Tigers Win Late Again


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - Jack Leggett had two hunches Friday night and decided to play them both. Had he been in Vegas, he would have beaten the house. Twice.


Clemson rallied from a 1-0 deficit late in the game Friday night to knock off visiting N.C. State, 2-1, at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Russell Triplett delivered the game-winning hit with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, driving in Travis Storrer.


The win was Clemson's fourth in a row and seventh in its last eight games. The Tigers have also won 12 straight at home, including the first three in this current stretch of 14 straight at Doug Kingsmore.



"We lost a lot of one-run games earlier this season," Triplett said. "It's hard on your confidence when you fight back but come up short. But now we're finding a way to win those games, and we're playing really well right now."


This latest bit of high drama came courtesy of Leggett, whose keen observation in a pair of crucial situations proved accurate.


In the ninth, with Storrer at second, Andy D'Alessio at first and one out, Leggett called Triplett over for a brief moment. Leggett noticed that Wolfpack (27-14, 9-7) relief pitcher, Adam McLaurin (2-3), had started off the inning's first hitter - Lou Santangelo - with a series of breaking balls.


"Russell had been struggling a little with the breaking ball himself, so I told him to look for it early in the count," Leggett said. "If he's looking for it in that situation he's got a chance to hit it hard. If he's not, he's likely going to miss it."


Triplett did hit it hard, and on a line, over the third baseman's head and down the left field line. Storrer raced home without a play, and the Tigers (25-14, 9-4 ACC) had won another thriller.


"Coach told me to watch for the breaking ball and (McLaurin) got one up that I could handle," Triplett said. "I'd been seeing breaking balls all night and really hadn't made an adjustment to them. But he left one over the plate."


Two innings earlier, Leggett decided to roll the dice in an unexpected fashion.


Noticing Wolfpack third baseman Joey Devine playing deep behind the bag with Brad McCann on third base and two outs, Leggett flashed the bunt sign to the lefthanded-hitting Travis Storrer. If Storrer got it down in the right area, Leggett reasoned, he'd have a base hit and McCann would score easily from third base.


"Coach Leggett has what he calls recommended plays that he'll flash," Storrer said. "On that play he recommended I bunt because the third baseman was back."


"It was a strong suggestion," Leggett said with a laugh.


Whatever you call it, Storrer executed it perfectly. He bunted the ball just off the third base line, forcing Devine to charge and try to make a barehanded play. He couldn't, and Clemson had tied the game.


One inning later the Tigers let a golden opportunity to take the lead slip away off State starter Michael Rogers.


Tyler Colvin opened the inning by racing all the way to second base when State leftfielder Jason St. Julien dropped his routine fly ball. One out later Colvin advanced to third on a wild pitch, prompting Wolfpack head coach Elliott Avent to intentionally walk pinch hitter John Ingram.


But Kris Harvey and McCann each popped out shortstop following the walk, ending the threat.


"I felt like we had some opportunities to earlier, but they made the plays," Leggett said. "We hit the ball hard a few times but it was right at people. The biggest thing was tying the game. I felt like once we did that, we could relax and have a good shot to win it."


The dramatic finish overshadowed a dandy pitching duel between Rogers and Clemson junior lefty Tyler Lumsden.


Lumsden allowed a run in the first inning on a two-out single by State's Mike Jensen, then shut down the Wolfpack until he was pulled one out deep into the seventh inning. Patrick Hogan pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for his first victory of the season (1-2).


Rogers, meanwhile, was equally as impressive. The Wolfpack righty pitched eight full innings, allowing only three hits and one unearned run.


The teams square off again tonight (7 p.m.) in game two of the three-game weekend series.

N.C. State 1 (27-14,9-7)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Camp, Matt cf............  2  1  0  0   1  1  2  0   1
Muyco, Jake c............  4  0  1  0   0  2  5  0   1
Hicks, David 1b..........  4  0  2  0   0  0  9  2   0
St. Julien, Jason lf.....  4  0  1  0   0  2  1  0   0
Jensen, Mike dh..........  4  0  1  1   0  1  0  0   1
Devine, Joey 3b..........  4  0  1  0   0  2  0  6   3
Taylor, Eric rf..........  3  0  1  0   0  1  1  0   1
 Mezistrano, Lee rf......  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Diaz, Jonathan ss........  2  0  0  0   2  1  4  3   0
Holt, Tim 2b.............  4  0  0  0   0  2  1  0   1
Rogers, Michael p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  2  2   0
 McLaurin, Adam p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
Totals................... 32  1  7  1   3 12 25 14   8

Clemson 2 (25-14,9-4)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Demmink, Herman 2b.......  2  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   1
 Pritchard, Daniel 2b....  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  1   0
 Ingram, John ph.........  0  0  0  0   1  0  0  0   0
 Gaddis, C.J. pr.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Harvey, Kris rf..........  4  0  0  0   0  2  2  0   0
McCann, Brad 3b..........  4  1  0  0   0  1  0  2   2
Santangelo, Lou c........  4  0  0  0   0  0 12  0   0
Storrer, Travis dh/2b....  4  1  2  1   0  0  0  0   0
D'Alessio, Andy 1b.......  3  0  1  0   1  0  8  0   0
Triplett, Russell ss.....  4  0  1  1   0  1  2  5   2
Colvin, Tyler lf.........  3  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Sipp, Tony cf............  3  0  1  0   0  0  1  0   0
Lumsden, Tyler p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Hogan, Patrick p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 32  2  5  2   2  5 27  8   7

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
N.C. State.......... 100 000 000 -  1  7  3
Clemson............. 000 000 101 -  2  5  1
-------------------------------------------

Note: 1 out, 2 runners LOB when the game ended.

E - HICKS 2(3); ST. JULIEN(1); PRITCHARD(2). 
DP - Clemson 2. LOB - N.C.
State 8; Clemson 7. SH - CAMP(5).

N.C. State             IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Rogers, Michael.....  8.0  3  1  0  1  5 29 30
McLaurin, Adam......  0.1  2  1  1  1  0  3  4

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Lumsden, Tyler......  7.1  7  1  1  3  9 27 31
Hogan, Patrick......  1.2  0  0  0  0  3  5  5

Win - P. HOGAN (1-2).  Loss - McLAURIN (2-3).  Save - None.
WP - ROGERS(4); McLAURIN(3). BK - ROGERS 2(2).
Umpires - HP: Al Davis  1B: David Pritchett  
3B: Gerald Trexler
Start: 7:19   Time: 2:21   Attendance: 4464

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