Dawgs Sweep Tigers

CLEMSON – The good news is the Clemson baseball team played much better than it did the previous night when it committed four errors and didn't get its first hit until the sixth inning. The bad news is the bats of the Tigers remained silent for the second straight game against Georgia.

The Bulldogs got complete domination from their bullpen, which allowed just one hit and one walk over the final six innings of relief, while striking out nine Clemson batters.

Meanwhile, the Georgia offense pieced together enough hits to plate two runs in the seventh to break a tie and go on to the 6-4 win at a packed Doug Kingsmore Stadium to sweep the two-game series, which wasn't a pretty one for the Tigers (18-10, 6-6 ACC).

"We didn't do anything that really hurt us tonight," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. "They just got a couple of big hits. We didn't play bad today, but we did (Tuesday)."

The Tigers did commit two errors, to go along with the four they committed Tuesday, but Wednesday's didn't cost them any runs.

But once again, the offense was practically absent. Clemson had just four hits Tuesday and five Wednesday.

"We've got to get a little bit better that way," Leggett said. "The pitching has picked up here of late. We haven't put any big innings together."

Starting pitcher Trent Rothlin, a freshman, lasted four innings and gave up four earned runs. All of his runs allowed came via the home run, which is a common occurrence for the Bulldogs.

Bryce Poythress smacked a two-run blast, his seventh of the year, to left field in the top of the first and Adam Fuller hit a two-run shot of his own in the top of the fifth, which was his first of the season.

"I just didn't make the pitches when I needed two," Rothlin said. "Their two big hits just happened to be home runs."

The Tigers scored two runs in the second on a two-run hit by Matt Sanders, and two more in the third on a two-run homer by Ben Paulsen. It was his eighth of the season.

The Tigers are now just 2-5 in their last seven games against Georgia (17-10, 6-3 SEC) and are 0-4 versus the SEC this season.

Following the game, Leggett showed a calm demeanor. He can sense that his very young team is on the verge of having a major breakthrough and that it's going to take a little bit of time.

"We've got a lot to learn and some improvements to make," he said. "But we're close. We're close. We've got to get over the hump. … I think we really need to pick it up and take it to the next level."

That's going to be a difficult task considering the Tigers are just at the beginning of one of the more brutal stretches in all of college baseball.

Clemson just finished a two-game series with the Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 27 in Collegiate Baseball's Top 30 Poll, and now heads to Coral Gables, Fla., to take on No. 2 Miami in a three-game set.

Then the Tigers head to Columbia to take on No. 9 South Carolina, before hosting a three-game series against No. 3 North Carolina. And just for good measure, after a home game against Western Carolina, the Gamecocks come to Clemson.

For those keeping score, that's 10 out of 11 games that's against ranked teams, with eight of them being against teams ranked in the top 10.

"Our guys are really going to have to pitch," Leggett said. "Our margin of error is so little. But I think we're getting better."

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