Marissa Guimbarda’s two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning was the perfect ending to what was a perfect day for Clemson Athletics on Saturday.
Guimbarda’s home run to centerfield lifted the softball Tigers to a 2-1 victory over Michigan State, completing a sweep of competition for Clemson University in softball, baseball and men’s basketball.
Besides its win over the Spartans, the Clemson softball team also recorded a 21-2 victory over Maryland as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at the Clemson Softball Stadium. Over at Doug Kingsmore, the baseball team pitched a shutout to clinch its series victory over Liberty with a 1-0 win.
Then the biggest win of the day was the men’s basketball team’s impressive 77-62 victory over No. 5 Louisville at Littlejohn Coliseum. The win marked the Tigers’ second victory this season over a top 5 team, the first time that has happened in the program in 40 years.
The last time Clemson (13-12, 7-8 ACC) beat at least two top 5 teams in the same season was the 1979-’80 season, when the Tigers beat three top five teams in the UPI Coaches Poll. That year, the Tigers defeated No. 4 North Carolina and No. 1 Duke on consecutive Wednesday nights in January of 1980. Then in February of that season they downed fifth-ranked Maryland.
Clemson was led by John Newman’s 23 points, a career-high, while Tevin Mack added 14 points and Aamir Simms scored 13. Clyde Trapp had 10 points and nine rebounds in the victory as well.
The Tigers made their first five shots in building a 12-5 lead in the first five minutes of the game and never looked back from there. Clemson led by 17 points at the half, 31-14, and by as many as 21 points in the second half to earn the victory.
Louisville got no closer than 10 points after Clemson built its lead.
On the baseball diamond, starter Davis Sharpe tossed five innings of shutout baseball, while freshman Nick Clayton escaped a jam in the eighth inning to lead Clemson to its 1-0 victory over Liberty. Kier Meredith drove in the winning run for the Tigers when his single in the bottom of the fifth inning scored Mac Starbuck for what was the eventual game-winner.
Sharpe earned the win on the mound, allowing just three hits, while striking out six batters and issuing just one walk. Clayton earned the save by pitching the final two innings. Keyshawn Askew also pitched in middle relief, as Clemson pitching gave up just six hits.
Liberty loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning, but Clayton retired the side with a strikeout and then induced a fly ball to centerfield to end the threat.
Behind Doug Kingsmore, the Clemson softball team continued its impressive run in its first year with two more wins on Saturday. The Tigers have won four straight games and improved their record to 6-4 overall.
Clemson scored 14 runs in the second inning on Saturday on its way to its 21-2 victory over Maryland. This is almost a week after the Tigers scored 12 runs in the seventh inning and 19 overall in a 19-9 victory over St. Johns last Sunday in Orlando.
In the record-setting second inning, Clemson cycled through the lineup twice as 19 Tigers came to the plate. Clemson got a three-run homer from Guimbarda and then grand slam home runs from Bailey Taylor and Valerie Cagle.
The Tigers also got additional RBIs from MK Bonamy, Grace Mattimore and Hannah Goodwin in the second inning.
Against Michigan State, Guimbarda hit her fourth home run of the season, again to dead center, in lifting the Tigers to their 2-1 victory. Pitcher Logan Caymol, who earlier this week pitched a no-hitter against Western Carolina, earned the win in the circle. The redshirt freshman allowed just four hits and had five strikeouts in her third complete victory of the week.
Caymol’s and Guimbarda’s performances were a perfect ending to what was a perfect day in Clemson.
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