including a 186-237-5 record in games away from home. Clemson is 161-214-5 in true road games against SEC teams and 25-23 in neutral site games. The only current SEC member that Clemson has never faced is LSU.
  • Jack Leggett is 106-116 all-time against the SEC, including 88-68 as Clemson’s head coach. He has never faced a SEC team at Vermont and has never faced LSU, Ole Miss, or Vanderbilt in his career.
  • Clemson has nine players from Georgia, tied for the most of any state on the 2012 squad. Those players are Jay Baum (Alpharetta), Matt Campbell (Alpharetta), Kevin Caughman (Martinez), Jake Fletcher (Thomasville), Spencer Kieboom (Marietta), Trevor Kieboom (Marietta), Tyler Slaton (Cumming), Jason Stolz (Marietta), and Steve Wilkerson (Roswell).
  • Georgia has two players from South Carolina on its 2012 roster, brothers Dylan Cole (JR) and Hunter Cole (FR) from Moore. Dylan is a right-handed pitcher while Hunter is an outfielder.

 

Tiger Career Stats vs. Georgia

Player                  AVG   G-S    AB     R       H       RBI   HR

Jason Stolz             .333   5-4     12      0        4        1        0

Spencer Kieboom    .333   4-2     9        2        3        1        0

Richie Shaffer         .286   2-2     7        4        2        4        1

Phil Pohl                .143   5-4     14      3        2        2        0

Steve Wilkerson      .000   1-1     1        0        0        0        0

Jon McGibbon         —–    1-0     0        0        0        1        0

 

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

Kevin Brady            0.00   2-0     0-0     2.0     1        0        0        2

Scott Firth              0.00   1-0     0-0     1.0     1        0        1        0

David Haselden       0.00   1-0     0-0     1.0     1        0        0        1

Kevin Pohle            0.00   1-0     1-0     0.1     0        0        0        0

Dominic Leone        3.00   1-1     1-0     6.0     4        2        1        7

Jonathan Meyer      3.38   3-0     1-0     5.1     6        2        0        8

Matt Campbell        9.00   1-0     0-0     1.0     1        1        0        1

Mike Kent               12.00 1-1     0-0     3.0     4        4        3        0

Joseph Moorefield   16.20 3-0     0-0     1.2     5        3        1        1

 

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