Clemson salvages split with UAB on opening weekend

Clemson, ranked as high as #16 in the nation, won two of three games over UAB by a combined score of 14-7 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Saturday.

The Blazers outhit the Tigers .283 to .247, while Clemson totaled five doubles and three home runs. Phil Pohl paced the Tigers by going 4-for-10 with a homer, double, and four RBIs.

The Clemson pitching staff had a 2.33 ERA thanks to allowing just seven of 39 baserunners to score. The Tigers also committed just two errors in the series.

In game-one on February 17, Dillon Napoleon pitched 7.0 strong inning and Keith DePew scored both Blazer runs in UAB’s 2-1 win over Clemson. DePew scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on pinch-hitter Tyler Mims’ sacrifice fly.

Napoleon and Ryan Nance combined to allow just four hits and one run.Napoleon pitched 7.0 strong innings to earn the win, while Nance pitched 2.0 hitless and scoreless innings to record the save. Clemson scored just one of its 11 baserunners, which came on Spencer Kieboom’s double in the second inning. Kieboom had two of the Tigers’ four hits. It was Clemson’s first loss in a season-opener since 2004.

In game-two on February 18, which was the first game of a doubleheader, Dominic Leone tossed 6.0 scoreless innings of two-hit ball (both singles) to lead Clemson to a 6-1 victory over UAB. Leone also allowed just one walk with four strikeouts to earn the win. Richie Shaffer hit a two-run homer in the first inning to give Clemson the lead for good, then Brad Felder hit his first home run as a Tiger, a two-run shot in the third inning. Jason Stolz led Clemson’s 11-hit attack by going 3-for-4, while Felder was 2-for-4 with a game-high three RBIs.

In game-three on February 18, which was the second game of a doubleheader, Clemson scored five runs in the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and held on for a 7-4 win over UAB. Phil Pohl hit a solo homer in the seventh inning to tie the score, then the Tigers scored five runs on two hits, three walks, and one hit-by-pitch in the eighth inning. Pohl led the Tigers by going 2-for-4 with a game-high three RBIs. Thomas Brittle added a single, two walks, and three outfield assists. The Blazers outhit Clemson 12-7, but they left nine runners on base. Kevin Pohle pitched 4.0 strong innings in relief to earn the win. He yielded just two hits and no runs with three strikeouts.

Clemson will return to action on Friday when it hosts Maine, Head Coach Jack Leggett’s alma mater, in a three-game series. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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