Tigers take broom to Blue Devils behind Baum’s three-run blast

The Clemson Tigers completed a series sweep of Duke on the road Sunday with a 4-2 victory over the Blue Devils.

Jay Baum’s three-run double in the eighth inning gave Clemson a 3-2 lead and the Tigers held on for a 4-2 win.

The Blue Devils scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings before Clemson loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth inning. Baum’s opposite-field double gave Clemson the lead for good, then he scored an insurance run on Kieboom’s sacrifice fly.

Kevin Pohle, who retired the first 15 batters of the game, pitched 7.0 strong innings of four-hit ball to earn the win, while Gossett tossed 2.0 scoreless innings with two strikeouts to record the save.

Clemson improves to an 18-14 overall record and 8-7 ACC mark on the season. The Tigers moved into sole possession of third place in the ACC Atlantic Division standings behind Florida State (14-1) and N.C. State (9-6) thanks to their sweep over Duke. Clemson is also in sixth place in the overall ACC standings.

The Tigers, who are averaging 5.5 runs per game, are hitting .275 with a .385 slugging percentage and .365 on-base percentage thanks to 137 walks and 28 hit-by-pitches in 2012. The team has also totaled 47 doubles, seven triples, 20 homers, and 30 stolen bases. Clemson is fielding at a .967 clip as well.

Richie Shaffer leads the team with a .365 batting average, 12 doubles, one triple, seven homers, 31 RBIs, 27 runs, 31 walks, a .493 on-base percentage, and five steals. Steve Wilkerson, who saw his 19-game hitting streak come to an end on Sunday, is batting .357 with 17 RBIs and five steals. Phil Pohl, who is riding an 11-game hitting streak, is hitting .306 with five homers and 31 RBIs.

The pitching staff has a 3.43 ERA and .265 opponents’ batting average in 289.0 innings pitched this season. It has allowed 293 hits and 114 walks with 253 strikeouts, good for a 2.22 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In Clemson’s 32 games, the pitching staff has allowed five earned runs or less in 29 games.

Kevin Pohle leads the staff with a 1.94 ERA and 4-1 record in a team-high 41.2 innings pitched over eight appearances (six starts). Kevin Brady has a 2.72 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 39.2 innings pitched over eight starts.

Scott Firth has been the team’s best reliever, as he is 2-0 with an 0.68 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 26.1 innings pitched over 12 relief appearances. In his last 21.2 innings pitched over nine relief appearances, Firth has allowed just 13 hits and no runs with 17 strikeouts.

Matt Campbell has a 2.14 ERA and 22 strikeouts against seven walks in 21.0 innings pitched over 11 relief appearances as well.

Clemson will return to the diamond with midweek games against Furman (at Fluor Field in Greenville) on Tuesday night and at home against Georgia on Wednesday night before it hosts N.C. State over the weekend.

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