The Clemson baseball team swept Stony Brook University this weekend to improve their record to 7-0 on the season. The Tigers were led by a dominant pitching staff that allowed just one run on the weekend.
Game one was the first time ever that the Tigers and Seawolves squared off on the diamond. Left-handed pitcher Sam Weatherly started on the mound for the Tigers.
The Tigers opened the Friday night scoring with a ground ball in the first inning off the bat of sophomore catcher Adam Hackenburg. Despite grounding into a double play, second basemen Mac Starbuck scored to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers would plate another run when first baseman Dylan Brewer reached base on a shallow popup to short centerfield that fell for a base hit. After stealing second, junior shortstop Sam Hall drove Brewer home with his RBI triple.
Neither team would score a run for the remainder of the game. Weatherly pitched 6.0 innings and struck out 14 batters. The other Tiger pitchers, Carter Raffield, Geoffrey Gilbert and Carson Spiers, would throw five combined strikeouts, for 19 total strikeouts by the Tigers on the day.
Freshman reliever Geoffrey Gilbert came on to pitch in the top of the eighth inning with the bases loaded. Gilbert fell behind 3-1 to his first batter before throwing two strikes to record a bases-loaded strikeout. He struck out the next batter too, leaving the Seawolves with no runs after loading the bases.
Right-handed reliever Carson Spiers replaced Gilbert on the mound after allowing two runners to reach base. Spiers allowed one runner of his own to reach base on a catcher’s interference. Spiers struck out the next batter and ended the game on a fielder’s choice to third base.
“[Sam Weatherly] looked like a Friday night starter, looked like a dominating Friday night starter,” head coach Monte Lee told the media following game one. “One of the better starts I’ve seen here.”
Game two was a true pitchers’ duel. Davis Sharpe received the nod on the mound for the Tigers.
The seventh inning was the Seawolves’ best chance to score all game. Keyshawn Askew replaced Sharpe on the mound to start the inning. Askew recorded two outs in the inning and had runners on second and third base. Coach Lee pulled Askew after 0.2 innings pitched. Senior right-handed pitcher Sheldon Reed took over on the mound. After running the count full, Reed struck out the batter, leaving two on base and giving up no runs.
The action would lull until the bottom of the tenth inning. The Tigers started off with an out from shortstop Sam Hall.
All the Tigers had to do was flip the lineup card over. Leadoff hitter Mac Starbuck singled for the Tigers’ third hit of the day. He advanced to second when Kier Meredith walked. Elijah Henderson then singled into right field, scoring Starbuck for the only run of the day.
The Tigers brought out the brooms for the second straight week on Sunday. Sophomore pitcher Spencer Strider started on the mound for the Tigers in game three. He threw 2.2 innings giving up no runs on three hits and struck out five batters.
The Seawolves tied the game at one run apiece in the top of the seventh inning when catcher John Tuccillo scored an unearned run on a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Tigers would come back in the bottom of the eighth, scoring two runs when Bryar Hawkins walked to drive in a run and Bryce Teodosio singled in a run.
Carson Spiers picked up the win for the Tigers in game three. He pitched 2.1 innings to finish.
“Our pitching staff, again, did an outstanding job,” Coach Lee stated after the final game. “Spencer [Strider] threw the ball well, [Mat] Clark was good behind him, Carson [Spiers] did a great job there at the end of the ball game. Overall, [we] got another sweep and [we’re] looking forward to a big week ahead of us.”
The Tigers’ pitching staff continued its dominance this weekend allowing no earned runs and just five walks in three games. The staff recorded 43 strikeouts on the weekend.
The Tigers resume action Tuesday at home against East Tennessee State before this year’s edition of the Reedy River Rivalry against South Carolina begins Friday at Founders Park in Columbia.