Friday the 13th Nightmare: Canes strike late to stun Tigers

by - Senior Writer -
Chris Williams homered early for Clemson
Chris Williams homered early for Clemson

CLEMSON – Friday the 13th proved to be a nightmare for Clemson baseball.

Miami scored eight runs in the ninth and pushed across a go-ahead score in the top of the 12th in defeating No. 8 Clemson 12-11 Friday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in the opener of a three-game series.

The Tigers took an 11-3 lead into the top of the ninth, but the Hurricanes scored eight runs on seven hits to tie the score. A double and s single in the 12th scored the winning run. Clemson put runners at first and second with no out in the bottom of the 12th, but Patrick Cromwell struck out after two failed bunt attempts and Kier Meredith’s liner was snagged by the third baseman, who threw to first to double off Wilkie and end the contest.

Clemson falls to 25-9 overall and 10-6 in the ACC, while Miami improves to 14-19 overall and 8-8 in ACC play.

Chris Williams hit a grand slam and Cromwell homered twice for the Tigers, but the Canes outhit Clemson 19-10. Sixteen of Miami’s hits were singles.

Clemson starter Jacob Hennessy pitched five innings, but the eight-run ninth cost him a decision.

Hennessy ran into trouble in the first after the Hurricanes opened the game with two singles. Two foul outs and a single later and the Canes held a quick 2-0 lead.

The Tigers answered in impressive fashion in the bottom of the frame. Kier Meredith singled up the middle to start the inning, and he moved to second on Jordan Greene’s walk. Seth Beer singled through the right side, loading the bases for Williams. Williams looked at one strike, then smashed the second pitch he saw over the wall in center for a grand slam and 4-2 lead.

The homer was Williams’ eighth of the season.

Miami’s Romy Gonzalez homered in the top of the second to get one of the runs back, but the Tigers once again answered with the long ball.

Kyle Wilkie walked to lead off the bottom of the second, bringing up Cromwell. Cromwell mashed a 1-1 fastball over the wall in right for his third home run of the season and a 6-3 Clemson lead.

Hennessy was lifted after five innings and replaced by Ryan Miller. Hennessy went five innings, giving up seven hits, three runs (all earned) while not recording a walk or strikeout in 82 pitches.

The Tigers added insurance runs in the eighth. Robert Jolly walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Sam Hall. Wilkie sacrificed Hall to second, and Cromwell mashed a 2-0 pitch deep over the wall in right for his fourth homer of the season and an 8-3 Clemson lead.

The Tigers loaded the bases with two out, and Davidson bounced into a fielder's choice and error that scored a run for a 9-3 lead, and Wharton followed with a shot to right-center that scored two more runs to make it 11-3. Wharton was thrown out at second on the play.

The Canes scored eight runs off of three Clemson relievers in the ninth. After the fifth Miami run, Lee turned to closer Ryley Gilliam. Gilliam entered the game with the bases loaded, one out, and Clemson clinging to an 11-8 lead. Gilliam got Gonzalez to line out to left, but the run scored to make it 11-9. The Canes then added a two-run double that tied the score at 11-11.

The series will conclude with a doubleheader Saturday. The first game starts at 1 p.m. and will feature RHP Evan McKendry (MIA - 4-4, 4.14) vs. RHP Brooks Crawford (CU - 3-1, 2.82). The second game will see - RHP Andrew Cabezas (MIA - 3-3, 4.30) vs. LHP Jake Higginbotham (CU - 4-1, 4.05).

Tickets for Sunday's scheduled game will be valid for Saturday's 1 p.m., contest, and the stadium will be cleared in between games. Tickets for Saturday's 5 p.m. game will still be accepted for that game. If the first game on Saturday ends after 4:15 p.m., the second game on Saturday will start 45 minutes after the first game on Saturday ends.

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