Tigers take opening series

Clemson defeated Eastern Michigan 5-1 Sunday to win its opening series of the 2011 season.

BOX SCORE: Clemson 5 Eastern Michigan 1

Kevin Brady struck out a career-high 10 batters in 5.1 innings pitched to lead No. 4 Clemson to a 5-1 victory over Eastern Michigan at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers, who won the series 2-1, improved to 2-1 on the season, while the Eagles fell to 1-2.

The win was Jack Leggett's 1,148th in his 32nd season as a head coach, which moved him into a tie with Jay Berman for 20th place in all-time wins as a Division I head coach.

Brady (1-0), a red-shirt sophomore righthander from Gaithersburg, MD, was masterful in his first outing of the season. He allowed just two hits, one run, and one walk with 10 strikeouts to earn the victory in his sixth career start on the mound. David Haselden pitched the final 3.0 innings to record his first save of the season. He allowed only two hits, no runs, and no walks with two strikeouts.

Steve Weber (0-1), the first of six Eagle pitchers, suffered the loss. He yielded six hits, four runs, and two walks with three strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched.

The Tigers grabbed the game's first lead in the second inning. Brad Miller walked with one out and went to third on John Hinson's single up the middle that was misread by second-baseman Zack Leonard. Spencer Kieboom then grounded out to shortstop to score Miller.

In the third inning, Jason Stolz led off with a single to right field and Chris Epps followed with a two-run homer to right-center, his second long ball of the series and season.

Clemson extended its lead in the fourth inning. Hinson hit a one-out single to center and stole second. Kieboom followed with a single to center to score Hinson, upping the Tigers' lead to 4-0.

The Eagles dented the scoreboard in the sixth inning. Daniel Russell led off with a triple to left-center and scored on a fielder's choice to first by Tucker Rubino. First-baseman Richie Shaffer's throw to the plate would have been in time to retire Russell, but his high throw allowed Russell to slide under Kieboom's tag.

In the eighth inning, Hinson hit a one-out double down the left-field line and stole third. Two batters later, Addison Johnson lined a two-out double down the left-field line to score Hinson.

Hinson paced Clemson's eight-hit attack by going 3-for-4 with a double, two runs, and two of the Tigers' five stolen bases in the game.

Leonard had a team-high two hits for Eastern Michigan, who had five hits in the contest.

Clemson will have four days off before returning to action in the First Pitch Invitational against three different teams next weekend. The Tigers will host Cincinnati at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in their first game of the invitational on Friday at 4:00 PM.

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