Clemson knocked off Charleston Southern 5-0 Tuesday behind the bat of Junior Grayson Byrd and an impressive first career start for Freshman Holt Jones.
Grayson Byrd entered Tuesday’s game without a home run and just six RBIs on the year. He finished the game 3-4 with a solo home run to left, three run home run to right, and a solo home run to center field.
It marked the fourteenth time a Tiger player has hit three home runs in a game, the last player to achieve the feat was John Hinson in 2010 against USC Upstate. Byrd provided all of the offense for Clemson accounting for all five runs and three of the Tigers’ five hits.
Clemson head coach Monte Lee was impressed with the way Byrd played and credited the victory to his bat and strong pitching.
“Offensively it was Grayson Byrd’s night driving in every run and hitting three homers,” Lee said. “Luckily for us Grayson was locked in and hit the ball well.”
Jones put together a solid first start of his career, holding a no hitter through five plus innings. In five and 1/3 innings Jones struck out eight Buccaneers, allowing just two hits, and walking two.
Today was all about our pitching staff,” Lee said. “Holt Jones was outstanding in his first start, striking out his first seven had a heck of a first start.”
Clemson (16-1) could not have asked for a better first start from the California native who has allowed just four hits and one run in his three appearances this season. Jones earned his second win of the season improving to 2-0 on the year.
Clemson took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Grayson Byrd in the bottom of the second inning. Byrd took an 0-1 pitch just over the wall in left field with two outs to put the Tigers in front early.
In the fourth inning, the Tigers scored three runs after Seth Beer and Chris Williams reached on free passes advancing to third on a fly out to center field by Drew Wharton. With two outs Byrd drove a 1-0 pitch deep to right field for a three-run home run, his second of the day to give Clemson a 4-0 advantage.
Charleston Southern (6-12) threatened in the top of the sixth loading up the bases with one out on a pair of singles and a walk. Travis Marr entered the game with the bases juiced for Clemson striking out back-to-back batters getting the Tigers out of the frame unscathed.
In the bottom of the seventh Byrd struck again on a 2-2 count with a solo shot to straight away center giving Clemson a 5-0 lead it would not relinquish.
The Tigers return to action Friday a 6:30 as conference foe North Carolina State travels to Doug Kingsmore.