Bats, gloves go to sleep in loss

CLEMSON – All it's going to take is one big hit. According to Clemson baseball coach Jack Leggett, that might have cured some of the ills in Wednesday night's 4-3 11-inning loss to Coastal Carolina.

After the fourth inning, the Tigers stopped hitting.

In the fourth, Mike Freeman reached first on a single and later scored on a Jeff Schaus triple. Kyle Parker followed with a homerun to right-centerfield, giving Clemson a 3-0 lead.

It was the team's last hit of the night.

"It's disappointing," Leggett said. "You get five hits and you're not hitting with men on base, not getting a big hit. It's a tough thing. We had some opportunities."

On in relief for Coastal Carolina in the bottom of the sixth, sophomore Keith Hessler walked Parker, Wilson Boyd and John Hinson to load the bases with two outs, but all three runners were stranded.

Parker was walked again in the seventh, loading the bases, but was stranded with the other three when Boyd struck out.

Clemson stranded a total of 10 runners.

"We got men on base. We had some golden opportunities to take care of the game and we couldn't do it," Leggett said.

The Tigers also committed four errors.

"Defensively, we just didn't play very well," Leggett said. "We were probably lucky to be in it the way we played defensively.

"We pitched pretty decent but we just made two critical mistakes and we paid for both of them with homeruns."

With two outs and no one on in the top of the 11th, Coastal Carolina junior center fielder Rico Noel hit the go-ahead home run into the left-center field bleachers off David Haselden.

With one out in the top of the fifth, sophomore left fielder Taylor Motter reached on an infield single. He advanced to third on a throwing error by Clemson shortstop Brad Miller. Junior centerfielder Rico Noel drove Motter in with a sacrifice fly to centerfield, cutting the Tigers' lead to 3-1.

The Chanticleer's sophomore second baseman Steve Davis started a two-out rally in the seventh with a single. He eventually scored on a pass ball, cutting the score to 3-2.

Designated Tommy LaStella led off the eighth with a solo homerun, tying the score 3-3.

Haselden pitched around a ninth inning jam, which started when he walked sophomore shortstop Taylor Motter to start the inning. Motter would have been retired earlier on the at-bat, but first baseman Will Lamb dropped a pop foul ball. Haselden loaded the bases by hitting Noel and then walking junior third baseman Scot Woodward.

However, Haselden worked out of the damage, striking out the third and fourth hitters in Coastal Carolina's lineup.

With runners on first and second, Schaus grounded into his first double-play of the season in the ninth, sending the game into extra innings.

In his first career start at Clemson, freshman pitcher Dominic Leone pitched 5 1/3 innings, gave up four hits, an unearned run, with one strike out and one walk. He was the pitcher of record when Alex Fredrick came on in relief but did not figure into the decision.

"Ultimately, it doesn't come down to my stats. It comes down to whether we get a win or a loss," Leone said. "I would have loved to have a win. Regardless, even if (Jonathan) Meyer, even if Haselden, whoever got the win, that's what we wanted." Top Stories