Mottl Keeps MTSU Off Balance in 4-0 Clemson Win


by - Correspondent -
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Ryan Mottl's shutout is the first by a Tiger since 1996 (Ken Vining).

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CLEMSON, SC - Clemson pitcher Ryan Mottl didn't have to face his old roommate alone.

He got plenty of help against Middle Tennessee State pitcher Jeff Parsons, who transferred from Clemson three years ago in search of more playing time.

Shortstop Jeff Baker homered twice to lead Clemson past MTSU, 4-0, in the first round of the NCAA regional in front of 4,378 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday night.

"I'm pretty aggressive in general," said Baker. "I take hard hacks and let it go from there."

The homeruns were his tenth and eleventh of the season and put Clemson into the winner's bracket game today at 3 p.m. against Illinois, which defeated Old Dominion 3-1. The winner of that game will play for the championship Sunday at 2 p.m. The loser will play tonight at 7 p.m.

Mottl, who roomed with Parsons during his one year at Clemson, gave up just two hits during the first seven innings and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth.

"I was off balance all day long," said MTSU left fielder Justin Links. "I was seeing his pitches but I just swung right through them. The one ball I though I hit hard was a double play to end the game."

It was Mottl's second straight complete game after he threw one against Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament last weekend.

"The last two starts my breaking ball was been working and that gives me more options," said Mottl, who improved to 9-3.

Clemson scored in the fourth when Baker hit a solo home run over the right field fence.

Brian Ellis led off the eighth with a single to left. After being sacrificed to second on a bunt by Justin Singleton, he was driven in on a single to right by Casey Stone to give Clemson a 2-0 lead.

Stone gave Clemson a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh when he hit a sacrifice fly to right to drive in Singleton. Singleton had doubled to right and then reached third on an infield single by Ryan Riley.

Mottl had a shaky first inning. He gave up a single to Khris Lammers and a long fly ball to center to Josh Pride. Mottl then sat down 17 of the next 18 batters he faced. Bryan Peck, who had a double, was the only MTSU batter to reach base during the stretch.

Kyle Thomas and Jason Conchin led off the eighth with consecutive singles against Mottl. Brandon Jonson's ground ball eliminated Conchin at second and Mottl struck out Wes Whitehead. However, Mottl walked Josh Renick to load the bases with two outs.

Mottl got out of the jam when his first pitch to Lammers was hit harmlessly to Stone in left field for the third out.

Baker gave Clemson a 4-0 lead in the eighth with a homerun over the left field fence.

Mottl hit Bryan Peck with a pitch in the ninth, but the next batter Links hit into a double play to end the game.

"It was a good game," said Parsons, who fell to 5-6. "The crowd was into it. It was a good game."
***


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BOXSCORE

Middle Tennessee at Clemson
May 26, 2000 at Clemson, SC

Middle Tennessee 0 (37-22)                                         

Name (Pos)                 AB  R  H RBI  BB SO PO  A LOB   
--------------------------------------------------------   
Renick, Josh 2b...........  3  0  0  0    1  0  0  4   0   
Lammers, Kris 1b..........  4  0  1  0    0  1  9  0   3   
Pride, Josh c.............  4  0  0  0    0  0  6  0   0   
Peck, Bryan cf............  3  0  1  0    0  0  4  0   1   
Links, Justin lf..........  4  0  0  0    0  3  2  0   1   
Thomas, Kyle dh...........  3  0  1  0    0  1  0  0   0   
 Sims, Justin pr/dh........ 0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0   0   
Conchin, Jason rf.........  3  0  1  0    0  1  3  0   0   
Johnson, Brandon 3b.......  3  0  0  0    0  1  0  1   0   
Whitehead, Wes ss.........  3  0  0  0    0  1  0  1   0   
Parsons, Jeff p...........  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  1   0   
 Sparkman, Kyle p.......... 0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0   0   

Totals.................... 30  0  4  0    1  8 24  7   5   


Clemson 4 (46-16)

Name (Pos)                 AB  R  H RBI  BB SO PO  A LOB
--------------------------------------------------------
Stone, Casey lf...........  3  0  1  2    0  0  3  0   0
Boyd, Patrick cf..........  4  0  0  0    0  0  2  0   2
Greene, Khalil 3b.........  4  0  1  0    0  1  1  2   0
Baker, Jeff ss............  4  2  2  2    0  1  3  1   1
Stanley, Henri dh.........  3  0  1  0    1  0  0  0   0
Calitri, Mike 1b..........  3  0  0  0    0  2  4  1   1
 Johnson, Michael ph/1b.... 1  0  0  0    0  0  2  0   0
Ellis, Brian c............  4  1  2  0    0  1  8  0   1
Singleton, Justin rf......  2  1  1  0    0  1  3  0   1
Riley, Ryan 2b............  3  0  1  0    0  0  0  2   0
Mottl, Ryan p.............  0  0  0  0    0  0  1  2   0
  

Totals.................... 31  4  9  4    1  6 27  8   6

Score by innings:                      R  H  E
----------------------------------------------
Middle Tennessee      000 000 000   -  0  4  0
Clemson               000 110 11    -  4  9  0
----------------------------------------------

DP - Clemson 1. LOB - MT 5, Clemson 6. 
2B - PECK(25), GREENE(18), STANLEY(4), SINGLETON(6). 
HR - BAKER 2(11). 
SB - STANLEY(13). 
SH - SINGLETON(5). SF - STONE(2). 

Middle Tennessee       IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  AB BF
----------------------------------------------------
Parsons, Jeff.......  7.1   9   4   4   1   5  29 32
Sparkman, Kyle......  0.2   0   0   0   0   1   2  2   

Clemson                IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  AB BF
----------------------------------------------------
Mottl, Ryan.........  9.0   4   0   0   1   8  30 32


Win - MOTTL 9-3.  Loss - PARSONS 5-6.  Save - None.
HBP - by MOTTL (PECK). 
Umpires - Home:Warren Bumpus  1st:John Kleis  2nd:Tom McKinney
3rd:Joe Burleson  
Start: 7:03   Time: 2:18   Attendance: 4378

Game Notes:
Middle Tennessee will play Old Dominion Saturday at 11:00 AM EDT.          
Clemson will play Illinois Saturday at 3:00 PM EDT.                        
Khalil Greene extended his hitting streak to 20 games.                     
Ryan Mottl's shutout is the first by a Tiger since 1996 (Ken Vining).

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