March 3, 2004
Russell Triplett belted his first career grand slam and every Tiger starter had a hit as Clemson defeated Gardner-Webb 8-5 Wednesday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Jeff Hahn (1-0) pitched four innings of middle relief for the win and Patrick Hogan notched his first save of the year as the Tigers captured their first home win of the season in front of 3,105 fans.
All eight Clemson runs were driven in by Triplett, Zane Green and Herman Demmink, the 7-8-9 hitters in the Tiger lineup. Abe Gonzalez (1-3) suffered the loss for Gardner-Webb.
Gardner-Webb plated the first run of the contest after Sammy Styers drove home Ryan Quirello from second base. Quirello reached on a two-out double to right center field. Tiger starter P.J. Zocchi avoided a jam by striking out Ryan Sickles with the bases loaded.
The Bulldogs extended the lead to 3-0 after Blake Lalli ripped his first home run of the season over the right center field fence. Lalli’s hit came on a full count, giving Gardner-Webb all three runs early on with two outs.
Clemson came back strong in the second inning. Green drove in two runs with a single through the right side. Then, second baseman Demmink hit his first career home run, a two-run shot to right field to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead.
The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the fifth for Triplett, who lined an 0-1 pitch over the left field pitch for a grand slam and an 8-3 lead. The four RBIs were Triplett’s first of the year, and the grand slam was the first of his career.
David Futrelle countered in the top of the sixth with a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 8-5, but the Bulldogs would get no closer. The trio of Adam Walker, Steven Jackson and Hogan threw three scoreless innings to secure the victory.
Clemson will now travel to Charleston, SC to face College of Charleston Friday at 5:00 PM.
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