May 11, 2000
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Trey Miller hit his 12th home run of the season over the right-center field wall, breaking a 4-4 tie in the sixth inning, to give Liberty a 6-4 win over sixth-ranked Clemson at Worthington Stadium Thursday. It was Clemson’s first ever game at Liberty.
Clemson looked to get on the board in the first inning after former Tiger Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach and current Liberty Women’s Basketball Head Coach Carey Green threw out the game’s first pitch. The first three Tiger batters walked. But Dan Valentin, who entered the game with a 1.64 ERA and .125 opponent batting average, struck out the next three batters. Valentin (8-1), got the win by pitching 8.2 innings, allowing just four hits, four runs, and 10 walks while striking out 10. He threw 177 pitches and baffled the Tiger hitters with his split-finger fastball and change of speeds.
The Flames took an early 4-0 lead in the first inning on three extra-base hits. Joey Monahan, brother of former Tiger great Shane Monahan, led off the inning with a walk before Keith Butler hit a two-run home run to center for the Flames first runs of the game. Miller hit a double to right-center and Chad Bryan walked before Steve Baker’s two-RBI triple giving the Flames a 4-0 lead.
Clemson’s Henri Stanley led off the fourth inning with a walk before back-to-back doubles by Mike Calitri and Brian Ellis plated two Tiger runs. Khalil Greene’s bases loaded walk scored Ellis for the third Clemson run in the inning. Ryan Riley then scored on a pick-off attempt at second base, tying the game at 4-4.
With two outs in the sixth inning Miller hit his solo shot, giving the Flames a 5-4 lead. Scottie Scott doubled in the seventh inning before Jay Sullenger hit his fifth triple of the year down the right field line, giving the Flames a 6-4 lead.
Josh Brey faced one batter in the top of the ninth inning, to pick up his 15th save of the season. He came in with runners on first and third and got Jeff Baker to ground out sharply to second base. Clemson starting pitcher, Ryan Childs suffered the loss, falling to 4-2 on the season.
Greene’s ninth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Clemson was outhit 7-4, but had 15 baserunners to Liberty’s 10 and stranded nine men on base, while the Flames left just two runners on base. Clemson’s top five hitters in the lineup went a combined 1-for-16. Clemson also went just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position while Liberty was 3-for-5. Six of Liberty’s seven hits went for extra bases.
Liberty improves to 31-19 overall and Clemson falls to 40-13 on the season. Liberty will face North Carolina State in Raleigh, N.C. on May 12th starting at 7:00 p.m. Clemson travels to Charlottesville, Va. to face Virginia for a three-game ACC series starting with a double header on Saturday, May 13th at 12:00 p.m.
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