March 9, 2002
CLEMSON, SC – Clemson jumped out to a 9-1 lead and held on after a one hour and 20 minute rain delay for a 9-6 victory over Purdue. The Tigers (9-0) used a big fifth inning to grab a commanding lead and hold off the Boliermakers (2-6).
Purdue scored a run in the top of the first inning off of Clemson starter Matt Henrie (2-0), but the junior righthander settled down and pitched six innings, allowing only two hits, for the victory. An RBI single by Jeff Baker in the bottom of the inning and RBIs by Jarrod Schmidt and Robert Valiente in the fourth gave Clemson a 3-1 advantage before the big fifth inning.
David Slevin singled, Khalil Greene doubled and Baker walked to load the bases for Michael Johnson. The junior sent a the ball deep over the fence in center field for his seventh home run of the year. The first baseman has now homered in four of his last five games. Schmidt followed Johnson with a shot that bounced off the scoreboard in right field and chased Purdue starter Dustin Glant (0-1). A sacrifice fly by Slevin later in the inning capped Clemson’s scoring and gave the Tigers the 9-1 lead.
Rain started to pour down in the seventh inning and the game was delayed with the bases loaded and one out for the Boilermakers. Purdue scored four runs in the inning after play was resumed one hour and 20 minutes later. Purdue threatened a rally in the ninth inning and scored a run before closer Paul Harrleson ended the game and picked up his fourth save of the year.
The two teams will square off at 1:00 PM on Sunday in the series finale. Clemson will send sophomore righthander Steven Jackson (1-0) to the mound while Purdue counters with sophomore righhander Mitch Pruemer (1-0).
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