Clemson appears to have steadied the ship. Since getting swept by South Carolina in crushing fashion and losing a subsequent midweek game to Western Carolina, the 14th-ranked Tigers have reeled off four straight wins. Clemson swept Virginia Tech last weekend to open ACC play, outscoring the Hokies 23-6 over the final two games, and picked up another win Wednesday, 2-1 against Appalachian State.
Sophomore lefty Zack Erwin (7.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K) delivered his longest career outing to earn his first win of the season. Erwin retired the first 14 Mountaineer hitters he faced before giving up a solo homer to Ozzy Gonzalez with two outs in the fifth. Aside from that, he never faced any serious trouble until the eighth, when ASU put two on with two outs and Erwin was relieved by Matt Campbell, who struck out William Head to end the inning and went on to finish the game.
Erwin needed to be strong since App State’s Sean Mason (8 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K) didn’t give up much either. Clemson didn’t get any hits after the fourth inning and was actually out-hit by ASU 5-4 for the game. The Tigers took advantage of the few opportunities they had though, getting RBI singles from Garrett Boulware and Steven Duggar in the first and fourth, respectively.
Top 25 Upset
• The only ranked team to go down Wednesday was No. 13 Miami, losing 7-3 on the road at Stetson, which entered the game 5-12. It was the Hurricanes’ second straight loss after falling at home to Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday. Willie Abreu, Brad Fieger and Tyler Palmer each had two hits Wednesday as the Canes climbed out of an early 3-0 hole. However, their bullpen collapsed in the seventh as Stetson scored four runs on five hits, highlighted by Darby McCormick’s pinch-hit two-run double.
Other Top 25 Results
• No. 2 Florida State improved to 14-2 by thrashing Central Florida 18-1. D.J. Stewart and Gage West homered for FSU, which scored 29 runs in sweeping the two-game midweek series against the Knights.
• Blake Trahan (3-for-5, 2B, RBI) led No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette to a 7-4 win at Tulane. The Green Wave briefly took a 4-3 lead in the third, but the Ragin’ Cajuns answered with three runs in the fourth and their bullpen shut it down from there.
• In Louisiana State’s last warmup before heading to No. 7 Vanderbilt to open SEC play, five Tigers pitchers combined to shut out Southern in an 8-0 win. It was the No. 8 Tigers’ seventh whitewash of the year and seventh straight win since a mystifying 8-7 loss to Yale on March 2.
• No. 11 Cal Poly opened up a 9-1 lead through three innings against Northern Illinois, which was plenty of support for Danny Zandona (6 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K) as the Mustangs cruised to a 10-1 win.
• In the wildest game involving a ranked team, No. 15 Rice won a 12-10 shootout with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Skyler Ewing and John Clay Reeves each went 4-for-5 for the Owls, and the teams combined for 36 hits and six errors. Rice carried a 9-6 lead into the eighth, only to see the Islanders surge ahead with four runs in the frame. However, the Owls answered with three in the bottom half, with Reeves’ RBI single putting them ahead for good.
• No. 19 North Carolina jumped on Gardner-Webb for four runs in the first inning and never looked back, winning 7-1 behind a strong effort from Luis Paula (6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9K).
• Brantley Bell (4-for-5, 2B, R, RBI) led Mississippi’s 16-hit effort in an 8-3 road win at Southeastern Louisiana. The 21st-ranked Rebels improved to 16-2, breaking open a tight game with four runs in the top of the ninth.