CLEMSON, S.C. (April 23. 2003) -East Tennessee State battled No. 20 Clemson Wednesday night to extra innings, but a three-run homer in the bottom of the 12th gave the Tigers a 6-3 victory over the Bucs from Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C. The win improved the Tigers to 28-13 overall, while the Buccaneers fell to 11-26 on the year.
Tiger first baseman Michael Johnson hit a three-run blast that provided the deciding runs. Johnson's homer was set up following consecutive singles by David Slevin and Russell Triplett.
East Tennessee State used six pitchers in the contest, while Clemson used five different pitchers in the ball game. Harrelson (2-1) came on in relief to pitch 6.0 innings of one-hit ball to earn the win. He struck out eight of Clemson's 15 on the night. The 6.0 innings pitched tied his career-high and the eight strikeouts easily set a career-best. ETSU sophomore righty Trevor Smith (Newport, Tenn.) was credited the loss (0-1) for the Buccaneers after pitching 1.1 innings and giving up the final three runs of the game. Senior Willie McKenzie (Kingsport, Tenn.), juniors Josh Kite (Greeneville, Tenn.) and Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) and freshman Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) each pitched well for the Bucs in relief, combining for six scoreless innings out of the pen.
The Buccaneers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Hourigan issued consecutive walks to freshman designated hitter Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) and freshman right fielder Jordan Abromovitz (South Park, Pa.), and then moved each over one base on a wild pitch. Senior first baseman Chad Boruff (Knoxville, Tenn.) then slapped a double into left center field to score both runners.
Clemson responded in the third when Russell Triplett lined his fourth home run of the year over the left field fence. His shot scored Ryan Hub and Brady Everett and made the score 3-2 in favor of the Tigers.
East Tennessee State knotted the game up at 3-3 after Boruff hit his second double of the night to left field, scoring Calicutt from third. Boruff drove in all three runs for the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers return to the diamond for a pivotal three-game series with the Davidson Wildcats this weekend from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn. Friday night's game is set for 7 p.m., with Saturday's game starting at 2 p.m. and Sunday's first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.