Clemson defeats Morehead State in baseball
Clemson 5, Morehead State 2
CLEMSON — Brody Koerner, Jonathan Meyer, and Zack Erwin combined to allow only two of 16 baserunners to score as Clemson (13-7) defeated Morehead State (7-14) at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
The Tigers next host Duke on Friday at 6:30 p.m. to kick of a three-game weekend series.
Trailing 2-1, the Tigers plated a run in the fifth inning to tie the score and took the lead for good in the sixth inning on Jon McGibbon’s run-scoring single. Meyer and Erwin combined to work out of several jams in the final five innings without allowing a run.
Meyer (1-0), who earned the win, allowed six hits, no runs, and no walks with three strikeouts in 4.0 innings pitched. Erwin pitched a hitless and scoreless ninth inning to record his first career save. Freshman righthander Brody Koerner gave up one earned run on four hits in four innings pitched in his first career start.
The three Tiger hurlers combined to strand 10 runners on base, including seven in scoring position. They were also the benefactors of three double plays by the Tiger defense.
Matt Anderson (0-3), the first of four Eagle pitchers, suffered the loss. In 5 1/3 innings pitched, he yielded four hits, three runs (two earned), and two walks with six strikeouts.
The Tigers started the scoring in the first inning when Garrett Boulware laced a two-out single through the left side to score Steven Duggar. Duggar reached on a one-out single up the middle and advanced to second on Steve Wilkerson’s sacrifice bunt.
In the third inning, Duran Elmore reached on a one-out hit-by-pitch and advanced to second on Taylor Pickens’ groundout. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Elmore scored when Wilkerson booted Kane Sweeney’s two-out grounder.
In the top of the fifth inning, Pickens led off with a single to right field and Sweeney followed with a walk. Two batters later, Chase Greenwell grounded a single through the left side to load the bases, then Chris Robinson lined a single to right field to score Pickens and give Morehead State a 2-1 lead. Duggar prevented further damage on the play by throwing Sweeney out at the plate from right field.
Tyler Krieger lined a one-out double to left-center in the bottom of the fifth inning, then Tyler Slaton grounded a ball down the first-base line. Anderson’s throw to first hit Slaton and Krieger scored on the error.
In the sixth inning, Boulware led off with a walk and advanced to second on Shane Kennedy’s sacrifice bunt. McGibbon then flared a one-out single down the right-field line to score Boulware and give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.
Bobby Burns led off the top of the eighth inning with a single up the middle, then pinch-hitter Taylor Sears blooped a single to center. After fouling off the first two pitches attempting to bunt the runners over, Trey Gross grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Elmore then grounded out to second to end the frame.
Clemson scored two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Wilkerson led off with a single through the right side, then Boulware singled through the right side. Kennedy walked on four pitches to load the bases with no outs, then McGibbon flared a single to left-center to score Wilkerson and Boulware.
In the ninth inning, Pickens led off with a walk on five pitches. But Sweeney flied out to right field and Alan Mocahbee grounded into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
McGibbon went 2-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the Tigers. Boulware went 2-for-2 with one RBI, two runs, and two walks, while Duggar and Krieger both added two hits and one run apiece.
Robinson went 3-for-4 with a double and RBI to pace the Eagles, who outhit the Tigers 10-9.