Davis Sharpe allows one hit, strikes out nine to pace Tigers
Bryce Teodosio had three hits and scored what turned out to be the game-winning run, while starting pitcher Davis Sharpe allowed no runs and struck out nine batters. Clemson, ranked No. 25, opened the 2021 season with an impressive 5-0 victory over Cincinnati Friday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.
Sharpe opened his third season at Clemson with an impressive performance. The righty fanned nine Bearcats and walked just one, as he used four pitches to keep the Bearcats guessing.
“I think a big thing with me, with them having for or five lefties in the lineup, was my changeup today,” Sharpe said. “I commanded the out(pitch) throughout my whole outing and I’ve always felt with the slider you can usually land that against righties. But against lefties, I think a lot of my strikeouts came with changeups. I think that was the biggest pitch for me tonight. And then my cutter, my fastball and my big breaking ball was on as usual.”
In five scoreless innings of work, Sharpe allowed just one hit while facing 17 batters. He threw 76 pitches, including 49 strikes.
“To see Davis do what Davis did, he pitched like a true ace,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said. “He was absolutely dominant.”
In all, Clemson pitching had 15 strikeouts, as Mat Clark pitched the final four scoreless innings and had six strikeouts. He allowed just one hit in relief. The Tigers allowed just two Cincinnati hits all night.
“You got a guy like Mat Clark who is asked to be very, very selfless,” Lee said. “He is a guy that has started a lot for us, but we have asked him to pitch out of the (bullpen) and he accepts that role and he comes in behind Davis and he does an amazing job behind Davis.”
Clemson (1-0) scored its first run of the 2021 season when Dylan Brewer singled with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning to score Teodosio. It was also the game’s first run.
Teodosio, who was 3-for-4 at the plate, led off the inning with a single to left field on an 0-2 fastball. The centerfielder then stole second base and moved to third on a fly ball to centerfield by Blake Wright.
Then, with one out, Brewer took a 1-2 pitch from reliever Nathan Moore up the middle to bring Teodosio home with the go-ahead run. Brewer finished the afternoon with one hit, but he also drew three walks.
Jonathan French extended the Clemson lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning when he launched a three-run bomb to centerfield on a 1-2 count from lefty Evan Kemp. With two outs, freshman Caden Grice added to the lead with an RBI double to right center, scoring Pierce Gallo before being thrown out at third base to end the inning.
James Parker finished the day 2-for-3, including a double as well.
Though the Tigers finished the game with 10 hits, they did very little off MLB prospect Evan Shawver. The lefty pitched four scoreless innings, while allowing just four hits.
However, Shawver did walk three Tigers with just two strikeouts. He also faced 17 batters.
Game 2 of the three-game series will be on Saturday in Clemson. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
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