AUBURN, Ala. – Southern Miss had no answer for Clemson starting pitcher Scott Weismann in the opening game of the Auburn NCAA Regional Friday at Plainsman Park.
Weismann, who came in with a 5.47 earned run average, shut the Golden Eagles down in a 10-1 win that sent the Tigers (39-21) into today’s winner bracket game.
”I don’t think we played well enough to win,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “Their guy (Weismann0 got ahead of hitters and took the momentum away from us.”
Southern Miss (35-23) managed five base runners against Weismann (7-2), including a walk and four hits in seven innings. He added six strikeouts.
Southern Miss starter Scott Copeland, who came in with a 11-0 record, allowed seven runs off nine hits while suffering his first loss of the season.
”My hat is off to them,” Copeland said. “Each hitter had the right mind set and game plan.”
Now, Southern Miss looking to survive in a loser’s bracket game set for 2 p.m. today with junior Todd McInnis on the mound.
Clemson scored two runs off two hits in the bottom of the first off Copeland after Weismann shut the Eagles down in the top of the inning.
Will Lamb, the Tigers designated hitter, led off with a single to right before Mike Freeman gave Clemson a 1-0 lead with a double to left center.
After a groundout and a walk, Kyle Parker, the starting quarterback on the Tigers football team, pushed the lead to 2-0 with a sacrifice fly to right.
Copeland then retired seven straight through the next three innings, including a groundout with the bases loaded to end the second.
Offensively, the Golden Eagles were held in check by Weismann until Joey Archer doubled off the left center wall to lead off the fifth.
Archer would score with one out when Tyler Koelling doubled to right center to cut the lead in half.
From that point on, Southern Miss was held to two base hits, including a single by B,A, Vollmuth that extended his hitting streak to 18 games.
Clemson regained control with two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a home run by Lamb and a RBI single to left off the bat of Parker.
”We cut the lead to 2-1 and Lamb hits the home run,” Berry said. “That was the turning point. Anytime you give up the momentum, you have to take it back. They came right back and took it and hit us in the mouth.”
The Tigers put the game away in the sixth with six runs off four hits, including a solo home run by John Hinson to go with a double, two singles and a wild pitch.
Al Jones/The Sun Herald (MCT)