April 22, 1999
CLEMSON, S.C.- Catcher Brian Ellis delivered a clutch two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give Clemson a 5-4 win over 20th-ranked South Carolina in college baseball action on Wednesday night.
With the win Clemson sweeps the season series 2-0 and improves to 24-17, while South Carolina falls to 28-13. The Tigers have won 12 of the last 14 games in the series.
Clemson trailed 4-3 when Bradley LeCroy led off the bottom of the ninth with an infield single off South Carolina reliever Scott Barber. Clemson’s Henr Stanley popped up in his bunt attempt for the first out and Patrick Boyd followed with a strike out. Kurt Bultmann, who earlier in the game broke the Clemson career doubles record, singled to move LeCroy to third with two outs. Jason Pomar came on in relief of Barber, but walked Jason Harris to load the bases.
Ellis, who was one for his last 11 and 0-4 in the game, delivered a single up the middle that was knocked down by second baseman Jay Lambert. The ball bounced away from Lambert and with LeCroy and Bultmann moving on the full count pitch, LeCroy scored from second to give Clemson a thrilling 5-4 victory.
Senior transfer Chris Heck (1-0) earned his first career win as a Tigers. Heck entered the game in the top of the seventh and retired seven of the eight batters he faced without giving up a hit. Heck had four of the season-high 16 strikeouts Tiger pitchers combined for on the night. Barber (4-5) took the loss for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina got the scoring started in the second inning when Trey Dyson was struck out by Clemson starter Mike Proto but reached first base on a wild pitch. Marcus McBeth delivered a triple down the right field line to score Dyson. McBeth scored on a squeeze bunt by Bryon Jeffcoat to make the score 2-0.
In the fourth inning, Bultmann led off with a solo home run to left centerfield. Ellis reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a double by Khalil Greene to straight away centerfield to tie the score at 2-2.
Clemson took a temporary lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Stanley led off the inning with a double. With one out, Bultmann delivered the record breaking double to plate Stanley for a 3-2 advantage.
Bultmann now has 78 career doubles to move ahead of Gary Burnham in the Clemson record books. He is also second in the ACC record book for career doubles and needs five more to become the all-time conference leader.
South Carolina bounced back with two runs in the top of the sixth inning. Proto hit Adam Poe on a full count to start the inning. Additon then replaced Proto, who finished with a career best seven strikeouts in five innings pitched. After Poe stole second base, Marcos Rios struck out, but the third strike was in the dirt. Poe began running towards third base when Ellis elected to throw towards third instead of first to put out Rios. Both runners were safe and both would later score on a double by Dyson.
Clemson will host Georgia Tech in a three-game series beginning Friday at 7:15 p.m. at Tiger Field. The Yellow Jackets and Tigers will also play Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.).
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