Brad Miller, Phil Pohl, and Jason Stolz, the bottom three batters in the Tigers’ lineup, combined to go 4-for-8 with seven RBIs to lead #15 Clemson to an 8-6 come-from-behind win over Wright State in front of 4,690 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Clemson, who took a 2-0 series lead, improved to 5-0, while the Raiders fell to 2-4.
Miller, who went 2-for-3 with two doubles, three runs, and an RBI, belted the go-ahead, run-scoring double in the eighth inning to give the Tigers the lead for good. Pohl, who entered the game with three RBIs in 42 career games, went 2-for-4 with a double and four RBIs, while Stolz added two RBIs. Six-hole hitter and freshman Richie Shaffer also went 2-for-4 with two runs, including the game-winning run in the eighth inning.
The Tigers held a 4-1 lead until Wright State scored one unearned run in the fourth inning and four unearned runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-4 lead. But the Tigers rallied with two runs in the sixth inning and two more runs in the eighth inning to remain perfect on the season.
Tiger reliever David Haselden (1-0) earned the win in his first outing of the season. The sophomore righty retired all seven batters he faced. Freshman lefthander Kevin Kyle, who also made his first appearance, pitched 2.0 scoreless innings of one-hit ball in relief.
Raider reliever Michael Schum (0-2) suffered the loss, as he gave up two hits and two runs in 1.1 innings pitched.
In the first inning, Chris Epps led off with a walk and advanced to second on a balk. Two batters later, Jeff Schaus grounded a double up the middle to score Epps.
The Raiders responded with a run in the top of the second inning. Quentin Cate led off with a double down the left-field line. Two batters later, Garrett Gray blooped a single to center to score Cate.
The Tigers came right back and scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning thanks in part to several Raider miscues. Wilson Boyd led off with a single to right field. Shaffer hit a potential double-play grounder, but shortstop Justin Kopale booted the grounder and made an errant throw to first, as all runners were safe. Miller then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Michael Meintel slipped, allowing the Tigers to load the bases with no outs on the error. Pohl then ripped a double down the left-field line to score Boyd and Shaffer. Stolz followed with a sacrifice fly to left-center to score Miller.
Clemson returned the favor with two errors in the fourth inning that allowed the Raiders to score a run. Leadoff batter Aaron Fields led off by reaching on a fielding error by Miller at shortstop, then Tristan Moore reached on a fielding error by Stolz at third base. Cate followed with a sacrifice fly to left-center to score Fields.
In the fifth inning, Jake Hibberd led off with a single through the right side. Two batters later, Kopale hit into a fielder’s choice, as Hibberd was safe at second on Miller’s throwing error. Ryan Ashe followed with a single through the left side to score Hibberd. Two batters later with two outs, Moore belted a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left field for a three-run homer, the first long ball by a Raider in 2010. It was also the first time the Tigers trailed in a game in 2010.
The Tigers evened the score in the sixth inning. Boyd led off with a walk. Two batters later, Miller lined a double down the left-field line to move Boyd to third. Pohl followed with a sharp single to center to score Boyd and Miller, tying the score 6-6. After Stolz walked, Epps ripped an 0-2 pitch, but it was right at Hibberd at first, who caught the ball and raced to first base for the inning-ending double play.
In the eighth inning, Shaffer led off with a single through the left side. Miller then lined a double down the right-field line on a hit-and-run to score Shaffer, giving the Tigers a 7-6 lead. Miller moved to third on Pohl’s groundout to shortstop and Stolz plated Miller on a suicide squeeze bunt.
Schaus, Shaffer, Miller, and Pohl all had two hits for the Tigers, who outhit Wright State 9-6. Six different Raiders had one hit and six scored one run, while Moore had a team-high three RBIs on his three-run homer.
Clemson will face Wright State in game-three of the three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday at 1:00 PM.