Clemson 5, NCSU 4


by - Correspondent -
    |

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It may have come with a bit of unexpected drama at the end, but Clemson survived yet another day in the ACC Tournament.


Robert Rohrbaugh pitched a strong 8 2/3 innings Friday afternoon and the Tigers withstood a furious two-out rally by N.C. State to take a 5-4 victory over the Wolfpack at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville (Fla.). It was Clemson's second straight elimination-day win, and advances Jack Leggett's team to the upper bracket finals today against Virginia.


"I thought Robert pitched the best I've ever seen him pitch," said Clemson head coach Jack Leggett. "He kept us in the ball game, threw strikes and got a great pace on it."


The Tigers (39-20) took a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning and seemed to be well on their way to an easy finish, especially when the first two Wolfpack batters were retired.


But Jake Muyco fouled off six full-count pitches from Rohrbaugh before lashing a single to left field. Brian Aragon followed with a double to the wall in right-center, scoring Muyco and cutting Clemson's lead to 5-3. Rohrbaugh then walked pinch hitter Ryan Pond, and was relieved by righty Jeff Hahn.


Hahn induced Lee Mazistrano to hit a big bouncing ball up the middle that second baseman Taylor Harbin backhanded on the run, but his desperation, over-the-head flip to second eluded Stan Widmann covering and allowed Aragon to score.


But Hahn then ended the uprising by striking out Jonathan Diaz to end the game.


"It means a lot for them to give me the ball to go back out there in that situation," Hahn said, referring to his poor outing on Wednesday. "I let my team down, I let myself down. It's tough to go through, but you look forward to getting back out there. And I was definitely anxious to do that."


Rohrbaugh finished the day by allowing just four hits, striking out 10 and walking three.


"I went out there and threw strikes," Rohrbaugh said. "Anytime your team scores four runs in the first inning it makes it a lot easier to pitch."


Clemson scored four runs in the first inning off freshman righthander Matt Payne (2-1), who was making his first start of the season. He was a late replacement for Phillip Davidson, who originally was scheduled to start for the Wolfpack.


But State (40-17) coach Elliott Avent chose Payne instead and, in doing so, opened himself up for a season's worth of second-guessing.


Payne allowed six hits in the first inning, including a two-run double by Kris Harvey and run-scoring singles from Travis Storrer and Stan Widmann.


Davidson was brought on to pitch in the second inning, and the senior lasted until the eighth inning when he was pulled in favor of lefty Jason Duncan. In all, Davidson pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits and one run.


"It was a decision I wrestled with all night," Avent said. "We know we're in a regional and we hope we're hosting. (But) this was about getting the guys and ACC championship ring and winning the ACC Tournament. And to do that we felt Payne had to give us four or five good innings today, then go to (Jason) Duncan and finish with Joey Divine...That's what we decided we had to do to win it."


The one run Davidson allowed proved to be huge, as it turned out.


His lone mistake was leaving a fastball out over the plate for Harbin in the seventh. Harbin took it out of the park to left-center to give Clemson the 5-2 lead and set the stage for the dramatic finish.


"It was a 1-2 pitch. I tried to bury the pitch in the ground, down and away, but I hung it a little bit," said Davidson. "He got out in front of it and the ball carried well to left for the home run."


Clemson now faces Virginia Saturday at 10 a.m. If the Tigers win, the teams will meet again at 4 p.m. with the winner advancing to Sunday's championship game.


If Clemson loses the 10 a.m. game Saturday, Virginia advances to Sunday.


Clemson 5 (39-20)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Herman Demmink 3b........  5  0  1  0   0  0  2  2   0
Brad Chalk cf............  5  1  2  0   0  0  1  0   1
Taylor Harbin 2b.........  4  2  2  1   0  0  2  2   0
Tyler Colvin lf..........  3  0  0  0   1  2  1  0   0
Kris Harvey dh...........  4  1  1  2   0  0  0  0   2
Travis Storrer rf........  4  1  2  1   0  1  1  0   0
Andy D'Alessio 1b........  4  0  1  0   0  1  7  1   0
Stan Widmann ss..........  4  0  1  1   0  1  1  3   0
Adrian Casanova c........  4  0  0  0   0  1 11  0   3
Robert Rohrbaugh p.......  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Jeff Hahn p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 37  5 10  5   1  6 27  8   6

NC State 4 (40-17)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Matt Camp cf.............  4  0  0  0   0  0  7  0   0
Ramon Corona 2b..........  4  0  0  0   0  3  1  3   0
Aaron Bates 1b...........  4  1  2  2   0  0 10  0   0
Aaron Cone dh............  2  0  0  0   2  2  0  0   0
Jake Muyco c.............  4  1  1  0   0  1  5  2   3
Brian Aragon rf..........  4  1  1  1   0  0  3  0   0
Bryan Kinneberg lf.......  2  0  0  0   0  2  0  0   0
 Jason St. Julien ph/lf..  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
 Ryan Pond ph............  0  0  0  0   1  0  0  0   0
 Chris Engle pr..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Matt Devine 3b...........  3  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
 Lee Mezistrano ph.......  1  0  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
Jonathan Diaz ss.........  4  1  0  0   0  1  1  3   2
Matt Payne p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Phillip Davidson p......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Jason Duncan p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 33  4  5  3   3 11 27  8   5

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Clemson............. 400 000 100 -  5 10  2
NC State............ 000 002 002 -  4  5  0
-------------------------------------------

E - HARBIN(8); WIDMANN(21). LOB - CU 6; ST 5. 
2B - HARVEY(10); Aragon(15). HR - HARBIN(10); 
Bates(12). SB - CHALK(5).

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Robert Rohrbaugh....  8.2  4  4  1  3 10 31 34
Jeff Hahn...........  0.1  1  0  0  0  1  2  2

NC State               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Matt Payne..........  1.0  6  4  4  0  1  9  9
Phillip Davidson....  6.1  3  1  1  1  3 22 23
Jason Duncan........  1.2  1  0  0  0  2  6  6

Win - ROHRBAUGH (7-2).  Loss - Payne (2-1).  Save - HAHN (3).
WP - Payne(2).
Umpires - HP: Arthur Schmidt  1B: Bryant Woodall
2B: Al Davis  3B: AJ Lostaglio
 Start: 4:00 pm   Time: 2:43   Attendance:

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