May 23, 2003
Duke scored all of its runs in the second inning off two costly Tiger errors to defeat #17 Clemson 7-4 Friday and eliminate the Tigers from the ACC Tournament at Salem Baseball Memorial Stadium. It was the first meeting between the two in ACC Tourney play since 1996. Duke improved to 18-35, while Clemson dropped to 38-20.
Sophomore Tim Layden (1-7) earned his first victory of the season by pitching a career-high 7.0 innings and striking out a career-high-tying eight batters. He also scattered 10 hits, two runs, and three walks while throwing 116 pitches. It was the fourth straight game the Tigers faced a lefty starter. Tiger starter Tyler Lumsden (8-2), a native of nearby Roanoke, VA, suffered the loss.
Despite the loss, David Slevin extended his hitting streak to 20 games and Brad McCann upped his to 17 games. Clemson outhit Duke 13-11, ending Clemson’s 32-game winning streak when out-hitting the opponent.
Michael Johnson started the scoring when he hit a towering solo homer to right field in the first inning. It was his 12th of the season and 58th of his career, tying him for fifth in ACC history. It was also Johnson’s 13th career postseason home run.
Duke took the lead in the second inning with seven runs thanks to two Tiger errors. Back-to-back leadoff singles by Tim Layden and Troy Caradonna set up a sacrifice bunt by John Berger. However, Berger reached when Slevin dropped the throw, loading the bases with no outs.
Another error, this time a throwing miscue on a potential double-play ball, plated a run and kept the bases loaded. Michael Golom then singled to left field to give the Blue Devils the lead. After Landrum walked to plate a run and Javier Socorro flied out, Brian Patrick singled through the left side, scoring two more runs. Caradonna singled to center to plate another run to give Duke a 7-1 lead.
Clemson finally responded with a run in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by McCann. But Clemson left two more runners on base, totalling nine through seven innings.
The Tigers rallied again in the eighth inning. Kyle Frank walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on an opposite-field double by Roberto Valiente. It was the Tigers’ first hit with runners in scoring position in eight at bats.
In the ninth, Johnson reached for the fifth time in five plate appearances on a fielding error by Golom. After McCann doubled down the left-field line, Slevin legged out an infield single, as Johnson scored. The Tigers had two at bats with the tying run at the plate, but Frank flied out to right field and Jeff Hourigan grounded out to end the game.
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