April 15, 2009
Clemson, S.C. - No. 18 Clemson scored six of its 13 runs in the first inning, including four on a Kyle Parker grand slam home run, to complete the seasonal sweep of Western Carolina, 13-2, Wednesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
WCU falls to 20-14 on the heels of its third-straight loss, while the Tigers moved to 25-12 overall.
Clemson pushed across all six runs in the opening inning before WCU could record a single out to lead after one, 6-0. A solo home run by Ben Paulsen pushed the advantage to seven, 7-0, before the Catamounts could respond in the fourth.
Freshman Ross Heffley singled to left field to lead off the visitor's half of the frame and was moved to third two batters later thanks to a wild pitch and a chopping single to third by senior J.C. Lyons. With two out, senior Mitchell Hatley delivered a single to center to plate both runners and pull Western within five, 7-2.
Lyons accounted for two of Western's seven hits on the night with a pair of singles and a run scored in the loss.
Clemson answered Western's two-spot in the top of the fourth with two runs of its own in the bottom of the frame, and concluded the scoring in the fifth with four runs on four hits despite stranding the bases loaded.
Freshman Kyle Stewart (3-1) suffered the loss, allowing all six earned runs on two hits with four walks without recording an official inning pitched. Classmate Andrew Blackwell tossed three and two-thirds in relief surrendering three runs on seven hits, working around two walks with three strikeouts. Matt Benedict gave up the four remaining runs in two-thirds of an inning pitched, walking one with a pair of hit batsmen.
WCU's four remaining relievers - Mike Tavernier, Tyler Brownlow, Brandon Johnson and Daniel Ottone - combined to toss the final three and two-thirds of scoreless relief, only allowing three base hits.
Tiger reliever Alex Frederick (1-0) earned the win after throwing one inning of scoreless, one-hit relief work behind the quality start from David Haselden who scattered five hits and two earned runs in four innings.
Clemson had five players post multi-hit games even with the early substitutions. Parker, who played all nine innings, finished 4-for-5 with four RBI coming on the first inning round-tripper, while Jason Stolz finished 3-for-4 with two driven in. Paulsen scored three runs, including one on his solo shot in the second which was his lone hit of the night.
Western Carolina returns to Southern Conference action this weekend as it hosts league newcomer, Samford, for the first-time in school history. First pitch on Friday and Saturday at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium is set for 6:00 pm, with Sunday's finale scheduled for 2:00 pm.