April 26, 2009
CLEMSON, S.C. – The Georgia Tech bullpen held Clemson to just one run over the final four innings, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the five runs the Tigers plated through the first three frames as No. 20 Clemson (30-15, 14-10 ACC) defeated No. 4 Georgia Tech (28-11-1, 14-7-1 ACC), 6-3, Sunday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets struggled on all accounts in the series finale, leaving eight men on base, committing three errors and walking six Clemson batters. The loss marked just the second time this season Tech has dropped a weekend series, with both coming to ranked ACC opponents.
With the loss, Tech dropped out of first place in the ACC standings for the first time this season, but still has two conference series remaining before the ACC Tournament. The Jackets will take the week off from baseball to focus on final exams before hosting Presbyterian for a three-game series next weekend. First pitch for Friday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Jake Davies worked 1-1/3 innings, yielding just one run on one hit before exiting with two outs in the fifth inning. Thomas Nichols then struck out John Nester to close out the fifth, and he was followed by Zach Brewster, who worked the next 2-1/3 scoreless innings for the Jackets. The left-hander gave up just one hit and struck out one before turning the ball over to Mark Pope, who worked a fly out and ground out to close out the eighth.
The Clemson bullpen shut down Tech’s offense over the final four innings of the game, giving up only two hits and allowing just three total base runners. Tony Plagman led the Yellow Jackets with two hits and two RBI, and Jason Haniger also recorded two of Tech’s nine total hits on the day.
Tech scored two runs in the top of the first inning when Plagman doubled off the glove of center fielder Wilson Boyd, but the Tigers immediately answered with three in the bottom of the frame to take a 3-2 lead.
The first four Clemson batters reached base against Tech starter Brandon Cumpton, including Ben Paulsen, who drove in the first run of the inning with an RBI single. Kyle Parker tied the game on a fielder’s choice before Boyd made it 3-2 in Clemson’s favor with a run-scoring hit of his own.
The Tigers added to their lead in the third inning, scoring on Boyd’s second RBI single of the day and a failed pickoff attempt by Cumpton, making the score 5-2.
Cumpton (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season after giving up five runs on seven hits in 3-1/3 innings. He also walked four and struck out four before exiting after being hit with a ball back up the middle in the fourth inning.
Jason Garofalo singled and scored on an RBI single by Plagman to narrow Clemson’s lead to 5-3 in the top of the fifth inning, but the Tigers answered with a run in the bottom of the frame on a throwing error by Haniger to push their lead back to three runs.
Neither team would score again as the Tigers won the series, 2-1.