Clemson downed Liberty 1-0 on Saturday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, winning their second straight game to start the season.
Davis Sharpe had a strong debut to the season, going five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, while striking out six, and walking one. It was exactly the type of start the coaching staff wanted to see after Tiger pitchers struggled with control in the opener.
“I went up there and had horrendous warmup pitches but got a first pitch strike and when I realized I had a feel it was game over,” Sharpe said. “When I have a feel for my pitches, I don’t think the best team in the country can hit me.”
The game remained scoreless until the fifth, when Kier Meredith laced a single to center, scoring Mac Starbuck. It was Meredith's second hit of the game, as he finished 2-4, with the lone RBI of the game.
Nick Clayton earned the save, the first of his career, going the final two innings. He allowed one hit, one walk and struck out two
Play of the Game: Freshman Nick Clayton striking out Brady Gulakowski with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the eighth. One of the bigger moments of the game and the young freshman came through.
“To win a 1-0 game and a series in the fashion we did, we won the last nine outs and competed at the end of the ball game,” head coach Monte Lee said. “I was in the dugout thinking we need to keep them to one run and we threw up a zero.”
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Player of the Game: Davis Sharpe. The sophomore had his change-up working extremely well, keeping Liberty hitters at bay through his five innings on the mound. The young right hander was in complete control throughout.
Coach's Decision: Monte Lee's decision to bring in Nick Clayton on in relief of Keyshawn Askew in the eighth turned out to be one of the biggest keys of the game. Clayton came on with two on and no outs, and got out of the jam with no damage.
Next Up: Clemson hosts Liberty tomorrow in the series finale, at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1pm.