Missed opportunities cost Tigers in series finale with USC


by - Senior Writer -
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AUDIO:Leggett, Shaffer and Haselden post-game comments


CLEMSON – Missed opportunities and a late comeback that fell short were the difference in Tuesday night’s finale of the Reedy River Rivalry.


The Clemson Tigers hit into three double plays and were caught stealing twice, squandering early scoring opportunities, and South Carolina got a pinch-hit three-run homer late before holding off a furious Clemson rally in the ninth as the Gamecocks won the game 5-4 at Fluor Field.

The win also gave South Carolina a 2-1 advantage in the three games played.

“This was a tough loss for us,” Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said. “We had a little trouble getting runs, and we let it slide away in the seventh and eighth innings. I liked the way our kids battled back in the end. Now we have to move onto the next ball game. We had some trouble scoring runs, and had some opportunities with men on base. They turned a couple of double plays, and they were the difference early in the ballgame of us not building up an early lead of more than one run.”

The Tigers trailed 5-1 heading into the top of the ninth, but the Tiger fans still on hand were treated to an exciting finish.

Shortstop Brad Miller singled to left on an 0-2 pitch to get the rally started, and Jeff Schaus singled to center. Richie Shaffer walked to load the bases, and South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner brought in lefty Michael Roth to face third baseman John Hinson.

Hinson singled to left field to score Miller, and Tanner brought in righty Matt Price to face Spencer Kieboom. Kieboom hit into Clemson’s third double play of the night, but Schaus scored to make it 5-3. Will Lamb tripled into the right field corner to make it 5-4, and Leggett pinch hit for Phil Pohl with freshman lefthander Jonathan McGibbon, who struck out looking to end the game.

“It’s a rivalry, and both teams are competitive and have a lot of pride in what they are doing,” Leggett said. “We are both playing pretty good baseball and we will go on from here and try and make this a good season and end up where we want to end up. My job is to try and get us ready to play Virginia this weekend.”

The teams were scoreless until the top of the fourth, when first baseman Richie Shaffer brought the Clemson portion of the Fluor Field crowd to its feet. Shaffer connected on a 3-1 pitch from South Carolina starter Adam Westmoreland and drove it deep over the left-center field wall, just to the right of the Green Monster, for a 1-0 Clemson lead.

Clemson starter David Haselden was excellent in his six innings of work, giving up no runs, three hits, walking one and striking out five.

“My arm felt good,” said Haselden, who pitched an inning in relief on Sunday. “I had a good fastball, and I was spotting my two-seamer. I also felt like I had an excellent changeup. Now I just need to get ready for this weekend.”

The Gamecocks struck in the seventh, scoring four runs off of two Clemson relievers, the big blow coming on a three-run homer by pinch hitter Jake Williams that gave Carolina a 4-1 lead at the end of seven innings.

Carolina added an insurance run in the eighth, setting up the ninth inning’s rally.

Shaffer said the Tigers just needed a timely hit and didn’t get it.

“These are two passionate teams, and both want to win,” he said. “These are two good ball teams going up against one another. There are always going to be bumps along the road. All weekend, we played well, and we were never out of any game. We hit well, we pitched well and we played good defense. We just needed a timely hit here and there to take these games. We did what we needed to do but came up short.”

The Tigers play at Western Carolina on Wednesday, and then return home to play sixth-ranked Virginia (USA Today) this weekend.


Clemson 4 (7-3)

Player			AB	R	H	RBI	BB	SO	PO	A	LOB
Chris Epps rf		3	0	0	0	1	1	5	0	0
Brad Miller ss		3	1	2	0	1	0	1	2	0
Jeff Schaus lf		4	1	1	0	0	1	0	0	0
Richie Shaffer 1b	3	2	1	1	1	0	9	1	2
John Hinson 3b		4	0	2	1	0	0	1	2	0
Spencer Kieboom c	4	0	1	0	0	0	4	1	0
Will Lamb cf		4	0	2	1	0	2	1	0	0
Phil Pohl dh		3	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
 Jon McGibbon ph	1	0	0	0	0	1	0	0	1
Jason Stolz 2b		3	0	0	0	0	1	1	3	1
David Haselden p	0	0	0	0	0	0	1	0	0
 Alex Frederick p	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
 Joseph Moorefield p	0	0	0	0	0	0	1	0	0
 Dominic Leone p	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
Totals......		32	4	9	3	3	6	24	9	4

South Carolina 5 (9-1)

Player			AB	R	H	RBI	BB	SO	PO	A	LOB
Evan Marzilli lf	3	0	0	0	0	1	1	0	0
Adam Matthews rf	4	0	0	0	0	1	1	0	0
Jackie Bradley, Jr. cf	4	1	2	0	0	0	3	0	1
Christian Walker 1b	3	1	1	1	1	0	11	0	1
Brady Thomas c		3	0	0	0	0	1	6	2	0
Adrian Morales 3b	3	1	2	0	1	1	1	2	0
Peter Mooney ss		4	1	2	1	0	0	2	2	2
Robert Beary dh		2	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	1
 Jake Williams ph/dh	1	1	1	3	0	0	0	0	0
Jake Watson 2b		1	0	0	0	0	1	0	1	0
 Scott Wingo 2b		1	0	0	0	1	0	2	4	0
Adam Westmoreland p	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
 Bryan Harper p		0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
 Forrest Koumas p	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
 Michael Roth p	        0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
 Matt Price p	        0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
Totals......	29	5	8	5	3	5	27	11	5

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Clemson............. 000 100 003 -  4  9  0
South Carolina...... 000 000 41X -  5  8  1
-------------------------------------------

E - WALKER(2). DP - Clemson 1; S. Carolina 3. LOB - Clemson 4; S. Carolina
5. 2B - BRADLEY(5). 3B - LAMB(1). HR - SHAFFER(2); WILLIAMS(1). SH -
MARZILLI(4); THOMAS(1). SB - MILLER(5); WALKER(2). CS - EPPS(1).

Clemson			IP	H	R	ER	BB	SO	AB	BF
David Haselden		6.0	3	0	0	1	5	19	21
Alex Frederick		0.1	2	3	3	1	0	2	4
Joseph Moorefield	1.1	3	2	2	0	0	7	7
Dominic Leone		0.1	0	0	0	1	0	1	2

South Carolina		IP	H	R	ER	BB	SO	AB	BF
Adam Westmoreland	5.1	4	1	1	2	1	18	20
Bryan Harper		0.1	0	0	0	0	1	1	1
Forrest Koumas		2.1	3	3	3	1	3	9	10
Michael Roth		0.0	1	0	0	0	0	1	1
Matt Price		1.0	1	0	0	0	1	3	3

Win - KOUMAS (1-0).  Loss - FREDERICK (0-1).  Save - PRICE (4).
WP - HARPER(2).
Umpires - HP: Scott Erby  1B: Jeff Head  2B: Greg Street  3B: Morris Hodges
Start: 7:07 PM   Time: 2:44   Attendance: 7125
KOUMAS faced 3 batters in the 9th.
ROTH faced 1 batter in the 9th.
 

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