Tigers top Furman, 8-5

Wilson Boyd and Ben Paulsen both went 4-for-5 and starter David Haselden pitched 5.0 strong innings to lead #14 Clemson to an 8-5 victory over Furman in front of 4,324 fans at Fluor Field on Monday.

The Tigers improved to 35-17, while the Paladins fell to 21-27. Clemson also upped its all-time mark at Fluor Field to 5-0 in five games from 2007-09.

Haselden (1-0), a freshman righthander from Spartanburg, SC, earned his first career win. In a career-long 5.0 innings pitched, he allowed five hits, one run, and one walk with a career-high six strikeouts. In 16.0 innings pitched over five outings (two starts) this season, he has allowed just one walk with 14 strikeouts. Reliever Clinton McKinney faced the minimum over 2.0 innings pitched, while Justin Sarratt retired all four batters he faced to record his first career save.

J.P. Goldsberry (3-5), the first of five Paladin pitchers, suffered the loss. He yielded four hits, five runs, and five walks with three strikeouts in 3.0 innings pitched.

Meanwhile, the Tiger bats pounded out 14 hits, led by Boyd's and Paulsen's four-hit game. Boyd, who went 3-for-3 against UNC Wilmington on Sunday, had a hit in each of his first four at-bats to give him seven consecutive hits before he grounded out in his last at-bat. He also added a double, triple, two runs, and three RBIs in the game. He is 9-for-11 (.818) in the last three games as well.

Paulsen's two-run homer in the third inning highlighted his offensive output. In five career games at Fluor Field, the junior is 15-for-22 (.682) with four doubles, two homers, 10 RBIs, and nine runs.

The Tigers wasted little time taking the game's first lead in the first inning. Chris Epps led off with a walk on four pitches and went to third on Mike Freeman's double to left field. The two-bagger extended Freeman's hitting streak to 10 games, the longest by a Tiger in 2009. After the next two Tigers were retired and Kyle Parker walked to load the bases, Boyd belted the first pitch to left-center for a two-out, three-run double.

In the third inning, Jeff Schaus led off with a walk and Paulsen followed with a two-run homer to right-center, his 11th long ball of the season.

The Tigers added to their lead in the top of the fifth inning. Boyd led off with a single through the right side and Brad Miller followed with a walk. After John Nester grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, Jason Stolz reached on a bunt single to score Boyd, giving the Tigers a 6-0 lead.

Will Miller put the Paladins on the scoreboard when he led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a home run to left field, his fifth long ball of the season.

In the seventh inning, Boyd led off with his fourth hit of the game and seventh hit in a row over the last two games. His single down the right-field line, Brad Miller's bloop single to left-center, and Nester's sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third. Stolz then singled to left-center to score two runs, upping the Tigers' lead to 8-1.

But the Paladins put together a rally of their own in the eighth inning to narrow the margin. Marcus Rose led off with a single through the left side and scored on Justin Holloway's double to right-center. After the next two Paladins were retired and Reese Wade walked, Campbell Lewis hit a three-run homer to left-center, his fifth long ball of the season, to cut Clemson's lead to 8-5.

After Andrew Cadger followed with a double to left, the Tigers called on Sarratt. The junior righthander retired the next four Paladins to close out the three-run win for the Tigers.

Along with four hits by both Boyd and Paulsen, Stolz went 2-for-3 with a career-high three RBIs, two walks, and a stolen base. In the freshman's last three games, he is 5-for-7 (.714) with five RBIs, four runs, and five walks.

Holloway led Furman's 10-hit attack by going 3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI.

Clemson will play its final home game of the regular season on Tuesday when it hosts College of Charleston at 6:30 PM. The Cougars own the nation's longest active winning streak at 10.

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