Duke scored 13 runs in the first four innings and held off a late comeback by Clemson to claim a 14-8 victory at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday night. The win secured the series for the Blue Devils and also guaranteed Clemson its first conference losing season since 2008. The Tigers will enter tomorrow’s regular season finale at 24-25 overall and 16-19 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Blue Devils wasted no time in dispatching of Clemson starting pitcher Keyshaw Askew. Duke plated four runs in the first inning on four base hits, all singles. The visitors then chased Askew in the second inning adding four more runs on a RBI double from Michael Rothenberg and a three-run home run from Chris Crabtree. The long ball was Crabtree’s third in just eleven innings against the Tigers. The senior hit two home runs in the Devils 5-1 triumph on Thursday.
Askew worked just an inning and two-thirds, allowing five runs on four hits while walking one and hitting two batters. The outing was the shortest start this season for the Powder Springs, Georgia native and began a parade of Tigers coming out of the bullpen. All told, Clemson used nine pitchers in relief of Askew, who fell to 1-2 on the season.
Clemson gave the home fans a little hope as they began to rally back from a 13-1 deficit heading to the bottom of the fourth inning. Dylan Brewer started the potential comeback with a two-run home run, his tenth of the season. In the fifth, the Tigers got an RBI groundout from catcher Jonathan French. Then in the sixth, Bryar Hawkins delivered with the bases loaded, launching his first career grand slam over the wall in left centerfield. The big fly pulled the Tigers within five heading into the final three innings.
However, Duke added an insurance run in the 7th and kept the Tigers off the scoreboard the rest of the way to pull out the 14-8 victory. The series finale is set for Saturday afternoon at 1pm.
Monte Lee Postgame Comments