Pitching less than 15 miles from his hometown of Gaffney, SC, graduate righthander Justin Sarratt tossed 6.0 innings without allowing an earned run to lead #16 Clemson to a 5-1 victory over Gardner-Webb in front of a school-record 1,328 fans at John Henry Moss Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers, who swept the three-game series at two different sites, improved to 32-15, while the Bulldogs dropped to 28-17-1. It was the first-ever meeting between the two teams away from Clemson’s Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, then the Bulldogs scored an unearned run in the second inning. Hits by Will Lamb and Chris Epps drove in one run apiece in the sixth inning, then Richie Shaffer’s solo homer in the eighth inning provided for the final four-run margin for the Tigers, who won their sixth game in a row on the road.
Sarratt (6-1) pitched 6.0 strong innings in a starting role to earn the win. He allowed four hits, one unearned run, and one walk with six strikeouts. Sarratt also increased his streak of not allowing an earned run to 26.0 innings pitched. David Haselden pitched 2.0 perfect innings with five strikeouts, then Scott Weisman retired all three batters he faced in the ninth inning to close out the game.
Emilio Pagan (3-2), the first of three Bulldog pitchers, suffered the loss. In 5.2 innings pitched, he surrendered nine hits, four runs (two earned), and one walk with three strikeouts.
In the first inning, John Hinson hit the first pitch of the game through the right side for a single, then Phil Pohl lined the next pitch to left field for a single. After both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, Brad Miller lined a sacrifice fly to center to score Hinson. Two batters later, Jeff Schaus hit a two-out single through the right side to score Pohl.
In the second inning, Aaron Miller reached with one out on a throwing error by Hinson, Clemson’s first error of the series, and advanced to second on Adam McFarland’s groundout to first. After Zeke Blanton walked, John Harris lined a two-out single to left-center to score Miller.
Clemson tripled its lead in the sixth inning. Schaus reached with one out on an error by second-baseman Daniel Merck and stole second. Lamb followed with a double to right-center to score Schaus and up his hitting streak to 22 games. Two batters later, Epps lined a two-out single to right-center to score Lamb.
Shaffer led off the eighth inning with a line-drive, solo home run to left field, his seventh long ball of the season.
Pohl, Shaffer, Schaus, and Epps all had two hits apiece to lead Clemson, who totaled 10 hits in the game.
Four different Bulldogs accounted for Gardner-Webb’s four hits.
Clemson will travel to Greenville, SC to take on Furman at Fluor Field on Tuesday at 7:00 PM.