Tigers sweep weekend series with Mercer

Clemson's Wilson Boyd watches the ball as he hits the second of his two home runs in one inning against Mercer.
Clemson's Wilson Boyd watches the ball as he hits the second of his two home runs in one inning against Mercer.

CLEMSON -- Coming into this weekend's opening series with Mercer, many wondered if Clemson had anyone in its lineup to compliment the power hitting of catcher Doug Hogan.

It appears the 23rd-ranked Tigers have found a few players -- and maybe an entire team.

Left fielder Wilson Boyd became the fourth player in Clemson history to hit two home runs in the same inning, and right fielder Chris Epps completed his first weekend as a Tiger with six hits in 10 at-bats as the Tigers completed a sweep of Mercer Sunday with a 10-3 victory at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

As a team, Clemson finished the weekend with 28 runs and 36 hits.

"With as many young players we have out here -- and we have a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing -- then you're always a little anxious about what's going to happen and how they're going to react," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. "But I think they reacted well."

With one out in the third, Boyd lifted a shot to right field for a solo home run that gave Clemson (3-0) a 1-0 lead. That and sparked a nine-run rally that featured 12 batters and eight hits.

"He had a nice ballgame again today and a good weekend," Leggett said. "He is one of those streak-type hitters, and if he gets it going, then he can be pretty dangerous."

Hogan followed Boyd's homer with a double to left and later scored when designated hitter Kyle Parker roped a doubled down the third-base line to score Hogan and Ben Paulsen, who had reached on a walk. Parker scored on a single by when Epps singled up the middle to make it the score 4-0.

John Hinson and J.D. Burgess followed with RBI singles, and Stan Widmann singled to right to setting up Boyd's date with the record books.

With two outs and Widmann at first and Burgess on second, the sophomore smoked John Hoelzer's pitch to right where it cleared the platform beyond the fence to give Clemson a 9-0 lead.

Boyd's home run tied him with former Tigers Brooks Shumate (1982), Chuck Baldwin (1986) and Kyle Frank (2003) as the only players in the program's history to homer twice hit two home runs in the same inning. Overall, Boyd finished the weekend with had three home runs, five hits and six RBIs in the series as part of his five-hit, six-RBI performance.

"Coming into the season, I knew that I was stronger than last year and had a better approach to the plate," Boyd said. "I felt a lot more confident out there, and I was going out there to look for a few more extra base hits."

In the bottom of the seventh, John Nester recorded his first-career hit: a solo homer to give left-center, giving Clemson a 10-3 lead.

Boyd's performance overshadowed the pitching debut of right-hander Graham Stoneburner, who threw five scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and a walk and struck out three. The redshirt freshman was coming off an ACL injury that forced him to miss the last season.

Boyd had four RBIs to go with his two hits; Widmann and Hinson also tallied two hits.

Mercer (0-3) received two hits from Billy Shaughnessy and John Dortch, who drove was credited with driving in two of the Bears' three runs.

Clemson will play host to High Point on Wednesday at 4 p.m.