Tigers Play Long Ball, Bash Hokies 13-5

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CLEMSON - Wilson Boyd, Ben Paulsen, and Kyle Parker each hit home runs to highlight Clemson's 13-5 victory over Virginia Tech on Friday in game-one of a three-game series in front of 4,885 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers improved to 22-20-1, and 8-13-1 in the ACC, while the Hokies fell to 18-24, and 4-18 in conference play.

Boyd went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and four RBIs to lead Clemson's 10-hit attack. Parker added a three-run homer and Paulsen had two hits including a double and a solo home run. Sean O'Brien and Steve Bumbry each homered for the Hokies.

Five Tiger pitchers contributed to the win. Richmond, VA native Graham Stoneburner (5-2) earned the win, allowing five hits and three runs (one earned) in 5.0 innings pitched in a starting role. Rhett Ballard (2-5) pitched 4.0 innings, as he allowed eight runs (five earned) on five hits to take the loss.

The Tigers took an early 4-0 lead in the first. Mike Freeman reached on a two-base throwing error by shortstop Tony Balisteri. Jeff Schaus then put runners on the corners with a single through the right side. Boyd followed with a towering three-run homer over the left-field fence. It was his sixth homer of the year and first since the Tigers faced College of Charleston in the fifth game the season on February 29. Paulsen doubled to right before third baseman Michael Seaborn's throwing error on Parker's grounder allowed him to score.

Clemson scored a run in the fourth as Schaus drew a two-out walk before Boyd drove him in with a double to left.

The Tigers charged ahead with three more runs in the fifth. Paulsen led off the frame with a solo home run to center off a 0-2 pitch. It was his 12th of the season. Parker and Chris Epps then drew back-to-back walks. The bases became loaded as Doug Hogan reached on a bunt to the pitcher and Parker reached third on a throwing error by pitcher Kyle Cichy. Parker then came around to score on a fielder's choice from John Hinson. J. Hinson then executed a perfect double steal, as Epps crossed the plate way ahead of the throw home to increase the lead to 8-0.

The Hokie's four-run sixth inning was highlighted by O'Brian's sixth homer of the year, a two-run shot to right.

Virginia Tech cut the lead to 8-5 in the seventh as Bumbry led off with a solo homer to right. It marked his fourth of the season.

The Tigers answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. Epps led off with a walk, stole second, and then scored on Stan Widmann's single through the left side.

Parker highlighted a four-run eighth inning with his seventh long ball of the season, a three-run shot to right.

Clemson and Virginia Tech will play game-two of the three-game series on Saturday at 7:00 PM.

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