Clemson starter Zack Erwin turned in a complete game shutout and the Tigers pulled away with four runs in the eighth inning to complete an 8-0 victory over James Madison on Friday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
CU improved to 26-19 overall while JMU fell to 15-27. The Dukes had a three-game winning streak snapped with the loss.
Erwin struck out four and allowed six hits while facing just three batters over the minimum. Junior starter Chris Huffman (Fort Defiance, Va./Fort Defiance) was saddled with the loss despite being knocked out of the game when the second batter lined a single off of him. That run came around to score unearned.
Junior right-hander Patrick Toohers (Florham Park, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) entered in the short-notice relief stint and worked 4 1/3 innings while allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits.
Redshirt freshman Brett Johnson (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne’s-Belfield) had two of JMU’s six hits in the game. Senior designated hitter Nick Merullo (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) had the lone Madison extra-base hit with a double.
Right fielder Steven Duggar reached base four times with two walks and two singles, including the one to knock out Huffman, while also scoring twice. Center fielder Tyler Slaton singled, doubled, walked, scored and drove in a run. Shortstop Jay Baum also had two hits while designated hitter Tyler Krieger and catcher Chris Okey each had two RBIs.
Clemson grabbed the lead on the unearned run against Huffman in the first and added to it with two runs in the third and another in the fifth. Two of the first four runs by the Tigers were unearned. CU doubled the score with a four-run eighth to account for the 8-0 final.
JMU faces No. 27 UNLV in a neutral contest at noon Saturday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Dukes then make it a doubleheader with a 4 p.m. game against Clemson.