May 26, 2004
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Salem, VA –
In a see-saw battle with two ties and three lead changes, Clemson used a one out single by Russell Triplett in the bottom of the ninth to give the Tigers the win, 7-6 in the first round of the ACC Tournament Wednesday. Triplett went 2-for-5 at the plate recording a game-high three RBIs in the victory. North Carolina’s Sammy Hewitt had three hits to lead the Tar Heels.
Clemson broke through first with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Centerfielder Tony Sipp led off with a double to left field and came around to score on a Travis Storrer RBI single. Brad McCann and Lou Santangelo each followed with a single to load the bases for the #5 hitter Kris Harvey. Harvey drove in the second run of the inning with a fielder’s choice RBI. Tyler Colvin registered the final run of the inning with an RBI single to center field on an 0-2 pitch, scoring McCann.
The Tigers struck again in the second after the Tar Heels posted two quick outs in the inning. Storrer collected his second hit in as many innings sending a blistering shot off the glove of Tar Heel first baseman Sammy Hewitt. McCann followed with a single to center advancing Storrer to third. Attempting to steal second, McCann got caught in a run down and was tagged out but not before Storrer crossed the plate to increase the Clemson lead to 4-0.
North Carolina tied the game in the top of the fourth courtesy of three straight hits including a two-run homer off the bat of Marshall Hubbard, his 16th of the season. Hewitt recorded his second hit of the morning with a stand up double to deep center and would later score on an RBI groundout by the leftfielder Ross Cook. Justin Webb kept the rally going for North Carolina in the fourth with a two-out double to left center. Second baseman Bryan Steed tied the game as he sent a Russell Triplett at short, scoring Webb from second.
The Tar Heels tallied another run in the fifth to take their first lead at 5-4. Chris Iannetta led the inning off with a double to left. He would come around to score on a two-out single to right by the UNC designated hitter Matt Ellington.
Clemson countered in the bottom half of the fifth with a pair with a pair of runs to retake the lead, 6-5. Triplett dropped a bloop single to center with the bases loaded, driving in two runs for the Tigers.
The Clemson lead was short-lived as North Carolina put a run on the board to tie the game at 6-6. Webb started the sixth with a single and advanced to second and then third on consecutive groundouts to first. Mike Daniel stood at the plate with two down and connected on a pitch sending it to left field for an RBI double.
The teams remained tied until the bottom of the ninth when Clemson’s Harvey led off the inning with a single that made it ways through the left side of the infield. D’Alessio put down a sacrifice bunt to advance Harvey into scoring position at second. After an intentional walk to Colvin, Triplett hit a single through the left side, driving in Harvey for the game-winning run. With the win, Clemson ran its record to 35-22 and will face Georgia Tech Thursday at 5:00 PM.
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