Tigers Topple Hokies

CLEMSON – While the opposition obviously helps, according to Clemson baseball coach Jack Leggett and the players, the Tigers are playing their best baseball of the season.

Box Score

With a new batting order in its last two games, Clemson has hit the ball as well as it as all season. Combine a newly discovered offense with very good defense and stellar pitching, and Leggett may have a point.

For the second straight game, the Tigers scored in double digits, while basically shutting their opponents down as No. 9 Clemson took the 11-2 victory over Virginia Tech Friday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

"We're playing better right now," Leggett said. "That might have been our best game of the year."

All season, the offense has been dormant for the most part. Periodically, it has shown signs of life, but then it would go back into hibernation.

With spring now in full bloom, maybe the offense is awake for good.

To try and jumpstart the offense, Leggett has dropped first baseman Andy D'Alessio form the middle to seventh in the order. A week ago, Leggett a moved second baseman Taylor Harbin from third two sixth. Against Virginia Tech, he batted in the fifth spot.

As long as Clemson (31-13, 13-6 ACC) keeps hitting like it has, expect things to stay as they are.

"I like the way it is right now," Leggett said.

Harbin and D'Alessio responded well to the new order as each went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. D'Alessio also added two RBIs.

Defensively, the Tigers were perfect for the fourth straight game.

One move Leggett made was replacing third baseman Herman Demmink with usual designated hitter Marquez Smith. Demmink, still batting leadoff, is now the designated hitter.

"I like the way (Smith) is playing defense right now," Leggett said. "We'll probably keep with that for a little while."

Of course, it's easy to play good defense with a pitcher like Josh Cribb (8-0) toeing the rubber. He works fast and likes to let the defense work for him.

Cribb went 7.2 innings, allowing just four hits and two runs, while striking out seven.

"I was throwing first-pitch strikes," the senior said. "I was hitting my spots and I was able to throw my breaking ball for strikes."

One of the season highlights came in the seventh inning when Tanner Leggett, who had only four at-bats all year, cranked a pitch well over the fence in left field. It was his first hit of the season and the first home run of his career.

While rounding third base, he paused briefly to give a longer handshake to his father, the head coach.

"Unbelievable," Tanner Leggett said. "I really don't think words can describe it. I gave him the look in the eye and the nod. He understood what it meant."

For his part, Jack Leggett was all a glow following the game.

"I just wanted the moment to last for a long time," he said. "It's one of those things that you think about and dream about. That was a priceless moment, just like the commercial says."

Note: The three-games series will go ahead as originally scheduled, with a game starting at 7:15 Saturday night and the finale getting underway at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Virginia Tech 2 (17-25,3-19 ACC)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Nate Parks cf............  4  0  2  1   0  0  3  0   0
Sheldon Adams lf.........  4  0  1  0   0  2  0  0   0
Sean O'Brien 1b..........  4  0  0  0   0  1  8  1   2
Jose Cueto rf............  3  0  0  0   1  2  3  1   1
Matt Hacker 2b...........  4  0  1  0   0  1  1  3   0
Luke Padgett dh..........  4  0  0  0   0  2  0  0   1
Bryan Thomas 3b..........  4  2  2  1   0  1  2  2   1
Warren Schaeffer ss......  3  0  1  0   0  1  1  3   0
Matt Foley c.............  3  0  0  0   0  0  5  1   0
Greg Fryman p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Josh Canova p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Randy Buffington p......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 33  2  7  2   1 10 24 12   5

Clemson 11 (31-13,13-6 ACC)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Herman Demmink dh........  2  1  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Alex Burg ph/dh.........  3  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   1
Brad Chalk cf............  1  1  1  1   0  0  0  0   0
 D.J. Mitchell ph/cf.....  3  0  1  0   0  1  1  0   0
Travis Storrer rf........  4  1  1  2   0  0  2  0   0
 John Ingram rf..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Tyler Colvin lf..........  4  0  2  1   0  0  1  0   0
Taylor Harbin 2b.........  3  2  2  0   0  0  1  5   0
 Tanner Leggett ph/2b....  1  1  1  1   0  0  0  0   0
Marquez Smith 3b.........  3  2  1  0   1  0  0  1   0
Andy D'Alessio 1b........  3  2  2  2   0  0  8  0   0
 Ben Hall 1b.............  1  0  0  0   0  0  4  0   0
Stan Widmann ss..........  4  1  1  1   0  0  1  2   0
Adrian Casanova c........  2  0  1  1   1  0  7  0   0
 Doug Hogan c............  1  0  0  0   0  1  2  1   0
Josh Cribb p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Stephen Clyne p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 35 11 14  9   2  3 27  9   3

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Virginia Tech....... 010 000 010 -  2  7  2
Clemson............. 151 030 10X - 11 14  0
-------------------------------------------

E - ADAMS(4); CUETO(7). DP - Va. Tech 1; Clemson 1. LOB - Va. Tech 5;
Clemson 3. 2B - D'ALESSIO(12). HR - THOMAS(5); STORRER(8); LEGGETT(1). SH -
CHALK(14). SB - PARKS 2(25); COLVIN(14); HARBIN(4).

Virginia Tech          IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Greg Fryman.........  1.2  7  5  5  0  0 10 11
Josh Canova.........  4.1  7  6  5  2  0 19 21
Randy Buffington....  2.0  0  0  0  0  3  6  6

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Josh Cribb..........  7.2  4  2  2  1  7 26 27
Stephen Clyne.......  1.1  3  0  0  0  3  7  7

Win - CRIBB (8-0).  Loss - FRYMAN (3-6).  Save - None.
BK - CANOVA(1).
Umpires - HP: A.J. Lostaglio  1B: Tom Baldinelli  3B: Junior Creech
Start: 7:19   Time: 2:16   Attendance: 5187
CANOVA faced 1 batter in the 7th.

CUTigers.com Top Stories