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Tigers Crush Blue Devils in Sweep

Well at least we started hitting, even if the pitching staff isn't quite together yet. Clemson racked up 49 hits and 34 runs scored in 3 games, though Duke hitters did pretty well in the first two games before Scott Firth shut them down this afternoon. Unfortunately i don't think our defensive skills got any better, Clemson had 8 errors in the 3 games.

On Friday the Tigers pounded out 8 runs in the first 3 innings against Drew Van Orden, and hit 5 doubles in the 9-6 victory over Duke. Scott Weismann started and couldn't get anyone out, but Jonathan Meyer came in with 5 innings of 1-hit ball to slam the door on the Blue Devils after Clemson got the lead in the bottom of the 3rd.

John Hinson, hitting as leadoff batter in the order, went 3-for-5 with three runs and an RBI. He also committed his 7th error. Jeff Schaus went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs, one RBI, and a walk, while Phil Pohl went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. Jason Stolz added two doubles and two runs for the Tigers, with another error at SS. Freshman 2B Steve Wilkerson committed his first error of the season, but not the last of the series...

On Saturday night Clemson smacked 18 hits, 7 for extra bases, in a 16-7 whipping. Duke got out to a quick 3-0 lead against David Haselden and Clemson answered with 5 in the bottom of the 1st. After the game stopped in the 4th due to lightning, Clemson put up 7 more runs in the frame and freshman Kevin Pohle held Duke in check to get his 2nd win (2-1). Clemson batted around twice in the game, in the 1st and 4th innings.

Four Tigers had three hits apiece. Jeff Schaus went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs, and two runs. 1B Richie 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, with his 5th error. Will Lamb added two runs and two sacrifice flies, Phil 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.

Today Scott Firth continued his recent improvement and looked very impressive, holding Duke to 3 hits in 6 2/3 innings before his defense failed behind him. After giving up a first-inning double, Firth retired 18 of the next 19 Blue Devils, while the only batter who reached base during that stretch did so on an error. Alex Frederick and Matt Campbell combined to pitch the final 2.1 innings to close out the game. The three Tiger hurlers combined to hold Duke to 0-for-9 with two outs and allowed only one leadoff batter to reach base.

Again, Jeff Schaus killed Duke. He raised his average nearly 100 points this weekend. In the first he doubled and scored on a Phil Pohl single. He walked in the 3rd on 4 pitches and scored again on a Pohl single, and in the 7th he took one to left-center, crossing the defense up, and legging out an RBI triple to make it 8-2.

In the 7th, with Firth humming right along, his defense choked. Kremer hit a single up the gut with one out, then Firth got a tailor-made DP ball right to 2B Steve Wilkerson, and it went right under his glove. Piwnica-Worms got a single and the bases loaded, and Firth got another DP ball --- and Wilkerson booted this one. Kremer scored on that play. A sac fly scored the next run and Firth walked the next batter before Jack pulled him for Frederick.

Six different Tigers tallied at least two hits, led by Schaus. The senior leftfielder went 3-for-5 with a double, triple, two RBIs, three runs, a walk, and steal. Shaffer went 3-for-5 with an RBI, while Spencer Kieboom went 3-for-5 with a double. Epps added two hits, including a homer, and three RBIs. Lamb and Pohl also contributed with two hits apiece. Clemson totaled 17 hits in the game, including three doubles, two triples, and one home run.

Clemson has Elon twice in midweek action, Tues and Weds night.