May 4, 2002
Atlanta, GA –
Top-ranked Clemson scored 12 unanswered runs after trailing 5-0 and downed #9 Georgia Tech 12-9 Saturday night at Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta, GA in front 2,528 fans. It was only Georgia Tech’s second loss in 26 games at home this season. The first-place Tigers improved to 39-6, 13-3 in the ACC while Georgia Tech fell to 36-10, 10-8 in the ACC.
Steve Reba improved to 10-1 on the year in picking up the win. He allowed 11 hits, five earned runs, and no walks while striking out five in 7.0 innings pitched. He became only the fourth Clemson pitcher to total double-digit wins twice in a career, as the senior righthander won 12 games in 2001. Brian Barnes, Andy Taulbee, and Ryan Mottl also accomplished the feat. Freshman Jeff Hourigan picked up his third save as well. Yellow Jacket reliever Kyle Schmidt, who entered the weekend third in the ACC in ERA, allowed six runs on five hits in 0.2 innings pitched, suffered the loss and fell to 3-2.
Georgia Tech got on the board first with five runs in the second inning. After the first two batters were retired, six consecutive singles and a wild pitch plated five Yellow Jacket runs. Tyler Parker got things started, then Brandon Boggs, Clifton Remole, Matthew Boggs, Eric Patterson, and Victor Menocal each had two-out singles. Steve Reba wild pitch plated Patterson to give Georgia Tech a 5-0 lead.
Clemson responded with three runs in the third inning. After a one-out single to center by Kyle Frank, Khalil Greene hit a towering homer to left to cut the Yellow Jacket lead to 5-2. It was Greene’s 352nd career hit, placing him in third place in ACC history for hits. He jumped ahead of former Yellow Jacket star Jason Varitek. After Greene hit his 14th homer of the season, Michael Johnson hit his 17th of the year two batters later, a solo shot to right-center.
The Tigers further cut into the lead in the fourth inning. Russell Triplett led off with a double off the left-field wall. Collin Mahoney walked and Roberto Valiente moved the runners up a base on a sacrifice bunt. Frank then did his job, hitting an 0-2 pitch to second base for an RBI groundout. Greene followed with his third hit, an RBI single to right, to tie the score 5-5. The RBI gave Greene 242 for his career, moving him ahead of former Wake Forest Demon Deacon and current Georgia Tech assistant Jon Palmieri into fourth place in the ACC recordbook.
The Tigers took the lead in the fifth inning. Mahoney’s run-scoring single through the right side plated the first of six runs in the frame. Later in the inning, Kyle Frank bounced a single through the left side, scoring Triplett to give Clemson a 7-5 lead. Greene was then hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Jeff Baker followed with an RBI single to center to give Clemson a 9-5 lead. On Greene’s hit by pitch, Georgia Tech Head Coach Danny Hall was ejected by first-base umpire Scott Graham after home plate umpire Al Davis changed the call on Greene’s hit by pitch twice after calling it initially as a hit by pitch. Johnson then hit a liner through the middle to plate two more runs to give the Tigers an 11-5 lead.
Clemson padded its lead with a run in the sixth inning. Greene nailed his fourth hit of the game off the right-field wall for a run-scoring double to give Clemson a 12-5 lead.
Georgia Tech plated a run in the seventh and three in the eighth. Baker’s throwing error allowed Brandon Boggs to score and cut the Tiger lead to 12-7 in the eighth. Mike Nickeas then came home after back-to-back wild pitches by reliever Thomas Boozer. Victor Menocal then singled to right field, plating a run to cut the Tiger lead to 12-9. But Hourigan got freshman Jeremy Slayden to strike out with two runners on base to end the inning.
The two teams will play game two of the series Sunday at 1:00 PM. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Net South.
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