Southern Miss routed by Clemson in regional opener
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Will Lamb went 3 for 3 with a home run and two RBIs to help Clemson cruise to a 10-1 victory over Southern Mississippi on Friday in the opening game of the Auburn Regional.
Scott Weismann allowed four hits and one run over seven innings for the Tigers (39-21), who scored six runs in the sixth inning and led throughout.
‘‘It was an awful good way to get started,’’ Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. ‘‘We played very well defensively, and that’s always a great place to start.’’
Weismann (7-2) struck out six and walked one before exiting after a 34-minute rain delay going into the eighth. He was staked to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
‘‘They put some good swings on the ball but mainly right at guys,’’ said Weismann, who pitched eight scoreless innings against Tennessee Tech in last year’s Clemson Regional. ‘‘I thought our defense was great. When you get 10 runs, it makes it easier to pitch.’’
He had allowed five earned runs in three innings in a loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC tournament for his last outing. Weismann fared much better against Southern Miss (35-23).
‘‘Scotty set the tone,’’ Lamb said. ‘‘We came out and hit the ball but we fed off Scott.’’
The Tigers blew the game open in the sixth, getting a two-run single from Jeff Schaus and a leadoff homer from John Hinson to chase starter Scott Copeland (11-1).
Copeland was starting five days after his second outing in the Conference USA tournament, where he threw 169 pitches over four days including a long relief appearance against Rice in the championship game. He allowed nine hits and seven runs, six earned.
‘‘We really rode Scott Copeland hard,’’ first-year Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. ‘‘I could see that a little bit from the championship game against Rice.’’
Berry also said there were some matchup issues for the right-hander. ‘‘That was the most left-handed hitters he’s faced in a lineup this year,’’ he said.
Tyler Koelling drove in the only run for Southern Miss with a double in the fifth to cut Clemson’s lead to 2-1. Lamb responded with his fourth homer in the bottom of the inning.
‘‘That was the turning point for them,’’ Berry said.
Lamb also drew a walk and scored three runs. Kyle Parker had two RBIs on a single and a sacrifice fly for Clemson. Schaus and Hinson each had two hits.
The Tigers saved ace Casey Harman to pitch in Saturday’s game against the Auburn-Jacksonville State winner. Southern Miss must rebound from the rough start in time for an elimination contest.
‘‘We just flush it out tonight and come back with a new mindset, ready to play,’’ Tyler Koelling said.