Two-Run 10th Pushes Tiger Baseball past No. 6 Clemson
March 9, 2007
CLEMSON, S.C. -
Memphis (8-3) 100 030 000 2 - 6 10 1 Clemson (8-4) 000 010 201 0 - 4 11 1
Senior Josh Irvin broke a 4-4 tie with a two-run single to leftfield, and Will Hudgens retired the side in the 10th to give Memphis a 6-4 victory over No. 6 Clemson, Friday evening at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The win was the program's first win over a Top-10 opponent since an 8-7 triumph over Mississippi State in 2003. It also marked the first Top-10 win under third-year coach Daron Schoenrock.
"We felt like we have the type of lineup that can play in this type of environment," said Schoenrock. "Josh (Irvin) did a great job of staying on some pitches from Daniel Moskos, and we really felt good with at the plate in that situation."
The tilt was extended to extra frames after Clemson's Preseason All-American Andy D'Alessio completed a four-run comeback with a two-out home run to right centerfield.
Memphis showed it was up to the challenge in the top of the 10th as Will Petersen led off with a single to right off Clemson reliever, Moskos. He moved to second on Bill Moss's sacrifice bunt. Joey Lieberman and Adam Amar drew consecutive walks to load the sacks for Irvin. Irvin, who produced a pair of game-winning hits as the Tigers' top clutch hitter in 2006, delivered the game-winning hit, scoring Petersen and Lieberman for a two-run cushion.
"The encouraging thing about the inning was Will's (Petersen) backside hit to start things out for us," said Schoenrock. "Getting leadoff men on has been a challenge for us, but it's was evident tonight that this offense goes when we get the leadoff man on."
Irvin's heroics were not the only fireworks from Memphis bats, in the first road win of the year. Behind three RBI from Lieberman, the Tiger offense scored four runs in the first five innings. Lieberman singled up the middle in the first to score Chalmers and put the Tigers on the board 1-0 in the first. After Bill Moss made it 2-0 with a run-scoring single in the fifth, Lieberman struck again. This time the senior DH blasted a towering two-run home run over the left centerfield wall for a 4-0 Memphis lead.
The Tigers chased Clemson starter David Kopp after five innings, but could not solve CU reliever Matt Vaughn. Vaughn held Memphis scoreless and fanned six in 3.1 innings.
Meanwhile Clemson's offense got going, putting pressure on the Memphis pitchers and defense. CU crossed its first run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Brad Chalk. They cut the U of M lead to just one run in the seventh when Taylor Harbin's fielder's choice groundball plated David Bunnell, and leadoff hitter Addison Johnson scored on a passed ball.
Memphis pitchers worked out of jams in the fifth through eighth innings as Clemson left seven runners stranded in the four frames.
The Tiger offense was paced by Lieberman, who had three hits and two runs. Petersen had two hits to go with his game-clinching run. Catcher Chris Kirkland also had two hits.
Clemson, who out hit Memphis 11-10, got three hits from D'Alessio, while Marquez Smith and Chalk each posted two base knocks.
Four Memphis pitchers saw action in the game. Starter Scott McGregor was solid, scattering four hits and surrendering just one unearned tally in five innings. Dusty Davis gave up two runs in as many innings, and Ben Grisham tossed 1.2 innings. Hudgens picked up his second career win after holding Clemson scoreless in 1.1 innings of relief. Hudgens has two wins and a save in his three career appearances.
Memphis and Clemson will return to competition on Saturday with the first pitch set for 2 p.m. at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.