Tigers Rally To Defeat Gamecocks, 6-4


by - Correspondent -
    |

CLEMSON - Jack Leggett's list of birthday wishes for Sunday totaled just one item:


A victory.


Thanks to a big hit by Marquez Smith, that wish came true at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.



Smith's two-out, bases loaded single in the seventh inning snapped a 4-4 tie and provided the winning margin in top-ranked Clemson's 6-4 victory over No. 9 South Carolina. The game was played before an announce crowd of 5,617.


"This is what I wanted, right here. I don't need a cake or anything," Leggett said. "I'm proud of the way the guys bounced back after a tough loss yesterday (6-2 to USC in Columbia)...The most important thing that happened today was that we didn't quit, we kept battling, and we found a way to win it in the end."


With Gamecocks' head coach Ray Tanner managing as if Sunday's game were the seventh game of the World Series, the decisive seventh inning seemed to last forever.


It began in the top of the frame, with the game tied 3-3. Justin Smoak was hit by the first pitch delivered by Clemson (7-2) starter Stephen Faris, and was replaced at first base by pinch-runner James Darnell. After Reese Havens grounded out to second, Leggett replaced Faris with senior righty Josh Cribb.


Cribb immediately walked Chris Brown, but struck out Mark Stanley for the second out of the inning. Tanner then pulled starting catcher Trent Kline in favor of lefthanded pinch hitter Drew Martin.


Martin, who had only two at-bats previously this season, lined a base hit to left to give USC (9-2) a 4-3 lead. The hit gave Martin four RBI on the year. Cribb got Cheyne Hurst to ground into a fielder's choice to retire the side.


In the bottom of the inning, Tanner employed four different pitchers to try and keep the Tigers at bay.


Andy Lambert started the inning and seemed to be in good shape, retiring the first two batters he faced. But then Brad Chalk and Taylor Harbin had back-to-back singles, and Tanner went to the bullpen for lefty Alex Farotto. Farotto threw one pitch, hitting Tyler Colvin in the right shoulder to load the bases.


Tanner brought in another pitcher, righthander Jeff Jeffords, to face Travis Storrer. Storrer worked the count full, then walked on a pitch high to force in the tying run.


Again Tanner changed pitchers, bringing in his closer Shawn Valdes-Fauli. Valdes-Fauli went 2-2 on Smith, who then lined a single into left field to drive in two runs and give Clemson a 6-4 lead - its first of the game.


"It was a slider, a good pitch," Smith said. "I was just trying to come up with some way to put us ahead, and I found a way to get one through the left side."


Steven Richard pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for the Tigers to claim his second save of the season. Cribb (3-0) got credit for the victory. Lambert (2-1) was tagged with the loss.


"We did some good things out here today," said Leggett. "We got good defense, except for one small instance, and I thought Faris pitched well. We hit the ball okay, though we did miss a couple of opportunities early on."


The Tigers played from behind for much of the afternoon. They trailed 2-0 in the first inning for the second straight game when Justin Smoak lined a two-out, two-run double down the rightfield line.


The Gamecock lead extended to 3-0 in the third on an RBI single from Giesler. It was nearly 5-0 one batter later when Robbie Grinestaff drove a Faris pitch the other way to the wall in leftfield. But Tyler Colvin caught up with the ball as he banged into the wall, then wheeled a throw back into the infield that doubled off Giesler, who was already halfway to third base.


Clemson began the road back in the bottom of the third when Widmann tripled to rightcenter, then scored on a Casanova groundout. The Tigers made it 3-2 in the fourth USC shortstop Reese Haven's wild throw on a ground ball by Smith allowed Harbin to score.


An infield single by Brad Chalk scored Widmann with the tying run in the fifth.


Clemson returns to action at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, hosting William & Mary.


South Carolina 4 (9-2)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Cheyne Hurst lf..........  4  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   2
Michael Campbell cf......  4  1  2  0   0  1  3  0   0
Neil Giesler 3b/1b.......  3  1  2  1   1  0  3  3   0
Robbie Grinestaff dh.....  4  1  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
Justin Smoak 1b..........  2  0  1  2   0  0 10  1   0
 James Darnell pr/3b.....  1  1  0  0   0  0  0  0   1
Reese Havens ss..........  3  0  0  0   1  1  0  4   1
Chris Brown 2b...........  3  0  0  0   1  0  2  4   0
Mark Stanley rf..........  3  0  0  0   0  2  1  0   0
 Andrew Crisp ph.........  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Trent Kline c............  2  0  0  0   0  0  2  0   0
 Drew Martin ph..........  1  0  1  1   0  0  0  0   0
 Ian Paxton c............  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Forrest Beverly p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Mike Cisco p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Chase Tucker p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Andy Lambert p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Alex Farotto p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Jeff Jeffords p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Shawn Valdes-Fauli p....  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 31  4  7  4   3  4 24 13   4

Clemson 6 (7-2)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Herman Demmink 3b........  5  0  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
Brad Chalk cf............  3  1  2  1   0  0  2  0   0
Taylor Harbin 2b.........  4  2  3  0   0  0  1  5   0
Tyler Colvin lf..........  3  1  0  0   0  1  3  1   3
Travis Storrer rf........  2  0  1  1   2  0  3  0   0
Marquez Smith dh.........  3  0  1  2   0  0  0  0   0
Andy D'Alessio 1b........  4  0  0  0   0  1 11  0   3
Stan Widmann ss..........  4  2  2  0   0  1  4  3   1
Adrian Casanova c........  3  0  0  1   0  0  3  1   0
Stephen Faris p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  2   0
 Josh Cribb p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Ryan Hinson p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Steve Richard p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 31  6 10  5   2  3 27 12   7

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
South Carolina...... 201 000 100 -  4  7  1
Clemson............. 001 110 30X -  6 10  2
-------------------------------------------

E - HAVENS(3); WIDMANN(2); CASANOVA(1). 
DP - S. Carolina 1; Clemson 3. LOB - S. Carolina 4; 
Clemson 7. 2B - SMOAK(5); HARBIN(2). 3B - WIDMANN(1). 
HBP - SMOAK; COLVIN. SH - CHALK(4); M. SMITH(1); 
CASANOVA(4). SB - CAMPBELL(1).

South Carolina         IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Forrest Beverly.....  4.2  6  3  2  0  1 18 20
Mike Cisco..........  0.2  1  0  0  1  0  2  4
Chase Tucker........  0.1  0  0  0  0  0  1  1
Andy Lambert........  1.0  2  2  2  0  1  5  5
Alex Farotto........  0.0  0  1  1  0  0  0  1
Jeff Jeffords.......  0.0  0  0  0  1  0  0  1
Shawn Valdes-Fauli..  1.1  1  0  0  0  1  5  5

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Stephen Faris.......  6.1  5  4  3  0  3 23 24
Josh Cribb..........  0.2  1  0  0  1  1  3  4
Ryan Hinson.........  0.2  1  0  0  1  0  2  3
Steve Richard.......  1.1  0  0  0  1  0  3  4

Win - CRIBB (3-0).  Loss - LAMBERT (2-1).  
Save - RICHARD (2).
WP - CISCO(1); HINSON 2(2). HBP - by FARIS (SMOAK); 
by FAROTTO (COLVIN). 
Umpires - HP: Jack Cox  1B: Tony Maners  
3B: Tony Walsh
Start: 2:03   Time: 2:30   Attendance: 5617
FAROTTO faced 1 batter in the 7th.
JEFFORDS faced 1 batter in the 7th.

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