The Tigers used the long ball to defeate NC State 6-3 Saturday afternoon at the ACC Tourney. Brad Miller woke up the Clemson offense with a solo homerun. Richie Shaffer put the Tigers on top with a three-run homerun in the sixth and Chris Epps added an insurance run in the seventh with another solo shot. It was the first game all season where the Tigers hit more than two homeruns in a single game.
“It was really two different ballgames. They (NC State) owned the first half of the game and got two runs. Brad (Miller) broker the ice to make it 2-1 and then they got up 3-1. We pitched really well after that. I thought our guys pitched exceptionally well, and the two home runs (from Chris Epps and Richie Shaffer) were huge. We started controlling the second part of the game. We were fortunate to win. We put together some good innings offensively as the game went along,” said Leggett.
Jonathan Meyer got the start for the Tigers but was hit with a shot from Maynard in the first inning. Jonathan was able to return to the game. Meyer limped to cover home for the final out of the inning and was cleated by the Pack runner. Coach Leggett took Jonathan out in the second inning after he faced three batters.
Haselden came in for Meyer and went 2.2 innings giving up three hits and one earned run. Matt Campbell pitched 2.1 innings and only gave up one hit. Alex Frederick pitched .2 innings giving up one hit and no runs. Joseph Moorefield faced on batter to start the eighth and got a fly ball to left field. Kevin Brady came in to get the final two outs of the eighth. Scott Weismann closed things out for the Tigers in the ninth.
Brad Miller was 2-4 on the afternoon while Jason Stolz was 2-2 before going out with an injury to his finger.
NC State jumped out to the lead in the second with two runs.
Brad Miller got the Tigers on the board in the fourth with a solo homerun. The homer was Brad’s fifth of the year.
John Hinson and Phil Pohl both walked to start the sixth. Will Lamb beat out a double play ball at first to keep the inning alive. With two outs Richie Shaffer hit a bomb to left center to put the Tigers up 4-3.
Chris Epps hit his second homerun of the tournament and fourth in the last six games in the seventh. The bomb to right field led off the seventh and put the Tigers up 5-3.
In the eighth inning Phil Pohl singled up the middle. Brad Miller hit a single to right advancing Pohl to third with no outs. Will Lamb hit a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Pohl from third.
Coach Leggett believes the Tigers have done enough to be one of 16 regional host sites next week.
“We had a great second half. We’re 27-6 in the last 32 games. We’ve got everyone back healthy, which was a little bit of a problem early on. So, I’d like to think we’ve played well down the stretch and our strength of schedule and RPI is something that will catch their eye. But, we don’t have control over it, and if we go somewhere else, we’ll be ready to play. We’d certainly love to play at home, that’s for sure,” said Leggett.
Clemson moved to 41-18 with the victory. The Tigers await the announcement of the regional hosts on Sunday.