On Tuesday night in Athens, the Tigers cruised to a 15-2 lead before giving up 3 runs in the 9th to make it 15-5.
The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and scored six more runs in the second inning to take a commanding lead. Clemson added a run in the seventh and five runs in the eighth for the 10-run win. The victory snapped Georgia's four-game winning streak over the Tigers in the series.
Freshman starter Dominic Leone (W, 2-0) earned the win in 6.0 strong innings. He established career-highs for innings pitched and strikeouts (7) while allowing just four hits, two runs, and one walk. Along with Kevin Brady, Leone would be my choice for midweek starting going forward this year. Hopefully they can build some consistency.
John Hinson went 2-for-3 with a Grand Slam (HR #3) and 5 RBIs, Chris Epps continued his improved hitting with a 3-for-5 night and an RBI and the middle of the Tiger lineup had 5 hits combined and 6 RBI.
In game 2 at Clemson, Jack Leggett called for a pitchout on a 2-2 count with a runner on 1st, then forced Kent to throw a strike on 3-2 because of it, and he didnt. One run later scored to give Georgia the early lead in the contest. I'd put that walk on Jack.
However, Kent was wild out of the zone all night, and UGA got a runner on in the 1st through 3rd innings and he worked around jams as best he could but gave up 4 runs. The kid just couldn't control that devastating curveball. He was later taken for the 4th, giving way to Johnathan Meyer, who shut down the Dawgs until he started struggling in the 6th.
In the 3rd, Clemson struck back. Hawkins walked 'em full, then Catcher Phil Pohl scored on a balk and the runners moved to 2nd and 3rd. Freeman singled to Center and both runners scored to make it 4-3.
In the 4th inning, Hinson outran a throw on a grounder to deep short, then a walk to Miller, then UGA changed pitchers and Jack called a double steal. Good call right after a pitching change. We looked at a strike 3 fastball down the middle of the plate bringing Lamb to the plate. With 2 strikes and 2 outs, Lamb smacked one into the Right-Center gap, and legged out a 2 RBI triple to make it 5-4. Epps walked and UGA changed pitchers again, this time the lefty Dietrich to pitch to the left-handed Mike Freeman, who hit another 2 RBI single to make it 7-4. Freeman was finally thrown out at 2nd by the Catcher after a pitch got away from him to end the frame.
In the 5th, Georgia's pitching became very painful to watch. Schaus led off with a single up the middle and Parker worked a walk. Then Jack called for Wilson Boyd to bunt....WTF? 7-4 lead with 2 on in the 5th and you tell the #5 hitter to bunt? He fouls off two and they take the bunt off, then takes and works a walk to load the bases. Hinson came up to bat again, and hit a single that barely got in to score Schaus. The runners had to hold or it would've plated 2. Brad Miller hit a frozen rope to CF for the 1st out, and Pohl got a curveball to his shoulder blade to plate Parker. Lamb flew hit a Sac Fly to deep Left, plating another run to make it 10-4. Dietrich then walked Epps on 5 pitches to load the bases again before Georgia head coach Dave Perno throws the white flag and finally pulls him. The next guy didnt get Freeman out though. He lined one right down the 3rd base line to score two runs to make it 12-4 Clemson, but Epps tripped over 3rd base going to the plate and was caught while he ran back to 3rd to finally end the inning.
Georgia took advantage of some well-placed hits and a Freeman error to make it 12-6 in the bottom half of the inning, but John Hinson answered with a 2-run shot to Right-Center to answer in the 6th off another Gawja pitcher.
Needless to say, it was difficult to keep track of who was pitching for the Pups at this point. The myriad of mechanical flaws from their pitchers was dizzying and although several had at least one good pitch, they never knew where it was going to end up.
Kevin Brady, Alex Frederick and Tomas Cruz finished off the Dawgs to make it 14-6 final. Meyer got the win in relief
Will Lamb finished the night 3-for-3 with 1 triple, a sac fly and 3 RBIs. Hinson again crushed the Dawgs with a 3-for-5 night and a 3-run Homer, and Mike Freeman went 3-for-6 with 6 RBIs.
Clemson travels to Duke this weekend.