Clemson ace Davis Sharpe struck out nine over five scoreless innings before giving way to Mat Clark, who shut down Cincinnati the rest of the way in a 5-0 opening day win at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Friday. Sharpe (1-0, 0.00) baffled the Bearcats with an array of sliders, giving up just one hit and one walk in his first start since March 7th of last year. Cincinnati fared no better against Clark as the southpaw struck out six in four innings to record the save. At one point, Sharpe and Clark combined to retire 18 consecutive batters.
Clemson’s offense didn’t get rolling until getting into the Bearcats’ bullpen. Highly-touted lefthander Evan Shawver scattered four hits and held the Tigers off the scoreboard over four innings of work. Clemson took advantage of Shawver’s exit and touched up Cincinnati’s pen for five runs over the next three frames. Right fielder Dylan Brewer drove in the game’s first run with an RBI single in the fifth and catcher Jonathan French followed with a three-run homer in the seventh.
The series continues at 3 p.m., Saturday and will conclude at 1 p.m., Sunday. A pair of freshmen are scheduled to start the next two games with righthander Ty Olenchuk (6-1, 205, Dutch Fork HS) going Saturday and lefthander Caden Grice (6-6, 240, Riverside HS) taking the bump in Game 3.