May 11, 1997

Cal Scores Twice in the Ninth to Defeat Clemson

CLEMSON, S.C. - California scored two runs in the top of the ninth off Clemson reliever Scott Clackum to defeat the No. 21 Tigers 12-10 in baseball action in Clemson on Sunday afternoon.

With the loss, Clemson fell to 37-19. California, which won two out of three in the series, improved to 21-38.

Jon Cuccias (2-0) took the win for California as he pitched 5 1/3 innings of relief. He gave up four runs, all in the sixth inning. Clackum (2-4) took the loss for the Tigers.

California's Ivan Lewis reached first on a fielder's choice and stole second in the top of the ninth. He came across with the go ahead run when John Fustenthal singled to center field. Fustenthal would later score on a single by designated hitter Aaron Gordnier to make the score 12-10.

Both teams came up with big innings in the sixth. California's Jason Hill led off with a single and moved to second base when Dan Garfin was hit by a pitch from Clemson starter Pat Collins. With one out, Fustenthal delivered an RBI single to plate Hill. Shortstop Brian Oliver connected on a double to score both Garfin and Fustenthal, Oliver would later score on a single by second baseman Jim Schmidt. That gave California a 10-6 advantage.

Clemson countered with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Second baseman Brian Holstad was hit by Golden Bear reliever Jon Cuccias to start the inning. He moved up a base on a single by Gary Burnham. Burnham went 3-for-5 on the day to extend his hitting streak to 17 games.

California intentionally walked Matthew LeCroy, who hit his fourth home run of the series in the first inning. With the bases loaded, Jason Embler singled to score Holstad and Burnham. LeCroy was thrown out at third on a Kurt Bultmann fielder's choice. Embler would score when Matt Padgett came up with a single and Bultmann tied the game on a single by Henri Stanley.

The two clubs both blew opportunities to win the contest late in the game. California had the bases loaded with one out and grounded into a double play in the seventh inning. Clemson had the bases loaded with no outs in the eighth, but Bultmann fouled out to the first baseman and Padgett grounded into a double play to end the inning.

This was Clemson's final regular season game of the year. Clemson will next travel to St. Petersburg, Fla. for the ACC Tournament, which begins on Tuesday. Clemson's first game will be Wednesday morning against Wake Forest at 10 a.m. at Al Lang Stadium.