John Hinson, Phil Pohl, and Brad Miller, the Tigers’ 1-2-3 batters in the lineup, combined to go 9-for-12 with four RBIs and five runs in #16 Clemson’s 8-3 victory over East Tennessee State in front of 1,421 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Wednesday night. The Tigers, who won their sixth game in a row, improved to 34-15, while the Buccaneers dropped to 31-17. It was the first meeting between the two since 2003.
The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead with two first-inning runs, then Clemson added four more runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-0 lead. The Buccaneers scored single runs in the sixth, seventh, and ninth innings, but they could not put together a big inning or take advantage of three Clemson errors.
Freshman righthander Kevin Pohle (4-1) pitched a career-long 5.0 innings to earn the win in his first career start. The Saint Louis, MO native allowed just three hits (all singles), no runs, and one walk with two strikeouts. Pohle along with four Tiger relievers combined to limit East Tennessee State to one hit in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Clinton Freeman (3-3), the first of four Buccaneer hurlers, suffered the loss. He gave up 10 hits, six runs, and two walks with one strikeout in 4.0 innings pitched.
The Tigers wasted little time taking the game’s first lead in the first inning. Hinson led off with an infield single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and advanced to third on Pohl’s double to right field. Miller then fisted a single to left-center to score Hinson and Pohl.
In the fifth inning, Jason Stolz led off with a single through the left side. Hinson followed with a double to left-center to score Stolz. Pohl singled to right field to advance Hinson to third, then Miller bounced a single through the left side to plate Hinson. Richie Shaffer followed with a double to right-center to score Pohl and Miller, giving the Tigers a 6-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth inning, Dylan Pratt hit a one-out single through the left side that was aided by a bad hop and went to third on Kerry Doane’s single to right field. Two batters later, Cory Betterson grounded a two-out single through the right side to score Pratt. The Tigers had pitched 37.0 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run before the Buccaneers’ earned run in the frame.
The Tigers responded in the bottom of the sixth inning when Chris Epps belted an opposite-field, solo homer to left-center, his sixth long ball of the season and first since March 29.
In the seventh inning, Paul Hoilman crushed a solo homer to left field, his 17th home run of the year.
Clemson added an insurance run in the eighth inning. Jeff Schaus led off with a double to left-center and advanced to third base on Addison Johnson’s groundout to second. Schaus then scored on a passed ball.
In the ninth inning, Michael Gonzalez led off with a walk. Two batters later, Andrew Green reached one a one-out, infield single and both runners moved up a base on Hinson’s throwing error on the play. Bo Reeder’s sacrifice fly to center plated Gonzalez, then Hoilman drew a two-out walk. But Derek Trent lined out to deep centerfield to end the game.
Miller went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and a run to lead Clemson, who totaled 14 hits in the game. Hinson went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI, and two runs, while Pohl went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs. Clemson was 5-for-8 with runners in scoring position as well.
Will Lamb, who tossed 2.0 innings in relief with three strikeouts, went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 24 games, tied for the fifth-longest in school history and tied for the longest by an ACC player in 2011.
Green went 3-for-5 to lead the Buccaneers, who had eight hits in the contest.
Clemson will travel to Blacksburg, VA to take on Virginia Tech in a three-game series starting Friday at 5:30 PM.
STORY FROM CLEMSON SID