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Tigers take down Terriers 6-3

Daniel Green, Contributor

Patrick Cromwell (25) hit the game-tying homerun in the Tigers’ extra inning victory over Winthrop on Tuesday.

For the second week in a row, Clemson struggled against its midweek opponent. Last week against Winthrop, the Tigers had to go to extra innings and won the game on an RBI single from Kyle Wilkie. This week against Wofford, the Tigers took advantage of the free passes the Terriers offered to carve out a 6-3 win.
The Tigers found themselves down early for the first time in three games. Wofford jumped out to an early lead against Travis Marr, who made his first career start for the Tigers, when Mack Nathanson worked a two-out walk. Cody Miller then laced a single to left-center and both came around to score on Andrew Orzel’s double to right. Orzel was thrown out trying to take third to end the inning, but the Terriers were up 2-0 in the first inning.
In the fourth, the Tigers were able to scratch out a run on an RBI groundout from Drew Wharton to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Terriers pulled the run right back in the fifth when Chris Williams and Seth Beer collided trying to make a play on a fly-ball down the right field line. That allowed Alex Malsch to truck all the way to third base without any outs. He later came around to score on a sac-fly from Mack Nathanson, giving the Terriers a 3-1 lead.
Marr continued to struggle with command throughout his outing. He exited the game after the fifth inning and had given up three runs on six hits while walking three and striking out four. While his defense didn’t help him out much, Marr showed some of the same signs of inconsistency he had in his last appearance against Winthrop.
Owen Griffith entered the game in relief, but exited after three batters. He gave up a double, walked one and struck out one. That gave way to Carson Spiers, who stranded both of Griffith’s runners.
The Tigers were uncharacteristically sloppy in both fielding and pitching. While Clemson officially didn’t commit any errors, they had a few mental errors and miscues that contributed to their deficit.
Justin Hawkins, who got his third start of the year, cut the Terriers’ lead to 3-2 when he hit a solo shot to left-center in the bottom of the sixth. Hawkins, who has been part of the rotating door at second base along with Grayson Byrd and Jordan Greene, is emerging as another offensive weapon in the Tiger lineup. With him batting in the seven-hole, he is giving Clemson some production from the bottom portion of its order, which has been a weak point throughout the season.
In the seventh, Logan Davidson tied the game up with another solo homerun, this one to right. That was Davidson’s second homerun of the season, and he continues to be an on-base machine for the Tigers in the leadoff position.
The seventh continued to be productive for the Tigers when three straight walks loaded the bases, and an error scored another Clemson run, making the game 4-2 in Clemson’s favor. Two more walks brought in two more runs, and when the inning came to a close, the Tigers had a 6-3 lead.
The Tigers ended up walking 10 times, had one hit-by-pitch and reached twice on Wofford errors. Patrick Cromwell, who has been a huge part of Clemson’s offensive production, ended up being on base five times, three times via walk, once from being hit and one hit.
The Tigers take on Michigan State Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Fluor Field.

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