CLEMSON, SC -- Top-ranked Clemson totaled 14 hits, including five doubles and a triple, on its way to a 7-5 win over The Citadel Saturday night in front of a season-high 3,474 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Clemson (22-3) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Brian Ellis led off with the first of his two doubles. Patrick Boyd tripled to right center to drive home Ellis and scored on Khalil Greene's sacrifice fly. The Citadel (18-8) had allowed just two runs in the first inning of games this season.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the fourth inning when Brook Dantzler doubled down the left-field line, scoring Philip Hartig.
Clemson responded with four runs in the fourth. Greene led off with a walk and scored on Michael Johnson's second double of the game. Johnson, a Georgetown, SC native, hit both doubles off Kyle Bunn (3-3), a fellow Georgetown native. Bunn suffered the loss.
Jeff Baker put the Tigers ahead 4-1 when his line-drive single to left plated Johnson. Baker, a freshman, has at least two hits in five straight games and is hitting a team-best .367. Back-to-back-to-back singles by Henri Stanley, Ryan Riley, and Mike Calitri ensued, as Calitri's hit brought home Stanley. Two batters later, Ellis doubled to plate Riley.
The Citadel came right back with three runs in the fifth. Jay Morgan doubled and Andy Phillips followed with an infield single. Chris Morris, who stole bases #36 and 37 in the game, drove home Morgan with a single. Tavy Smalls followed with a single to plate Phillips. Hartig later singled to left to drive in Morris from third, but Smalls was thrown out at the plate by Stanley to end the inning.
Clemson added a single run in the sixth when Casey Stone singled up the middle to bring home Riley.
Clemson turned to closer Nick Glaser in the ninth to close out the game after the Tigers failed to score after getting runners at second and third and no outs in the eighth inning. The Citadel capitalized on Clemson's misfortune. David Griffin led off the ninth with a single and Phillips double two batters later. Morris then singled, plating Griffin, making the score 7-5. After Morris stole second, the Bulldogs had runners at second and third and one out. But Glaser was up to the challenge, as he struck out Smalls and got Stuart Jordan to ground out to shortstop to end the game.
Tiger starter Jarrod Schmidt (3-0) earned the win, despite allowing nine hits and four runs in 7.1 innings. Glaser earned his ninth save, which is tied for the fourth most in a season by a Tiger.
Bulldog third baseman Dallas McPherson's 23-game hitting streak came to an end, as he went 0-for-4. Morris led The Citadel with two hits, two RBIs, and two stolen bases. Hartig, Smalls, and Hartig added two hits apiece.
Six Tigers led the balanced Tiger offensive attack with two hits, including Riley, who scored two runs. Clemson's batting average jumped to .298 thanks to hitting 68-for-179 (.380) over the last five games. Before that stretch, Clemson was hitting .275.
The two teams will conclude the series Sunday at 2:00 PM.