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SPORTS LIBRARY, Claflin, baseball

Claflin baseball plays

weekend series at VSU

ETTRICK, Va. - Four games in two days, that will be the order of business when Claflin University travel to Virginia State University for a baseball series.

The series will consist of two doubleheaders, starting on Friday and ending Saturday. Action begins at 1 p.m. each day.

This will be the second meeting between the two teams this season as the Panthers won 11-10 and 3-1 in Orangeburg. Claflin used some clutch hitting and solid pitching in taking both games.

The Panthers are 22-10 and riding an eight-game winning streak, the longest this season. Claflin reached the mark last weekend with a double-header sweep of Clark Atlanta University, 6-3 and 8-0 on the road. The Panthers are 6-2 away from historic Mirmow Field, losing only to Tuskegee University 7-6 and Paine College 4-3 (13 innings).

Virginia State will enter the series 12-17 following a tough 9-7 loss at the University of Mount Oliver on Tuesday.

In the weekend series with Virginia State, pitching will be the key for both teams. Claflin will rely heavily on starters Cleveland Westbrook, Dillon Parker and Makai Holloway, each with five wins.

Westbrook is 5-2 with a 3.98 ERA and leads the team in strikeouts at 58 in 54-and-a-third innings. Parker has a 5-1 record that includes 45 strikeouts in 56-and-a-third innings with a 4.15 ERA,, while Holloway, 5-1 on the season, holds a 2.31 ERA to go with 31 strikeouts in 35 innings.

The Claflin pitching staff has posted an overall 4.69 ERA with 195 strikeouts.

Virginia State will counter with Jarren Norman, the team leader in victories at 3, followed by Joshua Tayman, Jason Martinez and Joshua Welcher with 2 wins each.

Virginia State pitching staff has fanned 153 batters this season with a 5.24 ERA.

On the offensive side for the Panthers, Eric McElveen leads the team in hitting at .422 that includes four home runs and 31 RBI.

Clyde Parker is second on the team in batting at .392 and leads the team in runs batted in with 35 RBI. Gerardic Dobbs and Craig Hopkins are next in hitting for Claflin with batting averages of .376 and .375, respectively. Both have produced 32 RBI apiece.

Virginia State is led offensively by Kevin Russell with a .350 batting average, three home runs and 28 RBI; and Jaheel Sewer, who’s hitting .387.

Claflin will return home on Monday to host Benedict College for the second time this season, with a 6 p.m. start. It will be senior day at historic Mirmow Field, where three senior members of the track and field program will be honored as well 13 members of the baseball team.

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SEC, AAC form men's

hoops scheduling alliance

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference and American Athletic Conference have formed a men's basketball scheduling alliance that will take effect in the 2019-20 season.

Under the agreement that was announced Thursday, four schools from each of these two conferences will participate in two-year, home-and-home series.

The participating teams and matchups will be announced later.

The SEC sent seven teams to the NCAA Tournament this year, with four reaching the Sweet 16. The AAC had four NCAA Tournament teams.

Clemson women's basketball

adds two transfers for 2020

CLEMSON – Rounding out her first signing class at the helm of the Clemson women’s basketball team, head coach Amanda Butler announced the addition of two transfer players to the program on Thursday.

The duo of Nique Cherry and Shania Meertens completes the seven-player signing class for the Tigers.

“I’m really pleased with this group of people who made an awesome decision to not only join Clemson but also play with each other,” said Butler. “They are a hard-working, competitive group that fit into our Trust, Loyalty, Commitment (TLC) culture perfectly.”

Cherry is a 6-foot-1 forward from Laurel, Mississippi, who played at Jones County Junior College most recently. JCJC went 30-2 this past season, with Cherry averaging a double-double of 13 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.

Butler called Cherry "an elite rebounder, a die-hard competitor."

Meertens is a 5-foot-8 combo guard from Winter Springs, Florida, who most recently played at Northwest Florida State College. This past season, she averaged 10 points per game, making 42.1 percent of her 3-pointers to lead NFSC to a quarterfinals appearance in the NJCAA Championships. Prior to NFSC, Meertens played a season at Stetson, where she played for current Clemson assistant Daniel Barber.

Butler called Meertens "the consummate playmaker" who plays solid defense.

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