Streaking Brittle torments Cougars team

Clemson pitcher Dominic Leone throws to College of Charleston in an NCAA college baseball game, Saturday, May 5, 2012, in Clemson, S.C. Clemson won 4-3. (AP Photo/The Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer) THE GREENVILLE NEWS OUT, SENECA NEWS OUT

CLEMSON — Thomas Brittle is not yet halfway to matching Rusty Adkins’ record hitting streak at Clemson but the junior is on a pretty good tear.

The College of Charleston transfer continued to torment his former teammates Sunday, spraying line drives all over Doug Kingsmore Stadium in a 12-3 Clemson victory.

Brittle extended his hitting streak to 20 games with three hits, including a run-scoring triple in the seventh inning and a RBI single in the fifth.

Brittle became the 19th Tiger to record a 20-game hitting streak — Khalil Greene accomplished the feat twice — and the first since Will Lamb had a 25-game hitting streak end May 14 last season.

“I’m just taking it one at-bat at a time, and hoping something good happens,” Brittle said.

Brittle still has some work to do to catch Adkins.

Adkins hit in a program-best 41 consecutive games during the 1965-66 seasons. In 1965, Adkins batted .444 and did not strike out.

Leggett credits Brittle’s streak to an improved approach.

“He’s hitting the ball more flat. He’s keeping the ball out of the air,” said Leggett, whose Tigers host the Cougars again today at 4 p.m. “He’s got good speed so he just needs to keep the ball on the ground.”

Brittle’s line-drive clinic followed his Saturday night heroics when he swatted a game-tying single to left field in the 11th inning of Clemson’s extra-inning win.

On Sunday, Brittle again helped keep Charleston (31-15) winless in its history against Clemson (28-19) falling to 0-23 all-time against Clemson, 0-17 as a Division I program.

Brittle was batting just .258 through March 18 when he injured his hand. He returned March 30 and has since batted .384 (40 for 107), solidifying the top of the Clemson lineup.

Brittle’s seventh-inning RBI triple gave Clemson a 5-0 lead and Spencer Kieboom, Brad Felder and Jason Stolz followed with RBI hits to open a 12-0 lead. The eight-run frame was Clemson’s best inning of the season and one of C of C’s worst.

“It got away from us,” Cougars coach Monte Lee said. “We didn’t make a couple of plays we should have made ... and the inning compounded on us after that.”

Cougars starting pitcher Josh Renfro allowed six hits and four runs over four innings. Nick Osterman allowed six runs in 21/3 innings of relief.

With Clemson ace Kevin Brady missing the series with a hamstring pull — Brady said the injury is improving and hopes to return for the ACC Tournament — Kevin Pohle picked up the starting pitching slack Sunday.

After failing to pitch into the sixth inning in three straight starts, Pohle pitched seven scoreless innings Sunday, allowing just six hits and one walk with five strikeouts.

College of Charleston batters struggled to drive the ball against the right-hander’s sinking fastball.

C of C avoided a shutout when Brandon Murray launched his 11th homer in the eighth.