The difference in the game? Errors.
Casey Harman pitched a decent game for the Tigers, though giving up ten hits. He lasted 8 1/3 innings, allowing only one earned run – a lead-off homer in the second. As soon as the ball came off of Jake Smith’s bat, everyone knew it was flying out of the park. He didn’t walk a batter all night.
The 3rd inning proved to be the fatal inning in this game. With two errors, Clemson allowed Alabama to score four unearned runs and take a 5-0 lead. Clemson would quickly come back in the bottom of the third to score three runs and try to gain a bit of momentum.
But, inning-ending double plays in both the top and bottom halves of the fifth inning would prevent additional scoring, and Clemson left the bases loaded.
Chris Epps was brought in to pinch hit in the 6th and shot a beautiful hit down the right field line for a triple. Clemson scored one additional run, making it 5-4. They’d try again in the 7th inning, with bases loaded, but Clemson just couldn’t convert the threats into runs.
On the Alabama side, Dugas was the hot bat of the night, going 4-5. It was in the 9th inning that he finally failed to reach base.
Now, Clemson must win two games in a row in order to advance to the College World Series. They haven’t been there in four years, and Leggett and team would sure love to get to Omaha. Tonight’s game is televised on ESPN2 at 7PM EST.