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Georgia battered by Clemson
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CLEMSON, S.C. — The 16th-ranked Clemson Tigers erased an early 4-0 deficit to post a 14-6 win over Georgia Wednesday in front of 6,346 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

Coupled with Tuesday’s victory in Athens, Clemson (22-8) registered a two-game sweep in the series after the Bulldogs (10-19) had posted sweeps in 2008 and 2009.

The Bulldogs struck for a run in the first as sophomore right fielder Peter Verdin made his debut in the leadoff spot and promptly drew a walk. It was just his fifth of the year in 131 plate appearances.

Two batters later, he scored on an RBI-groundout by freshman Robert Shipman (1-for-4, 4 RBI). In the third, Shipman made it 4-0 when he crushed his fourth home run of the season, a three-run shot to right off freshman Mike Kent.

It scored Levi Hyams and Zach Cone who reached on a single and a walk to bring up the freshman.

After two perfect innings from sophomore left-hander Chase Hawkins, the Tigers (22-8) roared to life in the third to make it a 4-3 contest.

The first run scored on a bases-loaded balk while senior second baseman Mike Freeman (3-for-5, 6 RBI) added a two-run single. It was a team-high fourth balk for Hawkins.

Freshman Jonathan Meyer came on for Kent to start the fourth after the Tiger freshman allowed four runs on three hits with three walks and did not figure in the decision.

Kent, who got the win to improve to 2-1, set the Bulldogs down in order and the Tigers went back to work offensively. They grabbed a 7-4 lead as Georgia used three pitchers to finish the frame. Hawkins, who dropped to 0-2, left with two on and one out. After a double steal, junior Ben Cornwell struck out Phil Pohl for the second out.

First baseman Will Lamb ignited the rally with a two-run triple as the Tigers surged ahead 5-4. After a walk to Chris Epps, Cornwell was lifted for freshman Blake Dieterich.

He surrendered a two-run single to Freeman who later tried to advance to second on a pitch in the dirt and was thrown out by Carson Schilling to end the inning. In the fifth, the Tigers sent nine to the plate, scoring five runs off Dieterich, getting three hits, a sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded hit by pitch to take a comfortable 12-4 lead.

Georgia freshman shortstop Kyle Farmer led off the sixth with a single and freshman left fielder Zach Taylor (2-for-4, 1 RBI) drove him in with his first career triple.

On the play, Freeman’s relay throw went in the Bulldog dugout, allowing Taylor to score to make it 12-6. The Tigers got the runs right back in their half of the sixth off sophomore Cecil Tanner. John Hinson blasted a two-out, two-run home run to make it 14-6.

Bulldog senior Alex McRee, a Chestatee High graduate, provided 1.1 innings of scoreless relief with two strikeouts. Cone saw his career-best 18-game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-4 with a walk.

“The walks again tonight are disappointing as five of the seven ended up scoring, but I was encouraged from what I saw out of Cecil Tanner and Alex McRee,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “Cecil was upset about giving up the home run, but they both didn’t have their normal zip tonight because we’ve been working hard with them to get them going and they both were around the plate tonight and throwing strikes. They executed their pitches and that’s encouraging. We need those guys this weekend and the rest of the season to be successful.”

The Bulldogs return to Southeastern Conference action Friday when it plays host to #15 Ole Miss (21-8, 5-4 SEC) in a game televised live by ESPNU. First pitch at Foley Field is slated for 8:03 p.m.

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