April 23, 2005
Raleigh, NC –
Freshman Taylor Harbin went 5-for-5 with three homers, eight RBIs and a school-record 16 total bases in Clemson’s 16-9 win at N.C. State on Saturday night in front of 2,026 fans at Doak Field. Harbin, who also had a single and triple, became the 11th Tiger in history to hit three homers in a game and the first since April 11, 2002 when Jeff Baker hit three against Winthrop. His 16 total bases broke the old school record of 15 held by Dick Hendley (May 4, 1951 vs. Davidson) and Joey Taylor (May 8, 1962 vs. South Carolina).
Harbin, who scored five runs in five plate appearances, hit a single in the first, a triple in the second, a three-run homer in the fourth, another three-run homer in the sixth, and a solo homer in the eighth, meaning he slugged 3.200 for the game. The only thing that kept him from a cycle was hitting a double, ironically a category in which he leads the ACC on a per-game basis. The three homers came on back-to-back-to-back pitches, as his last two long balls came on the first pitch of each at-bat. Harbin had been mired in his worst slump as a Tiger entering the night, going hitless in four of the last five games, including 0-for-9 in his last two games. But that all changed when Harbin became just the fifth Tiger in history to hit three homers in a game against an ACC team and the first since Shane Monahan did it on April 11, 1993 at N.C. State. In fact, three of those five three-homer games in ACC contests have taken place at N.C. State’s Doak Field. Harbin’s five hits also were a career high, as he had not even totaled as many as four in 2005.
After allowing five hits in a little over an inning, Robert Rohrbaugh (5-2) settled down and allowed no hits over his final 5.0 innings pitched to earn the win. In all, he allowed two earned runs, five hits, and three walks while striking out six. Wolfpack starter Branden Knapp (2-3) suffered the loss.
Along with Harbin’s record-setting performance, Herman Demmink had three hits, while Tyler Colvin, Stan Widmann, and Adrian Casanova added two hits apiece to pace the Tigers’ 17-hit attack. Casanova also totaled three RBIs and three runs scored for the Tigers, who left just four runners on base. Matt Camp had two hits, including a homer, and four RBIs for the Wolfpack, who lost for just the third time in 23 games at home in 2005.
Like the night before, the Tigers (25-15, 12-5 ACC) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Harbin lined a two-out single to left field. He then went to second on a wild pitch and made it all the way to third on an errant throw by catcher Jake Muyco. Colvin then lined a soft single just over the glove of second-baseman Ramon Corona, scoring Harbin. The single extended Colvin’s hitting streak to 14 games.
N.C. State (29-12, 10-10 ACC) took the lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to two costly Tiger miscues. With two outs an no one on base, Aaron Bates grounded a ball to Demmink at third base. He booted it, picked up the ball, and threw late to first. His throw was also in the dirt and went all the way to the fence down the right-field line, allowing Bates to move to second. Rohrbaugh then struck out Jake Muyco on a curveball in the dirt, but the ball got away from catcher Adrian Casanova, allowing Muyco to reach first. It was Rohrbaugh’s first wild pitch of the year. Ryan Pond followed with a single through the right side to score Bates. Another error, this time by Casanova on a failed pickoff attempt, allowed the runners to move up to second and third, then Corona walked to load the bases. Brian Aragon gave the Wolfpack a 3-1 lead when he singled to left field, plating Muyco and Pond. All three runs were unearned thanks to three errors and a wild pitch in the frame.
The Tigers came right back and scored six runs on six hits in the second inning. Kris Harvey led off with a walk on four pitches and Travis Storrer singled to right field. Andy D’Alessio reached on a fielder’s choice after Storrer was retired at second base, then Widmann laced a single to left to score Harvey. Up next was Casanova, who quickly fell behind 0-2. But Knapp left the third pitch up in the zone and Casanova drilled it over the left-field wall for a three-run homer, his second of the season. After Demmink singled through the right side and Brad Chalk flew out for out #2, Harbin hit a triple over Camp in centerfield to score Demmink. Colvin then grounded a single off the glove of shortstop Jonathan Diaz to bring home Harbin. After two innings, Clemson had more hits (8) than it had in all of game one (7).
The Wolfpack responded with two runs in the bottom of the second inning to cut the Tiger lead in half. Diaz led off with a single through the left side and Camp hit an opposite-field homer to left field. It was the junior’s first homer of the season and second of his career.
After a scoreless third inning, the Tigers took a five-run lead in the fourth inning. Demmink started things off with a one-out double to the wall in left-center. Chalk walked, then Harbin lined a 1-2 curveball over the wall in left field for a three-run homer.
Harbin continued his hitting display in the sixth inning. With two runners on base, he crushed a three-run homer deep over the fence in left field.
The Tigers added two more runs in the seventh inning. Widmann hit a towering solo homer to left field, his second of the year. Then after singles by Demmink and Casanova, Casanova scored on a wild pitch to give Clemson a 15-5 lead.
In the eighth inning, Harbin hit a solo shot to left-center, his third of the game and ninth of the season.
N.C. State plated three runs in the eighth inning, two of which came on a single through the left side by Camp, and a run in the ninth.
Clemson and N.C. State will play the rubber matchup Sunday at 1:00 PM.
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