Catamounts sweep season series from Tigers with blowout win

This time Clemson can’t blame it on the bus.

After Western Carolina upset visiting Clemson last month when the Tigers’ team bus broke down on the way the Cullowhee, N.C., this time the Catamounts came to Tigertown and beat Clemson in its own backyard.

Western Carolina took a one-run lead with four unearned runs in the sixth inning and added four more runs in the seventh inning to top Clemson 13-8 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Wednesday.

The Catamounts improved to 21-9. The Tigers, who suffered their first loss of the season by more than four runs, dropped to 15-14.

The back-and-forth contest saw the Catamounts jump out to a 4-1 lead, but Clemson tied the score 4-4 with a run in the fourth inning. After Western Carolina took a 5-4 lead with a run in the top of the fifth inning, Clemson scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth, highlighted by Thomas Brtittle’s three-run triple. But a two-out error allowed the Catamounts to score four unearned runs in the sixth inning and regain the lead for good.

Andrew Blackwell (1-0), the fifth of eight Catamount hurlers, earned the win. He gave up three hits, no runs, and one walk in 1.2 innings pitched. The next three Western Carolina pitchers each pitched an inning without allowing a run to close out the game.

Patrick Andrews (0-1), the third of seven Clemson pitchers, suffered the loss. He surrendered three hits, four unearned runs, and one walk with one strikeout in 1.0 innings pitched. Freshman lefthander Kyle Bailey made his first career appearance and pitched a scoreless ninth inning with one strikeout.

The Catamounts wasted little time taking the game’s first lead in the top of the first inning. Cody Jones drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on Ross Heffley’s single to right-center.

Tyler White reached on an infield single that scored Jones, then Dykota Spiess walked after being down in the count 0-2 to load the bases. Adam Martin lined a single to right-center to plate Heffley, then Luke Gragg lofted a sacrifice fly to left-center to score White, giving Western Carolina a 3-0 lead.

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