Feb. 29, 2004
Greenville, NC –
Ryan Jones’ solo home run in the eighth inning proved to be the game-winner in East Carolina’s 6-4 win over #11 Clemson Sunday afternoon in the Keith LeClair Invitational at Harrington Field. East Carolina improved to 11-0, while Clemson fell to 2-3.
Freshman lefty reliever Dustin Sasser (1-0) allowed just one run and two hits in 3.2 innings pitched to earn the win. Freshman reliever Stephen Faris (0-1) suffered the loss. Starter Tony Sipp, Faris, and Collin Mahoney combined for 14 strikeouts.
Clemson thwarted an early East Carolina rally in the first inning. With two outs, Ryan Norwood singled, advancing Trevor Lawhorn to third base. Jake Smith then hit what appeared to be a run-scoring hit to left field, but Brad McCann’s diving stop and throw to first base ended the inning.
The Pirates rallied again in the third inning and scored two runs. Jamie Paige led off with a single to right and advanced to third on Trevor Lawhorn’s single to left-center. Lawhorn’s twin, Darryl, then followed with a first-pitch single to center, plating Paige. After both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, Ryan Norwood lined out to right field, scoring Trevor Lawhorn.
Clemson cut the Pirate lead in half in the bottom of the third inning. Ryan Hub laced a two-out double to left-center then scored when Zane Green blooped a single to center. It was Green’s first hit of 2004.
East Carolina got back the run they gave up in the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead. After loading the bases with two outs, Sipp threw his third wild pitch of the inning, plating John Poppert. Poppert had led off the inning with a single up the middle.
Clemson took the lead in the sixth inning thanks to Lou Santangelo’s three-run homer down the right-field line, his first as a Tiger. The Seton Hall transfer was down 0-2 in the count before hitting the full-count pitch over the fence.
Darryl Lawhorn tied the score in the seventh inning when he hit a long home run over the fence in right field. Lawhorn, a preseason All-American, was just 6-for-35 on the season before the homer. He led the team with three hits in five at-bats.
East Carolina regained the lead in the eighth inning when Ryan Jones hit a long homer of the right-field fence, his fifth of the season. Later in the inning, Darry Lawhorn drove home another run with an RBI single to center. The Tigers should have been out of the inning, but a double-play ball was booted.
Clemson will play Gardner-Webb at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Wednesday at 4:00 PM in its next action.
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