Taylor Harbin tied a school record with three doubles to lead #24 Clemson to a 6-2 win over #4 Miami on Saturday, completing a three-game sweep in front of 5,085 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers won their ninth game in a row to improve to 37-19 (21-9 ACC), while the Hurricanes dropped to 38-15-1 (19-10-1).
"I'm really proud of our team, our players," said Clemson head coach Jack Leggett. "They've really responded well. We are a team that's got to be on edge and be blue collar. We learned some lessons early in the season and its tournament time now. It's time to play our best baseball, and fortunately we are doing just that."
Drew Fiorenza (2-1) pitched 1.1 scoreless innings to earn the win in relief. David Kopp pitched 2.0 perfect innings to record his first save of the year. Ricky Orta (6-5) gave up four runs on six hits in 5.0 innings to suffer the loss.
Harbin led the way offensively for Clemson, going 3-for-5 with three doubles and an RBI. He set the school freshman record for doubles in a season, as he has 28 on the season. Billy McMillon (1991) had the previous record of 26. Harbin also became the 11th Tiger in history to total three doubles in a game, as he nearly totaled four doubles, but Danny Figueroa made a diving catch at the wall on one of his at-bats.
Kris Harvey added two hits, and Tyler Colvin had three RBIs on his three-run homer. Travis Storrer's 19-game hitting streak, tied for the longest by a Tiger in 2005, came to an end. Paco Figueroa and Roger Tomas each had multiple-hit games for the Hurricanes, who left 11 runners on base.
Miami opened the scoring in the third. Walter Diaz doubled down the right-field line to lead off the inning, and moved to third on Danny Figueroa's sacrifice bunt. Paco Figueroa then hit a ground ball to Harbin, but the second baseman's throw to the plate short-hopped Adrian Casanova, allowing Diaz to score.
Herman Demmink doubled down the right-field line on the first pitch of the sixth. On the next pitch, Brad Chalk bunted past Orta for an infield single to put runners on the corners with no outs. Harbin then doubled, scoring Demmink. Tyler Colvin followed with a three-run home run to right to give the Tigers their first lead of the day, signaling the end of the day for Orta. It was Colvin's fifth long ball of the season. Kris Harvey hit reliever Danny Gil's first pitch through the left side for a single, and Travis Storrer followed with a walk. Andy D'Alessio walked to load the bases with no outs, and the Hurricanes went to another reliever, Jon McLean. McLean struck out Stan Widmann for the first out. Miami brought in Andrew Lane, and pinch-hitter Ben Hall hit a fielder's choice groundout to score Harvey.
Singles by Paco Figueroa and Jon Jay, and a walk to Danny Valencia loaded the bases with two outs for Miami in the seventh. But Fiorenza worked out of the jam by getting designated hitter Brendan Katin to ground out to end the inning.
Chalk led off the seventh with a walk, and Harbin hit his third double of the game, this time off the fence in left on an 0-2 pitch. The hit tied the Clemson record for doubles in a game, and it was also Harbin's fourth double in the series. With one out, Harvey singled through the left side to score Chalk. A wild pitch moved Harvey to second, and the Hurricanes then elected to intentionally walk Storrer to load the bases. The Tigers could not capitalize however, as D'Alessio struck out looking and Widmann grounded out to end the inning.
In the eighth, Tomas singled and Eddy Rodriguez walked to begin the inning. Clemson called on reliever David Kopp and he induced Walter Diaz to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Danny Figueroa hit a sharp liner with two outs, but Widmann snagged it out of the air to get the Tigers out of trouble.
With Saturday's win, the Tigers swept Miami for the first time in a three-game series since 2002. Clemson also outscored the Hurricanes 30-9 in the series.
"I think we did everything," added Leggett. "We played good defense. We got three kids up the middle that are freshmen. They don't play like freshman. They play with a lot of confidence. Then we got a couple of sophomores and juniors so we are young and it takes a little while to grow up. We don't have it all figured out and we've got a long ways to go, but we've put ourselves in a much better position than we were 23 games ago. I'm proud of how we responded."
Clemson will enter the ACC Tournament at Jacksonville, FL as the #2 seed and will play #7-seed Virginia in the first round Wednesday at 1:00 PM.