March 28, 2007
Clemson, S.C. - The 11-th ranked Clemson Tigers scored in all but two innings in which they batted, twice plating four runs in a frame as they avenged last week's loss to Western Carolina, downing the Catamounts, 15-6, on Wednesday night in non-conference action at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The loss was Western's fourth-straight on the season, while Clemson improved to 36-2 all-time in games played at home against the Catamounts including having won 36 of the last 37 meetings with the lone WCU victory coming last season.
Down 7-0 after four innings, Western (14-11) pushed across four runs in the top of the fifth inning to close within three, 7-4. However, the Tigers responded with one in the bottom of the frame, three in the sixth and a four-spot in the home portion of the seventh to pull ahead for the win. WCU scored twice in the eighth to provide the final margin.
Senior transfer Kenny Smith went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and an RBI to lead the Catamounts, with former Tiger, senior John Ingram, going 2-for-4 against his old club. Junior Blake Murphy was 0-for-2 at the plate with two walks and two runs scored.
Clemson took advantage of back-to-back singles, a walk, a throwing error and a passed ball in the bottom of the second to grab the early advantage and eventually chasing Catamount starter, freshman Chris Masters (3-2). The rookie from Marietta, Ga., finished with two innings pitched surrendering four unearned runs with three walks and two strikeouts.
In the top of the fifth, Murphy ripped one to left field where Addison Johnson dropped the hard hit ball allowing the Waynesville, N.C., native to end up at second. Murphy came home when classmate Steven Strausbaugh pushed an RBI single through the right side. Singles by Ingram and Smith loaded the bases where freshman Nick Liles drove in a run with a walk. A third run came home as Mitchell Hatley reached on a fielder's choice, forcing out Liles at second and scoring Ingram, with the final run of the frame scoring on the second RBI single of the frame off the bat junior Barrett Shaft down the left field line.
Trailing 15-4 in the eighth, WCU tallied its final two runs as Murphy drew a one out walk and advance to third on a pinch hit double down the right field line by Dylan de Graaf
. Ingram drove in his lone run on a groundout to short, scoring Murphy, with the final run in the form of de Graaf touching the dish on an RBI single to left by Smith.
Ten Tigers posted hits for Clemson, which tallied 16 as a team, and were led by the 3-for-6 outing of Taylor Harbin, with Doug Hogan posting a 3-for-4 outing before being lifted late in the game.
Western returns home in Southern Conference action this Friday through Sunday, hosting The Citadel Bulldogs at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium. First pitch on Friday evening is set for 7:00 pm.