Clemson rips Georgia, 9-1, in baseball

ATHENS, Ga. — Tyler Slaton totaled a career-high four hits and Matthew Crownover pitched five strong innings to lead Clemson to a 9-1 win over Georgia on Tuesday. The Tigers (16-8) host the Bulldogs (8-17) at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The Tigers jumped on Georgia with two runs in the first inning on Steven Duggar’s first career homer. Clemson got three runs in the third inning on a bases-loaded double by Jon McGibbon and added four more runs in the fifth to pull away.

Crownover (3-0), a freshman lefthander, gave up four hits, one run and two walks with four strikeouts. Jonathan Meyer and Patrick Andrews both pitched two scoreless innings to close out the game.

Luke Crumley (1-4), the first of four Bulldog pitchers, surrendered five hits, five runs and three walks with one strikeout in three innings pitched.

In the third inning, Slaton led off with a single to center and Duggar grounded a single through the left side. Slaton advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Duggar was thrown out at second trying to advance to second. Steve Wilkerson walked, then two batters later, Shane Kennedy drew a two-out walk to load the bases. McGibbon came through with a double to right field to score Slaton, Wilkerson, and Kennedy, giving the Tigers a 5-0 lead.

The Tigers added four runs to their lead in the top of the fifth inning. Garrett Boulware hit a leadoff double down the right-field line and advanced to third on Kennedy’s double to left-center. McGibbon grounded a single through the right side to score Boulware, then Jay Baum reached on an error as Kennedy scored. After the next two Tigers struck out, Slaton reached on a two-out fielding error by first-baseman Daniel Nichols, as both McGibbon and Baum scored on the miscue.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, pinch-hitter DJ Smith hit a one-out double down the right-field line. Two batters later, Nelson Ward drew a two-walk, then Hunter Cole grounded an 0-2 pitch through the left side for a single to score Smith.

Slaton went 4-for-5 with two runs to lead Clemson’s 13-hit attack. Duggar went 3 for 5 with a homer and two RBIs, while McGibbon went 2 for 4 with a double and a game-high four RBIs. Kennedy added two hits and two runs as well.

Cole went 3 for 4 with an RBI to lead Georgia, who totaled eight hits in the contest.