Clemson, SC – The 14th ranked Clemson Tigers stretched their winning streak to 11 as they recorded an 8-6 victory over the Maine Black Bears at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Thursday night. Clemson right-hander Jeff Hahn (3-2) earned the win with a career high 7.0 innings pitched. Hahn gave up three hits, two walks, three runs (one earned), and had a career high six strikeouts for the Tigers. Maine’s Mike McDonald (1-2) was credited with the loss. Entering Thursday’s game against Maine, the Tigers had only given up five unearned runs on the year. Despite benefiting from four unearned runs in Thursday’s game, the Black Bears late charge fell two runs short.
After Maine climbed to within one run of the Tigers in the eighth inning, the Tigers tacked on one final run in the bottom half of the eighth to complete the scoring and finish off the Black Bears 8-6.
Maine used a three run eighth inning to draw within one run of the Tigers. Alain Picard got things started when he roped a single up the middle to plate Aaron Young to make the score 7-4. Aaron Izaryk lined out to third and the Tigers committed a throwing error allowing Steve Gambale to score the Black Bears’ second run of the inning. Maine closed to within one when Picard scored on a grounder to third to make the score 7-6.
The Tigers added two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to push the lead to 7-3. Kyle Frank smashed a line drive double to the gap in right center that scored Hub from third and Johnson from first. Johnson reached base as he was intentionally walked by the Black Bears after starting the game 2-3 with two RBI.
Clemson took a 5-3 lead after a two-run seventh inning in which both John son and Green scored for the Tigers.
Maine’s early 3-0 lead did not last long as the Tigers responded in the bottom of the fourth with three runs of their own. Zane Green from second base. Brad McCann made it 3-2 when he snuck a grounder through the left side of the infield to score Ryan Hub. Tigers tied the score later in the inning when designated hitter Kris Harvey hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Johnson.
Maine got on the board first when Mike Livulpi hit a solo shot down the right field line in the top of the fourth inning. Livulpi’s homer was the first home run given up by the Tigers in 10 home games this season. Maine’s second run of the inning came when Alain Picard drove in Steve Gambale from second base with a double to right. The Black Bears capped off the fourth inning rally when Picard scored from third on a ground out to the shortstop.
Clemson and Maine will continue the three game series Friday evening as the Tigers play host to the Black Bears in the second game of the series at 7:15 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. For the latest updates on Clemson baseball, be sure to check clemsontigers.com.
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