Tigers straddle fence against South Carolina
Pitching dominates game one against the Gamecocks.
by MEGAN CULPEPPER
This article originally appeared in The Tiger on March 7, 2003 | PRINT

Rain, rain, go away, the Clemson Tigers want to play.

It is a rainy time in South Carolina these days. Tiger fans have been sitting in the cold or rain to see the first home games of Clemson Baseball. Last week the Tigers defeated Charleston Southern and hosted USC on Saturday and Sunday. Clemson is now 3-2 while South Carolina falls to 8-2.

Tiger pitching gave the team what they needed to start off to a strong start against state rival USC. On Saturday, Clemson pitcher Tyler Lumsden threw rock solid for 7.1 shutout innings, striking out 11 USC batters and only walking one. Lumsden is at his career high for strikeouts.

Clemson started off strong with hitting as well. Garrick Evans hit a single into left. Michael Johnson and Brad McCann later brought Evans home with a fly ball sacrifice to left field. Ryan Hub walked on a hit by Gamecock Matt Campbell. Robert Valiente singled into right field bringing in Hub and Johnson. Valiente made his trip around the bases thanks to a sacrifice fly to center field by Russell Triplett. With these runs, Clemson was up 4-0.

The fourth inning was another scoring time for the Tigers. Hitting well once again, Triplett doubled and scored for Clemson with a groundout hit by Kyle Frank. Collin Mahoney singled up the middle and was brought home by Hub's hit, taking the Tigers to a 6-0 lead. Until the eighth inning, the Tigers would not see another run.

Triplett once again led off by doubling, followed by Frank's single up the middle to bring Triplett home. On a Gamecock fielding error, Frank scored the eighth and final run for the Tigers.

For Game 2, Clemson traveled to Columbia on Sunday to face off with the Gamecocks. South Carolina evened the series 1-1 with Clemson. Carolina found it easier to win at Sarge Frye Field. South Carolina pitcher Aaron Rawl pitched an entire game allowing his team to take Clemson 6-4. The win improves their record to 9-2.

Tiger starter Jeff Hahn suffered the first loss to Rawl. Hahn did not know that his teammates would not be able to hit well against Rawl.

With Clemson not scoring until the seventh inning, the Gamecocks had plenty of opportunities to run up the score. In the fourth inning, Kevin Melillo singled and moved to second on Triplett's sacrifice bunt. Brian Buscher hit a balk grounder that allowed Melillo to go to third. Buscher then hit a sacrifice fly that plated Melillo.

Adding even more runs in the fifth inning, Michael Campbell hit a homer off Hahn. With bases loaded, Buscher walked bringing home some of his teammates.

Clemson finally had their turn to score in the seventh. Zane Green hit a one-out double off the wall in right center field. Johnson following with his eight-career homer. The Tigers were 0-for-9 until Johnson's homer. While these runs helped Clemson, South Carolina would not give up. Trey McDaniel added a run in the eighth that would insure the game for them, with a homer that barely cleared the left-field fence.

Ryan Mahoney, brother of the Tiger catcher, walked. Clemson trying to hold on rallied in the ninth inning. Triplett hit a line-drive single to left-center and Frank followed with his first homer of the season.

With this loss, Clemson falls to 3-3. The Tigers next action is today against Old Dominion on Tiger Field at 4:00. The next match-up comes on Saturday and Sunday in Clemson as well.

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