Tigers Pound No. 25 Georgia Tech

Eight Tigers tallied at least two hits and Clemson totaled a season-high 20 hits in its 16-6 victory over #25 Georgia Tech in front of 1,781 fans at Russ Chandler Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Clemson also tied its season high for both runs and extra-base hits (7). The Tigers improved to 26-25-1 overall and 11-18-1 in ACC play. The Yellow Jackets, who won the series 2-1, fell to 36-15 overall and 14-13 in the ACC.

Jeff Schaus paced the Tigers by going 5-for-6 with a double, two runs scored, and four RBIs. The five hits were a career high for the freshman from Naples, FL. Wilson Boyd added a home run and four RBIs, Mike Freeman had two hits and three runs scored, and Ben Paulsen hit two of Clemson's five doubles.

Trey Delk (2-1) pitched 5.2 stellar innings to earn the win. On a day that saw strong winds blowing out, he allowed just three hits, two runs, and one walk with four strikeouts. Georgia Tech starter Zach Von Tersch (6-4) suffered the loss, as he allowed five runs on eight hits in 3.1 innings pitched.

The Tigers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Freeman led off with a single up the middle and went to third base on Schaus' single to center. Kyle Parker followed with a grounder to shortstop that plated Freeman.

In the second inning, John Hinson reached on a one-out, infield single. Two batters later, Stan Widmann laced a two-out double to left-center to score Hinson. Freeman struck out, but he reached on a wild pitch. Schaus then singled through the left side to score Widmann.

After just missing on a 2-2 pitch, Delk surrendered a two-out home run to center by Brad Feltes. The solo homer was his 14th long ball of the season.

The Tigers added to their lead with two runs in the fourth inning. Matt Sanders led off with a double down the right-field line. Two batters later, Freeman belted a single to right field to score Sanders. After Freeman advanced to second on a balk, Schaus hit a line-drive single to left-center to plate Freeman.

Paulsen led off the fifth inning with a double to center on a 1-2 pitch. Two batters later, Doug Hogan hit a triple to left-center to plate Paulsen. Hinson followed with an infield single to score Hogan.

In the top of the sixth inning, Schaus and Parker hit one-out singles. Two batters later, Boyd hit a two-out, three-run homer to right-center, his ninth home run of the season. Boyd's long ball meant that every Tiger starter scored a run and had a hit through the first six innings.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Cole Leonida led off with a walk. Two batters later, Jeff Rowland reached on a one-out, bunt single. Leonida was retired at third base on Luke Murton's fielder's choice, then Derek Dietrich lined Craig Gullickson's first pitch of the game to right field for a single to score Rowland.

The Yellow Jackets narrowed Clemson's lead in the eighth inning with three runs. Charlie Blackmon hit a one-out single to left and pinch-hitter Jay Dantzler followed with an opposite-field, two-run homer to right field, his third long ball of the season. Murton followed with a line-drive double off the wall in center. Two batters later, Tony Plagman hit a flyball to center that dropped for a single to plate Murton.

Clemson responded with six runs on five hits in the top of the ninth inning. Sanders and Widmann led off with singles, then pitcher Chris Hicks threw away Freeman's sacrifice bunt, allowing Sanders to score. Schaus followed with a double up the middle to score Widmann and Freeman. After Parker singled to left, Paulsen hit a double down the right-field line to score Schaus. Boyd's groundout plated Parker and Paulsen scored on a passed ball.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, pinch-hitter Patrick Long led off with a single to left. Two batters later, Blackmon singled through the right side, as Long moved to third. Dantzler's groundout to shortstop then plated Long.

Blackmon went 3-for-5 to lead Georgia Tech, who had 12 hits in the contest.

It was Clemson's final ACC regular-season game of 2008. The Tigers are in eighth place in the league standings, ahead of ninth-place Duke (8-17-1 ACC record). Duke must win all three games at Virginia Tech next weekend to earn a spot in the ACC Tournament, which will be an eight-team field, and potentially knock Clemson out of the tourney. If Duke sweeps the Hokies in three games, then Wake Forest (11-15 ACC record) must go 0-3 at Boston College next week for the Tigers to make the ACC Tournament.

Clemson will play its final regular-season home game on Tuesday against College of Charleston. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 PM.

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