Tigers hammer Heels in 20-hit attack, sweep doubleheader to start ACC play

by - Senior Writer -
Sam Hall had a big night for the Tigers (Photo by David Grooms)
Sam Hall had a big night for the Tigers (Photo by David Grooms)

CLEMSON – Clemson scored early. Clemson scored often. Clemson scored a lot.

Sam Hall had four hits and drove in four runs, Grayson Byrd had four hits and drove in five, and Bryar Hawkins homered, had four hits and drove in three as part of a 20-hit attack as Clemson defeated No. 3 North Carolina 17-3 Saturday night at Tiger Field in the second game of a doubleheader. Clemson won the first game 3-2 and wins the first ACC series of the season with the win.

Clemson had three players with four hits for the first time since 2003.

Clemson improves to 11-3 overall and 2-0 in the ACC while North Carolina falls to 12-3 overall and 0-2 in the ACC. Game three of the series is Sunday at 1 pm.

Clemson scored two runs in the first, four runs in the second, two in the third, three in the fourth and five in the fifth.

Starter Mat Clark earned the win with six stellar innings, giving up two runs, walking one and striking out five. UNC starter Tyler Baum pitched just 1 2/3 innings and gave up eight hits and six earned runs.

"We threw the ball very well today," head coach Monte Lee said. "Davis Sharpe and Jacob Hennessy gave us what we needed in game one, and then in game two we scored early and swung the bats very, very well and got that momentum going and couldn't slow down. Big day for a bunch of guys. Bryar hawkins had a big day and Kier Meredith had a big day. It was great to win the series here today."

Hall led off the game with a double to left-center and scored on Byrd’s single up the middle. Kyle Wilkie walked to move Byrd to second, and Byrd scored on Davis Sharpe’s RBI single to left to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.

Jordan Greene doubled to left-center to lead off the bottom of the second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Logan Davidson walked with two out, stole second, and both runners scored on Byrd’s two-run single to left. Byrd moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Wilkie’s double down the right field line. Bryar Hawkins followed that with a run-scoring single to right to score Wilkie, and the Tigers had a 6-1 lead after two innings.

Kier Meredith was hit by a pitch with one out in the third and moved to third on Hall’s single to right. Meredith scored on Davidson’s RBI groundout and Byrd’s double down the right field line scored Hall for an 8-1 Clemson lead.

Hall’s three-run double down the left field line scored Hawkins, Green, and Meredith and the Tigers led 11-1 after four innings.

Clemson completely blew it open in the bottom of the fifth. Adam Hackenberg walked to lead off the inning and scored on Hawkins’ two-run shot to left. The Tar Heels got two quick outs but Greene walked, Meredith reached on an infield single, and Greene scored on Hall’s single to left. Davidson followed that with a single to center to score Meredith and Byrd’s single to right scored Hall for the 16-2 lead.

Clemson added a final run in the eighth.

Freshman lefty Keyshawn Askew will make his first weekend start for the Tigers in Sunday’s series finale.

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