Tigers fall in slugfest to No. 5 Miami

The No. 5 Miami (FL) Hurricanes hit three homers in the first three innings and defeated No. 20 Clemson 12-8 in the first game of a doubleheader at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Hurricanes, who took a 1-0 series lead, improved to 25-8 overall and 11-5 in the ACC, while the Tigers dropped to 21-12 overall and 9-7 in ACC play.

Hurricane starter Chris Hernandez (4-2) earned the win, as he yielded 12 hits, five runs, and no walks with four strikeouts in 7.0 innings pitched. Tiger starter Casey Harman (3-3) suffered the loss, as he allowed four runs on six hits in 2.0 innings pitched.

The Tigers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Jeff Schaus lined a two-out single to left and went to third on Ben Paulsen's single up the middle. Clemson then called for a double steal. Paulsen just beat the tag at second as Schaus took off for home. The throw home was in time, but Schaus slid under the tag.

However, the Hurricanes responded with four runs in the second inning. Yasmani Grandal led off with a home run to right-center, his 10th long ball of the season. Chris Herrmann followed with a bunt single. Two batters later, Ted Blackman doubled to left-center, then Dave DiNatale clobbered a three-run homer to center, his fourth home run of the season.

Jason Hagerty led off the top of the third inning with a home run, his seventh long ball of the year, to give Miami a 5-1 lead.

In the bottom of the third inning, the Tigers put together another two- out rally to score three runs. Addison Johnson hit a two-out single to left-center and moved to second on a wild pitch. Schaus followed with an infield single and Paulsen hit a high pop up to shallow left. The ball fell safely after two Hurricanes collided, allowing Johnson and Schaus to score on the triple. Kyle Parker, who less than an hour earlier was in the process of completing 13-21 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown in Clemson's Spring Football Game, hit a pinch-hit single up the middle to score Paulsen.

In the top of the fourth inning, DiNatale led off with a single to left-center and advanced to second on Ryan Jackson's sacrifice bunt. After Nathan Melendres walked, Scott Lawson singled to left-center to score DiNatale.

John Nester cut the Hurricanes' lead in half in the bottom of the fourth inning when he led off with a long opposite-field home run to right-center, his third long ball of the season.

In the fifth inning, the Hurricanes added four runs on only one hit. Grandal led off with a walk and Herrmann was hit-by-pitch. Harold Martinez laid down a bunt and pitcher Craig Gullickson had a play at third. But his throw was errant, allowing the Hurricanes to load the bases with no outs. After Clinton McKinney entered the game in relief, he attempted to pick off Herrmann at second, but his throw went into centerfield and Grandal scored. After Blackman walked to load the bases again, DiNatale's groundout plated Herrmann, then Jackson hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Martinez. Melendres followed with a two-out single up the middle to score Blackman.

Miami continued to add to its lead in the sixth inning. Grandal hit a one-out double to left-center and Herrmann followed with a walk. Martinez grounded out as both runners moved up a base, then Blackman laced a 1-2 pitch up the middle for a two-out single to score Grandal and Herrmann, upping Miami's lead to 12-5.

In the eighth inning, Wilson Boyd hit a two-out double down the right- field line. Two batters later, pinch-hitter Matt Sanders blooped a single to left to score Boyd.

In the ninth inning, pinch-hitter Chris Epps singled with two outs, then Parker hit an opposite-field, two-run homer to right, his sixth long ball of the season.

DiNatale went 2-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs to lead Miami, who had 13 hits. Schaus went 4-for-5 with two runs to pace Clemson, who totaled 17 hits.

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