May 13, 2001
Clemson, SC – Zane Green’s two-out, pinch hit single in the bottom of the ninth inning capped a frantic finish as Clemson defeated Virginia 5-4 in front of 2,597 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Sunday. With the win the Tigers moved to 37-18 overall and 17-7 in the ACC on the year and clinched second place in the conference outright. Virginia fell to 24-29 overall and 9-15 in the ACC.
Clemson led 4-0 heading into the top of the ninth when Virginia came roaring back. The Cavaliers scored a run and loaded the bases with four straight singles off reliever Josh Cram to start the inning. David Stone then struck out but another run scored when Cram hit Chris Sweet with a pitch. After a flyout by Hunter Wyant, Jon Benick hit a two-run single to left field that tied the game at four. The inning ended one batter later when Mark Rueffert popped up to second base.
Michael Johnson led off the bottom of the inning with a walk and moved to second base on Jarrod Schmidt’s sacrifice bunt. Catcher Jon Smith followed with a strikeout to set up the dramatic ending. Green hit a two-strike, two-out line drive single to center field that scored Johnson from second base and allowed the Tigers to walk off with a victory.
Clemson coach Jack Leggett continued preparation for the ACC Tournament by using six pitchers and got shutout performances from Kevin Lynn, Chris Childs, Thomas Boozer, Steven Jackson and Nick Glaser. Leggett used eight pitchers in a 9-6 victory against Furman on Wednesday. Despite giving up the four runs in the ninth inning on Sunday, Cram got the win and moved to 4-1 on the year.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning on a double steal by Casey Stone and Khalil Greene. Stone swiped third base but Greene slipped before he could get to second. Greene was able to advance safely by ducking under the tag of shortstop Wyant while Stone moved from third to home on the play.
The Cavaliers had a chance to score in the fifth inning when singles by Robert Word and Jeff Kamrath put runners at the corners with one out. Pitcher Thomas Boozer, who entered the game in the fifth, recorded two straight putouts to get out of the jam.
Clemson extended its lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Jeff Baker took Cavalier pitcher Joseph Koshansky’s 3-2 offering deep over the fence in left. The home run, his 21st of the season, is the most in the ACC and puts him in a third-place tie with Jim McCollom for most home runs in a season at Clemson. The Tigers added another run in the seventh inning when Jarrod Schmidt’s smashed a solo home run that made the score 4-0.
Schmidt led the Tiger offense with two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Stone went 1-3 with two runs scored. Virginia reliever Chris Marinak (2-1) got the loss for Virginia.
The Tigers now head to the ACC Tournament as the two seed and will play Wednesday at 5:00 PM against Virginia. This will be the fourth year in a row that Clemson will face the same team in the first round of the ACC Tournament that it closed out the regular season against.
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