March 16, 2002
South Alabama used strong pitching from Sam Smith and Adam Wood to defeat Clemson 6-4 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Saturday. Clemson (13-1) suffered its first loss of the season while South Alabama improved its record to 12-8.
Smith (3-0) earned the win by pitching 5 and 2/3 innings and allowing just three runs, two of which came on solo homers by Khalil Greene. He struck out five batters and allowed eight hits. Wood pitched 3 and 1/3 solid relief innings to grab the save. Steven Jackson (2-1) got the loss for Clemson.
South Alabama jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Ryan Mulhern hit a towering home run to left field to give the Jags an early lead, but Greene responded with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning to bring the Tigers to within one. It was the fourth consecutive game in which Greene hit a home run. Michael Johnson set the school record last season by homering in five straight contests.
The Jaguars got to Jackson again in the third when leadoff batter Brett Parker took Jackson’s second offering deep over the fence in left to give his team a 3-1 advantage. Once again, Greene responded in the bottom of the frame with a solo home run, his seventh home run of the year, to make the score 3-2.
South Alabama put up a run in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings off of Clemson miscues. Josh Touchstone scored in the fourth when a throw by catcher Collin Mahoney bounced off Touchstone, who was in a rundown between third base and home plate. T.J. Touchstone scored in the fifth off a wild pitch by Jackson and again in the seventh on substitute catcher Steve Pyzik’s passed ball.
Pyzik singled in a run in the sixth inning and Clemson threatened in its final at-bat. Russell Triplett led off the inning with a pinch hit single but was followed by fly outs from Greene and Jeff Baker. Michael Johnson hit an RBI-double to right field that brought the tying run to the plate, but South Alabama’s Adam Wood got Jarrod Schmidt to strike out to end the game.
Greene led the Tigers once again by going 3-4 with two home runs and two RBIs. The senior is 16-22 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in his last five games. David Slevin and Jeff Hourigan each had two hits for the Tigers.
The rubber game of the series will take place at 1:00 PM tomorrow at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Steve Reba (4-0) will take the mound for Clemson while Clark Girardeau (5-1) is scheduled to start for South Alabama.
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