The Clemson Tiger baseball team suffered a loss in the series opener of the Super Regional versus Alabama, despite a strong pitching performance by starting pitcher Casey Harman.
After a scoreless first inning for both teams, Alabama was the first to dent the scoreboard, doing so in the top of the second inning on a lead-off solo shot to left field by their third baseman Jake Smith. Clemson starting pitcher, lefty Casey Harman would then settle down and get out of the second without giving up any more runs.
The third inning though, Harman wouldn’t be so lucky. Thanks in part to two errors committed by his defense behind him, Casey got roughed up for four runs on three hits in the inning, and the Tigers found themselves behind 5-0 after just two and a half innings of play.
In the bottom of the third, the Tigers would get things going offensively. Wilson Boyd walked to lead off the inning, and after Spencer Kieboom struck out looking, Will Lamb singled up the middle, pushing Boyd to third. The next batter up, Mike Freeman, singled to left field, scoring Boyd and moving Lamb to the hot corner at third, from where he would score on the next at bat when Jeff Schaus hit into a sacrifice fly to left field.
Kyle Parker was up next, with Freeman on first, and he singled thru the left side moving Freeman up ninety feet to second. Brad Miller then singled up the middle plating Freeman and moving Parker to third before John Hinson would pop out to center field to end the inning and the Tigers biggest scoring spurt of the evening. After three full innings, the Tigers were behind still, but now just by one run.
The Tigers got one more run in the bottom of the sixth inning on a clutch hit by Chris Epps. Epps was pinch hitting for Spencer Kieboom with Boyd at first base and he hit a triple down the first base line to score Boyd. Epps was then stranded at third base when Will Lamb grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.
The Tigers had more chances in the bottom of the seventh but left the bases loaded and in the bottom of the eighth when Mike Freeman grounded into a double play.
Clemson pitcher Casey Harman suffered the loss, going eight and a third innings giving up 10 hits, but only one earned run. Harman had nine strikeouts in 37 batters he faced.
Alabama starter Jimmy Nelson earned the win for the Tide, going six and two thirds innings, giving up nine hits and four earned runs in 33 batters faced. Jake Smith picked up the save for the Tide, going two innings and only giving up one hit.