Big Win: Tigers' two-out magic routs Pack in series finale

by - Senior Writer -
Chris Williams had a three-run homer for the Tigers
Chris Williams had a three-run homer for the Tigers

The Tigers finally got an ACC win, and they did it by reversing a recent and ugly trend in defeating N.C. State 15-6 in Raleigh Saturday afternoon in the finale of the regular season.

Clemson advances to next week’s ACC Baseball Championship in Louisville. The Tigers will unoffically (we'll know later Saturday) be the No. 5 seed in the tournament. Clemson improves to 39-17 overall and 17-13 in the ACC with the win. Grayson Byrd was 3-for-5 with two runs batted in, while Chris Williams added three RBI on a homer.

Clemson had nine two-out RBI on the day and was 8-for-15 with two out, 10-for-17 with two out and runners in scoring position. The win broke a nine-game conference losing streak for Clemson, a school-record.

N.C. State rallied from a 7-1 deficit to make it 7-5 in the middle innings, and starter Pat Krall was out of the game as he battled control issues. Clemson has struggled through several games of late where they get an early lead but can’t hold the lead or get a big hit down the stretch. They got both Saturday.

State scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it 7-5, but the Tigers scored six runs with two out in the top of the seventh to break the game open. Kyle Wilkie walked with one out, and after Logan Davidson struck out for the second out the Tigers finally got their two-out mojo back.

Reed Rohlman doubled down the right field line, scoring Wilkie to make it 8-5. Seth Beer followed with an RBI double to right, and Weston Jackson smoked a run-scoring double to left that made it 10-5. Andrew Cox walked and Chris Williams launched a three-homer over the wall in left-center to make it 13-5. It was Williams’ 14th homer of the season.

The Tigers added two more runs in the eighth. Wilkie walked to lead off the inning, and Davidson doubled to put both runners in scoring position. A passed ball scored Wilkie to make it 14-5 and Davidson scored on a RBI grounder by Rohlman.

N.C. State added a run in the eighth to account for the game’s final score.

State got an unearned run off Krall in the first, but Clemson scored five in the third on five hits. Singles by Greene, Davidson and Rohlman scored the first run and a walk to Beer loaded the bases. Jackson lofted a run-scoring single to center that made it 2-1, and a balk advanced all the runners and made it 3-1.

Andrew Cox walked to load the bases, but Williams flied out to center for the second out. Byrd got the two-out magic working early, however, singling up the middle and scoring two runs for a 5-1 lead.

The Tigers scored single runs in the fifth and the sixth to make it 7-1, but the Pack got to Krall with a five-spot in the bottom of the sixth to put the game in doubt.

Owen Griffith replaced Krall and pitched 1 2/3 innings, giving up one unearned run. Krall earned the win to improve to 8-2. He went 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs (four earned), while walking three and striking out three.

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