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Baseball completes sweep of William and Mary with a 2-1 victory

Daniel Green, Contributor

Left-handed pitcher Jake Higginbotham (24) made his first start since his freshman year on Sunday. He pitched 5.2 innings and allowed just one run on two hits.

For the first time this series, Clemson took an early lead against William and Mary thanks to a Drew Wharton RBI groundout in the second inning. The Tigers doubled the lead in the fourth after Justin Hawkins was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Starter Jake Higginbotham had his first appearance in 666 days. He sat the first 16 batters he faced before running into trouble in the sixth inning. Owen Socher hit a double to left field and later came around to score off an RBI single from Zach Pearson.
With the lineup about to flip over for the third time, Higginbotham was pulled in favor of Travis Marr, who redshirted last year due to a shoulder injury.
Marr was able to end the inning without further damage and shut the Tribe down for the next 2.2 innings, allowing no hits and only one baserunner.
Both Marr and Higginbotham were excited to get the opportunity to play again.
“It felt good. It was just a relief to get back out there. I’ve worked hard to get healthy and stay healthy,” Higginbotham said.
“It was great to get out there and throw in front of this home crowd,” Marr said.
Ryley Gilliam came into the game to close the game in the ninth inning and closed the door on a Tribe comeback.
Offensively, the Tigers continued to struggle with runners in scoring position as they left 10 on base. Overall, Clemson’s bats only managed to produce six hits.
Head Coach Monte Lee was disappointed in his team’s offensive effort. “We have to find a way to swing the bats. I’m a little frustrated just because of our expectations on offense … we just have to free it up and swing a little bit more,” he said.
Clemson also had a couple baserunning errors. They ended the day 1-3 on stolen bases, but the two failed attempts hurt. The first attempted steal was by Seth Beer in the first inning. He was hit by a pitch with two outs but thrown out trying to steal second on a ball in the dirt. Had he not attempted the steal or made it safely, Chris Williams would have had the opportunity to continue the inning.
The second failed attempt directly impacted the score. Bryce Teodosio, who was pinch running for Robert Jolly, was thrown out at second with Kyle Wilkie at the plate. The very next pitch, Wilkie laced a ball down the left field line for a double. Teodosio would have been able to score on the play, increasing Clemson’s lead. Instead, the inning ended with no runs for the Tigers.
The Tigers take on Furman in a midweek matchup Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

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