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Clemson completes weekend sweep over UNC Greensboro

Freshman+infielder+Jarren+Purify+was+a+star+in+the+No.+10+Tigers+series+sweep+over+the+UNC+Greensboro+Spartans%2C+scoring+a+three-run+homer+in+game+one+and+supplying+four+runs+in+game+three.
Kate Adent
Freshman infielder Jarren Purify was a star in the No. 10 Tigers’ series sweep over the UNC Greensboro Spartans, scoring a three-run homer in game one and supplying four runs in game three.

The No. 10 Clemson Tigers completed their second series sweep of the season over UNC Greensboro, staying hot through their 13th win of the early season. Clemson took game one on Friday by a score of 12-5, game two on Saturday 9-5 and the final on Sunday 6-3.

Although the Tigers fell behind early in all three matchups, they were able to fight back and respond in a dominating fashion each time.

Game 1

Clemson was off to a slow start on Friday, allowing UNC Greensboro to plate four runs in the second inning. Head coach Erik Bakich’s team roared back quickly, however, scoring eight in the second half of the frame.

This scoring run was headed by back-to-back home runs, kicked off by freshman infielder Jarren Purify when he sent a three-run homer to left field. Sophomore star Cam Cannarella immediately followed with a solo, and the Tigers never looked back from there — they allowed just one final run in the fifth and scored four more times as the game progressed.

Game 2

Game two was highlighted by outfielder Tristan Bissetta, whose first hit of the season turned into his first collegiate home run as well, producing a two-run shot to left field.

Bissetta was eager to make a name for himself, as Saturday was also the Greenville native’s first start of the season. Later in the match, he went on to hit another home run and extend Clemson’s lead to 5-2.

“He is one of those guys everyone cheers for because his work ethic is off the charts,” Bakich said of the sophomore.

The Spartans struck early, capitalizing on a sacrifice fly in the top of the first from sophomore Jake Ogden as the Tigers squandered multiple scoring opportunities. They were unable to bring any runs home with bases loaded and only one out in the first and were caught being overly aggressive in the second.

Clemson fought back in the home half of the third, plating two. Alden Mathes delivered a double to right-center field, sending junior Will Taylor and Cannarella across home plate to tie the game at two.

The rally was cut short when infielder Jimmy Obertop was picked off at first, though Clemson added two more runs in the home half of the sixth courtesy of a redeemer single from Obertop to extend their lead to five. Clemson put the game away in the eighth with a two-run hit from senior Blake Wright.

Though Clemson’s starting pitcher Tristan Smith was inefficient early, he was able to throw five innings while only allowing two runs in a strong start. Smith threw 48 pitches in the first two innings and issued leadoff walks in the first three. He allowed just one hit while striking out six in 100 pitches. Because of his performance, the left-hander was able to claim his first win of the season.

Game 3

The final match of the weekend series was highlighted by Purify’s clutch two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning. Purify’s two RBIs separated the Tigers from the Spartans, who were tied at 3-3 before his hit.

Purify had already secured two runs for the Tigers in the previous inning, with the equalizer coming from Cannarella later that frame.

The bottom of the eighth saw Taylor belt his fifth homer of the year when he sent the ball flying towards left field, finalizing the score at 6-3.

Throughout the series, the Tigers’ bullpen performed well, headlined by Smith collecting his first career win in game two. The bullpen struck out 14 total UNC Greensboro batters, six of which came in the first game, for which left-handed pitcher Rocco Reid took the victory. The final win on Sunday went to graduate right-hander Matthew Marchal, with a save coming from fellow right-hander Lucas Mahlstedt.

The Tigers will be back in Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Tuesday at 4 p.m. when they open their series against the Manhattan Jaspers.

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Tyler Skorski, Senior Reporter
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