By Trey McCurry.
By Trey McCurry
CLEMSON — Here is a look back at Clemson’s 5-3 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Tigers scored four runs in the second, third, & fourth innings and two pitchers combined to fend off the Eagle offensive attack as Clemson picked up their first win of the season and evened the weekend series.
Offensively, the game changing moment(s) came early in the game as Clemson used eight hits to score four runs over a three-inning stretch to take a 4-1 lead that they would never relinquish. On the mound, the biggest moment of the game came in the top of the eighth inning as reliever Zach Erwin pitched around a one-out single to strand the runner at third and keep the Tiger lead at 5-3.
What went right?
A quartet of sophomores led the Tigers on Saturday, as lefties Matthew Crownover and Erwin combined for 13 strikeouts while Tyler Krieger and Steven Duggar each had three hits each. Crownover was strong in his 2014 debut, striking out a career-high nine batters while allowing two runs (one earned) on just four hits. Erwin was solid in relief as well, earning the save after allowing only three hits in 4.0 innings and retiring 10 of the last 11 batters to close out the game. Along with their six hits, Krieger and Duggar combined to knock in three of the Tigers five runs. Andrew Cox also continued his strong start as the left fielder by going 1-for-2 and reaching base in three of his four plate appearances.
What went wrong?
The Tigers bounced back from Friday’s loss and did not have any major issues on Saturday. Leadoff man Tyler Slaton had a tough-luck 0-for-4 day as he hit the ball hard several times but right at people. Clemson was unable to pull away from Eastern Michigan as they stranded seven runners and, while picking up several key hits, were unable to create more separation after jumping out to a 4-1 lead after four innings.
They said it.
Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett
“It is always good to break the ice. Eastern Michigan is a pesky team, they are well coached, and they won’t go away. We hit the ball well today. Crownover and Erwin piched well and we played good defense behind them. There are going to be a lot of games like this.”
Clemson Sophomore Steven Duggar
“Eastern Michigan is a tough ball club and they are going to fight with us every inning. It is good to get that first win today and we have to continue to build on that. We had some hard hit balls yesterday and today and were able to get a few timely hits to pick up the win today.”