College of Charleston Heads To Clemson For Weekend Series
Both teams will be looking to secure an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament as the Cougars enter the weekend with an NCAA RPI of 28, while Clemson comes in at 33.
CofC is coming off a road series victory over SoCon foe Western Carolina last weekend. The Cougars took game one after Daniel Aldrich launched a career-best three home runs and batted in all five runs to lead CofC past WCU, 5-4.
Despite a game two loss, the Cougars battled back on Sunday behind a stellar pitching performance from Matt Pegler who picked up his seventh win of the season. College of Charleston scored three insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the win, 6-2.
Fans can watch all of the weekend's action by subscribing to Clemson's TigerCast subscription video on ClemsonTigers.com. Fans can also follow the game on radio on ESPN 910 AM with Jeff McCarragher and Dennis Trapani on the call.
RHP #6 Dominic Leone, Clemson, 6-3, 5.53 ERA, 57.0 IP, 28 BB, 44 K
RHP #20 Christian Powell, CofC, 8-2, 2.37 ERA, 68.1 IP, 17 BB, 56 K
RHP #21 Kevin Pohle, Clemson, 4-2, 3.31 ERA, 51.2 IP, 23 BB, 29 K
LHP #19 Josh Renfro, CofC, 6-4, 3.68 ERA, 63.2 IP, 10 BB, 58 K
RHP #22 Matt Pegler, CofC, 7-2, 2.83 ERA, 63.2 IP, 16 BB, 46 K
Clemson is 15-0 all-time against the College of Charleston. The last time the two teams met came in 2009 when the Tigers won a 5-2 decision in Clemson on May 12.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
Clemson enters this weekend's series having won the last two conference series, 2-1 over Georgia Tech and a clean sweep of Maryland. The Tigers are 6-5 against common opponents with CofC including two losses to Western Carolina and a 10-7 loss to Coastal Carolina last week.
The Tigers will be without right-handed starter Kevin Brady and right-handed reliever Matt Campbell who both suffered injuries in last weekend's series against Georgia Tech.
Clemson is hitting .280 as a team with a pitching staff ERA of 3.82. The Tigers are led offensively by Richie Shaffer (.347, 38 RBI) and Thomas Brittle (.327, 8 SB), while Phil Pohl has blasted a team-best 44 RBI.
AN ODD DISTINCTION
College of Charleston has the remarkable distinction of being the only team in the nation to rank in the top 10 in both ERA (2.83, 9th) and home runs (47, 8th).
GANTT EARNS NATIONAL, CONFERENCE HONORS
Senior CF Marty Gantt earned several honors this past week for his outstanding play. On Tuesday, Gantt was selected for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch LIst, one of 60 players eligible for the sport's top award. The following day, the Southern Conference tabbed Gantt as its baseball player of the month for April.
Gantt led the Cougars during April with a .426 batting average as he reached base in all but one game in the month. He sported five three-hit games and tallied nine hits in a series sweep against The Citadel.
The senior tallied a team-best 16 runs and posted eight doubles to lead the team with a .656 slugging percentage. He also drew 14 walks, with four intentional, for an on-base percentage of .539, while stealing 12 bases. Gantt made several diving catches in centerfield as he recorded 40 putouts against only one error.
A native of North Augusta, S.C., Gantt currently leads the Southern Conference with a batting average of .394. His league-best 49 runs rank 14th in the nation, while Gantt also leads the league in doubles (18) and on-base percentage (.495). He is second in the conference in stolen bases (24), walks (30) and slugging percentage (.647).
DANIEL ALDRICH TABBED SOCON CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Cougar outfielder Daniel Aldrich was named the Southern Conference Co-Player of the Week, the conference office announced on Monday.
Aldrich helped the Cougars to a 2-1 weekend, taking the series over Western Carolina. The preseason first team All-American had a career game on Friday, hitting three home runs and driving in all five Cougar runs in the 5-4 victory. Aldrich's eighth-inning two-run homer broke a tie game and proved to be the eventual game-winner.
Aldrich finished the week batting .500 (4-for-8) to go along with four walks for an on-base percentage of .667 and a slugging percentage of 1.625.
NEW LINEUP = GREAT SUCCESS
In the last 12 games since head coach Monte Lee moved Gantt to the leadoff spot in the order, the Cougars have posted a 10-2 record with Gantt hitting .467 with an on-base percentage of .600 and 14 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. Bradley Goodson in the six and three spots is hitting .396 with 14 RBI and a slugging percentage of .625 and 11 runs.
Gantt is 12-26 (.462) when leading off an inning in those games, and Goodson is 10-20 with runners in scoring position and has successfully advanced runners over 65 percent of the time.
Goodson was named the SoCon Player of the Week on April 16 and Gantt was picked as the SoCon Player of the Month for April.
College of Charleston starter Christian Powell has proved to nearly unhittable this season, as he sports a league-best 2.37 ERA. Powell has boasted three starting performances where he has not allowed an earned run and has one partial shutout this season. His eight wins are tied for first in the SoCon and rank fifth in the NCAA.
Powell was recently named to the National Pitcher of the Year Watch List, the only representative of the SoCon on the 51-player list.
CLOSING THE DOOR
College of Charleston senior David Peterson has embraced his new role of closer in 2012 and has provided several stellar outings recently to save games for the Cougars, including a two-inning performance at South Carolina.
Peterson is currently in first place in the conference in saves with 10, putting him 13th in the NCAA. That mark also ranks sixth for most in a season in CofC history.
Peterson was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List along with 44 other relievers.
NO FREE LUNCHES
Not only has Cougar pitching kept opponent runs off the board, CofC has limited the number of walks allowed. The Cougars have only walked 112 batters while striking out 354, for a strikeout-walk ratio of 3.16, ranking fifth in the country. Both Josh Renfro and Ryan West are averaging less than one walk per pitching appearance.
GLAZER DELIVERING IN STARTING ROLE
College of Charleston starting third baseman Brandon Glazer started the season as a reserve player but has blossomed into a powerful bat in the Cougars lineup. Glazer currently sports a team-best 11-game hitting streak and has batted .361 since taking over the starting duties, including a solo home run at South Carolina.
B-MURR, BENZ OR BENTLEY
College of Charleston sophomore Brandon Murray has been a power generator at the plate, blasting a team-best 10 home runs and boasting a slugging percentage of .554. Murray is sixth in the league in home runs.
Murray was named the SoCon Player of the Week on March 26. He hit a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning that led to the Cougars extra-inning win over CSU (3/27).
CHICKS DIG THE LONG BALL
While the College of Charleston has based its 2012 reputation off of the strength of its pitching staff, the Cougars are still hitting for power in a big way. CofC is a close second in the Southern Conference in team home runs with 47, a mark that currently ranks eighth in the country.
College of Charleston has seen power from a number of different bats as Brandon Murray (10), Marty Gantt (7) and Bradley Goodson (7) and Daniel Aldrich (6) all have six or more long balls. CofC is 23-6 this season when the squad hits a home run in a game, and 11-1 when the Cougars hit two or more long balls.
WHAT'S HAPPENED BY THE 4TH INNING?
CofC games this season have largely been determined by the action in the first four innings. The Cougars are an impressive 26-2 when leading after the fourth inning and are 2-10 when trailing after the fourth inning. The Cougars do not easily give up leads as they are 22-6 on the season when scoring first.