Clemson Mauls Gardner-Webb

via media.orangeandwhite.com

We needed the sweep and got one in dominant fashion.

After taking the week off for finals the team needed a rather easy opponent and after seeing GWs pitchers in person Saturday, we definitely got it. They had no chance against us. Since we were swept by UNC on the first weekend of April, we've won 18 of 21 games.

Clemson got a new shipment of Easton Power bats that are weighted differently to allow for a faster swing and I don't know that they are on par with some of the other brands that our opponents use or not. Considering the weakness of the GW staff, I believe the jury remains out. However, the players do like these bats a little better.

"I think the pop is about the same in each bat, but the old bat was a little more (weighted) at the end, making it harder to get through the zone," said first baseman Richie Shaffer. "These bats allow a little more bat speed."

Dominic Leone didn't really need the offensive help in Game 1 of the Saturday doubleheader. He went 7 innings, giving up just 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and struck out 8 Bulldogs. He didn't even give up a hit until a 2-out single in the 5th.  Over his last 3 starts he has gone 23.1 IP with 28Ks and a 1.15 ERA.

Coming in, GW's batting average ranked 6th in the nation.

Clemson put up 5 in the bottom of the 3rd and never looked back, plating 13 runs in the 13-1 win. The only regulars to go hitless were Schaus and Epps. Brad Miller hit a triple and walked 3 times, Shaffer knocked in 3 runs, while Mike Dunster, Joe Costigan, and Jason Stolz all knocked in 2.

After clearing the stands for an hour or so, Clemson opened the gates for the second game at 6pm with an even sparser crowd. The Tigers jumped on GW in the 1st and never looked back in the 12-0 win.

John Hinson led off the game with a single and got to 2nd on a botched pickoff move when the throw from 1st bounced past the fielder. Phil Pohl grounded out to the right side to get him to 3rd base, and a Wild Pitch got him home for the 1st run. Schaus and Shaffer both singled afterwards, and Will Lamb laced an RBI single down the right side to make it 2-0 in the 1st inning.

That was all Jonathan Meyer needed to handle GW. He went 6.1 IP and threw only 53 pitches, 43 strikes, while giving up just 3 hits. He was pulled in the 7th to get work for JoMo, Kevin Pohle, and Matt Campbell.

Clemson blew the game open in the 4th after a 2-run 2B from Brad Miller and a 2-run HR from Richie Shaffer, his 6th of the year. All of it though was set up by Phil Pohl legging out a sure DP ball at 1st base.

Schaus went 4-for-4 with a double, RBI, two runs, and a steal to lead Clemson's 20-hit attack. Hinson went 3-for-5 with a triple, run, and steal. Shaffer went 3-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs, two runs, and a walk, while Lamb went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.

Sunday's contest was held at G-W in Boiling Springs NC, just across the state line. We again jumped out early with a 2-0 lead in the first on a SF by Miller and a RBI single from Schaus to score Hinson and Pohl.

GW scored a run after a Hinson throwing error and a single in the 2nd.

Will Lamb helped triple the lead in the 6th with a RBI double to score Schaus, upping his hitting streak to 22 games.Two batters later, Epps lined a two-out single to right-center to score Lamb. Shaffer led off the eighth inning with a line-drive, solo home run to left field, his seventh long ball of the season and Clemson finished it 5-1.

Justin Sarratt went 6, giving up 4 hits and the single unearned run. He has not allowed an earned run in 26 IP.

The Tigers have Furman on Tuesday night in Greenville. Clemson will have a free admission game this week vs NCAA Tourney contender ETSU on Wednesday, who slapped NC State around this weekend. We face Virginia Tech on the road next weekend.

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