Tigers roll UNC-Asheville; No. 4 UNC next

CLEMSON - A day after blowing a two-run lead in the ninth inning in a loss to Furman and four days removed from a two-hit effort against South Carolina, No. 19 Clemson brought out the big sticks against UNC Asheville Wednesday night.

The Tigers totaled a season-high 15 hits, while Clemson pitching gave up just four in a 17-2 rout at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.

"We haven't been really hitting the ball like we wanted to and we haven't been aggressive at the plate," right fielder Kyle Parker said. "The biggest thing is we are confident and we know we can put up runs when we need to and we did that tonight."

The 17 runs were the most by the Tigers since scoring 16 in a win over Boston College on March 16 of last year. It is the first time Clemson (5-2) went over 10 runs this season and the first time since a 12-6 victory over the College of Charleston on May 13.

"We needed that," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. "We needed to see some line drives and aggressiveness at the plate. They had a little trouble finding the strike zone, but when they did we were ready to hit and we were more aggressive.

"It was a good night for us."

The Tigers were led by Ben Paulsen's three hits and three RBIs. Clemson also got two hits each from left fielder Jeff Schaus, Jason Stolz and John Nester.

The Tigers struck out only once and walked 14 times, the most by Clemson in a game since 1999. The Bulldogs (2-7) were led at the plate by designated hitter Mike Vaughn, who had two hits.

Part of Clemson's success Wednesday night might have been the lineup change Leggett made at the plate. Shortstop Brad Miller took over leadoff from Addison Johnson, while Wilson Boyd moved ahead of Parker in the clean-up spot.

"Mike Freeman swung the bat pretty good tonight and I might move him up again," Leggett said. "I'm just trying to find the right combination and get some rhythm going. We are facing some really tough pitching this weekend so it might be different."

Miller scored three runs and had one hit in two official at-bats, but he drew four walks.

"Miller has some aggressiveness with him and has a good eye at the plate so we might leave him there for a little while and see how things work out," Leggett said.

Freeman finished the night with 2 RBIs and scored two runs while drawing two walks as well.

Clemson scored 12 runs in the first three innings, including seven in the first two innings, all with two outs. The Tigers scored in six of the eight innings in which they batted.

It was exactly what the doctor order especially with fourth-ranked North Carolina up next on the schedule.

"This was huge," Leggett said. "(Tuesday) night was another lousy night so we could not do that. We had to break the chain a little bit and hopefully we will be ready to go by this weekend."

Clemson will play at North Carolina for a three-game series to start ACC play this Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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