Tigers rout Eastern Michigan in season opener


by - Senior Writer -
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The Tigers celebrate Chris Epps' homer that led off the season.

Audio: Jack Leggett Press Conference (MP3 Format)



CLEMSON – New bats, no problem.

At least through game one of the season.

The new bats, mandated by the NCAA in an effort to reduce the risk of injury, were supposed to stop some of the high-scoring college baseball games, but the 4th-ranked Clemson Tigers scored like it was last season in pounding out 16 hits in a 14-3 season-opening win over Eastern Michigan at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Friday afternoon.

“It was a good start to the season,” Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said. “We got some big hits when we needed them, and I thought Scott Weismann pitched well. The wind was blowing around and out to left field, so the ballpark played a little smaller than normal today, but overall I thought it was a good effort.”

The Tigers jumped on Eastern Michigan starter Kandall Lewis in the bottom of the first. Chris Epps led off the inning – and the Tigers’ season – by slamming a solo home run off of an 0-1 pitch into left-center field and Clemson led 1-0 early. Clemson added three more runs before the inning was over and the Tigers led 4-0 at the end of one.

Epps said he knew the new bats weren’t going to be a problem, and as a team captain, tried to help get the season jump-started with his big blow.

“I knew we weren’t going to have problems with the bats,” he said. “It was just a matter of swinging them. The pitch I hit was just a fastball, knee-high. It was a pretty good pitch, but I put a good swing on it. I swung at the first pitch, so I was pretty aggressive. I figured he would go away with the next one, and I buried my inside shoulder, and he threw it away. I put a good swing on it and the wind helped it out. I just know that we can go out there and swing a tree trunk and we still get the job done.”

Clemson starter Scott Weismann got into his only trouble of the game in the top of the second, giving up a walk, a single and a three-run homer to Robert Wendzicki.

That was the only trouble he would face during his five inning stint; he gave up just those three runs on five hits, walked one and struck out four in picking up the win.

“It was good to get out there for the first time,” Weismann said. “I had that one rough inning, but I felt like I finished strong. I only had one walk, and that was close. For the most part, I felt like I had good location, and I was spotting the ball on both sides of the plate.”

In the bottom of the third, Spencer Kieboom’s sacrifice fly scored Brad Miller, and John Hinson scored on a wild pitch a batter later. Will Lamb followed that with a single to left that scored Jason Stolz and the Tigers led 7-3 at the end of the third.

Clemson added three more runs in the fourth, a single run in the sixth and three more in the seventh to build up a 14-3 lead.

Catcher Spencer Kieboom drove in four runs, continuing a surge that started last season.


“It just feels good to go out and get the win,” Kieboom said. “Last year, I got on a little bit of a roll, and this year I want to keep it going. It’s a good thing when you have runners on base. We expected to score a lot of runs. The base hits are still going to be there, and we are still going to hit the ball.”

The Tigers also took advantage of 10 Eastern Michigan walks, with John Hinson drawing three of his owns. Hinson and Brad Miller scored three runs apiece.

David Haselden came on in relief of Weismann and pitched two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit. Just Sarratt pitched one inning, giving up a single hit, and Joseph Moorefield finished it off by pitching a perfect ninth.


Audio: John Hinson (MP3 Format)


Audio: Spencer Kieboom (MP3 Format)


Audio: Scott Weismann (MP3 Format)


Audio: Chris Epps (MP3 Format)



Eastern Michigan 3 (0-1)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Brent Ohrman cf..........  4  0  1  0   0  1  4  0   0
Bo Kinder rf.............  4  0  0  0   0  0  4  0   0
Tucker Rubino ss.........  4  0  1  0   0  0  1  1   1
Ben Magsig 3b............  3  1  1  0   1  0  0  2   0
Zack Leonard 2b..........  4  1  2  0   0  0  1  1   2
Robert Wendzicki 1b......  3  1  1  3   0  0  6  1   0
 Kyle Klein ph...........  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Kyle Peterson c..........  3  0  1  0   0  1  2  0   0
 Matt Hitt c.............  1  0  0  0   0  0  3  0   0
Daniel Russell dh........  3  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   2
 Aaron Chavez ph.........  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
Ken Battiston lf.........  3  0  0  0   0  2  3  0   0
 Wally Gerbus lf.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Kendall Lewis p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Collin Taylor p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Neil Butara p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  2   0
 Sam Ott p...............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Corey Chaffins p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 34  3  7  3   1  6 24  8   5

Clemson 14 (1-0)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Chris Epps rf............  4  1  1  1   1  0  1  0   4
 Addison Johnson cf......  1  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   2
Will Lamb cf/rf..........  5  1  2  1   0  1  3  0   2
 Jay Cox ph/rf...........  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
Jeff Schaus lf...........  3  1  1  0   1  0  4  0   2
 Dominic Attanasio ph/lf.  2  1  2  0   0  0  2  0   0
Richie Shaffer 1b........  2  2  1  0   2  0  5  0   0
 Jon McGibbon ph/1b......  2  1  2  0   0  0  2  1   0
Brad Miller ss...........  3  3  2  2   2  0  2  4   1
 Kevin Caughman ph/2b....  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
John Hinson 3b...........  2  3  1  1   3  1  1  2   2
Phil Pohl dh.............  2  0  1  2   0  1  0  0   0
Spencer Kieboom c........  2  0  1  4   0  0  6  0   0
Jason Stolz 2b...........  3  1  2  1   1  0  0  1   0
 Steve Wilkerson ph/2b...  0  0  0  1   0  0  0  0   0
Scott Weismann p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 David Haselden p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Justin Sarratt p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Joseph Moorefield p.....  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 33 14 16 13  10  5 27  8  13

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Eastern Michigan.... 030 000 000 -  3  7  0
Clemson............. 403 301 30X - 14 16  1
-------------------------------------------

E - MILLER(1). DP - Clemson 1. LOB - E. Michigan 5; Clemson 13. 2B -
McGIBBON(1). 3B - HINSON(1). HR - WENDZICKI(1); EPPS(1). HBP - POHL;
KIEBOOM. SH - POHL(1). SF - HINSON(1); POHL(1); KIEBOOM 2(2); WILKERSON(1).
SB - MILLER(1); STOLZ(1).

Eastern Michigan       IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Kendall Lewis.......  2.2  4  7  7  5  0  8 18
Collin Taylor.......  0.1  1  3  3  4  0  2  6
Neil Butara.........  3.1  9  4  4  1  2 17 20
Sam Ott.............  0.2  0  0  0  0  0  1  2
Corey Chaffins......  1.0  2  0  0  0  3  5  5

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Scott Weismann......  5.0  5  3  3  1  4 20 21
David Haselden......  2.0  1  0  0  0  1  6  6
Justin Sarratt......  1.0  1  0  0  0  0  5  5
Joseph Moorefield...  1.0  0  0  0  0  1  3  3

Win - WEISMANN (1-0).  Loss - LEWIS (0-1).  Save - None.
WP - LEWIS 2(2); TAYLOR(1). HBP - by LEWIS (POHL); by BUTARA (KIEBOOM).
Umpires - HP: Randy Watkins  1B: Jeremy Dupree  3B: Mike Mazzarisi
Start: 4:07 PM   Time: 2:33   Attendance: 6138
TAYLOR faced 3 batters in the 4th.

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