Harman goes the distance

Junior lefty Casey Harman pitched all nine innings in Clemson's 5-2 NCAA Regional win against Auburn on Saturday night.

BOX SCORE: Clemson 5 Auburn 2

Junior lefthander Casey Harman pitched a complete-game five-hitter to lead No. 16 Clemson to a 5-2 victory over No. 14 Auburn in the Auburn Regional in front of 4,096 fans at Plainsman Park on Saturday night. Clemson, who improved to 2-0 in the regional, upped its record to 40-21 on the season. It marked the 24th season that Clemson reached the 40-win mark. Auburn, who fell to 1-1 in the regional, dropped to 41-20 in 2010.

Clemson jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks in part to a two-run homer by Mike Freeman. Clemson added two insurance runs in the fourth inning. Auburn hit two solo homers, one in the fifth inning and one in the ninth inning, but Harman made key pitches and Clemson made the big defensive plays to pull out the victory in front of a partisan Auburn crowd.

Harman (7-2) pitched his first career complete game to earn the win. In 9.0 innings pitched, he allowed just five hits, two runs, and one walk with eight strikeouts against a team that entered the regional first in the nation in homers, second in slugging percentage, seventh in batting average, and ninth in runs per game. It was also the first complete game by a Clemson hurler in 2010.

After allowing five runs in the first four innings, Auburn starter Grant Dayton (8-3) was stellar during the rest of his outing despite suffering the loss. He yielded seven hits, five runs (four earned), and one walk with nine strikeouts.

Clemson wasted little time taking the game's first lead in the first inning. Will Lamb led off with an infield single on a 1-2 pitch and Freeman followed with a towering two-run homer to right field, his eighth long ball of the season. Two batters later, Kyle Parker worked a walk after being down in the count 1-2 and advanced to second on Brad Miller's groundout. John Hinson then came through with a two-out single to right field to score Parker.

In the fourth inning, Richie Shaffer doubled high off the wall in left field and scored on Boyd's double to left-center. Two batters later, Lamb ripped a grounder to third-baseman Dan Gamache, who made the difficult stop but threw errant to first base, allowing Boyd to score on the play to up Clemson's lead to 5-0.

Auburn dented the scoreboard in the fifth inning when Tony Caldwell led off with a solo homer to left field, his 10th long ball of the year. It was also Auburn's first hit of the game.

In the sixth inning, Justin Fradejas lined a one-out single to right field, Auburn's second hit of the game. Two batters later with two outs, Brian Fletcher belted a liner to deep right-center. But Boyd leaped and robbed Fletcher of an extra-base hit at the wall to end the inning and keep Clemson ahead 5-1.

Miller lined a two-out single to left field in the top of the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. It also broke a streak of 12 batters in a row retired by Dayton. Hinson followed with a single to right field, then Shaffer lofted a deep drive to left-center, but it was to the deepest part of the park and Fletcher made the inning-ending catch.

Hunter Morris led off the ninth inning with an opposite-field, solo homer to left field, his 22nd long ball of the season. Caldwell followed with a line-drive single to right-center on an 0-2 pitch, but Gamache grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Ryan Jenkins then flied out to right field to end the game.

Hinson and Boyd both went 2-for-4 with an RBI to pace Clemson, who totaled eight hits.

Caldwell had two of Auburn's five hits along with a long ball. Auburn's five hits tied for its season-low.

Clemson will play the winner of the Auburn vs. Southern Mississippi game on Sunday at 6:00 PM EDT. The SEC Tigers and Golden Eagles are slated to face each other on Sunday at 2:00 PM EDT.

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