Connecticut scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back from there in a 14-1 win over Clemson Monday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The loss ends the Tigers season and eliminates what could have been an epic Super Regional matchup with rival USC in Columbia this weekend.
Jack Leggett rolled the dice and started freshman right hander Kevin Pohle on the mound. He entered the game 5-1 with a 1.11 ERA, numbers that were all racked up against lower caliber opponents. P0hle only recorded one out before he was lifted in favor of Alex Frederick. When he left the game UConn had platted three runs on five hits.
Clemson pulled within two in the bottom of the second when Richie Shaffer belted his 13th homer of the season over the left field wall. That made it 3-1. It would never get closer.
Things fell completely apart for the Tigers in the top half of the fifth. The Huskies pushed across five runs, aided in large part by two errors by All-American shortstop Brad Miller. It didn’t get better.
A Chris Epps error in the eighth inning opened the door for UConn to score another six runs, capped by a three-run homer by Ryan Fuller to make it 14-1.
The Huskies finished the game with 17 hits. 15 of the 17 hits came in the first, fifth and eighth innings, the three innings they scored all their runs.
On the flip side Clemson finished with just three hits and outside of the Shaffer homer was never able to get anything going offensively.
The Tigers end the season at 43-20.
Connecticut improves to 45-18-1. The Huskies will stay in the Palmetto State and head directly to Columbia for a weekend Super Regional against defending national champion USC.
The Huskies had two players selected in the first round of Monday’s MLB draft: CF George Springer and pitcher Matt Barnes.
Springer left the game in the fifth inning after feeling a “twinge” in his hamstring. UConn coach Jim Penders said he doesn’t think it is a serious injury and Springer is expected to be at full strength this weekend.