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Tigers fail to capitalize on opportunities, lose Game 1 of Super Regional


  by - Senior Writer - Saturday, June 12, 2010 9:24 PM
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Wilson Boyd heads for home in Clemson Super Regional action on Saturday. (Photos: fotoman)

CLEMSON – Missed opportunities have the Clemson Tigers with their backs to the wall again.

Clemson (41-23) failed to score with bases loaded opportunities in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings and committed two crucial errors that led to four unearned runs in falling to the Alabama (42-23) Crimson Tide 5-4 in the first game of the Super Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Saturday night, and now need to win the next two if they hope to advance to the College World Series.

“That was a tough game for us to lose,” Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said. “No question about it. We had plenty of opportunities and unfortunately we couldn’t quite get the big hit. Casey battled tough all night long and really from the third inning on was outstanding. Just have to give them a lot of credit – we gave them the extra out and they capitalized on it. We just have to collect ourselves and be ready tomorrow.”

The Tide scored a single run in the second and added four in the third [only one run was earned as the Tigers committed two errors], jumping out to a big 5-0 lead. However, the Tigers jumped back into the fray in the bottom of the third, an inning that started with a walk by Wilson Boyd.

With one out in the inning, Will Lamb singled Boyd to third, and a Mike Freeman single scored Boyd with Clemson’s first run and sent Lamb to third. Jeff Schaus hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored Lamb with the second run, and a Kyle Parker single put runners at first and second with two out.

Brad Miller then drove a single through the middle to score Freeman, and the Tigers were back in the game, down 5-3 after three innings.


Starter Casey Harman worked in and out of trouble and kept the Tigers close through the middle innings, and they pulled a run closer in the bottom of the sixth inning. With Boyd at first and two outs, Leggett pinch hit for Spencer Kieboom with Chris Epps, and Epps delivered a run-scoring triple down the right field line, trimming Alabama’s advantage to 5-4 at the end of six innings.

The Tigers had their chances late, but were unable to push across the tying run and now are faced with having to win the next two in order to advance.

Harman was outstanding, pitching 8.1 innings, giving up just the one earned run while striking out nine and walking none. He threw 122 pitches, 83 for strikes.

Freeman said having their backs against the wall is something the Tigers are used to.

“We just have to come out and play the way we can play,” Freeman said. “We lost the Sunday game in the regional at Auburn and had our backs against the wall and we came back and won a big game on Monday. Nothing this season has been easy, but we are not going to back down and be afraid. We are going to play our game, be aggressive and play the way we play and have fun doing it.”
Leggett said he told the players that nothing has come easy for this team this season.

“I told the players after the game ‘what do you expect,’ “Leggett said. “We have been doing this all year. Nothing has been easy, and nothing has been handed to us. We’ve had to earn it all season long. Now we have to come back tomorrow and be tough.”


 Alabama 5 (42-23)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Taylor Dugas cf..........  5  1  4  0   0  0  2  0   0
Josh Rutledge ss.........  3  1  0  0   0  2  3  5   0
Ross Wilson 2b...........  4  0  0  0   0  2  0  4   2
Clay Jones 1b............  3  1  0  0   0  2 13  0   2
Jake Smith 3b/p..........  4  1  2  1   0  1  0  2   0
Jon Kelton lf............  4  1  0  0   0  2  1  0   0
Andrew Miller rf.........  4  0  2  2   0  0  1  0   0
Brett Booth dh...........  4  0  2  1   0  0  0  0   0
 Cal Tinsley 3b..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Brock Bennett c..........  4  0  0  0   0  1  7  0   3
Jimmy Nelson p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Jonathan Smart p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 35  5 10  4   0 10 27 12   7

Clemson 4 (41-23)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Will Lamb dh.............  5  1  2  0   0  0  0  0   1
Mike Freeman 2b..........  5  1  2  1   0  1  1  0   1
Jeff Schaus lf...........  4  0  3  1   0  1  2  0   0
Kyle Parker rf...........  4  0  1  0   1  1  2  0   1
Brad Miller ss...........  4  0  1  1   1  0  2  2   2
John Hinson 3b...........  3  0  0  0   1  1  1  1   2
Richie Shaffer 1b........  3  0  0  0   1  1  8  1   3
Wilson Boyd cf...........  3  2  1  0   1  0  1  0   0
Spencer Kieboom c........  2  0  0  0   0  1  6  0   0
 Chris Epps ph...........  1  0  1  1   0  0  0  0   0
 John Nester c...........  1  0  0  0   0  0  3  1   0
Casey Harman p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  4   0
 Alex Frederick p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 35  4 11  4   5  6 27  9  10

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Alabama............. 014 000 000 -  5 10  0
Clemson............. 003 001 000 -  4 11  2
-------------------------------------------

E - HINSON(10); HARMAN(1). DP - Alabama 2; Clemson 1. LOB - Alabama 7;
Clemson 10. 2B - MILLER(8); BOOTH(3); SCHAUS(13). 3B - EPPS(1). HR -
SMITH(14). HBP - JONES. SH - RUTLEDGE 2(5); WILSON(2). SF - SCHAUS(6).

Alabama                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Jimmy Nelson........  6.2  9  4  4  5  4 27 33
Jonathan Smart......  0.1  1  0  0  0  0  2  2
Jake Smith..........  2.0  1  0  0  0  2  6  6

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Casey Harman........  8.1 10  5  1  0  9 33 37
Alex Frederick......  0.2  0  0  0  0  1  2  2

Win - NELSON (9-3).  Loss - HARMAN (7-3).  Save - SMITH (6).
WP - NELSON 2(8); HARMAN(3). HBP - by HARMAN (JONES).
Umpires - HP: Dan Mascorro  1B: Mark Chapman  2B: Heath Jones  3B: Doug Williams
 Start: 6:07 PM   Time: 2:41   Attendance: 6346
Game notes:
Jeff Schaus ejected in the bottom of the 9th inning.
Game 1 of Clemson (SC) Super Regional.
Game televised by ESPNU.
SMART faced 1 batter in the 8th.

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