Tiger pitching scatters hits, holds off Terps to take doubleheader opener

Clemson's Thomas Brittle makes a diving catch during the fourth inning at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Thomas Brittle makes a diving catch during the fourth inning at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.

CLEMSON – For five innings, a repeat of the series opener – where Clemson had only four hits – was in order. In the series’ first 14 innings, the Tigers had managed just six hits and three runs.

Meanwhile, Tigers freshman lefty Zack Erwin was holding the line – in his first career ACC and weekend series start – allowing a single run on five hits in a career-high six innings of work.

Clemson 3, Maryland 2 wrap-up

Erwin earns win in first ACC start

Working a full count, Clemson center fielder Thomas Brittle walked to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Two batters later, second baseman Steve Wilkerson knocked a big hop-grounder over Maryland first baseman Lamont Wade’s head to score Brittle all the way from first base for the initial go-ahead run.

Later in the inning, Clemson catcher Garrett Boulware added on with a RBI sacrifice fly to right field which proved to be the difference in the 3-2 decision

"We spaced out 10 hits," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. "We only got five on the offensive side, but we made them count. That sixth inning was a big inning for us – we got those two runs. The hit-and-run (on the Wilkerson hit) helped us a little bit. Got things moving."

The Terps' last threat came down to its last out, with the bases loaded in the ninth frame. Center fielder Charlie White, Maryland’s leading hitter, was froze by a Clemson closer Scott Firth 1-2 pitch on the outside, sealing his fourth save of the season.

The Terps doubled up the Tigers in hits, and for the two-game series, it stands at 24-9 Maryland.

Clemson first baseman Jon McGibbon returned after leaving early in game one with a bruised foot – knocking in the game’s first run and a seventh RBI in the last six games.

Erwin (4-0) became the third true freshman to make a weekend start this season. The Duluth, Ga. product says his mentality hasn’t changed in a move from a successful long reliever role to wins in his first two starts.

“No sir, not much – I always just pitch,” Erwin said.

“He threw strikes,” said Leggett, “worked ahead in the count…he did some good things. Hopefully we can keep getting him a little experience every time out and keep on improving.”

Maryland righty starter Jake Stinnett went 7 2/3 innings, allowing all three runs (two earned).

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