April 14, 2009
Cullowhee, N.C. - No. 18 Clemson scored eight runs between the sixth and seventh innings, including five in the latter while striking out 16 Catamount batters to hand Western Carolina an 11-1 defeat Tuesday night in non-conference action at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
The 10-run loss for WCU was its worst at the hands of the Tigers since falling by the same margin, 13-3, back in late March of 1996. WCU, which has split the seasonal series with Clemson each of the past three seasons, will try to make it four-in-a-row on Wednesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium with first pitch slated for 6:30 pm.
The game is scheduled to be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network with a 6:15 pm air time, live on WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee. Fans can also catch the action on the Internet at www.WWCUFM.com.
Clemson starter Graham Stoneburner (5-3) struck out a career-high 11 in seven innings of work, scattering five base hits and only surrendering the lone run on consecutive doubles in the fourth inning. Trevor Collias, who finished 2-for-4, doubled to open the frame with Ross Heffley legging out a two-bagger to right center field to put the Catamounts on the board and pull back within two, 3-1.
However, that would be the extent of the Catamount offense as Western (20-13) stranded six base runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the seventh inning.
Tiger relievers Kyle Deese and Will Lamb combined to fan five more WCU hitters in the final two frames, allowing just one hit between them in helping hold the Catamounts to six hits on the night.
Garrett Ozar (2-3) suffered the loss after allowing six runs - only three of which were earned - on seven hits through five and a third in his first start of the season. The Oak Park, Calif., native walked three and tallied three strikeouts on the night. Chris Masters made his first relief appearance of the season, pitching two-thirds of an inning of two-hit, three-run work, with Garrett Baker and Jason Sullivan tossing the final three innings.
Clemson (24-12) capitalized on the first of three Catamount errors in the top of the first inning as lead-off man Mike Freeman reached on a fielding error at second base. A pair of fly ball outs sandwiched around a one-out single should have ended the frame for Western unscathed, but an RBI single by Kyle Parker gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
A bases-loaded walk in the first by Wilson Boyd plated what would prove to be the game-winning run as Clemson led 2-0 after one before taking a 3-0 edge into the fourth when WCU was able to light the scoreboard for a single tally.
Parker, Ben Paulsen and Jeff Schaus led the way offensively on the night for Clemson, each with three-hit performances. Schaus finished 3-for-4 including a solo home run to open the five-run seventh inning, while Parker was a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish with two RBI while Boyd drove in three.