By Trey McCurry.
By Trey McCurry
CLEMSON — The Tigers rallied to tie the game in the ninth inning, but fell 6-5. Here is a look back at Clemson’s opening day loss to Eastern Michigan.
The Eagles scored four runs on four hits in the sixth inning to comeback from a 4-1 deficit and then scored an unearned run in the top of the 10th inning to take a 6-5 win over Clemson in game one of the weekend series.
The game had several momentum swings for both teams. The Tigers started off hot with a 2-0 lead thanks to Chris Okey’s two-run single in the bottom of the first inning. Clemson built a 4-1 lead until the Eagles came storming back in the sixth with four runs. The Tigers fought back in the ninth, tying the game on Mike Dunster’s pinch-hit one-out homer and then loaded the bases with two outs. The final momentum swing went Eastern Michigan’s way when they were able to push across the winning run on an error, sac bunt, and then a high infield chopper.
What went right?
Daniel Gossett started his year off strong with 5.0 innings of one-run, four-hit ball while walking one and striking out four. Clay Bates (one hit and two strikeouts in 2.1 innings) and Clate Schmidt (one hit and one unearned run in 2.0 innings) also looked good out of the bullpen. Two freshmen anchored the Tigers at the plate as Okey went 2-for-5 with two RBI and redshirt freshman Andrew Cox was 2-for-4 with a walk and stolen base.
What went wrong?
Kevin Pohle and Kyle Schnell struggled out of the bullpen, allowing four runs on four hits in 0.2 innings. The Tigers were also unable to come up with some clutch hits, stranding 10 runners in the contest compared to only five for the Eagles.
They said it.
Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett
“We let the game slide away from us in one inning. We let them get back in the game and take the lead. We did a good job battling back but just didn’t finish things off.”
Clemson Senior Mike Dunster
“Coach Leggett told me to have the mentality of a lead-off hitter and just find a way to get on base. I got a inside pitch and was just able to get a good part of the bat on it.”