Tigers Rally Late to Beat Charleston Southern


by - Correspondent -
    |

CLEMSON - Nothing like a little midweek drama to shake up folks at old ball yard.


Stifled on four hits through the first eight innings, Clemson erupted for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to stun visiting Charleston Southern, 3-2, Wednesday night at Doug Kingsmore stadium.


The victory celebration was somewhat subdued due to the announcement earlier in the evening that starting pitcher Jason Berken will miss the rest of the season with Tommy John surgery. The procedure, which consists of having his partially torn unlar collateral ligament in his right elbow replaced with a tendon from his right hamstring, will be performed next week by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.


The recovery time for such surgery generally is 8-12 months.


"It's unfortunate, because he's a big part of our team," head coach Jack Leggett said. "Not just as a pitcher, but as a person. Now we have to have somebody step up and fill his role."


Berken, though disappointed, seemed to take it in stride.



"Eight months is January," he said. "If I can get back then I'll have time to get ready for next season. It helps knowing the guy doing the surgery is famous for it, and that there's an 85-percent success rate in coming back."


The Tigers were able to put aside the bad news long enough to get some enjoyment out of the victory, a win which looked most unlikely for most of the evening. Clemson's offense had been shut down by a trio of Charleston Southern (20-26) pitchers, collecting just four singles through its first eight times to the plate.


But facing Bobby Parnell, the third of those hurlers, in the ninth inning, Tony Sipp led off with a single to centerfield and Kris Harvey followed by belting a high, inside changeup into the parking lot behind the left field fence to tie the score at 2-2.


Parnell was replaced by Nino Fasulo (3-2), who promptly gave up a hard single to left by Brad McCann and a double to Lou Santangelo that fell between Buccaneer centerfielder Jordan Haar and leftfielder Brian Sole on the hill just shy of the fence.


That brought Travis Storrer to the plate, who much to his surprise found Charleston Southern pitching to him instead of walking him to load the bases. Storrer foiled the strategy by bouncing a high chopper over a drawn-in infield to score McCann with the game-winner.


"He threw me a fastball low and away and I was able to put it in play," Storrer said. "I was lucky to get the hop over shortstop because I still hit it on the ground. It's always a challenge, because you don't want to be that guy who didn't get the hit."


The rally also will have far-reaching effects, Storrer said.


("If we lose) we're going to be down. They pitched good, played good defense, but that's a team we should beat. If we don't we're going to be set back..."


For a while it looked as though the setback would be more fact than fiction. Instead, Clemson's rally kept it from being shut out at home by a non-conference opponent for the first time in 30 years.


"We found a way," Leggett said. "That's the positive. It's a funny game, huh? They pitched well, and we didn't have a guy to third base until those two guys passed me in the ninth."


An inning earlier the Baseball Gods seemed to be sending Leggett a message that it just wasn't his night. After watching Clemson hit a number of balls on the nose throughout the evening - with nothing to show for it - the coup de grace came on a low screamer by Russell Triplett toward Buccaneer first baseman Alan Bontya leading off the eighth inning


The ball ricocheted off Bontya's glove and for a moment it looked as if the Tigers would finally get a break and get the leadoff hitter aboard. Instead, the ball bounced directly to second baseman Brad Woods, who threw out Triplett on a close play at first.


"After that I was thinking this was going to be a tough night," Leggett said. "Things just weren't falling for us."


Instead, Clemson (29-16) escaped with an important midweek win and builds some positive momentum heading into this weekend's meeting with the University of Central Florida.


The Buccaneers got both their runs in the third inning off Clemson starter Kris Harvey.


Sole, who singled with one out and advanced to second when Haar was hit by a pitch, scored the first run when he stole third base and came all the way around when Clemson catcher Santangelo's throw sailed into left field. Haar, who advanced to second on the play, then rode home on a single by Bontya.


Harvey settled down after that, lasting until two outs deep into the sixth when he allowed a walk and a single. Leggett pulled Harvey in favor of Josh Cribb, who promptly walked Lionel Greene to load the bases.


But Cribb then stuck out Adam Brown, beginning a streak of 10 straight batters the sophomore righthander would retire to end the game.


"I haven't thrown the ball as well as I would have liked my last 3-4 appearances," Cribb said. "But everything was working well tonight. It felt good to come in and get the job done and give us a chance to win the game."

Charleston Southern 2 (20-26)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Reynolds, Jay rf.........  4  0  1  0   0  1  0  0   0
Sole, Brian lf...........  3  1  1  0   1  2  1  0   0
Haar, Jordan cf..........  3  1  0  0   0  1  2  0   0
Woods, Brad 2b...........  4  0  0  0   0  1  2  6   1
Bontya, Alan 1b..........  4  0  1  1   0  1  8  2   0
Arias, Marcos dh.........  4  0  1  0   0  1  0  0   1
Thacker, Scotty c........  3  0  1  0   1  0  7  0   0
Greene, Lionel 3b........  3  0  1  0   1  0  1  1   0
Brown, Adam ss...........  4  0  0  0   0  1  2  3   5
Swindle, R.J. p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Holmen, Ian p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Parnell, Bobby p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Fasulo, Nino p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 32  2  6  1   3  8 24 13   7

Clemson 3 (29-16)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Sipp, Tony cf............  4  1  2  0   0  0  2  0   0
Harvey, Kris p/dh........  4  1  1  2   0  0  1  1   0
McCann, Brad 3b..........  4  1  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
Santangelo, Lou c........  4  0  1  0   0  1  8  1   0
Storrer, Travis 2b.......  4  0  1  1   0  1  1  4   0
D'Alessio, Andy 1b.......  2  0  1  0   1  1 11  1   0
Triplett, Russell ss.....  3  0  1  0   0  0  0  6   1
Colvin, Tyler lf.........  3  0  0  0   0  2  3  0   0
Hub, Ryan rf.............  3  0  1  0   0  1  1  0   2
 Cribb, Josh p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 31  3  9  3   1  6 27 13   5

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Charleston Southern. 002 000 000 -  2  6  1
Clemson............. 000 000 003 -  3  9  1
-------------------------------------------

Note: None out, 2 runners LOB when the game ended.

E - HAAR(5); SANTANGELO(5). DP - Chas. Sou. 2; 
Clemson 1. LOB - Chas. Sou. 7; Clemson 5. 
2B - THACKER(8); SANTANGELO(7). HR - HARVEY(8). 
HBP - HAAR. SB - SOLE 2(11); HAAR(23); ARIAS 2(4); 
THACKER(2). CS - REYNOLDS(3); HUB(2).

Charleston Southern    IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Swindle, R.J........  3.0  3  0  0  0  2 10 10
Holmen, Ian.........  3.0  1  0  0  1  2 10 11
Parnell, Bobby......  2.0  2  2  2  0  2  8  8
Fasulo, Nino........  0.0  3  1  1  0  0  3  3

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Harvey, Kris........  5.2  6  2  2  2  4 22 25
Cribb, Josh.........  3.1  0  0  0  1  4 10 11

Win - CRIBB (3-0).  Loss - FASULO (3-2).  Save - None.
HBP - by HARVEY (HAAR).
Umpires - HP: David Savage  1B: Steve Manders  
3B: Tony Thompson
Start: 7:16   Time: 2:15   Attendance: 2802
PARNELL faced 2 batters in the 9th.
FASULO faced 3 batters in the 9th.

Rate this Story:
9 votes

Send Feedback to Dan Scott: Email | Comment
    |
Loading...

Analyst says Watson 'magic' gives Texans shot at Patriots

Clemson vs. Boston College Prediction

Alabama OT commit: "I love Clemson"

Friday Email Bag

Clemson releases recap video on win over Louisville

WATCH: Clemson still 'most complete team' after losing kicker

Sammy Watkins leaves game with head injury

Clemson offers nation's No. 1 2019 center

Focus shouldn’t be a problem against Boston College
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest