With their win on Sunday, the Duke Blue Devils completed the weekend sweep of the Clemson Tigers baseball team.
The Tigers’ struggles began last weekend in Tallahassee, FL, where the Florida State Seminoles swept the Tigers in three games, outscoring Clemson 28-8.
The Tigers’ midweek game was a contest against the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens on Tuesday evening. The game lasted 20 innings and the Tigers’ seven pitchers combined for 24 strikeouts, both Clemson school records. The Tigers came up short in the end, losing 3-2.
The Blue Devils entered the weekend trending in the other direction, having won seven of their last eight games coming into the weekend.
Freshman phenom Davis Sharpe took the mound Friday for the Tigers. Sharpe went into the third inning up three runs and having only allowed one hit. Duke combined for five hits and four runs in the inning to take the lead 4-3 going into the bottom half of the fourth.
Clemson answered in the bottom of the fourth inning, plating three runs, including two on a two-out Sam Hall home run, his second of the contest.
Entering the ninth inning, the Tigers were up 8-7. The Blue Devils struck for two runs against Tigers’ reliever Owen Griffith and took the lead 9-8. Clemson was retired in order in the bottom of the ninth, and Duke secured the opening game victory.
Saturday was military appreciation day at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers struck first in the bottom of the first when Sam Hall scored on a Logan Davidson sacrifice fly.
The Tigers’ starter, Brooks Crawford, went five innings after allowing two runs. Both runs came in the fifth inning. Duke would strike for three more runs in the top of the sixth, extending their lead 5-1.
Clemson would pick up one hit in each of their next four innings, but could only manage two more runs, which both came on a two-out home run by Sam Hall. The Blue Devils took game two of the series 5-3.
Having already lost the series, Clemson came out Sunday trying to pick up some momentum before hosting Winthrop on Tuesday.
Tigers’ starter Jacob Hennessy gave up five runs on seven hits and lasted just three innings. The Tigers managed to collect two runs in that same span of time. After a scoreless fourth inning, the teams entered the fifth inning with Duke up 5-2.
The Blue Devils would strike for three runs in the top of the fifth inning, but the Tigers answered with six runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 8-8.
In what felt like deja-vu of Friday night’s contest, Duke pulled away in the top of the ninth and the Tigers were unable to make anything happen in the bottom of the ninth. Duke won the final game 9-8 and swept the series, the first time they’ve done so in Clemson since 1948.
The Tigers look for a bounce back this week when they host Winthrop on Tuesday and Tennessee Tech on Wednesday. The Tigers’ next two conference series will be their toughest tests of the season. They visit No. 11 Georgia Tech in Atlanta for three games and go to Raleigh for a matchup with No. 9 North Carolina State the following weekend.