Tigers Fall to Charlotte, 5-4

Brad McCann opened up the season with a bang by going 4-for-5, but he didn't have enough in his final at-bat to rally the Tigers past Charlotte Tuesday evening at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Charlotte (2-3) at #11 Clemson (0-1)
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Charlotte 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 1   5 14 0
Clemson 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1   4 8 1

WP: Matt Landphair (2-0)
LP: Steven Jackson (0-1)

2004 Schedule/Results | Box Score | Jack Leggett Post Game Comments

The Charlotte 49ers hit 9-of-15 with two outs and handed Clemson a loss in the season opener for the Tigers at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Tuesday night. The 49ers had six players to have at least two hits in the ball game.

The two teams combined to use 18 pitchers in the three-hour contest. Charlotte had 14 hits in the contest, while Clemson had eight. Both squads left eight men on base.

Brad McCann led the Tigers with a career-high four hits. His previous best was three hits, which he achieved 10 times during the 2003 season. He finished 4-5 with two runs batted in.

McCann got the Tigers on the board in the first inning with a solo home run to left-center field. The solo shot extended his hitting streak to 21 games, dating back to last season. It was his 10th career homer in his second year with the Tiger program. Charlotte threatened to tie the game in the top of the second inning, but Tony Sipp threw out 49er base runner Kris Rochelle at home plate.

Charlotte put three runs up in the fourth inning. Adam Willard singled to center field, which scored Jamie Rusco on a close play at the plate. Brian Scafe then hit a two-RBI double to left field, giving the 49ers the 3-1 lead. Each of the runs came at the expense of Tiger captain and senior pitcher Steven Jackson.

Charlotte added a run to its lead in the seventh inning when Randall Poplin singled to right center, scoring Adam Floyd from second. Freshman hurler Stephen Faris, a native of Richmond, VA, pitched the seventh frame for the Tigers.

Clemson loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with three walks. Then, Tony Sipp grounded out to the shortstop. However, the hit drove in a run and cut the lead to 4-2. Travis Storrer walked to load the bases again and bring McCann up. McCann then hit it up the middle and 49er shortstop Thomas Bowker could not get the out. His fourth hit of the game brought Clemson to within one, 4-3.

Charlotte tacked on another run in the ninth inning. Poplin roped a double to left center that scored Cory Lane from first base. Poplin's second RBI gave the 49ers a 5-3 lead. Clemson survived additional runs when Ryan Hub snagged a ball deep in right center field.

The Tigers threatened in the ninth after Hub scored on a wild pitch, giving Clemson runners at the corners with only one out. However, McCann hit into a double play to end the game.

Other Notes:
* Every run except the last one scored by the Tigers in the bottom of the ninth inning was scored with 2 outs.

* Preseason 2nd Team All-American Brad McCann hit the second pitch he saw on the afternoon over the left-center field fence for the Tigers first run of the season. The hit extended his hitting streak to 21 games and was just the first of a career high 4 hits.

* The Tigers' aggressive base running proved costly in the season opener. Tony Sipp was caught stealing in the first inning before McCann's homerun, and McCann was also thrown out at home in the sixth inning after a single by Santangelo.

* Former Tiger 1B Michael Johnson, now in the San Diego Padres, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to start the 2004 season.

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