By Trey McCurry.
Bu Trey McCurry
CLEMSON — Here is a look back at Clemson’s 9-7 series clinching win over Eastern Michigan on Sunday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Tigers scored three runs in the eighth inning to overcome a one-run deficit and take a hard fought series over Eastern Michigan. After Clemson jumped out to a 4-0 lead through two innings, the Eagles answered with a four-spot in the top half of the third inning. After the Tigers added single runs in the fifth & sixth innings, Eastern Michigan scored three runs in the seventh inning to take a 7-6 lead. The Tigers answered with three runs of their own in the eighth and held on to win the game, and the series.
The game changing moment(s) came in the bottom of the eighth inning as Clemson came back from being down a run to take a two run lead without hitting the ball out of the infield. Tyler Slaton led off the inning with a walk and then moved up on a groundout and wild pitch. After another out, Steve Duggar reached on a throwing error that allowed Slaton to score the tying run. Following a stolen base, Duggar scored the go-ahead run on a Jay Baum infield single. Baum would later come around to score on a rundown play to give Clemson a two-run cushion it would not relinquish.
What went right?
The middle of the Tigers lineup was productvie throughout the day. Jay Baum had a solid day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI. Garrett Boulware added two hits and two RBI while Chris Okey had three RBI. Clay Bates was again strong in relief, allowing just two infield hits in 1.1 innings.
What went wrong?
After two strong innings, starting pitcher Jake Long fell apart in the third inning allowing four runs on five hits (over just six batters). The Tiger bullpen was again shaky as they could not hold onto a lead and put the pressure on the Clemson offense to stage a comeback. Leadoff hitter Tyler Slaton had another tough day at the plate, going 0-for-3 and dropping his batting average to .091.
They said it.
Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett
“Our players showed some toughness when we battled back to reclaim the lead after losing it. I like some of the things I saw out of the team today and hopefully we can continue to get better.”
Clemson Junior Garrett Boulware
“They are a very good baseball team and gave us a tough time all weekend. There were some scary times when I was a little worried, but we were able to pull through. This will really prepare us for the weekends ahead.”