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Davidson stays hot as Tigers beat Hokies

Logan Davidson continues to tear the cover off the baseball. After getting two home runs last week in No. 4 Clemson’s series win over Georgia Tech, the freshman continued his hot play on Friday in the Tigers’ 12-1 victory over Virginia Tech at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Davidson, who is now hitting .297 on the season, had four hits in five at-bats – the fourth multi-hit game he has recorded in the last seven outings. His solo home run in the bottom of the third inning was his third in the last seven days. He also had two RBIs on Friday.

“Obviously, I’m seeing it good right now. I have been seeing it good,” Davidson said afterwards. “I think I’m staying within my approach and getting balls in the strike zone and not chasing out of the strike zone and seeing balls up and taking my best swing has really helped me.”

Davidson is 13 of his last 31 (.419) during that stretch and has hit safely in six games. Clemson had 16 hits as a team on Friday night.

“I’m just watching a guy grow and develop into what we kind of saw,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said. “We thought this guy was going to be a star. We thought he was going to not only be one of the best freshmen in college baseball, but one of the best shortstops in the country. We thought he had elite talent and ability.”

Clemson (26-5, 11-2 ACC) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Davidson made an aggressive play and came home after Virginia Tech pitcher Connor Coward threw a wild pitch with two outs and the bases loaded in the second inning.

The ball did not get away from catcher Joe Freiday too far, but Davidson came home anyway and just beat the throw to the plate. Davidson led off the inning with a base hit through the right side of the infield.

Davidson moved to third base on a single up the middle by Robert Jolly, who had two hits as the designated hitter. The Tigers then loaded the bases when Jordan Greene walked with two outs.

After the Hokies (17-15, 6-7 ACC) tied the game with a solo home run on Frieday’s sole shot, Clemson took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning thanks to a solo home run from Davidson, which he bombed to right field on a 1-0 offering from Connor Coward.

Reed Rohlman had a sac fly to left field to score Greene in the fourth and Jolly doubled to right center to score Andrew Cox in the fifth for a 4-1 lead. In the seventh inning, Greene doubled to left centerfield to score Jolly and Cox for a 6-1 advantage.

With the Tigers giving him plenty of run support, starter Charlie Barnes went 7 2/3 innings, scattering four hits and walking just two. The lefty recorded 11 strikeouts in the game, the third time this season he has thrown 11 strikeouts in a game. The defense backed Barnes up with three inning-ending double plays.

The Tigers added on to their lead in the bottom of the eighth as they pushed six more runs across the plate to make the score 12-1. Those runs came after Lee was ejected in the eighth inning by umpire A.J. Lostaglio for arguing a check-swing call that went against Barnes. He was warned earlier in the game for arguing balls and strikes.

“I can’t comment on it,” Lee said. “I was warned earlier in the game so I knew I really could not say much. I have a lot of respect for umpires and he was doing his job whether I agree or disagree. I had been warned. I knew if I argued anything else I could be thrown out.”

Clemson, who now leads the ACC Atlantic by one game after Louisville’s loss to Wake Forest, will host the Hokies in Game 2 of the series at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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