CLEMSON S.C. —After claiming two out of three games against No. 10 Clemson over the weekend, the Wright State University baseball team earned the No. 25 ranking in the Baseball America weekly poll, which was released on Monday, Feb. 20.
The previously unranked Raiders defeated Clemson, 6-4, on Friday, Feb. 17, lost 6-2 on Saturday, then claimed the rubber match on Sunday with a 9-2 win.
The two wins were the 12th and 13th for the Raiders over a ranked program since the start of the 2007 season. It marks the first time WSU had won two games over a ranked program in a series since taking the final two of a three-game series at No. 18 Mississippi on Feb. 24-25, 2007.
In Sunday’s third game, the Raiders used the long ball in building the 3-0 advantage in the second as Gabe Snyder singled, went to second on a passed ball and scored on an Adrian Marquez double to left center, Seth Gray followed with his first collegiate home run, a two-run shot to center.
Clemson answered with a solo home run in the fourth, only to see Wright State respond with two runs in the top of the fifth. Back-to-back doubles by Kevin Whatley and Gray produced the first run, and after Gray went to third on a Brandon Giltrow bunt, Matt Morrow plated Gray with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Raiders tacked on a single run in the seventh on a Zach Weatherford grounder, another in the eighth on a Gray sacrifice fly and two more in the ninth on a J.D. Orr RBI single, with Weatherford scoring on a wild pitch.
The Tigers hit another solo home run in the ninth, but managed no more runs as the trio of Danny Sexton, Jeremy Randolph and Derek Hendrixson held Clemson to six hits while striking out nine. Sexton (1-0) earned the win. He allowed just one run and four hits in 6.2 innings with seven strikeouts.
“I’m not surprised we won today,” said Wright State head coach Jeff Mercer. “I woke up this morning 100 percent confident we’d take the series.”
At the plate, Gray finished with two hits, four RBI and three runs scored while Orr had two hits.
Wright State (2-1) heads back to the Palmetto State next weekend for a three-game series in Columbia against No. 5-ranked South Carolina. The Raiders and Gamecocks will play single games at 4 p.m. on Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
The Raiders’ first scheduled home game is set for 4 p.m. Friday, March 10 at Nischwitz Stadium against Western Illinois.
Sexton HL Pitcher of the Week: Junior lefthander Danny Sexton of the Wright State baseball team has been named as the first Horizon League Pitcher of the Week, it was announced Monday, Feb. 20 by the league office.
Sexton (Pataskala Watkins Memorial) made his Raider debut an impressive one as WSU defeated #10 Clemson 9-2 Sunday to claim the rubber game of the three-game series. In a 6.2 inning start, Sexton allowed just one run on a solo home run and scattered four hits overall while striking out seven and walking three.