Tigers win series over Miami

CLEMSON — Like the spring temperatures, Clemson's bats are starting to heat up.

Since the first day of Spring on March 21, No. 20 Clemson has scored five or more runs 13 times, seven or more runs nine times and eight or more runs five times, including Sunday's 9-6 victory over No. 5 Miami in the rubber game of the three-game series.

"I think we hit the ball well all weekend," Clemson right fielder Kyle Parker said. "We played the type of baseball that we are capable of playing and we came out of here with two wins which is pretty good because they are a pretty good squad."

In all, the Tigers scored 26 runs and banged out 38 hits in the three game series.

"The weather is warming up a little bit," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. "We have two or three guys that are back in Wilson Boyd and Addison Johnson, and Kyle Parker has been contributing. Some guys are starting to play better. When you have one, two or three guys playing better it starts to permeate through the rest of the team."

It started to permeate through the Tigers' lineup in the bottom of the second when third baseman Matt Sanders homered to right field for a three-run shot that gave Clemson a 3-2 lead. It was a lead it never again relinquished.

The Tigers (23-12, 11-7 ACC) scored three more runs in the third and then two more in the fourth to build an 8-3 advantage. Clemson finished the day with 11 hits as Sanders led the way with three hits and 4 RBIs, while Boyd also had three hits and drove in a run.

"Everybody feels better about their game when you hit the ball," Leggett said. "Everybody feels better in the field when you hit the ball. Everybody looks forward to coming to the ballpark when you hit the ball. It is the whole psyche of the team.

"When you know you are going to score some runs, you are not scrambling, scrambling and scrambling to try and score some runs. You don't have to hold (the other team) down which puts pressure on the pitching so it is a good thing that the bats are starting to come along a little bit."

It's also a good thing to have Parker back fulltime. With spring football practice over, the right fielder can dedicate the rest of his time now to helping the baseball team win an ACC Championship. Sunday, the All-ACC player added another hit and a couple of more RBIs to his weekend total.

Parker finished the weekend 4-for-11 with two home runs and 7 RBIs and that's after moonlighting as the quarterback in the Spring Game.

"I'm a little beaten down," he said. "It has been a long three weeks so I'm kind of looking forward to just having to do one (sport) right now. It is definitely a relief and my schedule is going to be a lot less hectic."

Parker wasn't the only one to play well in the weekend series. Sanders finished the weekend 6-for-9 with Sunday's home run and the 7 RBIs.

"He is a pretty tough out and he has a little savvy at the plate," Leggett said.

With the win, the Tigers stay in first place in the ACC's Atlantic Division with a one-game lead on Boston College.

"This was big for us. There is no doubt about it. We found out a lot about our team," Leggett said. "We came back in the second and third ballgames and played tough. I was pleased with how we responded after an opening (game) loss."

Clemson will travel to Western Carolina Tuesday night before coming back home and facing the Catamounts on Wednesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

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