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SPORTS LIBRARY, Clemson, baseball

CLEMSON — The No. 11 Clemson Tigers (5-0) jumped in front of No. 10 Dallas Baptist (3-1) early in Friday’s series-opening game and behind the solid pitching of starter Jacob Hennessy handed the Patriots their first loss by a final score of 12-1.

Hennessy held the high-powered Patriot offense to only three hits, struck out eight batters and allowed only two walks over 6-1/3 innings before he gave way to the Tiger bullpen.

Clemson wasted little time jumping on the Patriots, as Chris Williams, who had a career-high six RBIs in Tuesday’s victory, belted a double down the line at third base that scored Patrick Cromwell. Robert Jolly followed his teammate with a double of his own that scored Williams and gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

The Tigers went back to work in the bottom of the second inning when Drew Wharton picked up his first home run of the season. In the Clemson half of the third inning, it was once again Jolly who delivered another huge blow — a second double of the day that scored Williams and Cromwell and increased the lead to 5-0.

Williams continued the Tiger onslaught in the bottom of the fifth inning as his two-run home run extended the lead to 7-0. But the Tigers were not done in the inning, as a Grayson Byrd’s one-out hit scored Jolly.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Tigers continued their offensive explosion, plating three runs on a double by Jolly, a sacrifice fly by Wharton and a single by Byrd.

The Tigers finished their scoring in the seventh inning when Williams’ single scored Logan Davidson from second base.

The Patriots finally broke through in the ninth inning as they loaded the bases. However, they only managed one run in the inning on a walk.

Player of the game: Chris Williams. For the second straight game, Williams’ bat remained red hot. He went 4-4 with a home run and four RBIs.

Up next: The Tigers will finish off their series against the Patriots Saturday, as the two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. The second game will be played approximately 60 minutes after the conclusion of the first game, and ticket holders for Saturday’s game will be honored for both contests.

Any single-game ticket holder for Sunday’s game, which was moved to Saturday because of rain in the forecast, will be contacted by the ticket office for arrangements.

Zach Lentz is a Clemson University alumnus who got his start working with the Tigers basketball team from 1999-2004. Now a resident of Orangeburg County, he reports on Clemson sports as a correspondent for The Times and Democrat.

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