Clemson dominates Duke in first ACC win to force Sunday rubber match

Clemson dominates Duke in first ACC win to force Sunday rubber match


Clemson dominates Duke in first ACC win to force Sunday rubber match


Thanks to two big innings in the third and fourth that combined for nine of the Tigers 14 runs, Clemson came away with the 14-9 win over Duke to even out the series and force the Sunday rubber match at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Both teams put the long ball on full display in game two, launching a combined 7 home runs out the park for 10 RBIs.

Clemson’s Casey Tallent earned the win, his first of the season, while reliever Nick Hoffman tallied the save. Duke righthander Jason White earned his second loss of the season.

“Two totally different types of games today for the doubleheader,” head coach Erik Bakich said. “Game one more of the pitching duel and Austin Gordon gave us a quality start, thought he pitched very well getting us to the seventh inning. I knew for sure when we got a couple of runners on including a runner to third in the ninth inning, that we were going to tie it up and then win it, it just didn’t happen that way and Duke’s got a very good pitching staff and their numbers back that up… But I like the way our guys responded in game two.

“We came out swinging, hit the ball hard, found ways to score, getting on base, getting a lot of hits, making things happen… The big hits, the run-scoring hits that escaped us in the first game, we got plenty of them in game two. I thought Nick Hoffman did a fantastic job of preserving the bullpen, so to speak, by going four and two thirds, you know, gave up a few solo home runs, but that’s a good offensive team. They hit five home runs in game two, it’s a good lineup, so we’ve got a good rubber match tomorrow and the team who plays the best is going to take the series. I know we’ll be ready for it. …”

For the second time of the day, Clemson was the first to strike. With the bases loaded and two outs, freshman Nathan Hall came in clutch with a two-RBI single to right center that scored the Tiger’s designated hitter Cooper Ingle and centerfielder Cam Cannarella from second and third respectively. Clemson tacked on its third and final run of the inning in the form of Riley Bertram’s run-scoring stolen base to give the Tigers the early 3-0 lead through one.

Duke quickly came up with its answer in the top of the second, scoring three runs off one hit. Andrew Fisher led things off for the Blue Devils with his second homer of the day, a solo shot to right field. After four straight walks, including one that was forced in for a run, and a Clemson pitching change, MJ Metz tied things up for Duke midway through two.

The Tigers wasted no time with their answer in the bottom half of the second. With the bases loaded and one out, Will Taylor hit a sac fly RBI to right to score freshman Jacob Jarrell for the 4-3 lead after two.

After Duke took its first lead of the day in the form of Alex Stone’s solo bomb to left and Metz’s RBI single to right center, Clemson had a monster third inning where it scored five runs off three hits and two errors. It was the inning of doubles for the Tigers, who hit three off the bats of Caden Grice, Hall and Cannarella while scoring three of Clemson’s five RBIs in the process. The Tigers led 9-5 through three.

The Blue Devils struck once again in the fourth with their third home run of the game for two RBIs, cutting the Tiger’s lead to two runs midway through four. Clemson quickly came up with an answer of its own in the bottom half of the inning though, scoring four runs off of four hits, including a clutch three-RBI homer launched into left center by Jarrell for the 13-7 lead.

Into the fifth, Grice hit a solo bomb to left center, his first of the year, to extend Clemson’s lead to 14-7. Duke tacked on two more homers in the sixth and seventh, good for the team’s fourth and fifth bombs of the game, thanks to Beshear’s second homerun of the day and Metz’s solo shot to right. Despite the Blue Devil’s two runs scored late, the Tigers would eventually come away with the win by a final score of 14-9.

Cam Cannarella led the way for the Tigers offensively at the leadoff spot, going 5-for-6 at the plate with three runs, two RBIs and two doubles.

Clemson closes out the series on Sunday, March 19, with its third and final game versus Duke at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. on ACCNX.

Dear Old Clemson has added the Tiger Sack Pack to our online store.  Save by getting the Two Pack of signed cards from two of the nation’s top defensive ends, Myles Murphy and Xavier Thomas.

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