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Clemson’s bullpen, offense too much for Indiana in game two of opening weekend

Ashley Stout, Contributor

Clemson baseball team gathers in the dugout during a game at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Clemson baseball overcame an early four-run deficit by responding with 19 unanswered runs to defeat the Indiana Hoosiers 19-4 on Saturday.  

Indiana started the game with a bang when second baseman Tyler Doanes hit a home run on the first pitch of the game to give Indiana a 1-0 lead. 

The Hoosiers weren’t done there, as catcher Matthew Ellis also hit a solo home run in the first inning to make it 2-0 Indiana.  

Indiana tacked on two more runs in the second inning off back-to-back doubles from left fielder Carter Mathison and designated hitter Brock Tibbitts, followed by an RBI single from Doanes. 

Clemson began its comeback in the third inning, when third baseman Bryar Hawkins hit an RBI double into right field that shortstop Benjamin Blackwell scored.  

The Tigers evened the game up in the fourth inning after center fielder Dylan Brewer hit a two-run single, followed up immediately by an RBI single from catcher Cooper Ingle.  

After a three-run fourth inning, the Clemson offense poured it on as they scored at least two runs in every inning after the fourth, including a seven-run sixth.  

Clemson’s offensive performance was a total team effort, as they combined for 13 hits. Brewer, Ingle and first baseman Caden Grice all tallied three RBIs each.  

Clemson starting pitcher Nick Clayton had a poor outing to start his season. Clayton only lasted 1.2 innings, giving up four earned runs, five hits , one walk and finishing with no strikeouts. 

“He just didn’t quite have it today, and that happens,” said head coach Monte Lee following the win.  

Despite the rough start from Clayton, the Clemson bullpen was lights out to finish the game. The combined performances of Casey Tallent, Geoffrey Gilbert, Jay Dill, Rocco Reid and Austin Gordon accounted for 7.1 innings, two hits allowed, three walks and 10 strikeouts.  

“Just a phenomenal job by our bullpen as a whole to throw up that many zeros after the way the game started,” Lee said. “It was a tough start for us, but I’m just proud of the way that we fought, the way that our pitching staff held them at bay.” 

The large scoring differential late in the game allowed Clemson to utilize its roster as 16 different players came to the plate throughout the game.  

“They can build that comfort zone of knowing, ‘Hey, I’ve been in the game now,’” Lee said when speaking on getting so many players into the game.  

“The jitters aren’t quite as bad the second time you go into the game. You get a little more comfortable.”  

Clemson will face-off against Indiana for the third and final game of the series Sunday at 1 p.m., as the Tigers will look to complete the series sweep to start the season.  

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