Hurricanes Drop Game Two to Clemson 3-1

March 31, 2012

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 R H E W: D. Leone (4-2)
Hurricanes 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 3 L: E. Whaley (3-2)
Tigers 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 8 1 S: Andrews (1)

2B: Shaffer (11), Slaton (1)
Shaffer 2, Slaton
SB: S. Perez (4) | Wilkerson (5)

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CLEMSON, S.C. – In another pitching battle at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, the eighth-ranked Miami Hurricanes dropped game two of their weekend series with the Clemson Tigers by a final score of 3-1.

For the second straight day, it was the Tigers who opened the game’s scoring early in the contest. Junior righthander Eric Whaley (3-2), entering the game with an 0.44 ERA in three conference starts, nearly got out of a dicey jam unharmed before a bloop double to leftfield bounced out of the glove of a diving Rony Rodriguez. The basehit from Tyler Slaton plated catcher Spencer Kieboom, who had reached on a single earlier in the inning, to give Clemson an early 1-0 advantage.

Miami would strike back to tie the game in the fourth inning on a wild sequence that resulted in a Hurricanes’ run. After Stephen Perez walked and stole second, a single from Brad Fieger to leftfield had Perez rounding third. Though the junior infielder slowed down a few steps after hitting the base, Fieger attempted to take second on the outfielder’s throw to homeplate. Kieboom’s toss from home sailed over the heads of the Tigers infielders, however, giving Perez an easy path home to tie the game at 1-1.

Though the Hurricanes (20-7) were charged with three fielding errors, Whaley did an impressive job managing the game to give his team a chance to pull out the victory. The Pompano Beach, Fla. native needed 86 pitches to get through six and two-thirds, allowing eight hits while striking out three.

The game remained tied at 1-1 until the decisive seventh inning, when Tigers’ slugger Richie Shaffer hit a two-RBI double down the leftfield line to give his team the lead for good. Shaffer’s double, his eleventh of the season, combined with a follow-up walk to Phil Pohl, meant the end to another effective outing from Whaley.

A bright spot for the Hurricanes has been the recentplay of the team’s bullpen, and Saturday’s game was another chapter in the story. With a scoreless 1.1-inning performance from AJ Salcines, the Hurricanes’ bullpen has allowed only three earned runs in the past six games combined. Through their afternoon battle with Clemson, Salcines has allowed only three earned runs in his 15.1 innings of work in 2012.

Though Head Coach Jim Morris shook up the line-up in hopes of building steam, the Hurricanes struggled to produce much offense for the second straight night, collecting only seven hits and none for extra bases. The team was powered by two-hit games from Rodriguez, centerfielder Dale Carey and third baseman Brad Fieger.

The Hurricanes return to Doug Kingsmore Stadium for the series finale on Sunday. First pitch for the game, to be televised on ESPN3, is set for 1 p.m.


Coming To An End
The impressive hitting streaks of Stephen Perez (eight games) and Peter O’Brien (seven games) came to an end in Saturday’s 3-1 loss. Perez finished the game 0-for-2, while O’Brien ended the game 0-for-4.

Error-ful Performances
The Canes were charged with three more errors on Saturday night, building the series total to seven so far through two games. Michael Broad, Garrett Kennedy and Brad Fieger were all charged with errors in the field.