No. 12 Clemson backed starting pitcher Tyler Jackson with some early run support against Wofford on Tuesday, and he wouldn’t need much. Jackson twirled a gem, allowing just one run over seven innings to lift the Tigers to a 9-2 win over the Terriers.
Jackson gave up just three hits and a walk while striking out nine to earn his first win as a Tiger. It was a bounce-back performance for the redshirt graduate, who lasted 2.1 innings and gave up three runs against Western Carolina in his first start of the season last week.
Clemson scored two runs in each of the first two innings to give Jackson a comfortable early lead. Five Tigers had at least two hits apiece, while K.J. Bryant, Chase Pinder and Andrew Cox all had two RBIs.
“What a great start by Tyler Jackson tonight. He did an outstanding job,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said. “He got every leadoff hitter out that he faced with only one walk on the night. So, thought he threw the ball very well.
“It was great to see him come out and establish the bottom of the strike zone. He had his slider going tonight and was very aggressive. I thought his tempo was really good, he executed pitches and did an outstanding job.”
After Jackson struck out the first three batters he faced, Clemson struck first in the bottom of the first inning, scoring two runs on a couple of hits.
Reed Rohlman got things started with a one-out single to left-center before advancing to second on a groundout by Seth Beer. After a pitch from Wofford starter Matt Ellmyer hit Pinder, Cox ripped a double down the right-field line to plate both baserunners and give the Tigers an early 2-0 lead.
Clemson doubled its advantage in the second. A sharp triple to right field by Bryant followed a two-out base hit by Robert Jolly to make the score 3-0. Rohlman then walked before Ellmyer allowed Bryant to come home via a balk.
Wofford cut its deficit to 4-1 in the top of the sixth, pushing a run across on a two-out RBI single by Brett Hash. Kody Ruedisili, who singled with one out and stole second, came around to score.
Clemson blew the game open with five runs in the eighth inning.
Logan Davidson doubled to left-center to lead off the frame and advanced to third on a groundout by Patrick Cromwell. Grayson Byrd singled Davidson in before Jolly doubled down the left-field line to send Byrd home. Jolly, who reached third on a throwing error, came home on a fielding error by relief pitcher Merritt Huber.
Rohlman followed with a double to left field to put runners on second and third. After Beer was intentionally walked to load the bases, Pinder singled up the middle to drive in two more and make the score 9-1.
Wofford’s Brett Rodriguez hit a home run in the top of the ninth to provide the final margin.
Ellmyer yielded four runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings of work against the Tigers, who totaled 14 hits. Wofford finished with four hits and two errors.
“Overall, I thought we swung the bats OK. We’ve got to do the little things a little bit better, but it’s hard to argue with nine runs,” Lee said. “So, overall, it was a good effort by our guys tonight.”
Clemson moved to 6-2 on the season after winning its fifth straight game, while Wofford fell to 2-6.
The Tigers return to action against No. 4 South Carolina this weekend at three different sites, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.