Three Homers, McKinney Lead #17 Tigers Over Duke 7-3 Friday

Three Homers, McKinney Lead #17 Tigers Over Duke 7-3 Friday

April 3, 2009

Box Score | GALLERY (Photos by Mark Crammer)

Clemson, SC –

Senior righthander Clinton McKinney pitched 4.1 strong innings in relief and three home runs on offense enabled #17 Clemson to defeat Duke 7-3 in front of 4,988 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday night. The Tigers, who took a 1-0 series lead, improved to 19-9 overall and 8-5 in the ACC. The Blue Devils fell to 19-10 overall and 6-7 in ACC play.

McKinney (2-0) earned the win by allowing just four hits, one unearned run, and no walks with three strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched, his longest outing as a Tiger. McKinney and Tiger starter Casey Harman were aided by three groundball double plays turned by the Clemson defense. Duke starter Christopher Manno (2-4) suffered the loss, as he yielded four runs on seven hits in 6.0 innings pitched.

Ben Paulsen’s two-run homer in the fifth inning gave Clemson the lead for good, while Kyle Parker added solo home runs later in the game. But perhaps Clemson’s most valuable position player in the game was centerfielder Addison Johnson, who was 2-for-2 with two walks and a run, as he reached base in all four of his plate appearances. Johnson had missed the previous six games due to a hamstring injury. The Tigers totaled 11 hits in all, including two doubles, one triple, and three home runs.

Clemson took the game’s first lead in the second inning. Parker led off with a line-drive single to left-center. Brad Miller followed with another line drive to left-center, but this time it made it to the gap and allowed Parker to score all the way from first on the double, the first of Miller’s career.

Duke put together a two-out rally to take the lead in the top of the fifth inning. Nate Freiman reached with two outs on a hit-by-pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Jeremy Gould’s double to left-center. Jake Lemmerman then hit a single through the right side to plate Gould.

The Tigers regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Johnson reached on a one-out walk. Two batters later with two outs, Paulsen lined a 2-2 breaking ball over the fence in right field for a two-run homer, his sixth long ball of the season.

Stolz doubled Clemson’s lead when he led off the seventh inning with a long home run to left field. It was the freshman’s first career homer.

Clemson added three insurance runs in the eighth inning. Parker led off with an opposite-field home run to right-center, his fifth long ball of the season. Miller followed with a triple to right-center and scored on pinch-hitter Wilson Boyd’s groundout. Mike Freeman’s infield single.

In the ninth inning, Joe Pedevillano led off with a double to left-center and moved to third on an error on McKinney’s pickoff attempt. Two batters later, Alex Hassan plated Pedevillano with a sacrifice fly. But Matt Williams flied out to right to end the game.

Duke totaled 11 hits, including at least one hit by eight different players. Pedevillano came off the bench to record the first two hits of his career, while Lemmerman and Will Piwnica-Worms added two hits apiece as well.

Jack Leggett, in his 16th season as head coach at Clemson, earned his 699th win as the leader of the Tiger program.

Clemson and Duke will play game-two of the three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Saturday at 6:30 PM.