Tigers pound out 19 runs, scorch the Gamecocks at Carolina Stadium


by - Senior Writer -
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Chris Epps was named the Bob Bradley Most Valuable Player for the Tigers in the Reedy River Rivalry’s three game series. (photos: fotoman)

COLUMBIA – The Clemson baseball team must really enjoy playing at the new home of the Carolina Gamecocks.

The 9th-rankedTigers improved to 2-1 at the Gamecocks’ new digs, and continued to hit the ball well at the complex as they pounded the 15th-ranked Gamecocks 19-6 at Carolina Stadium Sunday afternoon, winning the season series from the Gamecocks two games to one while improving to 9-1 on the young season.

The last time the Tigers played at Carolina Stadium was last April when Clemson brought home a 12-2 win, giving the Tigers a 31-8 advantage there in the last two games. Overall, the Tigers have scored 37 runs in the three games played at the stadium.

“We have been playing well here,” Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said. “I am very proud of our team, because it’s not easy to come down here and play your best game. You have to keep your concentration on the game and not on the crowd and everything else that goes on here. I thought we did a good job of that.”

Clemson’s Chris Epps was named the Bob Bradley Most Valuable Player for the Tigers in the Reedy River Rivalry’s three game series, hitting a couple of homers and driving in five runs, including a grand slam on Sunday, but he said he would gladly share the award with his teammates.

“It’s a nice accomplishment, but like I told the other guys, it’s a team effort,” Epps said. “Everybody today, as you could see, put a good swing on the ball. Whoever we put in there, one through 15, went up there ready to hit. Yesterday, I thought we were a little too timid, and today there was a big difference. I don’t think it’s the stadium, but it’s how we need to hit all the time.”

For the third straight game, the Tiger offense opened things up on the Gamecocks, taking advantage of the wildness of Gamecock starter Tyler Webb, who had not allowed an earned in eight-plus innings coming into the game. He walked two in the first inning but escaped unscathed, but walked Richie Shaffer to start the bottom of the second.

Brad Miller hit a wicked liner to right for the first out of the inning, but John Nester walked on a 3-2 pitch. Webb then proceeded to hit Jason Stolz in the knee with his second pitch, loading the bases for Chris Epps. Epps promptly launched a 2-1 pitch from Webb over the center field wall for a grand slam a 4-0 Tiger lead.

The Gamecocks brought in Steven Neff to replace Webb, and Mike Freeman greeted Neff with a homer to right center on the first pitch for a 5-0 Clemson lead. Kyle Parker walked with two outs, stole second and was brought home on a single to left by Wilson Boyd to give Clemson a 6-0 lead.


Carolina answered with an unearned run in the bottom of the second inning, an error by Miller leading to an RBI single by Adrian Morales for the first Gamecock run.

Clemson jumped back on Neff in the fourth inning, with Epps continuing his hot hitting by singling sharply to right to start the inning. He moved to second on a Neff balk, and Freeman followed that with a beautiful bunt single down the first base line, advancing Epps to third. Schaus hit a grounder to first for the first out, but Freeman moved to second and Epps scored on the play for a 7-1 lead.

Parker grounded out to short, allowing Freeman to move to third, and new Carolina pitcher Jay Brown bounced a 1-2 pitch to Boyd that went to the screen, allowing Freeman to score for an 8-1 Tiger advantage.

Carolina got two runs on a two-run triple by Nick Ebert in the bottom of the fifth to make it 8-3, but Shaffer picked a good time for the first home run of his Clemson career, launching a two-out, three-run homer into the Clemson bullpen in left center field in the top of the sixth to put Clemson up 11-3.

A bases-loaded walk by Schaus extended the lead to 12-3 in the seventh, and Will Lamb scored Boyd on a sacrifice fly to left in the eighth to make it 13-3. An Epps singled up the middle then plated Miller for the 14th run and the rout was on in force. Scott Wingo added a 3-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to account for the final score, but Addison Johnson smacked a solo shot to right in the top of the ninth to make it 15-6. The Tigers again loaded the bases, and Phil Pohl drilled the second grand slam of the day when he hit his first homer of the season over the right field wall for a 19-6 lead.

The Tigers had jumped out to big leads in the each of the first two games, but Carolina came back to take the lead in each game, and he said the coaches talked to the team about that before Sunday’s game.

“We talked about that, getting off to the good starts and letting them back in the game,” Leggett said. “We got into a little bit of a lull on Saturday afternoon and couldn’t get the momentum back. We said we needed to play all nine innings today and we did that. We just happened to hit on all cylinders out there today and it was tough to stop us.”

Scott Weismann picked up the win, tossing six innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out five. It is his second win of the season.

**The announced crowd was 8,214, a Carolina Stadium record. The previous record was 8,212, also against Clemson, a 12-2 Tiger win in April of last year.

**Epps was 7-for-14, two home runs, six RBI and six runs scored in the series.



Clemson 19 (9-1)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Chris Epps cf/rf.........  6  2  3  5   1  3  3  0   2
Mike Freeman 2b..........  6  3  3  1   0  0  0  3   2
Jeff Schaus lf...........  3  1  0  2   3  1  1  0   0
Kyle Parker rf...........  3  1  0  0   2  1  3  0   2
 Addison Johnson cf......  1  1  1  1   0  0  0  0   0
Wilson Boyd dh...........  5  1  2  1   0  1  0  0   2
 Spencer Kieboom ph/dh...  0  1  0  0   1  0  0  0   0
Richie Shaffer 1b........  4  3  1  3   2  3 10  1   1
Brad Miller ss...........  6  2  1  0   0  2  2  4   0
John Nester c............  3  1  0  0   1  1  5  0   0
 Will Lamb ph............  0  0  0  1   0  0  0  0   0
 Phil Pohl c.............  1  1  1  4   0  0  0  0   0
Jason Stolz 3b...........  1  1  0  0   1  0  1  0   0
 John Hinson ph/3b.......  3  1  2  0   0  0  1  0   0
Scott Weismann p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
 Dominic Leone p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Alex Frederick p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Kevin Kyle p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
Totals................... 42 19 14 18  11 12 27 10   9

South Carolina 6 (6-4)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Whit Merrifield 3b/rf....  5  0  1  0   0  1  0  0   0
Jackie Bradley, Jr. cf...  4  0  1  0   1  0  3  0   0
Jeffery Jones dh.........  4  1  1  0   1  2  0  0   0
Kyle Enders c............  3  1  1  0   0  0 10  0   1
 Brady Thomas c..........  1  0  0  0   0  0  2  0   1
Nick Ebert 1b............  3  1  2  2   1  0  4  0   0
Adam Matthews rf/lf......  4  0  1  0   0  1  2  0   4
 Evan Marzilli lf........  1  0  1  0   0  0  2  0   0
Robert Beary lf..........  1  0  0  0   0  1  1  0   0
 Christian Walker ph/3b..  4  1  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
Adrian Morales 2b........  3  1  1  1   1  0  1  1   0
Scott Wingo ss...........  4  1  1  3   0  0  1  1   4
Tyler Webb p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Steven Neff p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Jay Brown p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 John Taylor p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Alex Burrell p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Patrick Sullivan p......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Colby Holmes p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Jose Mata p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 37  6 10  6   4  5 27  3  10

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Clemson............. 060 203 125 - 19 14  2
South Carolina...... 010 020 030 -  6 10  3
-------------------------------------------

E - MILLER 2(6); EBERT(1); WALKER(2); WINGO(1). DP - Clemson 2; S. Carolina
1. LOB - Clemson 9; S. Carolina 10. 3B - EBERT(1). HR - EPPS(2); FREEMAN(2);
JOHNSON(1); SHAFFER(1); POHL(1); WINGO(2). HBP - STOLZ; ENDERS; EBERT. SF -
LAMB(1). SB - PARKER(2); BRADLEY(1).

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Scott Weismann......  6.0  5  3  2  2  5 24 27
Dominic Leone.......  1.0  1  2  1  2  0  5  8
Alex Frederick......  1.0  3  1  1  0  0  5  5
Kevin Kyle..........  1.0  1  0  0  0  0  3  3

South Carolina         IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Tyler Webb..........  1.1  1  4  4  4  1  5 10
Steven Neff.........  2.0  4  4  4  1  3 10 11
Jay Brown...........  2.2  2  3  3  2  6 11 13
John Taylor.........  0.1  1  1  0  1  0  2  3
Alex Burrell........  0.2  0  0  0  1  0  2  3
Patrick Sullivan....  1.0  3  2  0  0  1  6  7
Colby Holmes........  0.1  3  5  5  2  0  4  6
Jose Mata...........  0.2  0  0  0  0  1  2  2

Win - WEISMANN (2-0).  Loss - WEBB (0-1).  Save - None.
WP - WEISMANN(1); BROWN(1). HBP - by WEBB (STOLZ); by WEISMANN (EBERT); by LEONE
(ENDERS). BK - NEFF(2); SULLIVAN(1).
Umpires - HP: A.J. Lostaglio  1B: Greg Street  2B: Randy Harvey  3B: Scott Erby
Start: 2:03 PM   Time: 3:23   Attendance: 8214
Game notes:
Play halted at 2:57 PM due to an injury to umpire A.J. Lostaglio.
Play resumed at 3:07 PM with Greg Street as the home plate umpire.
LEONE faced 2 batters in the 8th.

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