March 10, 2002
Clemson, SC – Steven Jackson, Jeff Hahn and Paul Harrelson combined to limit Purdue to just two runs, and a fifth inning Purdue error proved to be costly in Clemson’s 4-2 victory over the Boilermakers Sunday afternoon at Kingsmore Stadium.
The victory improved Clemson’s record to 10-0, while Purdue, ranked 27th in the nation in the preseason Collegiate Baseball poll, fell to 2-8. The victory completed a three-game sweep of the series for the Tigers, who will play host to Georgia Southern on Tuesday and Wednesday at 4:00 PM. Clemson has now opened the season 10-0 for the first time since 1992 when Clemson opened the year with 17 straight victories.
Jackson was the starter and winner for Clemson, improving his record to 2-0. He allowed two runs and six hits before leaving in the sixth. Hahn inherited a two on and no out situation in the sixth with Clemson leading just 3-2. Hahn struck out pinch hitter Wilson James, then got Brad Kriner to ground into a double play to end the inning. Hahn, who had given up five earned runs in two innings entering the contest, then got the Boilermakers out in order in the eighth. Paul Harrelson pitched the last 1 and 2/3 and picked up his fifth save in five opportunities. He faced five Purdue batters and retired them all, three on strikeouts.
Clemson was led at the plate by Khalil Greene, who had three of Clemson’s six hits. Michael Johnson had a walk and a single to drive in a run. Russell Triplett had the only other RBI for Clemson. Purdue took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Kriner led off with a single to center and went to second on a single by shortstop Mitch Koester. Two outs later, Nick McIntrye singled to right to score Kriner with the game’s first run.
Purdue, who finished second in the Big Ten last year, made the count 2-0 with a run in the fifth. Koester opened the inning with a walk. He moved to second on a stolen base and scored on a single by left fielder Adam Fazio.
Down, 2-0, the second-ranked Tigers took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Michael Johnson, who had hit 12 home runs in his last 15 games over two years, started the uprising with a walk. He moved to second on a single to center by right fielder Jarrod Schmidt.
That brought David Slevin, Clemson’s leading hitter entering the game with a .500 average, to the plate. He attempted a sacrifice bunt, but third baseman John Gusich threw wide at first, allowing Johnson and Schmidt to score. Sleven advanced to third on the throw and scored one out later on a single to left by Russell Triplett. Clemson added an insurance run in the sixth. With two out, Jeff Baker walked and then stole second. Johnson then delivered a bloop single over second base to score Baker, giving Clemson a 4-2 advantage.
Purdue had two runners on in the eighth with one out, but Harrelson shut the door with two strikeouts.
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