May 12, 2001
Clemson, S.C. – Michael Johnson belted out five hits, including two home runs to lead Clemson to a 17-1 college baseball victory over Virginia in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon. The Tigers improved to 36-18 overall and 16-7 in the ACC. Virginia fell to 24-28 overall 9-14 in the ACC.
Clemson won the first game of the doubleheader by an 8-1 count behind the pitching of Steve Reba.
With the victory, Clemson clinched the number-two seed in next week’s ACC tournament in Fort Mill, SC. The Tigers will open play in the tournament Wednesday at 5:00 PM against the number-seven seed. That opponent will not be known until Sunday evening.
Clemson and Virginia will play in the final regular season game on Sunday at 2:00 PM. It will be Mother’s Day, so all mothers will be admitted free of charge. It will also be the final regular season home game for Clemson’s seniors and they will be honored prior to the first pitch.
Khalil Greene knocked in five runs in the contest, giving him nine RBIs for the day and 46 for the season. Greene had four hits and four RBIs in the first game. He had just one hit in the second game, but he had a three-run homer, a sacrifice fly and an RBI ground out.
Johnson, Clemson’s starting first baseman, became just the second Tiger to record a five-hit game. Jeff Baker had a five-hit game at South Carolina on March 4th. Johnson also had three extra base hits, the fifth time a Clemson player has done that this year.
Ryan Riley, Clemson’s leadoff man in the lineup, had three hits in the first game, then scored four runs in the second game within the first four innings of the contest. He reached safely on an error, a single, a fielder’s choice and was hit by a pitch. Jeff Baker, the top home run hitter in the ACC, did not hit a home run, but reached safely five times, two via hits and three on walks. Kyle Frank had a pair of doubles in the second game, giving him three for the day.
Catcher Jon Smith, playing for the injured Seth Miller, who left the game in the second inning with a concussion, had a single, double and a walk. He is now 7-14 for the season, an even .500.
Clemson also had outstanding pitching. Jarrod Schmidt was the starter and winner, improving his to 6-3, including 3-0 vs. ACC teams. The sophomore allowed just three hits and one earned run. He struck out four in his five innings of work. Patrick Hogan and Matt Henrie each pitched two perfect innings of relief.
Clemson scored five runs in the first inning. Jeff Baker had a key double and Johnson powered his first home run of the game, a shot to right field that was his 12th home run of the season. Clemson added one in the second, one in the third and seven in the fourth.
Greene’s three-run homer in that frame was the key blow for Jack Leggett’s team. It was his 10th home run of the season, giving Clemson four different players with double figures in home runs this year. It is the first time since 1997 that Clemson has had four different players with at least 10 home runs. Five Tigers, led by Matt LeCroy’s 24, had double figures that season.
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