Tigers ride monster rally late to take series

Clemson's Steve Wilkerson hits an RBI-single in the sixth inning against Willam & Mary.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson's Steve Wilkerson hits an RBI-single in the sixth inning against Willam & Mary.

Clemson scored 12 runs on 14 hits in its last three innings at the plate to defeat William & Mary 12-2 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers, who won the series 2-1, improved to 2-1 on the season. The Tribe fell to 1-2 in 2013.

The Tigers managed just one hit and no runs in the first five innings. In fact, the Tigers put just one runner on base in the first five innings. But Clemson scored three runs in the sixth inning, six runs in the seventh inning, and three runs in the eighth inning. In all three innings, Clemson's leadoff batter was retired. Eleven different Tigers had at least one hit in those three innings and 12 Tigers had at least one hit in the game.

Starter Scott Firth (1-0) earned the win in his first start since 2011. In a career-long 7.0 innings pitched, he allowed just two hits, one run, and one walk with five strikeouts. Jonathan Meyer pitched the final 2.0 innings to close out the game. The two senior righties combined to allow just two runs, four hits, and one walk.

Jason Inghram (0-1), the first of four William & Mary hurlers, suffered the loss. The lefthander gave up five hits, three runs, and no walks with three strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched.

The Tribe scored the game's first run in the fourth inning. Michael Katz led off with a single to right-center, stole second, and advanced to third on William Shaw's groundout to short. Ryan Hissey's sacrifice fly to left plated Katz.

In the sixth inning, the Tigers strung together four straight one-out hits to score three runs. Garrett Boulware laced a one-out double to left-center and advanced to third on Thomas Brittle's bunt single. Steven Duggar singled up the middle to score Boulware, while Brittle advanced to third and Duggar took second on the throw. Steve Wilkerson ripped a 1-2 pitch off the pitcher for a single to score Brittle, then Shane Kennedy reached on a fielder's choice that brought home Duggar.

The Tigers added to their lead in the seventh inning. Tyler Krieger walked on four pitches and Maleeke Gibson singled to left-center. After both runners moved up on a wild pitch, Boulware lined a single down the left-field line to score Krieger and Gibson. Brittle reached on a bunt single, his second of the game, and Duggar walked to load the bases. Wilkerson then unloaded the bases with a double down the left-field line on a 1-2 pitch to score three runs. Two batters later, Jon McGibbon lined a two-out single to center to score Wilkerson.

Clemson put the game out of reach with three more runs in the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Kevin Bradley hit a one-out double down the left-field line. Two batters later with two outs, Mike Triller reached on a double, his first career hit, to left field that scored Bradley. Pinch-hitter Mike Dunster followed with a single through the right side to plate Triller, then pinch-hitter Jackson Campana laced a double, his first career hit, to left field to score Dunster.

The Tribe plated a run in the ninth inning on back-to-back two-out doubles by Hissey and Ryan Williams.

Brittle, Wilkerson, and Boulware led Clemson's 15-hit attack with two hits apiece. Wilkerson added a double and a career-high four RBIs, while Boulware went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs, and two runs.

Four different William & Mary players had one hit apiece, while Hissey and Williams each had one RBI.

Clemson will host Wright State in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium starting Friday at 4:00 PM.

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Comments » 1

MyTwoSENSE writes:

The bats finally came alive this weekend. I was worried after the first two games. The only concern i still had after today's game was our left fielder standing in the battery's box to watch the catcher field the very high foul ball he hit right behind the dish. I certainly hope coach legget explains to this young man what should of been taught to him in little league.

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