BOX SCORE: Clemson 9 Maine 6
The #16 Clemson Tigers rallied from a 6-0 deficit to defeat Maine 9-6 in front of
3,989 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers, who won the
series 2-1, improved to 4-2 on the season. Maine fell to 2-1 in 2012. It was
Clemson's ninth regular-season series win in a row dating back to 2011, its longest
streak since it won 10 regular-season series in a row from 2006 to 2007.
Maine took advantage of several Clemson errors to build a 6-0 lead during the fourth
inning. But the Tigers scored two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, then
they erupted for five runs in the sixth inning, all with two outs. Steve Wilkerson's
two-run double tied the score, then Phil Pohl gave Clemson the lead for good with
another two-run double. Clemson was 7-for-15 with two outs and had seven two-out
RBIs in the contest.
Clemson's six-run deficit overcome to gain victory was its largest comeback win
since the second game of a doubleheader at Wake Forest on March 9, 2008. That day,
the Tigers rallied from an 11-4 deficit to edge the Demon Deacons 12-11 thanks in
large part to Kyle Parker's three home runs. It was the second day in a row Clemson
overcame a deficit to gain victory, as the Tigers trailed 4-0 on Saturday before
topping Maine 9-5.
Kevin Pohle (2-0), the second of four Tiger pitchers, earned the win by tossing 3.0
solid innings. He allowed four hits, three runs (all unearned), and no walks with
four strikeouts. Scott Firth pitched 2.0 scoreless innings with four strikeouts,
then freshman Daniel Gossett pitched a hitless and scoreless ninth inning to record
his first career save. Five of the six runs allowed by Tiger pitchers were unearned
due to Clemson's five errors.
Mike Connolly (0-1) suffered the loss in relief, as he yielded five hits and five
runs in 0.2 innings pitched.
The Black Bears used several two-strike hits to take the game's first lead in the
second inning. Alex Calbick led off with a single to left field on a 1-2 pitch and
advanced to second on Justin Leisenheimer's groundout to first. Fran Whitten
grounded a single through the right side on a 1-2 pitch to move Calbick to third,
then Calbick scored on a wild pitch.
In the third inning, two costly Tiger errors led to two Maine runs. Leadoff batter
Scott Heath reached on an error. Two batters later, Ian Leisenheimer reached on
another error by the Tiger infield. Calbick followed with a double down the
right-field line to score Heath. Two batters later, Whitten grounded a two-out
single through the left side to score Leisenheimer, but left-fielder Dominic
Attanasio threw out Calbick at the plate for the inning-ending out.
Another costly Clemson miscue allowed the Black Bears to double their lead in the
top of the fourth inning. Colin Gay reached on an infield single with two outs and
Heath singled through the right side. Michael Fransoso hit a flyball to
right-center, but centerfielder Thomas Brittle dropped the ball, allowing Gay and
Heath to score. Ian Leisenheimer followed with a double to left field to plate
Fransoso, giving Maine a 6-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Wilkerson led off with a bunt single and Pohl
lofted a single to left-center on an 0-2 pitch. Two batters later, Spencer Kieboom
ripped a double over the third-base bag to score Wilkerson. Brad Felder then hit a
sacrifice fly to shallow center to score Pohl in a close play at the plate. Jon
McGibbon and Jason Stolz drew two-out walks to load the bases, but Attanasio
grounded out to second to end the frame.
Richie Shaffer cut Maine's lead to 6-4 in the fifth inning when he lined a two-out,
two-run homer to left field, his second long ball of the year. Wilkerson, who hit a
one-out single to left-center earlier in the frame, also scored on the home run.
In the sixth inning, three two-out hits led five Tiger runs to give Clemson the
lead. McGibbon drew a one-out walk and Stolz lined a single to left field.
Attanasio's infield single to second loaded the bases, then Brittle fouled out for
out #2. But Wilkerson came through with a double to left-center to score McGibbon
and Stolz to tie the score. Pohl then belted a double to left-center to score
Attanasio and Wilkerson. Shaffer added another run when he singled over the
third-base bag to score Pohl. Shaffer would have had a stand-up double, but he
pulled up while rounding first base and left the game with a mild hip flexor strain.
In the ninth inning, Whitten reached on a two-out walk and Brian Doran was
hit-by-pitch to bring the potential tying run to the plate. But Troy Black grounded
out to short to end the game.
Wilkerson paced Clemson's 14-hit attack by going 4-for-5 with a double, two RBIs,
and three runs. Wilkerson became the first active Tiger to tally four hits in a game
during his career. Pohl went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBIs, and two runs, while
Shaffer went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs. Shaffer's status will be
re-evaluated during the upcoming week.
Gay went 3-for-5 with a run to lead Maine, who had 10 hits in the contest.
Clemson will travel to Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in Charleston, SC to take on South
Carolina on Friday at 6:00 PM.
Tigers take series with Maine
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