April 21, 2004
Clemson, S.C. - The 17th-ranked Clemson Tigers (24-14) scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, including the final two runs on a throwing error, to escape with an 8-7 victory over Western Carolina (17-21) Wednesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
In the bottom of the ninth and with one out, Clemson got consecutive singles from Tony Sipp, Herman Demmink and Kris Harvey - the last being an RBI up the middle - to make it a one-run game and putting runners on first and second. Brad McCann followed with a chopper back to the pitcher. However, the throw on the play sailed over the first baseman's head, allowing the tying (Demmink) and winning (Harvey) runs to score.
Western's Daniel Lindner (1-2) suffered the loss, pitching the final 1.1 innings. He allowed four hits and three runs with a walk and a strikeout. Steven Jackson got the win for Clemson, improving to 3-1 on the year. He pitched the ninth, getting a double play and a strikeout.
Western got on the scoreboard first, scoring two runs in the top of the third. Alex Gary had a leadoff walk, then stole second. Chad McKown followed with an RBI double off the right field fence, driving in Gary on the play. After McKown moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, he scored on a wild pitch.
Clemson responded with a run in the bottom of the third to make the score 2-1. Tyler Colvin had a leadoff double and scored on back-to-back ground outs to second, the second being an RBI by Demmink.
In the fourth, Western regained a two-run advantage (3-1) with a single run. Jared Greenwood had a two out double and scored on a Brian Sigmon RBI single off the first baseman's glove, which made its way down the right field line. In the bottom of the fourth, WCU starter Derrick Hawk loaded the bases with one out after a double and two walks. However, Hawk got out of the inning unscathed after getting an inning ending pitcher-to-catcher-to-first base double play.
The Catamounts used a home run and two well executed hit-and-runs to pad their advantage with four runs in the sixth, making the score 7-1. Todd Roper had a leadoff single and reached second on a Clemson fielding error, which allowed Chris Davis to reach first. The two moved up to third and second, respectively, on a hit-and-run ground out by Denver Edick. Greenwood followed with a three-run blast to center field, his 14th homer of the season to tie for the Southern Conference lead. Sigmon kept the hitting going with a single up the middle. He moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Alex Gary. McKown then reached on a fielder's choice as Sigmon was thrown out at home and Gary moved to second. Brandon Zollman delivered an RBI single through the left side, scoring Gary, but McKown was thrown out trying to take third on the play and end the inning.
Clemson cut into its deficit in the bottom of the sixth when Harvey started the home half with a leadoff home run to left field. The round-tripper was Harvey's seventh of the season, just the Tigers' third hit of the game and made the score 7-2.
The Tigers continued their rally in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three runs on just one hit and making the score 7-5. Russell Triplett started the inning by being hit by a pitch, Colvin followed with a walk and Sipp brought the two home with a two-run double to left-center. A ground out moved Sipp to third and he later scored on a balk.
Hawk pitched well for the Cats, pitching the first four innings of the game. He only allowed two hits and one run with three walks and a strikeout. Brian Barnes worked the fifth, retiring all three batters he faced with a strikeout. Alex Obert allowed one hit and one run with a walk in 0.1 innings and Brian McCullen pitched 1.2 innings, allowing one hit and three runs with a walk and a strikeout.
Offensively, Roper, Greenwood, Sigmon and McKown each had two hits. Greenwood also provided three RBI with his three-run homer, while Greenwood and Gary scored twice.
Western did most of its damage offensively off relief pitcher Stephen Faris, who allowed four hits, five runs and four walks in 4.0 innings. Josh Cribb came in to allow seven hits, but he just gave up two runs in 3.0 innings. Offensively, Harvey and Sipp led the way with two hits each.
Western Carolina will return to action Friday at 7 pm, hosting Southern Conference rival UNC Greensboro. The Western Carolina Department of Athletics will donate half the proceeds from ticket sales on Friday night to the Community Table of Sylva. Not only will half the proceeds go to the Community Table, but a booth will be set up at the entrance to take any further donations. The Cats will also host the Spartans on Saturday at 4 pm and Sunday at 1 pm. After the game Sunday, as part of Little League Baseball Day, local kids will be allowed on the field to run the bases.