Tigers stay hot

CLEMSON - No. 1 seed Clemson drops Coastal Carolina 12-7 Saturday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

BOX SCORE: Clemson 12 Coastal Carolina 7

Richie Shaffer, Will Lamb and John Hinson homered as Clemson beat Coastal Carolina 12-7 Saturday night to advance to the championship game of the Clemson Regional.

The Tigers (43-18) will play the winner of the Coastal-Connecticut elimination game for the championship Sunday.

Shaffer said the Tigers' power surge – they hit only 44 homers in their previous 60 games – was just a matter of time.

"I think just getting into crunch time, having a whole season of at-bats behind you," Shaffer said with the agreement of Hinson.

Hinson's two-run homer sparked a four-run eighth inning that put the game away. Shaffer had three hits and four RBIs. David Haselden (6-1) pitched four scoreless innings in relief before he was knocked out in the ninth.

Clemson jumped out with two runs in each of the first three innings and finished with 14 hits. Phil Pohl and Lamb each had three hits.

"Offensively, I think we came out and made a statement," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said.

The Chanticleers (42-19) cut the deficit to 7-5 in the fifth, but a pop-up bunt double play ended a potential big inning. Coastal starter Keith Hessler (2-3) was knocked out in the second.

Coastal coach Gary Gilmore used seven pitchers. None threw more than one scoreless inning.

"I don't think we made two consecutive (good) pitches to any hitter," Gilmore said.

Tommy La Stella homered – his third in two games – and had three hits for Coastal. His two-run homer in the first tied the game. He added an RBI double in the fourth. Rich Witten had four of the Chanticleers' 12 hits.

Clemson will face the winner of the Connecticut vs. Coastal Carolina game, which is slated to start at 3:00 PM on Sunday, on Sunday at 7:00 PM at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. If Connecticut wins, the Tigers will be the designated visiting team on Sunday night.

If Coastal Carolina wins, the Tigers will be the designated home team on Sunday night.

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