April 5, 2008
Coral Gables, FL –
Miami (FL), ranked #2 in the country, turned a 5-2 deficit into a 15-5 victory over Clemson by scoring the game’s last 13 runs in front of 3,000 fans at Mark Light Field on Saturday night. The Hurricanes, who upped their winning streak to 12 games and took a 2-0 series lead, improved to 25-2 overall and 11-1 in the ACC. The Tigers dropped to 18-12 overall and 6-8 in ACC play.
Kyle Bellamy (5-0) picked up his second win in as many games by pitching 1.1 perfect innings in relief. Carlos Gutierrez allowed one hit, no runs, and no walks with four strikeouts in 2.0 innings pitched to earn his seventh save of the season. Tiger reliever Casey Harman (0-4) suffered the loss.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to putting their leadoff batter on base. Mike Freeman led off with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Stan Widmann’s groundout moved Freeman to third, Freeman scored on Doug Hogan’s groundout to third.
In the second inning, Ryan Jackson led off with a flyball single when leftfielder Jeff Schaus lost the ball in the evening sky. Two batters later, Dave DiNatale tripled through the right side to score Jackson. Yasmani Grandal followed with a single to left-center to plate DiNatale. The runs ended Graham Stoneburner’s 16-inning streak of not allowing an earned run.
The Tigers regained the lead in the third inning with three runs. Widmann drew a one-out walk and stole second base. Hogan then blasted a two-run homer to center, his eighth of the season. Ben Paulsen followed with a walk and went to second on Wilson Boyd’s single to right. Kyle Parker then hit a grounder up the middle, but Jackson made a diving stop and threw to second base for the force out. But Jackson could not make a similar play on a two-out grounder up the middle off the bat of Schaus, who drove home Paulsen with the single to give Clemson a 4-2 lead.
After the first two Tigers were retired in the top of the fourth inning, Widmann and Hogan drew walks. Paulsen followed with a single up the middle to score Widmann.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Grandal hit a one-out single through the right side and Blake Tekotte walked. Jemile Weeks followed with a three-run home run to left field on a 3-2 pitch to tie the score. It was his seventh homer of the season.
The Tigers threatened to regain the lead in the fifth inning, as they had runners on second and third with one out. But Clemson could not drive home any runs and left the bases loaded. The Tigers left two more runners on base without scoring in the top of the sixth inning, as they stranded 11 in the first six innings, including six in scoring position, as the score was tied 5-5 in the middle of the sixth.
The Hurricanes made Clemson pay for its inability to take the lead, as they did so when Grandal hit a solo homer to left field in the bottom of the sixth inning. Tekotte followed with a double down the left-field line, while Weeks and Yonder Alonso walked to load the bases. Dennis Raben’s sacrifice fly to deep right-center then plated Tekotte, giving Miami a 7-5 lead.
Miami added eight insurance runs on only four hits in the bottom of the eighth inning. Tekotte drew a one-out walk and Miami loaded the bases on back-to-back hit-by-pitches by Weeks and Alonso. Raben followed with a double to left-center to score Tekotte and Weeks. Mark Sobolewski hit a line drive right at Alex Lee in right field. Lee broke in before realizing the ball was over his head. The misplayed double allowed Alonso and Raben to score. Jackson followed with a walk and Sobolewski moved to third on a wild pitch. Adan Severino then hit a sacrifice fly to right-center. After DiNatale walked, Grandal added to his RBI total with a two-run double down the left-field line to score Jackson and DiNatale. Tekotte then singled to left-center to score Grandal.
Grandal, the #9 batter in the order, led the Hurricanes’ 13-hit attack with four hits, including a double and home run, along with three runs scored and four RBIs. Tekotte went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and three walks, while Weeks and Raben added three RBIs apiece.
Boyd went 3-for-4 to lead the Tigers, who totaled 10 hits. Hogan added three RBIs. Clemson left 13 runners on base, including eight in scoring position. Three Tiger offensive innings ended with a lineout with two runners on base in each frame as well.
The victory margin was Miami’s largest in the 48-game history of the series.
Clemson and Miami will play the series-finale on Sunday at 1:00 PM.
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