CLEMSON, S.C. (Clemson SID) – Matt Mervis’ leadoff homer in the ninth inning lifted Duke to a 9-8 win over No. 16 Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Devils, who swept the series 3-0, improved to 24-16 overall and 11-10 in the ACC. The Tigers dropped to 25-15 overall and 11-10 in ACC play.
Kennie Taylor hit a solo homer in the top of the first inning, then Kyle Wilkie hit a run-scoring single in the bottom of the first inning. In the top of the second inning, Rudy Maxwell hit a two-out, run-scoring single, then Joey Loperfido belted a two-run homer. After the Blue Devils scored a run in the third inning, they took advantage of a costly Tiger error in the top of the fifth inning to score three runs, the last two on Chase Cheek’s two-run triple, to take an 8-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Tigers rallied for six runs to tie the score. Grayson Byrd crushed a solo homer with two outs, his fifth of the year, and the Tigers added another run on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch by Davis Sharpe after Bryar Hawkins extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single. Justin Hawkins then hit a 447-foot grand slam, his first homer of the season, to tie the score 8-8. Mervis then led off the ninth inning with a long home run to put Duke in front.
Hunter Davis (1-2) pitched the final 2.2 innings without allowing a run to earn the win. Carson Spiers (1-3) suffered the loss.
The Tigers host Winthrop at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Tuesday at 6 p.m. on ACC Network Extra. Tuesday is Senior ROTC Cadet Appreciation Day. Fans can purchase a ticket for only $2.