Tigers Roll Again

CLEMSON – With a no-hitter intact into the middle innings, Clemson sophomore Ryan Hinson committed the Cardinal Sin for pitchers: he looked out over the wall in left-centerfield to review the statistical information posted for all to see.

"I looked up at the scoreboard and I shouldn't have done that," he said. "Then they got a hit and a run."

But that's about all Duke got as No. 6 Clemson rolled to a 7-2 victory Saturday afternoon at a blustery Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Hinson (1-0) went 6.1 innings and allowed just five hits and two runs to pick up his first victory of the season. This makes two consecutive outings against the Blue Devils (17-6, 0-5 ACC) that the Clemson pitchers have been practically untouchable.

"It was a big win for us," Hinson said. "I figured we'd start scoring some runs at some point and all I had to do was keep them off the bases."

It didn't take long for the Tigers (13-4, 2-0 ACC) to put runs on the board as they plated four in the first inning.

Centerfield Brad Chalk led off with a double to left and was followed by shortstop Taylor Harbin, who got a double of his own to score Chalk and make it 1-0.

First baseman Andy D'Alessio then singled to right to score Harbin to make it 2-0, before third baseman Marquez Smith stroked a two-run homer to left to quickly make it 4-0.

It was Smith's fourth home run of the year and essentially the end of the ballgame.

"We came out in the first and got some runs early, which was huge for our pitcher's confidence and for everybody on the team," Smith said. "It helped us relax a little bit."

Later in the fourth, the Tigers scored the remainder of their runs, one of which came from the bat of freshman left fielder Addison Johnson, who hit his first-career blast.

"I hit it and I didn't know if it was going to go out or not," said Johnson, who is batting 8-for-18, with two runs, four RBI, two walks, a double, triple and a home run in five games since being moved from the top of the order to eighth.

"I think being not being leadoff took a little bit of the pressure off me."

Hinson finally yielded Duke's first hit and run in the top of the fifth when third baseman Brett Bartles hit his third home run of the year.

The Blue Devils added one more run in the sixth, but that was it as relief pitcher D.J. Mitchell shut the door by allowing just two hits the rest of the way.

"We've got some areas of concern and some areas we have to work on," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. "But our defense has been good and our pitching has been good, so that is a positive."

The Tigers go for the three-game sweep Sunday afternoon when junior Alan Farina (0-0, 3.48 ERA) takes to the mound. Freshman Alexander Hassan (5-3, 2.18 ERA) goes for Duke.

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