March 28, 2006
Athens, GA –
Josh Morris’ walkoff single in the 10th inning lifted #19 Georgia to a 12-11 victory over #9 Clemson in front of 1,811 fans at Foley Field on Tuesday night. Georgia improved to 18-5 with the win. The Tigers committed four errors and dropped to 16-7. The Bulldogs also improved to 7-2 in one-run games, while Clemson fell to 1-4 in one-run contests and 1-5 on the road. It was Clemson’s first extra-inning game and first game that lasted at least three hours (3:13) in 2006 as well.
Joshua Fields (2-0) earned the victory by pitching the final 2.0 innings, allowing one run on three hits. Daniel Moskos (1-4), the fifth Clemson pitcher of the night, suffered the loss, as he allowed one run on four hits with three strikeouts in 2.0 innings pitched.
Along with the four Tiger errors, the story of the night was the two offenses, as they combined for 23 runs and 32 hits (17 by Georgia, 15 by Clemson). Clemson hit a season-high four home runs, including two by Andy D’Alessio. The Tigers’ previous season high was two, while the Bulldogs had allowed just eight long balls entering the contest.
Every Tiger starter had at least one hit, led by three hits and three RBIs each by Tyler Colvin and D’Alessio. Taylor Harbin added a double and three RBIs, while Herman Demmink hit two doubles. Clemson also totaled eight extra-base hits to Georgia’s three. But it was not enough to overcome the Bulldogs’ resiliency and the miscues in the field, as the loss snapped Clemson’s five-game winning streak.
The Bulldogs were led at the plate by Jason Jacobs, who was 4-for-4 with a walk, sacrifice fly, and two RBIs. Bobby Felmy added three hits and three runs scored. Only eight of Georgia’s 12 runs were scored via an RBI.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the first inning with three runs. Joey Side led off with a single through the left side and went to third on Gordon Beckham’s single up the middle. Centerfielder Brad Chalk’s throw to third was not in time, and Beckham advanced to second on the throw. Felmy’s groundout plated Side, then Matt Robbins laced a double down the left-field line to bring home Beckham. After a passed ball, Jacobs hit a sacrifice fly to shallow center to score Robbins.
The Tigers responded with a two-spot in the second inning. Colvin led off with a sharp single to right field, and D’Alessio followed with a towering two-run homer to right-center.
Clemson tied the score in the third inning playing some “smallball.” Demmink led off with a double to right field, went to third on Chalk’s sacrifice bunt, and scored on Harbin’s groundout to shortstop.
In the fourth inning, D’Alessio led off with a groundball single up the middle. Marquez Smith followed with a mammoth two-run homer to left field, his third of the season.
Like the third inning, the Tigers manufactured a run in similar fashion in the fifth inning. Demmink led off the frame with a double just inside the left-field line and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Chalk. Harbin then lifted a shallow fly ball to left, and Demmink just slid ahead of Jonathan Wyatt’s throw and Jacobs’ tag to give Clemson a 6-3 lead on the sacrifice fly.
The Bulldogs regained the lead in the sixth inning. Jacobs lined a one-out double to left-center and moved to third on Wyatt’s single to center. Then on an 0-2 count to Morris, David Kopp threw a wild pitch to bring home Jacobs and advance Wyatt to second. Then on a 2-2 pitch, Wyatt read a pitch in the dirt, as Adrian Casanova blocked the pitch and came up throwing to third. A good throw and tag would have easily retired the runner, but Casanova bounced the ball in the dirt, allowing Wyatt to score. After Morris finally walked, he stole second on a failed hit-and-run and advanced to third on Ryan Peisel’s single to right. After Peisel stole second, Matthew Dunn’s chopper to shortstop plated Morris for the tying run. Side then gave the Bulldogs the lead with a bloop double off the right-field line, scoring Peisel.
However Georgia’s lead was short-lived. Casanova lined a one-out single to left field and went to second on Chalk’s walk. Two batters later, Colvin belted a 2-2 pitch over the fence in right field for a three-run homer, his sixth of the season. D’Alessio followed with his second homer of the game to right-center on a 3-2 pitch. It was also his seventh long ball of the year and third career two-homer game for the Naples, FL native.
Georgia came right back in the bottom of the seventh inning and tied the score thanks to two more costly Tiger errors. Felmy, the leadoff batter of the inning, reached and advanced to second when Colvin and Chalk collided on an easy fly ball, allowing the ball to fall safely, in left-center. After Jacobs drew a one-out walk, Wyatt singled to center to load the bases. Morris then hit a slow roller on a check swing to Harbin at second. He tried to tag Wyatt and was unsuccessful, but did retire Morris at first for out #2, as Felmy scored on the play. Then Peisel hit a routine grounder to Stan Widmann at shortstop, but his throw went over the head of D’Alessio at first, allowing both Jacobs and Wyatt to score.
After the first two batters were retired in the bottom of the eighth, Georgia took the lead with a two-out rally. Felmy reached on an infield single and advanced to second when Robbins walked. Felmy advanced to third on a wild pitch and Jacobs plated him with a line-drive single to left-center.
Chalk gave the Tigers hope in the ninth inning when he reached on a bad-hop single to first base off Fields, the Bulldog closer. Harbin then laced the second pitch of his at-bat down the left-field line for a double, as Chalk came all the way around to score. It was the first run Clemson scored in the ninth inning of a game all season. Colvin advanced Harbin to third on a groundout to second, but D’Alessio struck out on a 3-2 pitch for out #2. Smith then grounded a ball up the middle that looked like it would get into centerfield, but the ball was slowed down when it hit the mound, allowing Beckham to make a nice play and throw from his shortstop position to retire Smith at first.
In the 10th inning, Felmy lined a one-out single to right and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Robbins followed with a walk on a 3-2 pitch that just missed the strikezone and Jacobs lined a single to left to load the bases. Blake Cannady struck out for out #2, but Morris came through with a sharp single to right on a 3-2 pitch to plate Felmy for the winning run.
Clemson will play host to Georgia on Wednesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The game will be televised live by CSS. First pitch is scheduled for 7:06 PM.
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