Freshman Dominic Attanasio went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three runs to lead #15 Clemson to a 9-2 victory over Elon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. The Tigers, who upped their winning streak to five games by winning both games of the midweek series, improved to 12-7 overall. The Phoenix dropped to 15-8 on the season.
The Phoenix took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, then Clemson scored two runs in the second, two runs in the third, and three runs in the fourth to pull away. The victory was Jack Leggett’s 1,158th as a head coach, tying him with Jack Brayton for 19th place on the all-time wins list by a head coach at a Division I school.
Four Tiger pitchers combined to limit Elon to two runs on nine hits, eight of which were singles, and one walk. Starter Will Lamb (1-0) earned the win in a scheduled short start. In 4.0 innings pitched, he allowed six hits, two runs (one earned), and no walks with three strikeouts. David Haselden, Jon Surber, and Joseph Moorefield combined to pitch 5.0 scoreless innings of three-hit ball to close out the game.
Freshman Grant Fisher (0-1), the first of three Elon pitchers, suffered the loss. He yielded seven hits, seven runs (five earned), and no walks in 4.0 innings pitched in his first career start.
Elon wasted little time taking the game’s first lead in the first inning. Jake Luce led off with a single up the middle and stole second when his slide jarred the ball loose from the Tiger fielder’s glove at second base on a would-be caught stealing. Niko Fraser slapped a seeing-eye single through the right side to move Luce to third, then Luce scored on Sebastian Gomez’s sacrifice fly to center.
The Tigers took the lead in the second inning. Jon McGibbon hit a one-out single through the right side and Jason Stolz followed with a single through the left side. Chris Epps hit a grounder headed for centerfield, but shortstop Neal Pritchard made a nice stop and threw backhanded to force Stolz at second for out #2. After Epps stole second, Spencer Kieboom blooped a single down the right-field line to score McGibbon and Epps.
In the third inning, the Tigers took advantage of an Elon error to triple their lead. Attanasio led off with a single through the left side. Lamb laid down a bunt back to Fisher, who threw errantly to second base. Attanasio advanced to third and Lamb moved to second on the error. Jeff Schaus lined a sacrifice fly to right field to score Attanasio, then Richie Shaffer laced a 1-2 pitch through the left side for a single to score Lamb.
In the top of the fourth inning, Elon capitalized on a Tiger error to cut into Clemson’s lead. Seth Canipe hit a one-out single through the left side and stole second with two outs. Harry Austin then hit a slow grounder to Stolz, whose throw to first was errant. It allowed Canipe to score from the second base on the play.
The Tigers responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Epps lined a one-out single to right field and Kieboom was hit-by-pitch. Steve Wilkerson lofted a flyball to shallow left field and Luce made a diving catch for out #2. His throw to second base in an attempt to double-up Epps was errant and allowed both runners to move up a base. Then while an Elon infielder lobbed the ball back into the infield, an alert Epps took off for home and easily scored. Attanasio followed with an opposite-field, two-run homer down the left-field line, the first long ball of his career, to up Clemson’s lead to 7-2.
In the seventh inning, Attanasio led off with a single up the middle on a 1-2 pitch and Lamb lined a single to left field to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Schaus bounced a single through the right side to score Attanasio, then Shaffer lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to score Lamb.
In his second career start, Attanasio had a game-high three hits to lead Clemson, who had 11 hits in the game. Eight other Tigers accounted for the Tigers’ remaining hits. Schaus, Shaffer, and Kieboom all added two RBIs apiece.
Luce and Gomez had two hits apiece for Elon, who had nine hits in the contest.
Clemson will travel to Raleigh, NC to face N.C. State in a three-game series beginning Friday at 6:30 PM.