CLEMSON, S.C.- After dropping the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Tigers roared back in game two, beating Duke 14-9 to pick up the team’s first ACC win of the season.
Clemson pounded out 18 hits, putting runners on base in every inning. After stranding 16 runners in the game one loss, the Tigers were much more successful at coming up with keys hits in this one, going 6-of-18 with runners in scoring position.
“I like the way our guys responded in game two,” Erik Bakich said. “They came out swinging, hitting the ball hard and finding ways to score. Getting on base, getting a lot hits and making things happen.”
Freshman Cam Cannarella led the way, hitting 5-for-6, with two doubles, two RBI and three runs scored. Fellow freshman Nathan Hall added three hits and two RBI, with Caden Grice also recording three hits, including his first home run of the season.
“A lot of guys contributing up and down the lineup,” Bakich said. “Got some big hits. The run scoring hits that escaped us in game one.”
Clemson got on the board first, with Hall driving in two runs on a single in the first. Hall and Riley Bertram would then pull off a well-executed double steal to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead. Duke would tie it right back up in the top of the second, plating three runs of their own.
A sacrifice fly from Will Taylor in the third would put Clemson back on top 4-3, with the Blue Devils coming right back to in the top of the fourth with two more runs to take a 5-4 lead.
The Tigers would break it open in the bottom half of the fourth, scoring five times to take a 9-5 lead. Grice, Cannarella, Cooper Ingle and Taylor all drove in runs in the inning.
Casey Tallent (1-0) earned the win in relief by tossing 1.2 innings, while Nick Hoffmann pitched the final 4.2 innings to record his first save of the year.
With the win, Clemson improves to 12-8 on the season and 1-1 in ACC play. It’s the Tigers’ seventh win in the past eight games.
Player of the Game: Cannarella just continues to pound away. After his five hits, the freshman is now hitting .442 on the season and has 16 RBI.
Key Moment: In the bottom of the third, with the game tied at 5-5, Cannarella ripped a double to left, knocking in Grice and Benjamin Blackwell and giving Clemson a two-run lead that it would never surrender. The Tigers would score a total of five runs in the inning and take a commanding 9-5 lead.
Stat of the Game: The two teams combined to hit seven home runs in the game, with all but one traveling more than 400 feet.
Up Next: The two teams will play the rubber game of the weekend series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
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