CLEMSON BASEBALL

Spartans upend No. 2 Clemson

Spartans upend No. 2 Clemson


by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - The No. 2-ranked Tigers dropped their six-game winning streak with a loss to USC Upstate, 9-5.

The Tigers' second home loss came to another mid-major team. Kennesaw State handed the Tigers their first home loss in late February, while Upstate notched a landmark win (versus the highest-ranked opponent in school history) with a massive eighth inning.

The Spartans started the scoring with a solo shot out to left field by Noah Sullivan in the second inning. It just had the distance over the wall. Later in the same inning, Cam Cannarella caught a deep fly ball at the wall to save a potential home run. In the bottom half of the frame, Nolan Nawrocki sent a liner out to center field that hit off the batter's eye to tie the game.

In the bottom of the third inning, Jarrell led off with a blast out to deep left-center field that got over the wall. Tigers hit two solo shots early to retake the lead. However, USC Upstate’s Sullivan did it again in the top of the fourth. He cranked a no-doubter out into the left field seats to tie up the game.

It wasn’t much action for either team through five innings. Teams were 7-37 hitting, ten strikeouts and 0-14 with runners on. The bats did not come out hot to cool off the slight drizzle on the field early. There were only four extra-base hits for both teams, two a piece, with two home runs to that point.

Clemson right-handed starter Billy Barlow conceded two singles to start the top of the sixth. Reed Garris came on in relief and struck out Sullivan and Koby Kropf to start, but after putting Tyler Lang on an 0-2 count, Lang hit a three-run shot for his second career home run to give the Spartans a three-run lead and blow open the door.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Cannarella sent a shot to left-center field, which got over the wall to give Clemson its first hit with a runner on base and a two-run home run. The next batter, Obertop, slashed one out over the right-center field to tie the game.

In the top of the eighth, USC Upstate quickly loaded the bases with nobody out, and Kropf stepped up to the plate and torched the first pitch he saw, a fastball, to center field for the decisive grand slam.

The last three half-innings came with no noise for either team. More crucially for the Tigers, they couldn’t string anything together, and USC Upstate shocked college baseball by coming into DKS and knocking off the second-best team in the country.

Jake Cubbler (2-1) earned the win, while Justin LeGuernic (0-1) suffered the loss.

Clemson fell to 28-4 overall and 18-2 at home. The Tigers will stay home and take on NC State next at 6:00 PM on Friday (ACCNX).


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