The #13 Clemson Tigers totaled a season-high 17 hits in their 12-1 win over Western Carolina at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Wednesday night. The Tigers, who earlier defeated the Catamounts 12-9 in Cullowhee, NC on April 9, improved to 28-13 on the season. Western Carolina fell to 27-17 in 2013. The loss snapped the Catamounts’ eight-game winning streak that started after Clemson’s win in Cullowhee.
Clemson broke the game open with four runs in the third inning and four runs in the fourth inning. The Tigers added three runs in the sixth inning to tie their season high in runs with 12. Meanwhile, the Clemson pitching staff limited Western Carolina, who entered the week first in the nation in doubles, fifth in hits, and seventh in home runs, to only one run on nine hits in the game.
Freshman lefthander Zack Erwin (3-0) earned the win in his first career start. In 5.0 innings pitched, he yielded four hits, one run, and one walk with four strikeouts. Brody Koerner, Joseph Moorefield, Clay Bates, and Jackson Campana all kept the Catamounts off the scoreboard during the final four innings.
Freshman righty Jonathan Waszak (0-1) suffered the loss in his first career start. In 2.0 innings pitched, he gave up four hits, three runs, and one walk with two strikeouts.
The Tigers scored the game’s first run in the second inning when Tyler Krieger lined a one-out single to right field to score Shane Kennedy, who led off with a double down the right-field line and moved to third on Joe Costigan’s groundout.
In the third inning, Tyler Slaton led off with an infield single and Steve Wilkerson walked. After both runners moved up a base on Steven Duggar’s sacrifice bunt, Garrett Bouwlare laced a single to center to score Slaton and Wilkerson. After Kennedy reached on a bunt single, both runners went in motion as Jon Nadale tried to pick Kennedy off first. But the throw was errant and both Boulware and Kennedy scored on the error to give Clemson a 5-0 lead.
Clemson added four runs to its lead in the fourth inning. Jon McGibbon led off with a single to center and advanced to second two batters later on Slaton’s one-out, bloop single to left field. Wilkerson followed with a double to left field to score McGibbon. After Duggar walked to load the bases, Slaton scored on a passed ball, then Boulware flared a single to left-center to score Wilkerson and Duggar.
In the fifth inning, Dykota Spiess reached on an infield single with one out and moved to third on Dale Urquhart’s double over the third-base bag. Spiess scored on Bradley Strong’s bunt single, but Austin Neary grounded into an inning-ending double play to keep Clemson ahead 9-1.
In the sixth inning, Duggar led off with a single through the left side and advanced to third on Boulware’s single up the middle. Kennedy plated Duggar on a sacrifice fly to center. After Costigan singled to right and Krieger walked to load the bases, McGibbon was hit-by-pitch to score Boulware. Two batters later with two outs, pinch-hitter Mike Triller reached on an infield single to score Costigan.
Six different Tigers had multiple hits in Clemson’s 17-hit performance. Boulware went 3-for-4 with a game-high four RBIs and two runs. Slaton, Duggar, and Kennedy all added two hits and two runs apiece, while Triller and McGibbon also tallied two hits apiece.
Strong went 2-for-2 with an RBI to lead the Catamounts, who had nine hits in the contest.
Clemson will host #19 Georgia Tech in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this weekend starting Friday at 7:00 PM. The game will be televised by CSS.