May 16, 2008
Orlando, FL –
Freshman Florida natives Kyle Parker and Jeff Schaus both hit home runs, and Matt Sanders totaled a career-high four hits to lead Clemson to a 7-3 win over Central Florida in front of 1,452 fans at Jay Bergman Field on Friday night. The Tigers, who took a 2-0 series lead, improved to 29-25-1, while Central Florida dropped to 31-24.
Parker hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning that gave Clemson the lead for good, while Schaus hit a two-out, three-run homer in the eighth inning that stretched the Tigers’ lead from one run to four runs.
Sanders had a career day, as he went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs for the Tigers, who had 12 hits in the game. Doug Hogan added three hits, including two doubles.
Tiger starter Graham Stoneburner (6-4) allowed two runs on four hits in 5.2 innings pitched to earn the victory. Matt Vaughn pitched 1.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts to pick up his 10th save of the season.
Knight starter Mitch Herold (4-4) suffered the loss, as he allowed seven hits, three runs (two earned), and two walks with three strikeouts. In 63.1 innings pitched this season entering the game, Herold had only allowed six extra-base hits. But the Tigers hit four extra-base hits off the lefthander, and Clemson totaled five doubles and two home runs in all.
The Tigers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Hogan led off with a double off the wall in right field. Two batters later, Sanders lined a double to right-center to score Hogan.
With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the second inning, Chris Duffy drew a walk. Eric Kallstrom followed with a single to right-center, then Josh Siebenaler laced a 2-2 pitch to left-center for a two-run double.
In the top of the fifth inning, Schaus reached on a fielding error by Siebenaler. Parker followed with an opposite-field, two-run homer to right field. It was the Jacksonville, FL native’s 13th long ball of the season.
Clemson added to its lead in the top of the eighth inning thanks to a big two-out hit. Sanders led off with a single through the left side and went to third on Wilson Boyd’s double down the right-field line. After the next two Tigers were retired, Schaus lined a three-run homer down the right-field line. It was the Naples, FL native’s second long ball of the week and season.
Central Florida used a two-out rally to cut into Clemson’s lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. Shane Brown hit a one-out single to center. Two-out singles by Ryan Richardson and pinch-hitter Brandon Romans on an 0-2 pitch loaded the bases. Kallstrom then hit a hard grounder on a 1-2 pitch to Sanders, as the Tiger third-baseman booted the ball, allowing Brown to score. But Vaughn got pinch-hitter Tim Russell to ground out to keep the Tigers ahead 6-3.
Clemson added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning. Ben Paulsen led off with a double to left field. Three batters later, Sanders laced a two-out single to right field to plate Paulsen.
The Knights, who totaled eight hits, were led offensively by Brown, who went 2-for-5 with a run scored.
Clemson and Central Florida will play the series-finale and both teams’ final regular-season game on Saturday at 6:30 PM.
With Duke’s loss at Virginia Tech on Friday evening, the Tigers secured their place in the 2008 ACC Tournament at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville (FL) from May 21-25.
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