Tigers rally for series victory

No. 10 Clemson scored eight runs in the eighth inning to rally for a 14-9 victory over Boston College in front of 3,925 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

BOX SCORE: Clemson 14 Boston College 9

The Tigers, who won the series 2-1, improved to 20-8 overall and 9-3 in the ACC. The Eagles dropped to 12-15 overall and 4-8 in ACC play.

The Tigers battled back from a 4-1 deficit to take a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning, but a four-run seventh inning enabled the Eagles to take an 8-5 lead. But after scoring one run in the seventh inning, Clemson sent 13 batters to the plate and scored eight runs in the eighth inning.

David Haselden (3-2) pitched the final 2.2 innings to earn the win. He allowed four hits, one run, and no walks with two strikeouts. Eagle reliever Kevin Moran (2-4) suffered the loss, as he yielded four hits, six runs (five earned), and four walks in 1.1 innings pitched.

The Eagles took the game's first lead in the top of the second inning when Matt Watson lined a solo home run to right-center, his fifth long ball of the season.

In the bottom of the second inning, Will Lamb drew a one-out walk, then Addison Johnson walked with two outs. Chris Epps followed with a single through the right side to score Lamb and Mike Freeman hit a deep flyball to right-center. But centerfielder Robbie Anston made a diving catch near the fence to save at least two runs.

The Eagles used the long ball again in the top of the fourth inning to regain the lead. Mickey Wiswall blasted an 0-2 pitch over the fence in right field for a solo homer, his eighth home run of the season. But the Eagles were not finished. John Spatola followed with a single to right field and stole second. Later in the frame with two outs, Mike Sudol grounded a single up the middle to score Spatola. Anthony Melchionda hit a single off the pitcher, then an alert Sudol headed for third after the throw to first when no one was covering the third-base bag. Shortly after Sudol strolled into third base, no Tiger was covering home plate either, so Sudol took off for home and was safe on the stolen base.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Lamb walked with one out, moved to third on John Nester's single to right-center, and scored on Johnson's single through the right side. However, the Tigers stranded runners on second and third for the second time in three innings to keep Boston College ahead 4-2.

In the fifth inning, Wilson Boyd walked with one out and moved to second on Brad Miller's single to right field. John Hinson then grounded a single through the right side to score Boyd. Later in the inning, Lamb tied the score when he hit a two-out infield single to score Miller.

For the first time in the game, the Tigers put their leadoff batter on base in the sixth inning. Johnson and Epps led off the frame with walks, then the two moved up a base on a passed ball. Freeman struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch out of the strikezone for out No. 1, then Jeff Schaus grounded out to score Johnson, giving Clemson a 5-4 lead. Boyd reached on an infield single that was deflected by Geoff Oxley, forcing Epps to stop at third base. Miller then hit a sharp grounder up the middle that appeared headed for centerfield, but Oxley again got his glove on the ball. The ball changed course just enough to allow second-baseman Matt Hamlet to make the stop and an off-balance throw for the inning-ending out.

The Eagles came right back and took the lead with four runs in the top of the seventh inning. Anston hit a one-out single up the middle and went to third on Hamlet's single through the left side. Wiswall followed with a line-drive single to left field on a 3-2 pitch to score Anston, then Spatola doubled to left field to score Hamlet and Wiswall. Two batters later, Sudol hit a two-out single up the middle to score Spatola.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Hinson led off with a walk. Two batters later with one out, Nester walked. Two batters later, Epps walked to load the bases with two outs, then Freeman walked on five pitches to score Hinson. But Schaus grounded out to keep the Eagles ahead 8-6.

In the eighth inning, Boyd led off with a strikeout but reached on a wild pitch. After moving to third on an error on a failed pickoff attempt, Boyd scored on Miller's infield single. Miller advanced to second on a balk and scored on Hinson's single through the right side. Hinson, who earlier advanced to second on the throw to the plate, scored on Lamb's single up the middle. Nester then belted a single through the left side to move Lamb to third and Johnson hit a sacrifice fly to left-center to plate Lamb. After Epps and Freeman walked to load the bases, Schaus reached on a throwing error by Hamlet, allowing Nester and Epps to score. Boyd's sacrifice fly to left scored Freeman, Miller followed with a single to right, and Hinson singled to center to score Schaus.

In the ninth inning, Wiswall led off with a single through the right side. Three batters later with two outs, Rob Moir singled up the middle, then Sudol singled up the middle to score Wiswall.

In all, the Tigers totaled 14 hits (all singles) and walked 13 times. Clemson overcame 14 runners left on base, including 10 left in scoring position. Every Tiger starter scored at least one run, eight starters had at least one RBI, and eight starters had at least one hit.

Hinson led the Tigers by going 3-for-5 with three RBIs, two runs, one walk, and three stolen bases. Miller went 3-for-6 with one RBI and two runs, while Lamb went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, three runs, and two walks.

Wiswall went 3-for-5 with a homer, two RBIs, and three runs to lead Boston College, who had 14 hits in the game. Sudol went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs, and two steals as well.

Clemson will play a home-and-home midweek series against Georgia starting Tuesday in Athens at 7:00 PM. The game will be televised live by CSS.

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