Tigers blast Southern Miss, get strong effort from Weismann


by - Senior Writer -
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AUBURN, AL – Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said before the NCAA Regionals started that he was starting sophomore right-hander Scott Weismann in the opener because of his “big game” experience.

Leggett’s hunch turned out to be right on the nose as Weismann pitched seven strong innings, giving up only one run on four hits and striking out six, in leading the Tigers to a 10-1 victory over Southern Miss at Plainsman Park on the Auburn University campus.

With the win, the Tigers (39-21 overall) advance in the winner’s bracket to the 7 p.m. game on Saturday night and will play the winner of the Auburn-Jacksonville St. game. Southern Miss (35-23) will play the loser of that contest in the 3 p.m. game on Saturday.

“I thought we played a good ballgame out there today,” Leggett said. “I am pleased with how played, and we got started off on the right foot with Scotty on the mound. He threw very well, he battled and he made pitches. He kept battling and we did a good job offensively and defensively I thought we were very good today. We made some really good defensive plays today, and we pitched well.”

The Tigers jumped on Southern Miss starter Scott Copeland in the bottom of the first inning, with Will Lamb leading off the inning with a sharp single to right. Mike Freeman followed that with a double into the left-center field gap that scored Lamb, and he advanced to third on a grounder by Jeff Schaus. Freeman scored the second run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to right by Kyle Parker, and the Tigers had a 2-0 lead at the end of the first.

The Eagles dented the scoreboard for one run against Weismann in the top of the fifth, but the Tigers were quick to answer in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Lamb drilled a home run to right-center, his fourth of the season, to give Clemson a 3-1 lead. Mike Freeman reached second on an error by the second baseman and with two outs in the inning Parker drove him home with a single to left, and the Tigers led 4-1 at the end of five.

John Hinson drilled a leadoff home run to right, his 13th homer of the season, in the bottom of the sixth to pad the Tiger lead to 5-1. Wilson Boyd then smashed a one-out double and Leggett pinch ran for Boyd with Addison Johnson. Johnson advanced to third on a wild pitch, the same pitch that Kieboom walked on, and Southern Miss replaced Copeland with Cody Schlagel.

Lamb then drilled a single to right to score Johnson. A walk to Freeman loaded the bases with one out, and Schaus lined a single between second and first to score two more runs and Clemson led 8-1. Schlagel was replaced by Mandella Mingo, and Mingo struck out Parker for the second out, but a wild pitch plated Freeman. Miller then lined a single to right to score Schaus, and the rout was on as the Tigers led 10-1 at the end of six innings.

Copeland entered the contest with an unblemished record of 11-0, but gave up nine hits and seven runs [six earned] in just 5.1 innings as the Tigers pinned his first loss of the season on him.

Lamb and Freeman each scored three runs for the Tigers, while Lamb, Parker and Schaus drove in two runs each.

Weismann said the defensive play behind him made the difference, but also gave credit to his pitching inside.

“I thought they were a good hitting team, and they put some good swings on the ball,” Weismann said. “But I thought our defense was great, and any time you score 10 runs it makes it easier to pitch. Coming out here and winning game one is what we wanted to do. For me, the key was just keeping the ball low and going inside to hitters with the fastball.

“I knew I had to go out there and compete and give the team the best chance to win. I felt good – my arm was loose. I was able to keep the ball down, and overall just felt good out there today. I felt like I was getting ahead for the most part, and going inside with the fastballs was big. Then the off-speed was there and I kept them off-balance.”

Southern Miss’ Travis Graves said Weismann was tough all day.

“He kept the ball down and got ahead a lot,” Graves said. “He was sneaky quick. My hat is off to him, because he pitched really well.”

Leggett said the Tigers can celebrate the win for a little bit, but need to start concentrating on Saturday as soon as possible.

“We need to put this game behind us, because this is a tough tourney,” Leggett said. “We have to play tomorrow, and we need to be ready to play equally as good on offense and defense as we did today. It doesn’t get any easier from here on out.”


Southern Mississippi 1 (35-23)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Kameron Brunty lf........  4  0  2  0   0  1  1  0   0
Taylor Walker 2b.........  4  0  0  0   0  0  0  2   1
B.A. Vollmuth ss.........  4  0  1  0   0  0  2  2   0
Adam Doleac dh...........  3  0  0  0   1  2  0  0   1
Mark Ellis 1b............  3  0  0  0   0  1 10  1   0
 Marc Bourgeois ph.......  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Dillon Day cf............  4  0  1  0   0  1  2  0   2
Joey Archer 3b...........  3  1  1  0   0  1  1  4   0
Travis Graves c..........  3  0  0  0   0  1  2  1   1
 Chase Fowler c..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  4  0   0
Tyler Koelling rf........  3  0  1  1   0  0  1  1   0
Scott Copeland p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
 Cody Schlagel p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Mandella Mingo p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 32  1  6  1   1  7 24 12   5

Clemson 10 (39-21)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Will Lamb dh.............  3  3  3  2   1  0  0  0   0
 Chris Epps ph/dh........  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   1
Mike Freeman 2b..........  4  3  1  1   1  1  1  3   3
Jeff Schaus lf...........  4  1  2  2   0  0  3  0   0
 John Nester ph..........  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Josh Thrailkill p.......  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Kyle Parker rf...........  4  0  1  2   0  2  1  0   0
Brad Miller ss...........  4  0  1  1   0  0  0  2   1
 Jason Stolz pr/ss.......  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  1   1
John Hinson 3b...........  4  1  2  1   0  0  0  4   1
Richie Shaffer 1b........  4  0  1  0   0  0  9  1   0
Wilson Boyd cf...........  2  0  1  0   0  0  4  0   0
 Addison Johnson pr/cf...  1  1  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Spencer Kieboom c........  2  1  0  0   1  0  6  0   0
 Phil Pohl ph/c..........  1  0  0  0   0  1  1  0   0
Scott Weismann p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Scott Firth p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 36 10 12  9   3  6 27 11   7

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Southern Mississippi 000 010 000 -  1  6  3
Clemson............. 200 026 00X - 10 12  0
-------------------------------------------

E - WALKER 2(6); COPELAND(4). DP - So. Miss. 1; Clemson 1. LOB - So. Miss.
5; Clemson 7. 2B - ARCHER(12); KOELLING(11); FREEMAN(21); BOYD(10). HR -
LAMB(4); HINSON(13). SH - BOYD(1). SF - PARKER(2). SB - SCHAUS(8).

Southern Mississippi   IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Scott Copeland......  5.1  9  7  6  2  0 23 27
Cody Schlagel.......  0.0  2  3  3  1  0  2  3
Mandella Mingo......  2.2  1  0  0  0  6 11 11

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Scott Weismann......  7.0  4  1  1  1  6 25 26
Scott Firth.........  1.0  1  0  0  0  0  3  3
Josh Thrailkill.....  1.0  1  0  0  0  1  4  4

Win - WEISMANN (7-2).  Loss - COPELAND (11-1).  Save - None.
WP - COPELAND(4). PB - GRAVES(4); FOWLER(10).
Umpires - HP: Kelly Gonzales  1B: Mike Schultz  2B: Randy Bruns  3B: Brad
Hungerford  Start: 2:06 PM   Time: 2:27   Attendance: 2875
Game notes:
Play halted at 4:15 PM at end of 7th due to lightning.
Play resumed at 4:49 PM (34-minute delay).
SCHLAGEL faced 3 batters in the 6th. 

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