Tigers Fall to Furman

Furman scored six runs in the eighth inning, five of which were unearned, to down #14 Clemson 10-8 Thursday night in Greenville. The game was played in front of 1,356 fans, a majority of which was Tiger fans.

Furman improved to 25-21, while Clemson fell to 33-16. It was Furman's first win over the Tigers since 1984, ending Clemson's 29-game winning streak in the series. Tiger reliever Jeff Hahn (3-6) suffered the loss. Paladin reliever Ryan Hodinka (2-0) earned the victory.

Furman got on the board in the first inning on Dominic Frankey's two-out single to centerfield, plating Craig Caudill. Caudill reached on an opposite-field double to left field with one out.

Furman scored again in the second inning to up its lead to 2-0. Matthew Betsill led off with a single up the middle and Cole Hubka followed with a double to left-center. After A.J. Davidiuk walked to load the bases with one out, Clint Hill hit a sacrifice fly to short right field, as Hubka just beat the throw to home. It appeared that Hubka had clearly left early from third base on the play, however Clemson's appeal was denied by home plate umpire Danny Everett.

The Tigers responded with a run in the fourth inning. Kyle Frank hit a two-out single through the right side and David Slevin reached on a throwing error by Davidiuk. Then Jeff Hourigan knocked his second single in as many at bats to drive home Frank and cut the Furman in half.

Clemson took the lead in the fifth inning thanks to some heroics from Frank. The fifth-year senior from Wolfeboro, NH hit an opposite-field grand slam to give Clemson a 5-2 lead. Frank, who will receive his degree in computer information systems Friday, hit his seventh homer of the year and first career grand slam on a full count pitch from lefthander Patrick Griffin. It was the Tigers' first grand slam of 2003. The Tigers got leadoff bunt single from Zane Green and another single by Russell Triplett. Then Brad McCann worked a walk to load the bases after being down 0-2 in the count.

The Paladins responded in the bottom of the fifth to cut into the Tiger lead. Hill was hit by a pitch to leadoff the frame, and Caudill hit his second double of the game, this time passed McCann at third. Two batters later, Frankey lined a soft single to left-center to plate two runs.

Clemson extended its lead to 8-4 in the sixth. Steve Pyzik hit a one-out double to right-center. After advancing to third, Pyzik scored on a two-out bunt single by Triplett. Michael Johnson and McCann followed with sharp singles to plate two more runs.

Furman threatened to cut into the Tiger lead again in the bottom of the sixth, as it put runners on first and second with one out. Then Hill hit a line drive to McCann and third, who made a great diving catch in the hole and doubled off Andrew Greene at second to end the inning.

David Slevin extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a leadoff single in the seventh inning. The hitting streak is the longest by a Tiger in 2003. Every Tiger with an official at bat had at least one hit in the game as well.

Furman pulled out a tremendous comeback with six runs in the eighth thanks in part to three Tiger errors. Furman put the first two runners on base. After a fly out for out #1, Greene hit a potential inning-ending double play to Triplett at shortstop. But Triplett booted the ball, as all runners were save. Then down by three runs with the bases loaded, Caudill hit his third double of the game, this time clearing the bases and tying the score 8-8. Furman took the lead when Derek Norman singled to left and added an insurance run on Frankey's double to right field.

Clemson will return home to play a three-game ACC series against North Carolina beginning Saturday at 1:00 PM. The game will be televised live by Fox Sports Net South.

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