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Tigers Post Strong Showing in ACC Tourney, and will Host a Regional

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The NCAA announced just minutes ago the sites of the Regional hosts, and we edged out Arkansas and Southern Miss for the last hosting spot thanks to our stellar play of late and a #7 RPI. The ACC will field 5 host sites (FSU, UVA, UNC, GT, CLEM), with the Pac-10 and SEC hosting 3 (Vandy, FL, SC). The state of Texas will host 4 regionals. 

We'll find out our opponent on Monday at 12:30 on ESPN. The national seeds have not been announced but you have to think that UNC and UVA will get one after winning the ACC Championship. Clemson has a 41-18 overall record and 17-13 ACC regular-season mark on the season. We're 26-7 at home and just hosting a regional tremendously improves our chances to get to the Supers. It is possible for us to face SC in the Super Regional round.

The ACC Tourney went about how I hoped it would. We got 2 good wins and played alright in our loss to FSU. The Tigers outscored their opposition 18-9 and had a .298 batting average along with 10 doubles, four homers, three steals, and 11 walks against only nine strikeouts. Stolz led Clemson at the plate by going 4-for-8 with two doubles. Schaus was 5-for-13 with two doubles, while Epps went 3-for-9 with two homers, one double, five RBIs, and three walks. The Tiger pitching staff had a 3.00 ERA and .284 opponents' batting average. Clemson's defense committed just one error and turned six double plays as well. Epps made the All-Tournament Team.

In the first game of the Tournament, Leone started Haselden finished the shutout of Georgia Tech 9-0. It was the first time GT had been shutout in 177 games, dating back to 2008. In 5.0 innings pitched, Leone (6-2) allowed four hits, no runs, and four walks with five strikeouts to earn the win. Again, his control was slipping as it has for the last couple weeks. David Haselden came in and recorded his third save of the year by pitching the final 4.0 innings. He yielded just two hits, no runs, and no walks with two strikeouts.

Clemson defeated All-ACC starter Mark Pope for the 2nd time in a month, and he'll be a high draft pick. Epps smacked a 3-run HR off him in the 4th to break a 1-1 tie with 2 outs. Clemson put up 4 more in the 9th to ice it.

In game 2 we faced FSU again and our pitching just couldn't get things together at all and we lost 6-3. Every Nole had a hit and FSU had a leadoff batter on base 7 times. Clemson had their chances with 10 being left on base, but could never get the big hit needed.

In 5.0 innings pitched, Sarratt yielded six hits, four runs, and three walks. The Tigers fell to 11-1 in Sarratt's 12 starts on the mound this season. Clemson's six pitchers combined to allow 13 hits, the most given up by Clemson this year.

In game 3 we faced NCSU and beat up their pitchers with 3 home runs, the most we've hit in a game this year, to win 6-3. Richie Shaffer stepped to the plate with two outs in the sixth inning and crushed a three-run homer to left-center to give Clemson the lead for good.  Brad Miller had hit a solo shot in the 4th and Epps hit his 10th HR a few innings later, another solo shot.

Clemson lost Jonathan Meyer early due to a batted ball that hit him right on the kneecap and bounced all the way to the brick wall near the dugout. After he struggled in the next inning, Jack pulled him. Leggett said he was bruised badly but should be alright.