CLEMSON BASEBALL

Wild pitch in 15th inning lifts No. 17 Georgia over No. 5 Clemson
Cam Cannarella hit a solo homer, but Georgia won out in extras, 4-3.

Wild pitch in 15th inning lifts No. 17 Georgia over No. 5 Clemson


by - Senior Writer -

ATHENS, GA – Tuesday night’s road game at Georgia had the look and feel of a postseason contest, and a full moon kept watch over the center field wall. The moon and a season-high 4,183 fans saw No. 17 Georgia defeat No. 5 Clemson 4-3 in the 15th inning at Foley Field.

Blake Wright hit a two-run triple, and Cam Cannarella homered for the Tigers, but the Bulldogs held Clemson scoreless over the final 11 innings and scored one in the ninth to tie the score and won the game in the bottom of the 15th on a bases-loaded wild pitch.

The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out and reliever Rocco Reid skipped a ball past catcher Jimmy Obertop to finish a marathon that saw over 300 pitches. It was also the longest game of head coach Erik Bakich, breaking the record of 14 set last season against Tennessee. Clemson struck out 21 times.

Clemson falls to 32-8, while Georgia improves to 30-10.

The Bulldogs took the early lead. With one out in the second, Kolby Branch hit a chopper to third, and Wright skipped the throw past Jack Crichton for an error. Branch took second on the play, and with two out, Paul Toetz worked the count to 3-2 and lined a single up the middle to score Branch for a 1-0 lead.

The Tigers answered in the third. With two out, leadoff hitter Alden Mathes smoked a single to right. Jacob Hinderleider then stroked a long double that one-hopped the wall in right. The ball was hit so hard that Mathes had to stop at third. Georgia made a pitching change and brought in senior Josh Roberge. Wright greets Roberge with a smash to right that the rightfield, Dylan Goldstein, dropped when he crashed into the wall. Both runners scored on the play, and Wright took third as the Tigers took a 2-1 lead.

Starter Billy Barlow went three innings, giving up just one hit and one run while walking one and striking out two.

Cannarella, hitting somewhere besides leadoff for the first time this season, led off the fourth with a long homer to right-center, his seventh of the season, for a 3-1 lead.

The Bulldogs got back on the scoreboard in the seventh. Clemson sent Matthew Marchal to the mound for his team-leading 17th appearance, and he recorded one out before the Bulldogs scratched out a run. Goldstein singled and moved to second on a walk to Charlie Condon, the national home run leader with 26. Marchal turned to throw behind the runner at second, and the ball bounced off Hinderleider’s glove and into centerfield, moving Goldstein to third.

Corey Collins delivered a run-scoring single to right to make it 3-2, but Marchal struck out Slate Alford for the second out. Jordan Purify then made a nice play behind the bag on the next batter, flipping the ball to second for the final out.

Austin Gordon came on to pitch the eighth and was electric, striking out two while throwing just 12 pitches, nine for strikes.

The Tigers had a chance to add on in the ninth. Bissetta singled to start the inning, and he moved to second on Nathan Hall’s walked. Mathes dropped a bunt that moved both runners up a base, and Hinderleider walked on a 3-2 count to load the bases. Wright smacked a sinking liner that was caught about a foot off the ground by the second baseman, and he tossed to second to double up Hall.

Gordon came back out for the ninth, and catcher Fernando Gonzalez lined a single after an 11-pitch at-bat. Pinch-runner Josh Stinson replaced Gonzalez. Goldstein hit a one-hopper to Purify, who threw to second to force Stinson. Trey King replaced Goldstein at first, and Condon stepped to the plate. Bakich, who promised Condon would get the Barry Bonds treatment, sent Condon to first with an intentional walk. A wild pitch advanced both runners, and Collins dumped a single into right. The tying run crossed the plate, but Mathes came up firing and threw Condon out at the plate for the second out. Gordon recorded a strikeout and sent the game to extra innings.

Clemson stays on the road this weekend, heading to Louisville for a three-game series. The Cardinals (24-16) set a program record with 13 runs in the opening inning against Western Kentucky Tuesday in a 16-5 victory. Clemson is 13-5 in ACC play and Louisville is 9-9.


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