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Tiger Pitching Dominates Wright State

Friday's game was postponed fairly early that day and moved to a split doubleheader on Saturday, which was cold and pretty dreary but Sunday was the first real baseball weather of the season. Clemson pitchers shut Wright State down from the beginning and are off to their best start in years.

Saturday Game 1 - Clemson 5-3

Clemson took a 1-0 in the first inning when Brittle led off the game with a walk and advanced to 2nd on a Duggar single. Wilkerson bunted directly into the 3rd baseman's glove, but a botched throw got the runners to scoring position anyway. Shane Kennedy hit a sac fly and scored Brittle to give us the lead.

Goose was effective in the first game of the DH but his control wasn't quite there and the pitch count caused him to be pulled out after 5 IP with the Tigers up 2-1. He ended up allowing 6 hits, only 1 run, walked 2 and struck out 6, but registered his first win of the season.

Clemson scraped another single run in the 3rd and the 5th but the two insurance runs that were scored in the bottom of the 8th were the most important. The WS pitchers walked the first two Tiger batters, then balked them into scoring position for not pausing his delivery, and then threw a WP to score Kennedy from 3rd base. A single from Jay Baum plated the 2nd run to give us a 5-1 lead, but didn't look at the right fielder when he fielded the ball and was thrown out at 2nd trying to stretch it into a double. Needless to say, Jack was not happy with him. Had he paid attention he would've possibly scored on the double by Slaton to follow.

Jonathan Meyer came in and pitched OK for 3 innings until running into a series of singles in the 9th, with a little bad luck. He ended up allowing 2 runs before Matt Campbell was called upon to register the last out and notch his 2nd Save.

Game 2 - Clemson 6-0

The Tigers took the lead in the first inning and never needed more scoring. After Thomas Brittle flied out, Duggar walked and Wilkerson singled. Shane Kennedy singled up the middle to score Duggar to give us a 1-0 lead. McGibbon and Baum both grounded out with runners on to end the inning.

In the 3rd, Clemson scored twice more. Brittle led off with a 2B and advanced to 3rd on a ground out, then later scored on Wilkerson's single. After Wilkerson stole 2nd, Jon McGibbon singled down the line and drove him in.

In the 6th, WS dug their own hole. The reliever walked both McGibbon and Baum, then hit Kevin Bradley to load em up. Garrett Boulware singled and drove in both runners.

5 Clemson pitchers combined on the shutout. True freshman Clate Schmidt looked pretty talented in his 4 inning start, but erratic as hell. He hit 3 batters, gave up 5 hits, and walked one. Patrick Andrews, Zack Erwin, Jackson Campana, and Clay Bates all worked scoreless innings to finish this one off.

Sunday - Clemson 7-0

The story of the game was Scott Firth. He changed speeds well and worked both sides of the plate for 8 innings, giving up only 5 hits and throwing just 87 pitches to register his 2nd victory. He was saved twice though by freshman Steven Duggar, who threw out two guys at the plate from RF.

Clemson scored a single run in the 1st and 6th before blowing the game open with 5 in the 7th. Brittle led off the game with a walk, stole second, and later scored on a WP to give us the 1-0 lead. In the 6th, Duggar led off with a double, advanced to 3rd on another WP, and scored on a 2B from Jon McGibbon.

In the 7th, Clemson roughed up 4 Wright State pitchers. Back to back singles from Boulware and Brittle put runners at 1st and 3rd for Stephen Duggar. Duggar grounded to 3rd, but the 3rd Baseman threw home to catch Boulware in a rundown, Brittle kept going to 3rd but Boulware went back to the bag without being tagged, meaning Brittle was out. With runners on the corners and 2 outs, Wilkerson walked to load em up and Shane Kennedy singled home two runners. Kennedy later stole 2nd and McGibbon walked to load them again, and Jay Baum slipped one past the 3rd baseman down the line for a 2-run 2B. They attempted to throw McGibbon out at the plate but the throw was dropped and he was safe.

Clemson's pitching was pretty dominant in the series, but only one thing concerns me going into next weekend: starting pitchers have given us trouble the last two weekends. Wright State's starters weren't struggling, we lit their bullpen up. I'm not certain this team can continue to hit well against the better pitching they're going to face next week and in conference play.