Feb. 23, 2003
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Auburn, AL –
Auburn won the rubber matchup by a 7-3 score over Clemson Sunday at Plainsman Park at Auburn, AL. Clemson had 12 hits and had seven leadoff batters reach base, but only hit 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and 3-for-20 with runners on base. Clemson was also 4-for-29 (.138) with runners in scoring position in the series despite putting 14 of its 27 leadoff batters on base. Clemson fell to 1-2, while Auburn improved to 8-3.
Sophomore Garrick Evans had a career day for Clemson, totaling a career-best four hits and reached on an error as well. He was coming off a career-high three-hit performance the previous game. Michael Johnson added three hits, including a homer and double.
Starter Steven Jackson suffered the loss in his first outing of the season. He allowed six runs on six hits in 5.1 innings pitched. Eric Brandon (1-1) picked up the win in 5.0 innings of starting work. Steven Register earned his fourth save of the year as well.
Clemson jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Evans led off with a single to right center, stole second, and went to third on a passed ball. He came home on a slow grounder to third base by Kyle Frank.
Auburn took a 4-1 lead in the second inning. After back-to-back walks to start the inning and an infield single by Josh Bell, which extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Tug Hulett then slowly grounded a ball to Johnson at first base, who was playing back, to tie the score at 1-1. Two batters later, Chuck Jeroloman, the ninth batter in the lineup, singled up the middle to plate two runs. He later scored on Clete Thomas’ triple to left center.
Johnson cut into the Auburn lead in the fourth inning with a leadoff homer down the right-field line. It was his second homer of the season and 48th of his career.
The SEC Tigers added two insurance runs in the sixth inning. Bobby Huddleston laced a one-out single to right center and scored on Bell’s double to the left-center gap. Bell then scored when Hulett singled past a drawn-in infield to give Auburn a 6-2 lead.
Auburn added another insurance run in the eighth inning. Bell led off with his third hit of the game, a single to left. He advanced to second on a Hulett sacrifice bunt and scored on Jeroloman’s single to center, also his third hit of the game. Auburn’s five-through-nine batters in the lineup went 9-for-18, while its one-through-four batters were only 1-for-15.
Clemson will play host to Charleston Southern on Wednesday at 3:00 PM in the home season opener at newly renovated Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Auburn will next play host to Troy State on Tuesday at 4:00 PM.
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