Tigers trounce Dawgs in Athens

Clemson downs Georgia 15-5 with 15 hits to take game-one of the home-and-home midweek series.

BOX SCORE: Clemson 15 Georgia 5

John Hinson went 2-for-3 with a grand slam and a career-high five RBIs to lead No. 11 Clemson to a 15-5 victory over Georgia in front of 3,783 fans at Foley Field on Tuesday night. The Tigers, who took a 1-0 lead in the home-and-home midweek series, improved to 21-8, while Georgia fell to 10-18.

The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and scored six more runs in the second inning to take a commanding lead. Clemson added a run in the seventh and five runs in the eighth for the 10-run win. The victory snapped Georgia's four-game winning streak over the Tigers in the series.

Freshman starter Dominic Leone (2-0) earned the win in 6.0 strong innings. He established career-highs for innings pitched and strikeouts (7) while allowing just four hits, two runs, and one walk.

Eric Swegman (0-2), the first of six Georgia pitchers, suffered the loss, as he failed to retire a batter while allowing two hits, three runs, and two walks.

The Tigers wasted little time taking the game's first lead in the first inning. Chris Epps led off with a single to center and Mike Freeman walked. Jeff Schaus followed with a double down the right-field line to score Epps and Freeman. Two batters later, Brad Miller hit a sacrifice fly to left to plate Schaus.

Thanks to eight hits, Clemson added six runs to its lead in the second inning. John Nester led off with a double to right-center. On the next pitch, Epps grounded a single through the right side to score Nester. After Freeman's single up the middle moved Epps to third, Schaus singled through the left side to bring home Epps. Kyle Parker followed with a single to left to score Freeman and Wilson Boyd singled up the middle to score Schaus. Two batters later with two outs, Hinson singled up the middle to score Parker. After Hinson went to third on an error, Will Lamb reached on an infield single to score Hinson.

The Bulldogs dented the scoreboard in the third inning. Kevin Ruiz led off with a single to right field and scored three batters later on Peter Verdin's two-out double down the left-field line.

In the fourth inning, Zach Cone led off with a triple to center and scored on Robert Shipman's groundout to second.

In the seventh inning, Boyd reached on an error. Four batters later, Nester lofted a sacrifice fly to left to score Boyd.

The Tigers kept the pressure on in the eighth inning. Freeman led off with a double to left-center and Schaus walked. Parker's infield single plated Freeman and Miller walked to load the bases. Hinson then unloaded the bases with a grand slam to right field, his third long ball of the season. It was also Hinson's first career grand slam and Clemson's fifth grand slam of the season.

In the ninth inning, Ruiz hit a one-out single to third and went to third base on pinch-hitter Carson Schilling's double to left field. Both Ruiz and Schilling scored on pinch-hitter Todd Hankins' single through the left side. After pinch-hitter Lance Martin's infield single and Levi Hyams' walk, Cone hit a sacrifice fly to left to plate Hankins.

Hinson, a sophomore from Asheville, NC, led Clemson's 15-hit attack with his eighth-inning grand slam and five RBIs. Epps went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs, Freeman went 2-for-5 with three runs, and Schaus went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, three runs, and two walks. Parker and Nester added two hits apiece as well.

Ruiz had a team-high two hits and two runs for Georgia, who had 10 hits in the game.

Clemson will host Georgia at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Wednesday at 6:30 PM.

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