CLEMSON, S.C. – Tiger starter Daniel Gossett threw a complete game five-hitter as Clemson defeated the Duke baseball team 7-0 Friday evening at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Gossett (3-1) allowed just one hit through the first seven innings and faced the minimum in six frames. The Tiger right-hander struck out three and did not issue a walk.
Duke starter Trent Swart (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season. The Blue Devil lefty allowed five runs, three earned, on 11 hits in 5.1 innings of work while striking out three. Third baseman Jordan Betts was 2-for-4 with a double and a single to lead the Blue Devils, while Matt Berezo, Chris Marconcini & Jeff Kremer recorded Duke’s remaining hits.
Clemson was led at the plate by center fielder Thomas Brittle, who was a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. The Tigers scored at least one run in each of the final six frames and had three players – Steven Duggar, Garrett Boulware and Jon McGibbon – go 2-for-4 in the game.
The two teams battled through three scoreless innings before Clemson put a run up in the fourth. A third inning leadoff walk did no harm, but the Blue Devils were not as fortunate in the fourth as Clemson again put the leadoff man aboard. Designated hitter Shane Kennedy began the frame with a single, but was gunned down on a terrific throw from right fielder Kremer as he tried to advance to third on a McGibbon base hit. Following a Tyler Krieger popup, Brittle registered his eighth RBI of the season with a single to put the Tigers on top, 1-0.
Swart started the fifth with a pair of groundouts before a two-out rally put the Tiger up 2-0. Second baseman Steve Wilkerson doubled down the left field line to extend the inning, followed by a Boulware RBI single.
Betts registered Duke’s first hit of the game in the top of the fifth, lacing a one-out single to centerfield. The Blue Devil third baseman would advance to second on a wild pitch, but Duke was unable to bring him around.
Clemson opened up the game with a three-run sixth as the Tigers took advantage of Duke miscues to plate two unearned runs. Brittle singled for the third time on the day and advanced to second on a Blue Devil error. Left fielder Tyler Slaton followed with a base hit of his own and the pair would score on a throwing error charged to Betts the following batter. Clemson’s final run of the inning crossed the plate on a Duggar RBI single, bolstering the Tigers’ lead to 5-0.
Clemson added a sixth run in the seventh on a Krieger RBI single, then plated its seventh and final run in the eighth.
Duke’s best scoring chance came in the top of the eighth as Betts lead off with a double to deep left and Berezo reached on an infield single. Following a Mark Lumpa sac bunt, Gossett got a fly out to shallow center before freshman Kenny Koplove laced a screaming line drive back up the middle that found its way straight to Gossett’s glove.
Duke and Clemson are set for a doubleheader Saturday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, starting at 12:30 p.m.