May 4, 2002
ATLANTA – Khalil Greene drove in five runs on four hits and Clemson rallied from an early 5-0 deficit as the top-ranked Tigers (39-6, 13-3 ACC) defeated ninth-ranked Georgia Tech (36-10, 10-8), 12-9, on Saturday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Clemson starter Steve Reba (10-1) allowed five early runs but settled down to earn the victory. He went seven innings and allowed six runs, five earned, on 11 hits. He struck out five batters and did not issue a walk. Jeff Hourigan picked up his third save of the season after recording the final four outs of the game.
After the Yellow Jackets took a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on six consecutive singles with two outs, the Tigers rallied for 12 unanswered runs over the next four innings to take control of the game. Clemson scored three runs in the top of the third inning on a two-run homer from Greene, his 14th of the year, and a solo shot by Michael Johnson, his team-leading 17th. The Tigers scored two more runs in the fourth inning to tie the score at 5-5 on a RBI groundout by Kyle Frank and a RBI single from Greene.
Clemson blew the game open with a six-run fifth inning, highlighted by a two-run single from Johnson and RBI hits from Greene, Frank, Jeff Baker and Colin Mahoney. Tech head coach Danny Hall was ejected from the game during the inning after arguing a play with home plate umpire Al Davis, who made a call and then changed it twice after there was some question whether Greene was hit by a pitch.
The Tigers added another run in the sixth to push the lead to 12-5 before the Yellow Jackets rallied for four runs in the seventh and eighth innings to cut the lead to 12-9. Tech’s Jeremy Slayden came to the plate with two outs in the eighth representing the tying run, but Hourigan came out of the bullpen to strike him out and preserve the Clemson win.
Greene led the Clemson offense with a 4-for-5 performance, while Frank and Johnson added three hits apiece.
Tech reliever Kyle Schmidt (3-2) took the loss, allowing six runs in two-thirds of an inning. Starter Kyle Bakker made his shortest outing of the season, and was removed after allowing five runs in 3.2 innings. Aaron Walker was a bright spot in the game for the Tech bullpen, holding the Tigers scoreless for the final 3.1 innings as the Yellow Jackets mounted a late rally.
Georgia Tech and Clemson will continue the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net South, while a live radio broadcast for the game can be heard on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta) and on the internet at www.ramblinwreck.com. Live scoring for the game will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com. The Yellow Jackets will send right-hander Brian Burks (8-3, 3.06 ERA) to the mound where he will be opposed by Clemson righty Matt Henrie (9-1, 2.03 ERA).