Chants look to change luck outside league at Clemson

The Coastal Carolina baseball team hope its recent hot streak can help put it over the hump in a recent slump against big-named, non-conference opponents when the Chanticleers travel to Clemson on Tuesday.

The Chants (26-13 overall, 9-3 Big South) took over first place in the conference with series wins over VMI and High Point, have had a recent run of bad luck against the big boys, going 1-4 in their last five.

Besides splitting with The Citadel, Coastal suffered one-run losses to Virginia Tech, UNC Wilmington and North Carolina – all in extra innings and all in walk-off fashion. It doesn’t get much more painful than that.

The Chants hope to erase that bad taste in their mouths against the Tigers (24-17, 12-9 ACC), who are coming off a weekend sweep of Maryland and a non-conference victory over Charleston Southern.

The Tigers, who are averaging 5.5 runs per game, are hitting .275 with a .389 slugging percentage and .363 on-base percentage thanks to 174 walks and 33 hit-by-pitches in 2012. The team has also totaled 66 doubles, 11 triples, 25 homers, and 40 stolen bases. Clemson is fielding at a .971 clip as well.

Richie Shaffer leads the team with a .378 batting average, 14 doubles, two triples, eight homers, 38 RBIs, 34 runs, 41 walks, a .508 on-base percentage, and five steals. Thomas Brittle is hitting .343 with a team-high eight steals. Steve Wilkerson is batting .318 with a team-high 36 runs, while Phil Pohl is hitting .300 with six homers and 40 RBIs.

The Chants’ bats have gotten hot as of late, scoring 31 runs in the three-game weekend series. Daniel Bowman put his name in the CCU record books again over the weekend, adding his career 473 total bases to the school’s RBI record that he broke two weeks ago. Tucker Frawley and Rich Witten also have been swinging the hot stick for the Chants.

Neither team has officially named their starters for the game, but Clemson may be extending a rehab start to Matt Campbell, who has not pitched since his outstanding outing against Miami on March 30 due to injury. He is scheduled to return to the mound this week. Coastal will likely go with freshman left-hander Javier Reynoso, who has started the last three midweek games, excluding The Citadel.

Coastal snapped a long streak of frustration against Clemson two years ago with a 4-3 victory by the then-No. 14 Chants over the then-No. 10 Tigers. Neither team is at the same level this time around, but Coastal may need this one on its resume when the NCAA Tournament begins its selection and seeding process.

The game is set for a 6 p.m. start at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

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