Early runs carry Tigers past Pioneers


by - Senior Writer -

AUDIO: Clemson postgame press conference | PHOTOS: Sacred Heart vs Clemson

CLEMSON – A little home cooking was the perfect recipe for the Clemson Tigers Friday night.

The Tigers erupted for 11 runs and got a strong outing from starter Scott FirthScott Firth
RH Pitcher
#20 6-0, 165
Buffalo Grove, IL

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as the Tigers defeated Sacred Heart 11-1 in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Coastal Carolina knocked off Connecticut 13-1 in the early game, and Clemson will face off against the Chanticleers at 7 p.m. Saturday night in the fourth game of the Clemson regional bracket. Clemson beat Coastal 5-4 in 10 innings back on April 5th, the beginning of Leggett’s “30-game season” following the Tigers’ 14-12 start.

“I thought we played a really nice game,” Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said. “Firth came out and did what we wanted – he threw strikes and we played good defense behind him. Our pitching was good, our defense was good and we had a good offensive night. I am pleased with how we played tonight.”

The Tigers wasted no time in welcoming Sacred Heart starter Troy Scribner to the warm environs of Doug Kingsmore, touching the sophomore righty for four runs in the bottom of the first inning.

John HinsonJohn Hinson
Infielder
#4 6-1, 180
Asheville, NC

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led off the inning with a four-pitch walk, and Phil PohlPhil Pohl
Catcher
#9 5-11, 210
Cooperstown, NY

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smashed a ringing double into the left field corner to put runners at second and third with no outs. Brad MillerBrad Miller
Infielder
#13 6-1, 185
Windermere, FL

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rolled to short, scoring Hinson, but Pohl was out trying to advance to third.

Will LambWill Lamb
Outfielder
#30 6-6, 175
Seaford, VA

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was hit by a pitch, but Richie ShafferRichie Shaffer
Infielder
#8 6-3, 205
Charlotte, NC

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struck out looking for the second out. Jeff SchausJeff Schaus
Outfielder
#3 6-1, 205
Naples, FL

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promptly singled to center to score Miller, and took second on the throw to the plate. Chris EppsChris Epps
Outfielder
#26 6-1, 195
Stone Mountain, GA

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then dumped a single into center to score Schaus and Lamb for the 4-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, John Hinson doubled into the right field corner with one out, stole third and scored on an RBI groundout by Pohl for a 5-0 Tiger lead.

Clemson added six more in the bottom of the third to chase Scribner, the big blow coming on a 3-run shot by Hinson, who drilled his shot over the Cajun Café sign in deep right field.

Hinson was 3-for-3 with a walk, a single, a double and the homer and scored three times to pace the Tiger attack.

“It’s always good to get off to a good start,” Hinson said. “When you come out and score early it takes the pressure off for the rest of the game. When you get off to a quick start and come out as hot as we did, it leads to a little more relaxed atmosphere.”

Scribner lasted just 2 1/3 innings, giving up 10 earned runs. He walked three and struck out two.

Firth, making his first start since late April, gave up just one earned run in six innings, striking out five and walking one.

“I was just excited when Coach Leggett told me I would be starting,” Firth said. “I knew I had to go out there and give our team the best chance to win. I was aggressive early and tried to throw strikes to set the tempo for the rest of the game.”

Sacred Heart head coach Nick Giaquinto said his team was better than the effort seen Friday night.

“We are much better than we showed today,” Giaquinto said. “We knew Clemson was one of the best teams in the country. We expected them to be a quality team and they are. They put some good at-bats together and they had some timely hitting. We came out and we were ready to compete but it didn’t work out the way we planned.”

Leggett said that sophomore right-hander Dominic LeoneDominic Leone
RH Pitcher
#6 5-11, 185
Norwich, CT

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(4-2, 3.72 ERA) would start for the Tigers against Coastal Carolina, and Leggett said he is still looking for his club to get better.

“I think we can play better,” he said. “I thought we did a pretty good job tonight, but I think there is still more in the tank for us. If we can get everybody in the order hitting and get everybody contributing we will be good.”


Sacred Heart 1 (34-22)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

M.J. Schifano 3b 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0

Greg DePalma ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

Steve Tedesco cf 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 1

J.J. Edwards lf 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 4

Rob Griffith 1b 2 1 1 0 1 1 4 0 0

John Murphy ss 4 0 1 0 0 1 3 2 0

Hunter Phillips 2b 3 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 1

Dan Perez dh 4 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 2

Derick Horn c 3 0 2 0 0 0 4 1 1

Conor McEvoy ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

Dave Boisture rf 3 0 1 0 0 0 4 0 0

Chris Whittemore ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

Troy Scribner p 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

Matt Fitton p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals...... 34 1 7 1 2 9 24 6 9

Clemson 11 (42-18)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

John Hinson 3b 3 3 3 3 1 0 0 0 0

Steve WilkersonSteve Wilkerson Infielder #17 6-1, 195 Roswell, GA View Full Profile ph/2b 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Phil Pohl dh/c 5 0 3 1 0 0 4 0 0

Brad Miller ss 5 1 0 1 0 1 4 2 0

Will Lamb cf 2 2 0 0 1 0 2 0 0

Dominic AttanasioDominic Attanasio Outfielder #1 5-7, 150 Windermere, FL View Full Profile cf 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Richie Shaffer 1b 3 0 0 0 1 1 3 1 2

Jon McGibbonJon McGibbon Outfielder #12 6-1, 210 Lindenhurst, NY View Full Profile 1b 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

Jeff Schaus lf 3 2 1 1 1 1 3 0 0

Joe CostiganJoe Costigan Outfielder #5 5-10, 200 Naples, FL View Full Profile lf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Chris Epps rf 4 1 2 3 1 0 3 0 1

Jason StolzJason Stolz Infielder #2 6-2, 200 Marietta, GA View Full Profile 2b 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Mike DunsterMike Dunster Infielder #10 5-9, 170 Greenwich, CT View Full Profile ph/2b 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0

Spencer KieboomSpencer Kieboom Catcher #22 6-0, 210 Marietta, GA View Full Profile c 4 1 1 1 0 0 5 0 4

Jon SurberJon Surber RH Pitcher #25 6-3, 195 Lisle, IL View Full Profile p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Scott Firth p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Kevin PohleKevin Pohle RH Pitcher #21 6-3, 170 St. Louis, MO View Full Profile p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

Totals...... 35 11 12 11 6 4 27 6 8

Score by Innings R H E

-------------------------------------------

Sacred Heart........ 000 001 000 - 1 7 0

Clemson............. 416 000 00X - 11 12 0

-------------------------------------------

LOB - Sacred Heart 9; Clemson 8. 2B - GRIFFITH(12); HINSON(12); POHL 2(21).

HR - HINSON(8). HBP - GRIFFITH; LAMB; COSTIGAN. SB - HINSON(22).

Sacred Heart IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

Troy Scribner 2.1 7 10 10 3 2 14 18

Matt Fitton 5.2 5 1 1 3 2 21 25

Clemson IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

Scott Firth 6.0 6 1 1 1 5 24 26

Kevin Pohle 2.0 1 0 0 1 1 7 8

Jon Surber 1.0 0 0 0 0 3 3 3

Win - FIRTH (5-1). Loss - SCRIBNER (9-3). Save - None.

HBP - by SCRIBNER (LAMB); by FIRTH (GRIFFITH); by FITTON (COSTIGAN).

Umpires - HP: Mike Droll 1B: David Rogers 2B: Brad Hungerford 3B: Kelly

Gonzales Start: 7:04 PM Time: 2:33 Attendance: 5194

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