Tigers take game one

Clemson, ranked No. 20 in the country, improved to 15-6 with a 5-3 victory over Elon in game one of a doubleheader at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Tuesday.

Clemson and Elon, who fell to 12-6 with the loss, will play the second game of the doubleheader at approximately 9:00 PM.

Clinton McKinney (1-0) pitched a career-high 3.0 innings and allowed only two hits with three strikeouts to earn his first win as a Tiger. Matt Vaughn came on in the ninth to record his first save of the year. Elon starter Cory Harrilchak (0-1) took the loss for Elon as he pitched 6.0 innings and allowed three runs on 12 hits and one walk with two strikeouts.

Brad Miller and Mike Freeman started the bottom of the third inning with infield singles and Ben Paulsen had a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. After a Kyle Parker single to centerfield plated Miller, Freeman scored on a wild pitch and gave Clemson a 2-0 lead.

Elon answered with two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Mike Melillo had a one-out single and Chase Austin followed with his first home run of the season to tie the score.

Clemson squandered an opportunity in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Tigers had the bases loaded with no outs and Paulsen hit a liner to shortstop Neal Pritchard who stepped on second base for a double play. Jeff Schaus flied out to centerfield to end the inning for Clemson.

Clemson took a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning. Matt Sanders led off the inning with a single. After a sacrifice bunt and flyout, Addison Johnson reached on an infield single. Miller then singled through the right side of the infield to score Sanders.

Clemson added two insurance runs in the eighth inning. Wilson Boyd reached on a passed ball third strike and Jason Stolz moved Boyd to second with a sacrifice bunt. John Nester hit his second home run of the year, a line-drive opposite field shot to give Clemson a 5-2 lead.

Justin Hilt led off the top of the ninth inning with a single and Pritchard followed a batter later with a single to right. With two outs, Zeth Stone singled to right field to cut the Clemson lead to 5-3. Bennett Davis flied out to right field to end the game and the Pheonix threat.

The teams combined for 27 hits in the game. Elon had 11 different players get a hit, led by Austin and Pat Irvine with two hits each. With a hit in the first inning, Harrilchak extended his hitting streak to 18 games and has reached base safely in 51 straight games. Clemson had eight different with a hit, led by Freeman and Paulsen with three hits each.

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