Tiger Slam: Clemson drops Coastal into losers’ bracket

Clemson did a majority of its damage with two outs on its way to defeating Coastal Carolina, 11-3, on Friday afternoon in the first game of the 2012 NCAA Columbia Regional at Carolina Stadium.

The Tigers delivered 10 of their 13 hits and scored nine of their 11 runs with two outs en route to improving to 34-26 on the season. Clemson will face the winner of today’s South Carolina-Manhattan game on Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPNU. The Chanticleers fall to 41-18 overall and will face the loser of game two at noon on Saturday on ESPNU.

Seven Clemson starters finished the contest with at least one hit. Designated hitter Phil Pohl led the way with a 2-for-5 effort, including a grand slam and five RBIs. Spencer Kieboom, Brad Felder, Jason Stolz and Jay Baum also contributed two hits apiece.

The Chanticleers tallied seven hits on the day, including two apiece from Jacob May and Brian Pruett.

Clemson starting hurler Kevin Pohle (7-4) earned the win after giving up two runs and four hits in five innings of work. Reliever David Haselden surrendered one run and three hits in four innings on the mound to pick up his first save of the season. Coastal Carolina starter Austin Wallace (5-1) was tagged with his first loss of the year as he allowed six runs and six hits in two innings of work.

The Tigers struck first in the bottom of the opening frame, as third baseman Richie Shaffer got things started with a two-out fly ball to right field that fell between three Coastal Carolina fielders for a double. Pohl then ripped a single to left field to drive in Shaffer, giving Clemson a 1-0 lead. Shaffer scored four runs on the day.

Clemson exploded for five runs in the second to build a 6-0 cushion. After Felder singled and Stolz drew a walk from Wallace, center fielder Thomas Brittle beat the throw to first for a two-out single, scoring Felder from second to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Shaffer drew a walk to load the bases with Pohl coming to the plate, and Pohl took advantage of the opportunity by blasting his second career grand slam to left field.
Coastal Carolina found its offense in the third as it produced its first three hits of the contest. May sparked the Chanticleers with a one-out single, and Daniel Bowman delivered a double down the left-field line to move May to third. May then scored on a sacrifice fly by Rich Witten. Alex Buccilli followed with a run-scoring single to center field to make it a 6-2 ballgame.

Stolz pushed across another run for Clemson in the third with a two-out double to left center and he was back at it in the fifth as he doubled to right to drive in Spencer Kieboom to give the Tigers an 8-2 lead.

The Chanticleers pulled to within 8-3 in the sixth after Tucker Frawley was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and later scored on a single to right field by Ted Blackman.

After Clemson scored two more runs in the sixth to built a 10-3 lead, Coastal Carolina had its best chance to cut into its deficit in the seventh, as Haselden walked three straight batters to begin the inning. However, Haselden settled down to retire the next three batters to get out of the jam. The Tigers added one more run in the eighth to put the game away.

Photo courtesy of CU Athletics

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