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March 28, 2012
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Presbyterian College took advantage of four costly Tiger errors and eight timely hits to defeat Clemson 8-4 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Wednesday night. The Blue Hose improved to 10-17, while Clemson fell to 12-12. The Presbyterian College win was its first in four tries at Doug Kingsmore Stadium and its first win at Clemson since 1949. The Tigers had won the previous four meetings in Tigertown.
Presbyterian College maintained a 1-0 lead until the sixth inning, when it scored four runs on three hits and two Clemson errors. Two more Tiger errors led to another run in the seventh inning. Richie Shaffer crushed a two-run homer in the eighth inning to cut the Blue Hose lead to three runs, but it was not enough.
A night after totaling 16 hits, Clemson was limited to only six hits by three Blue Hose pitchers. Senior righthander Gabe Grammer (1-1), Presbyterian College's closer during its first 26 games of the season and leadoff batter on Wednesday, pitched 6.0 strong innings in his first start of the year. He gave up just two hits, one run, and one walk with three strikeouts to earn the victory. Michael Ricchi recorded his first career save by pitching the final 1.2 innings with three strikeouts.
Tiger starter Jonathan Meyer (1-2) suffered the loss despite allowing just two hits, one run, and no walks with two strikeouts in 4.0 innings pitched. Five of the eight runs yielded by Clemson's four pitchers were unearned.
Tony Micklon gave Presbyterian College the game's first lead in the second inning when he belted a two-out, solo homer to left field, his third long ball of the season. It was also the first home run surrendered by Meyer in 2012.
Two costly Tiger errors and three well-place hits enabled Presbyterian College to add four runs, all unearned, to its lead in the top of the sixth inning. Grammer led off with a high flyball that fell down the right-field line for a double, but he was erased on a fielder's choice at third on Billy Motroni's bunt back to the mound. Motroni advanced to third on a throwing error on a failed pickoff attempt. Motroni then scored and Brad Zebedis reached first despite striking out on a wild pitch.
Two batters later with two outs, Brandon Paul lofted a soft liner to right-fielder Brad Felder, whose error allowed Paul to reach and Zebedis to score. After Micklon walked, Jay Lizanich grouded a single through the left side to score Paul. Andrew Williams followed with a double in the left-field gap to score Micklon, but Lizanich was gunned down at the plate to keep Clemson within five runs.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Jason Stolz led off with a hit-by-pitch. Stolz, who stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch, later scored with two outs on a balk.
Two more Clemson errors led to another Blue Hose run in the seventh inning. Motroni drew a two-out walk and Zebedis reached on a fielding error by Stolz at short. Kenny Bryant reached on another fielding error, this time by second-baseman Steve Wilkerson, to score Motroni.
In the eighth inning, Wilkerson led off with a walk. Two batters later, Shaffer blasted a two-run homer to left field, his sixth long ball of the season. Phil Pohl followed with a single through the left side and Felder walked to bring the potential tying run to the plate, but the next two Tigers were retired.
The Blue Hose responded with two insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning. Aaron Preston led off with a single to right-center on an 0-2 pitch and advanced to second on Grammer's groundout. Two batters later, Zebedis ripped a two-out double to left field to plate Preston. Bryant followed with another double, this time to right-center, to score Zebedis.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Jay Baum led off with a triple to center. Two batters later, Baum scored on Wilkerson's sacrifice fly to left field.
Bryant had a game-high two hits, including a double, to pace the Blue Hose, who accumulated eight hits in the contest. Motroni, Zebedis, and Micklon added two runs apiece. Seven of Presbyterian College's eight runs were scored with two outs.
Shaffer had a game-high two RBIs on his long ball to lead Clemson at the plate. Wilkerson went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, the longest by a Tiger in 2012.
Clemson will host #7 Miami (FL) in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this weekend. The first game of the series on Friday will begin at 6:30 PM and will be available live via webcast at ESPN3.
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