Tigers Stomp Terps to Complete Sweep

CLEMSON – When the calendar turns to Friday, that's when it seems the Clemson baseball team plays its best as the Tigers swept its opponent for the third straight weekend.

This time, No. 7 Clemson's 15-7 victory over Maryland Sunday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium completed the three-game sweep of the Terrapins (14-20, 6-12 ACC).

It's the ninth straight ACC win for the Tigers (24-8, 9-3 ACC), which is the longest such streak since 1995, when they opened the season with 11 straight conference wins.

"I didn't know that," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. "We've still got some more to do. We dug ourselves a hole and we had to battle our way back."

A big portion of the reason the Tigers have been so hot in the conference has been the ridiculous play of junior first baseman Andy D'Alessio.

For the second time this season and for the fourth time in his career, D'Alessio cranked a grand slam, this one coming in the third inning, which staked the Tigers to a 5-0 lead.

This season, he is 5-for-7 with the bases loaded, with two homers, two doubles and 17 RBI.

In his last 10 games, he has 25 RBIs.

"I really don't know what it is," D'Alessio said of his ability to come up with big hits with the bases juiced. "It just happens. … A lot of it has to do with hitting mistakes. He hung a slider and I was able to do something with it."

Another good sign for the Tigers is the wakening of second baseman Taylor Harbin's bat.

Prior to the game, he and Leggett worked on hitting balls off a high tee, which forces him to stay on top of the ball. Harbin said he'd been jumping at pitches, which had caused him to have an uppercut swing.

The work paid off as he blasted just his second homer of the season, a two-run shot in the fifth inning.

"I've really been kind of down on myself because I know I'm a better hitter than that," said Harbin, who entered Sunday with a .296 average with only one home run and 17 RBIs. "Today was a big confidence boost for me. …

"Today, I was just more comfortable in the box. I didn't feel like there was any pitch that could beat me."

Leggett said he noticed a difference in Harbin's approach at the plate.

"I thought he was on the mark to day," Leggett said. "We worked on a couple of things and hopefully he's got it worked out."

Pitching wise, the Tigers once again got a solid performance out of their starter as Stephen Faris (4-0) allowed only one earned run in six innings of work.

However, the defense struggled again as it allowed four unearned runs for Maryland, all coming from shortstop Stan Widmann, who committed his 12th and 13th errors of the season.

Clemson will get a chance to atone for its last loss as it travels to Western Carolina Tuesday, before playing host to South Carolina Wednesday night.

P.J. Zocchi (2-0, 5.48 ERA) will likely go against the Catamounts. No one has been tabbed yet for the Gamecocks.

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