Tigers top Duke

Clemson ends a five-game losing streak after beating Duke, 9-6 Friday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

BOX SCORE: Clemson 9 Duke 6

Sophomore righthander Jonathan Meyer pitched 5.0 scoreless innings of one-hit ball in relief and #16 Clemson tallied 14 hits in its 9-6 victory over Duke in front of 4,166 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday night. The Tigers, who took a 1-0 series lead and snapped their five-game losing streak, improved to 8-7 overall and 1-3 in the ACC. The Blue Devils, whose four-game winning streak came to an end, fell to 15-5 overall and 2-2 in ACC play.

The Tigers scored two runs in both the first and second innings to build a 4-0 lead. But the Blue Devils responded with four runs with two outs in the top of the third inning to tie the score. Clemson answered back with four two-out runs of its own in the bottom of the third inning to take an 8-4 lead. Meyer kept Duke at bay with 5.0 stellar innings pitched and the Tigers held off a late Blue Devil rally to earn the three-run victory.

Meyer (1-0) pitched 5.0 innings in relief to earn the win. The San Diego, CA native yielded just one hit, no runs, and one walk with a career-high seven strikeouts. Alex Frederick retired both batters he faced to record his first save of the year.

Starter Drew Van Orden (2-3) allowed 10 hits, eight runs (seven earned), and one walk in 2.2 innings pitched and suffered the loss. The Blue Devils received a strong effort from lefthander Dillon Haviland, who limited Clemson to three hits, one run, and one walk with two strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched.

The Tigers jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. John Hinson led off with a single to right field and advanced to third two batters later on Jeff Schaus' double down the left-field line. Phil Pohl followed with a single up the middle to score Hinson and Schaus.

In the second inning, Jason Stolz led off with a bloop double down the left-field line and advanced to third on Steve Wilkerson's groundout to second. Hinson then belted a single up the middle to score Stolz. After the first pitch to Will Lamb, Hinson was caught in between first and second base, but catcher Jeff Kremer's throw to first base was errant and Hinson advanced to third base on the error. Lamb then hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Hinson.

In the top of the third inning, Marcus Stroman reached on a one-out, infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Wilkerson on the play. David Perkins bounced a single through the right side, but Chris Epps threw out Stroman at the plate for out #2 as Perkins advanced to second base on the throw. Christopher Marconcini followed with a double to deep right-center off Lamb's glove to plate Perkins. After Jordan Betts singled to center, Kremer lined a single to right-center to score Marconcini. Anthony D'Alessandro was hit-by-pitch to load the bases, then Will Piwnica-Worms grounded a single up the middle to score Betts and Kremer and tie the score.

The Tigers regained the lead with four two-out runs of their own in the bottom of the third inning. Richie Shaffer led off with a single through the left side and went to second on Epps' groundout to second. Two batters later, Stolz laced a two-out double to left field to score Shaffer. Wilkerson followed with a single through the left side to plate Stolz, Hinson reached on a bunt single, and Lamb grounded a single through the right side to score Wilkerson. Schaus kept the two-out rally going by lining a single to left-center to score Hinson, giving the Tigers an 8-4 lead.

In the top of the eighth inning, Marconcini reached on an error by Stolz to lead off the inning. Two batters later, Kremer reached on an infield single with one out, then D'Alessandro loaded the bases with a walk. But Meyer struck out Piwnica-Worms and pinch-hitter Dennis O'Grady to keep the Tigers ahead by four runs.

Clemson added to its lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. Schaus lined a two-out double to left-center and scored on Pohl's double to right-center.

In the ninth inning, Angelo LaBruna led off with a single through the right side and Stroman ripped a 1-2 pitch to center for a single. After Perkins loaded the bases with a single through the right side, Marconcini walked on six pitches to plate LaBruna and bring the potential tying run to the plate. But in came Frederick to the mound, who got Betts to ground into a 6-4-3 double play as Stroman scored and struck out Kremer to end the game.

Hinson, who made his first career start as the leadoff batter in the order, went 3-for-5 with three runs and an RBI. Schaus went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs, one RBI, and a walk, while Pohl went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. Stolz added two doubles and two runs for the Tigers, who totaled 14 hits and five doubles.

Kremer went 3-for-5 with an RBI, while Marconcini and Piwnica-Worms added two RBIs apiece for Duke, who totaled 11 hits in the game.

Clemson and Duke will play game-two of the three-game series on Saturday at 6:30 PM.

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