Clemson (3-0) couldn’t ask for a better start to the season from its pitching staff (1.33 ERA) or sophomore catcher Adam Hackenburg (.462). Hackenburg sparked the Tigers by going 3 for 4 with three RBI’s and the pitching staff delivered another brilliant performance in a 6-2 win over Liberty at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Sunday.
Clemson starter Spencer Strider fanned four and didn’t allow a run over the first three innings before the Flames got to Mat Clark for a pair of runs in the top half of the fifth. Clark (1-0) bounced back with a scoreless sixth before giving way for the debut of freshman right-hander Carter Raffield. Raffield, Geoffrey Gilbert and Carson Spiers shut down Liberty the rest of the way by tossing a scoreless frame, apiece. Gilbert was particularly effective in the eighth, striking out a pair and retiring the Flames on just 11 pitches.
James Parker scored the go-ahead run in the fifth on Hackenberg’s single before putting the game out of reach with a solo homer in the seventh. Elijah Henderson drove in the game’s final run when his sacrifice fly plated Bryce Teodosio in the eighth. Henderson has been a dynamo at the top of the Tigers lineup, accruing a .615 on-base percentage and .545 batting average over the first three games.
Clemson is back in action at 4 p.m., Tuesday, playing host to The Citadel.
Monte Lee postgame