Clemson Eliminates Coastal, Gets USC Rematch
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — Clemson remained alive in the 2012 NCAA Columbia Regional with a 5-3 victory over Coastal Carolina on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium. With the victory, the Tigers (35-27) advance to face rival South Carolina today in game six at 4:34 p.m. on ESPNU. The Chanticleers are eliminated and wrap up their season with a 42-19 record. Clemson starting pitcher Dominic Leone (7-4) gave the Tigers a solid outing to pick up the win. Leone allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits and had six strikeouts in seven innings on the mound. Coastal Carolina starter Ben Smith (2-2) was tagged with the loss after surrendering four runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings of work. He also had five strikeouts. The Tigers tallied 11 hits on the day. Shortstop Jason Stolz led the way with two home runs and three RBIs, while Brad Felder, Richie Shaffer and Phil Pohl also had two hits apiece. The Chanticleers managed seven hits with center fielder Jacob May recording a team-high two base knocks. Ted Blackman added a solo home run. Coastal Carolina struck first in the bottom of the opening frame, as Blackman drew a walk to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a single by May. Daniel Bowman then delivered a sacrifice fly to right field to score Blackman and give the Chanticleers a 1-0 lead. The Tigers tied the contest in the third when Stolz sent a towering solo home run to left center, but Coastal Carolina answered with its own solo blast in the home half of the inning, as Blackman homered to right to give the Chanticleers a 2-1 advantage. Stolz was back at it in the fourth as he highlighted a three-run outburst with a two-run homer to left field. Felder added a RBI double in the inning to help Clemson build a 4-2 lead. The Chanticleers pulled to within a run in the fifth with the help of a pair of Clemson miscues. Brian Pruett singled and advanced to second on a fielding error to get things started. He later scored on a Tiger throwing error to make it a 4-3 ballgame. Clemson added an insurance run in the ninth. Thomas Brittle drew a one-out walk and then stole second, which was his third steal of the contest. Two batters later, Pohl lined a single to center to drive in Brittle and give the Tigers a two-run lead. Tiger reliever Scott Firth then struck out the side in the bottom of the inning to preserve the win and earn his third save of the season. Firth worked two scoreless innings, gave up one hit and fanned three batters.