Tigers Topple ODU

David Kopp and Stephen Faris combined for a two-hitter, and Tyler Colvin's run-scoring double in the seventh inning proved to be the game-winner in the Tigers' 1-0 victory over Old Dominion in front of 282 fans on a chilly night at Bud Metheny Complex. <BR>

Clemson improved to 9-8, while the Monarchs fell to 14-13.

Kopp (1-2), a freshman who was making only his second career start and first start on the road, earned his first career win, as he allowed just two hits and one walk in a career-long 7.0 innings pitched. Faris, a sophomore from Richmond, VA, pitched 2.0 hitless innings with three strikeouts to earn his first career save. Kopp and Faris did not allow a Monarch past second base all game against a team that came in hitting .301 on the season. The two also combined for 17 groundball outs, compared to just four fly-ball outs.

Kevin Gunter (2-3) pitched a superb game for the Monarchs despite being the tough-luck loser. He pitched 8.2 innings and allowed just four hits, one unearned run, and three walks while striking out seven.

After six innings that were dominated by the starting pitchers, Clemson finally broke through in the seventh inning on a key two-out hit. Taylor Harbin reached on a throwing error by shortstop Jess Schoendienst with one out. Then before a pitch was thrown to Travis Storrer, Gunter threw over to first base five straight times. On the fifth, he throw was errant and rolled to the fence down the right-field line. Harbin rounded second and just beat the throw at third base. It was the first Tiger baserunner to reach second base all game. After Storrer struck out for out #2, Tyler Colvin picked Storrer up by lining a double off the wall in right field to plate Harbin.

In the bottom of the seventh, Old Dominion threatened to tie the score. Tyler Belcher lined a single to right field. Then with two outs, Justin Gregula lined a ball that was headed up the middle, but Harbin made a diving catch to end the inning.

The Tigers looked like they would increase their lead in the eighth, but also came up empty. Andy D'Alessio led off with a walk and advanced to second on a looping single to right field by Herman Demmink, a native of Midlothian, VA. After Brad Chalk, who had two of the team's four hits, reached on a fielder's choice, he stole second base before the next pitch was thrown. He surprised the Monarchs, who were not paying attention between batters. But Harbin grounded out to shortstop to end the threat.

Old Dominion had one of its best chances to tie the score in the bottom of the eighth. Schoendienst was hit by a pitch with one out, but was erased on Keith Hahn's fielder's choice. Hahn then stole his 10th base of the year, but Faris struck out Chris Keenan to end the inning.

Faris retired Even Chipman, Brian Cipolla, and Belcher in order, including Chipman and Belcher on strikeouts, to give the Tigers a 1-0 victory.

Clemson and Old Dominion will play the second and final game of the series Wednesday at 7:00 PM.

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