Tigers Pound Western Carolina, 15-6

Eleventh-ranked Clemson erupted for 15 runs and 16 hits to defeat Western Carolina 15-6 in front of 4,875 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Wednesday night. The Tigers improved to 17-7, while the Catamounts fell to 14-11.

Ten different Tigers had at least one hit. Taylor Harbin was 3-for-6 with three RBIs and Ben Paulsen was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer and three runs batted in. Doug Hogan was 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored. He also extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Marquez Smith added a double and three RBIs as well.

Freshman lefthander Matt Zoltak (1-1) struck out two in 1.2 innings pitched in relief to earn his first career win. Starter Chris Masters (3-2) surrendered four runs (all unearned) in 2.0 innings pitched to suffer the loss for Western Carolina.

Clemson scored four unearned runs in the second inning thanks in part to two Catamount miscues. Andy D'Alessio and Hogan led off with back-to-back singles, and with one out, Alex Burg walked to load the bases. J.D. Burgess reached on a fielder's choice, as D'Alessio scored on a bad throw to home by Masters. Hogan then scored on a passed ball. With two outs, Brad Chalk walked to load the bases. The walk extended his streak of reaching base to 50 games. Harbin singled to right-center to score Burgess and Burg, and put the Tigers on top 4-0.

The Tigers added one run in the third inning. With one out, Hogan doubled to right-center and scored on a single through the right side by Paulsen.

Addison Johnson and Chalk led off with back-to-back singles in the fourth inning. Johnson advanced to third on a flyout by Harbin and Chalk reached second on a wild pitch. Smith reached on a fielding error by shortstop Mitchell Hatley, as Johnson scored on the play. Chalk and Smith both advanced a base on a balk. D'Alessio plated Chalk on a groundout to first to put the Tigers up 7-0.

The Catamounts scored four runs in the fifth, highlighted by RBI singles by Steven Strausbaugh and Barrett Shaft.

Clemson added to its lead with a run in the fifth, three more in the sixth, and completed the scoring with four runs in the seventh. The scoring was highlighted by Paulsen, who blasted a two-run homer to left-center in the sixth inning. It was Paulsen's third home run of the season and second in as many days.

The Tigers return to action Friday at 7:15 PM when they play host Miami (FL) in the first of three games at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

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