Clemson Splits Series with Georgia

CLEMSON – Through the first 22 games, the pitching and defense no doubt carried the Clemson baseball team. However, over the last two nights, the offense has exploded, while good pitching has been few and far between.

One night after yielding 12 runs on 17 hits, the Tigers pitching staff early on once again found it difficult to record outs. But their offense bailed them out for one of the few times this season as No. 9 Clemson grabbed the 10-7 victory over No. 22 Georgia Wednesday night at a crowded Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Over the last two nights, Georgia has smacked 29 hits and scored 19 runs. Even so, the Bulldogs (18-6) only managed a split as the Tigers offense nearly matched them run for run and hit for hit. And if not for the four Clemson errors Tuesday, they might have been swept.

"Both nights we had good offensive nights," said Tigers third baseman Herman Demmink, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. "That does a lot for our confidence and our team moral. It takes a lot off the pitching staff. Now it's just a matter of putting the hitting and pitching together."

The star the past two nights, as well as the past week, has been first baseman Andy D"Alessio, who has a ridiculous 17 RBIs and five homers over the last seven games. Wednesday night, he had four RBIs, two go along with two doubles and a sacrifice fly.

Tuesday night, he had three hits, three runs scored and three RBIs.

"I'm seeing the ball pretty well," the junior said. "But having Tyler Colvin on in front of me has given me a lot of opportunities to have the pitcher work out of the stretch."

Helping out the offense on this night for Clemson (17-7) was the defense, which disappeared Tuesday. Twenty-four hours after committing four errors, the Tigers were perfect defensively.

"Coach (Jack Leggett) had a little take with the defensive players and said we have to concentrate more," Demmink said.

Apparently the talk worked.

"We needed to play good defense," Leggett said. "Every time Georgia and us get together, it's like two heavyweight fighters. It's the same thing every time."

Starting pitcher P.J. Zocchi (2-0) got the win despite giving up six earned runs in five innings. Drew Fiorenza allowed just one run over the final four innings to pick up his first save of the season.

Clemson will need all facets of its game this weekend when it travels for a three-game series starting Friday at No. 25 Miami.

The road has been truly unkind to the Tigers, who have lost five straight away from Doug Kingsmore Stadium and are 1-5 overall.

"Any team that competes for the national championship has to be able to take the show on the road," Demmink said. "We're not going to be able to play all our games at home." Top Stories