Overall Season Record: 3-0
ACC Regular-Season Record: 0-0
Last Week: 3-0
Sat. W home vs. Mercer, 12-5 (Game 1)
Sat. W home vs. Mercer, 6-5 (Game 2)
Sun. W home vs. Mercer, 10-3
Wed. Home vs. High Point, 4:00 PM
Fri. Away vs. College of Charleston, 5:00
Sat. Away vs. South Carolina, 1:30
Sun. Home vs. South Carolina, 2:00
Clemson went 3-0 in three games this past week. The Tigers swept Mercer by a combined score of 28-13 on Saturday and Sunday, as the two teams played a doubleheader on Saturday due to the threat of inclement weather on Friday.
In the Tigers' sweep of the Bears, 16 of Clemson's 28 runs came in the third inning. Clemson hit .350 against Mercer's .238 batting average and walked 14 times while striking out just 10 times. Chris Epps went 6-for-10 to lead the Tigers, while Wilson Boyd was 5-for-12 with three homers and six RBIs. Doug Hogan added five hits, including three doubles and a homer, as well. Clemson played outstanding defense, committing just one error, and had a 4.00 ERA in the series.
In game-one on February 23, which was the first game of a doubleheader, Clemson totaled 16 hits and broke open the game with five runs in the third inning en route to a 12-5 victory over the Bears. Wilson Boyd, Doug Hogan, and Epps all had three hits apiece, while Alex Lee added two hits and four RBIs. Boyd and Hogan both hit two-run homers as well. Stan Widmann added two hits and two runs scored. Starter Ryan Hinson picked up the win, as he allowed two runs on five hits in 5.0 innings pitched.
In game-two on February 23, which was the second game of a doubleheader, the Tigers scored a combined six runs in the second and third innings and held on for a 6-5 win. The Bears took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning only to see the Tigers respond with four runs in the bottom of the second inning, highlighted by Hogan's bunt single and subsequent throwing error that scored two runs. Epps added a two-run homer in the third inning, his first at Clemson. The Bears scored a run in the ninth inning, but they could get no closer. Starter D.J. Mitchell earned the win, as he allowed just three hits and three runs in 5.0 innings pitched. Matt Vaughn also earned the save.
In game-three on February 24, Clemson scored nine runs in the third inning and cruised to a 10-3 win to sweep the series. Boyd hit a solo homer and three-run homer in the frame to become just the fourth Tiger in history to hit two long balls in an inning. The first batter of the third inning was retired before Clemson broke the game open with nine runs on eight hits. John Nester added his first career homer in the seventh inning as well. Red-shirt freshman starter Graham Stoneburner pitched 5.0 scoreless innings of three-hit ball to earn the win in his first outing as a Tiger.
Epps made his debut one to remember, as the freshman had a hit in each of his first five career at-bats and reached base safely in each of his first six plate appearances. He had six hits, five runs scored, a homer, three walks, and four RBIs in three games in right field. Hogan had a hit in each of the three games, upping his hitting streak to 18 games dating back to last season.
Widmann made a triumphant return from a serious neck injury that forced him to miss most of the 2007 season. He was 4-for-11 (.364) with four putouts and seven assists without an error in the field. However, his streak of 25 straight steals without being caught stealing came to an end in the series, as he is now 25-27 on stolen bases in his career.
The Tigers used 12 pitchers in the series, including six who made their debuts in a Tiger uniform.
Addison Johnson did not play in the series, as he rested his sore hamstring. His status for this week's games will be re-evaluated prior to Wednesday's game versus High Point. The Tigers will then travel to Mount Pleasant, SC to take on College of Charleston on Friday, then they will head to Columbia, SC to play at South Carolina on Saturday before playing the Gamecocks at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday.
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