March 2, 2002
COLUMBIA, SC – Clemson scored five runs in the fourth inning and fended off a Gamecock rally to defeat South Carolina 9-7 on Saturday evening at Sarge Frye Field in Columbia, SC. The game was scheduled for a 4:00 PM start but did not get underway until 6:00 PM due to a rain delay. The Tigers (5-0) stayed undefeated while handing the Gamecocks their first loss of the year (9-1).
Closer Paul Harrelson entered the game in the bottom of the sixth to halt a big scoring inning for South Carolina and pitched 3.1 innings of relief to earn his third save of the year. The junior allowed just one run and four hits while striking out four batters in his longest outing since March 3, 2001 against South Carolina.
The Tigers took an early lead with a run in the second inning, but did most of the heavy damage in the fourth. After Kyle Frank was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, Khalil Greene followed with a two-run home run to left field. Jarrod Schmidt doubled in Jeff Baker later in the frame to put the Tigers ahead 4-0. Tony Adler came in to pitch for the Gamecocks with two outs, but the Tigers scored two more runs when pinch hitter L.J. DeMaino singled to right field.
Clemson extended its lead to 7-0 in the fifth, but South Carolina finally got to Clemson starter Steve Reba in the bottom of the inning. The Gamecocks put runners on the corners with one out when Jon Coutlangus singled to center and drove in their first run. Reba got out of the inning when he induced Drew Meyer into a 4-6-3 double play.
South Carolina chased Reba in the sixth inning after a walk and single to left. Jeff Hahn entered the game in relief but gave up three straight hits and three runs before lefthander Tyler Lumsden came in with runners second and third with none out. Landon Powell hit a sacrifice fly to center to score one run and Steve Thomas scored on a grounder to the left side that cut the Clemson lead to 7-6. The Gamecocks then put runners on second and third with two outs when Harrelson came in the game and got the final out of the inning.
Michael Johnson extended the Clemson lead to 9-6 in the top of the seventh with a two-run homer then Yaron Peters led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo shot to make the score 9-7. But Harrelson shut down South Carolina the rest of the way to secure the Tiger victory.
Reba (2-0) earned the win for Clemson. The senior ace hit three batters and walked four in five innings of work but no-hit the Gamecocks through the first four innings. Greene, Johnson, Schmidt and DeMaino each had two RBIs to lead the offense. David Marchbanks (3-1) picked up the loss for South Carolina.
The Tigers will take on the Gamecocks again on Sunday at 2:00 PM in Clemson. Standing room tickets will be available for purchase before the game at the left field gate of Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
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