April 20, 2011
ATHENS, Ga., -- The 21st-ranked Clemson Tigers defeated Georgia 5-2 Wednesday in front of a Foley Field crowd of 2,297.
A couple of bright spots for the Bulldogs (19-19) included shortstop Kyle Farmer and second baseman Levi Hyams both extending their hitting streaks to 16 and 8 games, respectively. Also, freshman left fielder Connor Welton set a career-high with three hits in the game.
"We've seen these guys before," said Bulldog head coach David Perno. "We've seen [Clemson starter Justin] Sarratt several times before. They have a plethora of arms in their bullpen and they are all solid."
After a couple of two-out walks in the first frame by junior right-hander Ben Cornwell, shortstop Brad Miller gave the Tigers (23-13) an early edge with a three-run home run.
Georgia answered in the bottom of the first when Hyams scored off a Farmer sacrifice fly. Hyams reached on a first pitch double and moved to third on a Welton single.
Following the homerun, Cornwell retired eight consecutive batters, before allowing a single to Miller in the fourth. At that point, junior Chase Hawkins, the first of five relievers, saw action on the night. Cornwell got the loss to fall to 1-3.
"Our relievers have been giving us everything they have," said Perno. "We depend on our good starting pitching, but the bullpen gave us a good effort tonight."
The Tigers only managed two hits off of Hawkins, who pitched 2.2 scoreless innings before giving way to Earl Daniels in the seventh. Daniels gave up a double and a walk and took an earned run when Blake Dieterich allowed a single in his relief.
Georgia pushed across one more run in the eighth when Welton came home when Zach Cone's grounder to Miller was misplayed. Welton had reached on a single, moved to second on a Farmer groundout and took third on a wild pitch.
A Tyler Maloof wild pitch in the ninth gave the Tigers their final run. Clemson's Chris Epps scored from third after having singled and moved over on a couple of ground outs.
Clemson starter Justin Sarratt went six innings for the win to improve to 3-1. He allowed one run on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Scott Weismann notched his first save.
This weekend, the Bulldogs travel to Knoxville for a three-game series against Tennessee (21-15, 4-11 SEC) The Volunteers were slated to play to Western Carolina Wednesday, however the game was rained out.