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Marquez Smith Leads #9 Clemson to 11-4 Win Over Virginia Tech Saturday

Marquez Smith Leads #9 Clemson to 11-4 Win Over Virginia Tech Saturday

April 29, 2006

Box Score

Clemson, SC –

Marquez Smith hammered two home runs for the second time in three games and drove in five runs to lead Clemson to an 11-4 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday night in front of 4,993 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers improved to 32-13 overall, 14-6 in the ACC, while Virginia Tech fell to 17-26 overall, 3-20 in the ACC.

It marked the third consecutive game that Clemson scored in double figures, including the first time the Tigers did that since the 2001 season when they scored at least 10 runs in three consecutive games against New York Tech.

Jason Berken got the win for the Tigers. The red-shirt junior from De Pere, WI went 5.0 innings and allowed seven hits and four runs, but he struck out six and did not walk a batter in improving his record to 6-3 in his comeback season from Tommy John surgery. P.J. Zocchi and Steve Richard combined to pitch the last four innings, and they did not allow a run.

Clemson had just nine hits, but took advantage of seven Hokie walks.

Smith, a first-year Tiger, was 2-4 with a career-high five RBIs to lead the Tiger offense. His previous career high was two runs batted in. He received support from Brad Chalk, who scored three runs, and Tyler Colvin, who had two hits, including a key two-run double, scored two runs, and drove in a pair of runs. First-baseman Andy D’Alessio also clubbed his 13th long ball of the season.

Virginia Tech starter Evan Frederickson pitched five innings and allowed just three hits, but yielded five earned runs, as his record fell to 0-3 for the season. Virginia Tech was led at the plate by Nate Parks, who had a triple and a single, and scored two runs. Sean O’Brien drove in a pair of runs, and Warren Schaeffer had two hits and also reached on a walk.

The contest was close for the first six innings, as there were four lead changes. Clemson took a 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to three walks and a balk. Virginia Tech Head Coach Chuck Hartman was in control of the Hokie team for just 12 minutes, as he was ejected in the bottom of the first inning after arguing a balk call.

The Hokies took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning thanks to three hits and a hit batter. O’Brien had a two-out single to center to score Schaeffer and Parks with the two runs.

The Tigers took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Colvin began the uprising with a single to left. One out later, Smith hit his first homer of the game and seventh of the year over the left-field fence, just inside the foul pole.

Clemson’s lead was short-lived, as the Hokies took a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning behind three consecutive hits to open the frame. Matt Foley started the rally with a single to right and scored on a triple by Parks. Parks then scored on a single by Matt Hacker. Berken settled down after that and got the 3-5 batters out consecutively.

The Tigers took the lead back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, and thus made Berken a winner. Colvin’s two-out double to center drove in Chalk and Travis Storrer with the tying and lead runs.

Clemson broke the game open in the bottom of the seventh with six runs. Smith had the key blow, a three-run homer to left field with two outs. It was his second two-homer game of the week, as he also accomplished the feat against Wofford this past Wednesday. D’Alessio followed with a solo homer to make the score 11-4, the eventual final.

The two teams will complete the three-game set on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM.