It was the most runs scored by the Tigers since 2006. Clemson improved to 14-2, while the Eagles fell to 9-9.
The Tigers scored eight runs in the first inning thanks to four home runs, including going deep back-to-back twice in the opening frame. Clemson added four runs in the third inning and eight runs in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach.
Tiger freshman reliever Mike Kent (1-0) earned the win in his first career appearance. In 3.1 innings pitched, he allowed two hits, no runs, and one walk with three strikeouts. Chris Beck (0-3), the first of seven Eagle hurlers, suffered the loss, as he yielded five runs on five hits in 0.1 innings pitched.
In the top of the first inning, Shawn Payne led off with an infield single. Two batters later, Kyle Blackburn walked and A.J. Wirnsberger loaded the bases when he reached on a fielding error. Steve Cochrane plated Payne on a sacrifice fly to center.
With the flags completely still, the Tigers responded with eight runs thanks in part to four home runs in the bottom of the first inning. Mike Freeman hit a one-out triple to right-center and Jeff Schaus followed with a two-run homer to right field. Kyle Parker then hit the eighth pitch of his at-bat over the left-field fence for a solo homer, his eighth long ball of the year. Wilson Boyd lined a single through the right side, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on John Hinson's single up the middle. After Will Lamb walked, John Nester belted a three-run homer to left field, his first home run of the season. Addison Johnson made it back-to-back long balls for the second time in the inning when he hit a solo homer down the right-field line, his second home run of the year.
In the second inning, Parker hit a one-out double to right field, advanced to third on Boyd's groundout, and scored on a passed ball.
The Eagles cut into Clemson's lead in the top of the third inning. Blackburn hit a one-out single up the middle. Two batters later with two outs, Cochrane walked and Eric Phillips reached on an infield single to load the bases. Victor Roache then lined an 0-2 pitch through the left side for a single to score Blackburn and Cochrane.
Clemson came right back and scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 10-run lead. Nester led off with a double down the left-field line and Johnson walked. After both runners moved up a base on a balk, they both scored on Brad Miller's double to right-center. Miller advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Freeman's groundout. Miller's run meant that every Tiger starter scored at least one run by the third inning. Schaus followed with a double down the right-field line. After Parker lined out for out #2, Boyd hit a double to left-center to score Schaus. Through three innings, the Tigers totaled 13 runs and 12 hits, including five doubles, one triple, and four home runs.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Eagles scored three runs thanks to two costly Tiger errors. Payne drew a one-out walk, then Kevin Bowles hit a potential inning-ending, double-play grounder. But Lamb dropped the throw at first and Payne scored on the play. Wirnsberger followed with a two-run homer down the left-field line, his sixth long ball of the season.
The Tigers answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Lamb led off with a walk and Nester followed with a hit-by-pitch. Johnson then singled to left-center to score Nester.
After a scoreless fifth inning, the Tigers added eight runs to their lead in the sixth inning. Lamb led off with a double up the middle, meaning every Tiger starter had at least one hit. Spencer Kieboom, who came off the bench earlier in the inning, lined an opposite-field double down the right-field line to score Lamb. It was the freshman's first career hit. After Miller and Freeman walked to load the bases, Schaus lined a grand slam to right, his second homer of the game and sixth of the season. Pinch-hitter Chris Epps followed with a solo homer down the right-field line, his third long ball of the year. It was the third time in the game that Clemson hit back-to-back home runs. Boyd then grounded a double down the left-field line. Two batters later, pinch-hitter Richie Shaffer grounded a single through the left side to advance Boyd to third, then Boyd scored on a wild pitch. Kieboom followed with his second double of the inning, this time to left-center, to score Shaffer.
Schaus paced Clemson's 21-hit attack by going 3-for-5 with two homers and six RBIs, both career-highs, and three runs. Schaus' six RBIs were also the most by a Tiger in 2010. Parker added three hits, including a home run, while Boyd went 3-for-6 with two doubles. Johnson, Nester, and Epps also went deep for the Tigers.
Wirnsberger and Phillips had two hits apiece for Georgia Southern, who had nine hits in the game.
Clemson will host Virginia Tech in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium starting Friday at 6:30 PM.
Tigers rip Georgia Southern
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