April 20, 2008
Durham, NC – Clemson, who scored four runs with two outs in the ninth inning to tie the score, took an 8-6 lead in the 11th inning on Kyle Parker’s two-run homer, but inclement weather forced the game to revert back to the end of the 10th inning, resulting in a 6-6 tie.
With the tie in front of 854 fans at Jack Coombs Field on Sunday afternoon, Clemson’s record went to 19-20-1 overall and 7-13-1 in the ACC. Duke’s record went to 27-13-1 overall and 6-13-1 in ACC play. The series was tied 1-1-1 as well.
In the fourth inning, Wilson Boyd led off with a double to left-center. After Doug Hogan flied out to the warning track in left field, Ben Paulsen reached on a fielding error by shortstop Jake Lemmerman. Chris Epps walked to load the bases and Stan Widmann followed with a hard line-drive up the middle, but Jonathan Foreman got a glove on the ball, picked it up behind the mound, and threw to home for the force out. Mike Freeman then grounded out to Foreman to end the inning.
The Tigers had many other opportunities to put runs on the scoreboard through their first six innings, but they left eight runners on base, including six in scoring position due to going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Meanwhile, Ryan Hinson took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, allowing just one baserunner (on a walk) through five innings. But Duke advanced its first runner past first base in the sixth inning after Lemmerman led off with a hit-by-pitch, went to second on Ryan McCurdy’s sacrifice bunt, and advanced to third on Alex Hassan’s groundout to shortstop. Then with two outs, Matt Williams hit an infield single to score Lemmerman on just Duke’s second at-bat with runners in scoring position. After Nate Freiman singled through the left side, the Blue Devils got their third straight two-out hit, as Jeremy Gould laced a single to center to score Williams.
The Blue Devils added to their lead in the seventh inning with two runs. Gabriel Saade led off with a double over the third-base bag on a 1-2 pitch. Jonathan Nicolla hit the next pitch up the middle for a single to score Saade. After Kyle Kreick’s sacrifice bunt moved pinch-runner Tom Luciano into scoring position, Lemmerman hit a grounder to Widmann at shortstop, who booted the ball. After the ball went into left field, Luciano raced for home and just beat the throw from left field and Hogan’s tag at the plate to give Duke a 4-1 lead.
The Tigers responded with a rally of their own in the top of the eighth inning. Hogan and Paulsen led off the frame with singles. But Epps grounded into a controversial 6-4-3 double play. Epps was called out in a close play at first base. Head Coach Jack Leggett was ejected for arguing with first-base umpire Robert Perez. However, Sanders came through with a single through the left side to score Hogan. It broke Clemson’s streak of 20 straight hitless at-bats with runners in scoring position in the series.
But Duke added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Hassan led off with a single through the left side and went to third base on Williams’ flyball to right field that fell near the line for a double. Freiman then laced a single up the middle to score Hassan and Williams.
However, the Tigers would not go quietly in the ninth inning. Schaus hit a one-out single and went to second on Parker’s walk. Two batters later, Hogan blooped a two-out single to left to score Schaus. Paulsen then lined the next pitch over the fence in center for a three-run homer to tie the score. It was his 11th long ball of the season. It also broke Clemson’s 20-game streak of not having an inning scoring more than three runs.
In the 11th inning, Schaus led off with a line-drive single to right and Parker followed with an opposite-field, two-run homer to right field, but it did not count in the final boxscore. The final score is listed as 6-6 in 10 innings.
The Tigers, who outhit Duke 12-9 (14-9 including the 11th inning), were led by Schaus, who had three hits (four hits including the 11th inning). Freiman had two hits and two RBIs for Duke, who was 4-for-6 with runners in scoring position in the game.
The game was Clemson’s first extra-inning contest of the season.
Clemson will travel to Cullowhee, NC to face Western Carolina on Tuesday at 7:00 PM.
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