Tigers beat No. 4 Tech again

Four Tiger pitchers combined to limit the Yellow Jackets to three runs as No. 20 Clemson topped No. 4 Georgia Tech 6-3 in front of 5,164 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers, who won the series 2-1, improved to 30-15 overall and 14-10 in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets fell to 28-11-1 overall and 14-7-1 in ACC play.

The win was Jack Leggett's 300th against an ACC team as Clemson's head coach. It was also Clemson's 100th all-time victory over Georgia Tech, as the Tigers improved their all-time record against the Yellow Jackets to 100-97-3 with Sunday's win.

After Georgia Tech scored two runs in the top of the first inning, Clemson responded with three runs in the bottom of the first inning and never relinquished its lead. The Tigers added two runs in the third inning and both teams scored a run in the fifth inning to round out the scoring.

Starter Trey Delk (2-1) earned the win in a scheduled short start. He allowed three hits, two runs (one earned), and one walk with four strikeouts in 3.0 innings pitched. Delk had not pitched since March 20 due to injury. Graham Stoneburner pitched the next 3.0 innings and allowed one run and no walks with four strikeouts. Ryan Hinson pitched a perfect seventh inning, then Scott Weismann pitched the final 2.0 innings, allowing one hit and no runs to record his first career save.

Yellow Jacket starter Brandon Cumpton (2-1) suffered the loss, as he gave up seven hits, five runs (four earned), and four walks with four strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched.

For the first time in the series, the Yellow Jackets took the game's first lead in the top of the first inning. Derek Dietrich drew a one-out walk and went to second on Jason Haniger's line-drive single to center on a 1-2 pitch. Tony Plagman followed with a double off centerfielder Wilson Boyd's glove at the fence, allowing Dietrich to score. Haniger also scored on the play when Brad Miller's relay throw to the plate was errant. It broke the shortstop's 19-game errorless streak.

The Tigers responded with three runs to take the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Chris Epps led off with a walk and Mike Freeman walked after being down in the count 0-2. Jeff Schaus loaded the bases with a line-drive single to right field on a 1-2 pitch, then Ben Paulsen ripped the first pitch to left for a single to score Epps. Kyle Parker hit into a fielder's choice as Freeman scored on the play to tie the score. Boyd followed with a single up the middle to score Schaus.

In the third inning, Paulsen drew a one-out walk and Parker followed with a line-drive single to left on an 0-2 pitch. Boyd then lined a single to center to score Paulsen. Cumpton attempted to pick Boyd off first base, but his throw was errant and allowed Parker to score from second base. Then with two outs, Boyd tried to score on a pitch that was headed to the backstop, but for the second day in a row, Haniger retrieved the ball and made an athletic play by throwing off balance to retire Boyd at the plate.

In the top of the fifth inning, Jason Garofalo led off with a single up the middle. Two batters later, Dietrich hit a one-out single through the left side and Haniger followed with a single to right-center to load the bases. Plagman's single through the left side plated Garofalo, but the Tigers escaped further damage by getting Luke Murton to ground into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.

The Tigers added a run to their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Boyd walked with two outs, moved to second on a balk, and went to third on a wild pitch. Boyd scored on the play when Haniger's throw to third base was errant, giving Clemson a 6-3 lead.

Both teams collected nine hits. Boyd led Clemson by going 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a walk. Freeman was 2-for-3 with a run and walk as well. Haniger and Plagman had two hits apiece for the Yellow Jackets, while Plagman totaled both of Georgia Tech's RBIs.

Clemson held one of the nation's best hitting teams in check during the series by allowing only 13 runs. The Tiger pitching staff had a 4.00 ERA and struck out 23 against only eight walks against a team that entered the series hitting .325 and averaging 9.0 runs per game.

Meanwhile, Freeman had an outstanding series by going 5-for-8 (.625) with four runs and five walks. Schaus also went 8-for-13 (.615) with a double, homer, three runs, and four RBIs.

The Tigers will have five days off for final exams before they return to action against Maryland in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium beginning Saturday at 6:30 PM.

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