Clemson Rolls Over Duke, 16-7
Clemson, SC -SID
Seven different Tigers scored two runs and #16 Clemson slugged 18 hits in its 16-7 victory over Duke in front of 4,315 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Saturday night. The Tigers, who took a 2-0 series lead, improved to 9-7 overall and 2-3 in the ACC. The Blue Devils dropped to 15-6 overall and 2-3 in ACC play.
Duke jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, then the Tigers answered with five runs in the bottom of the first. Duke tied the score with two runs in the third inning and took the lead on Christopher Marconcini’s solo homer in the top of the fourth inning. After a lightning delay in the bottom of the fourth inning, Clemson scored seven runs in the frame to pull away and cruised to a nine-run win.
Freshman righthander Kevin Pohle (2-1) pitched 3.0 innings in relief to earn the victory. He yielded four hits, one run, and no walks with two strikeouts. Matt Campbell and Dominic Leone both pitched a scoreless inning to close out the game. The four Tiger pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts against only one walk.
Eric Pfisterer (1-1), the second of four Duke hurlers, suffered the loss. He gave up three hits, six runs (four earned), and four walks with one strikeout in 1.0 innings pitched.
Duke jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. David Perkins led off with a hit-by-pitch and went to second on Marconcini’s walk. After Perkins moved to third base on Jordan Betts’ flyout to center, Perkins scored on Jeff Kremer’s sacrifice fly to left field. Anthony D’Alessandro kept the rally going with a two-out single to right field on a 1-2 pitch, then Will Piwnica-Worms lined a double to left-center to score Marconcini and D’Alessandro.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Tigers took the lead with five runs on five hits, including three doubles and a homer. Will Lamb hit a one-out double to right field and scored on Jeff Schaus’ double to right-center. Richie Shaffer followed with a single through the right side to score Schaus and move Pohl to third. Pohl scored on a wild pitch, then Jon McGibbon grounded a 1-2 pitch over the first-base bag for a double to score Shaffer. After McGibbon was picked off second base for out #2, Chris Epps hit the next pitch over the fence down the left-field line for an opposite-field, solo homer, his third long ball of the season.
The Blue Devils tied the score in the third inning thanks in part to two Tiger errors. Betts hit a one-out double down the right-field line, moved to third on Kremer’s groundout to second, and scored on David Haselden’s two-out fielding error off of a comebacker by D’Alessandro. Piwnica-Worms hit a single to center, then Marcus Stroman reached on an infield single. D’Alessandro scored from second base on the play when shortstop Jason Stolz’s throw to first base was errant.
Marconcini gave Duke the lead in the top of the fourth inning when he blasted a long solo home run to right-center, his second long ball of the season.
Clemson batted around for the second time in the game in the bottom of the fourth inning and regained the lead with seven runs. Stolz led off with a single up the middle, then play was halted due to lightning in the area. After a 43-minute delay, Eric Pfisterer entered the game on the mound and walked Steve Wilkerson on four pitches. John Hinson belted a double to right field to score Stolz and advance Wilkerson to third. Lamb lofted a flyball to deep left field that was dropped by Perkins, allowing Wilkerson and Hinson to score on the sacrifice fly. Schaus followed with a single up the middle to plate Lamb, then Pohl laced a double down the left-field line to move Schaus to third. After Shaffer walked to load the bases, McGibbon walked on four pitches to score Schaus, then Pohl scored on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Stolz lofted a sacrifice fly to center to score Shaffer.
In the fifth inning, D’Alessandro hit a one-out single through the left side and scored on Piwnica-Worms’ triple to right-center.
The Tigers added to their lead in the sixth inning. Epps led off with a single to left field and moved to third on Stolz’s single to left-center. Two batters later, pinch-hitter Joe Costigan was hit-by-pitch to load the bases with one out, then Lamb lofted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Epps, giving Clemson a 13-7 lead.
The Blue Devils put together a rally in the seventh inning. Betts led off with a strikeout, but reached on a wild pitch. Kremer followed with a single to center. Two batters later, Piwnica-Worms grounded a one-out single through the left side to load the bases, but Stroman grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
In the eighth inning, Stolz led off with a single through the right side and Wilkerson walked. Dominic Attanasio lined a double down the right-field line to score Stolz and Wilkerson. Attanasio moved to third on Lamb’s groundout and pinch-hitter Jay Cox walked. Pohl then reached on a fielder’s choice as Attanasio scored.
Four Tigers had three hits apiece to pace Clemson’s 18-hit attack. Schaus went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs, and two runs. Shaffer went 3-for-3 with an RBI, two runs, and two walks. Epps went 3-for-5 with a homer and two runs, while Stolz went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs. Lamb added two runs and two sacrifice flies, Pohl totaled two hits and two runs, and Wilkerson tallied four walks and two runs. Tiger batters combined for nine walks and two hit-by-pitches as well.
Piwnica-Worms led Duke’s 11-hit attack by going 4-for-4 with a double, triple, and three RBIs. D’Alessandro went 2-for-5 with three runs, while Betts added two hits, including a double.
Clemson and Duke will play the series-finale on Sunday at 1:00 PM.