The legend grows: Seth Beer hits game-winner in 11th
|Wednesday, May 4, 2016 10:24 PM- -|
CLEMSON – The legend of Seth Beer continues to grow.
Beer lined a single to left with two outs in the bottom of the 11th to lead Clemson to a 7-6 victory over Furman Wednesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson improves to 29-15 with the win, while Furman falls to 20-25. The Tigers are 11-0 in midweek games and 22-2 when scoring six or more runs.
"We were very fortunate to win tonight," Clemson head coach Monte Lee said. "This game was a little bit different than what has been going on with our ball club when it comes to extra innings, come from behind wins. We actually played very,very well I thought until going into the seventh inning. We struggled a little bit to find the strike zone. Give Furman a lot of credit for getting back into the ballgame."
Clemson tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth, and Chase Pinder walked with one out in the bottom of the 11th. Eli White walked to put runners at first and second, and Chris Okey hit a deep fly to center that moved Pinder to third.
That brought up Beer, who was 0-for-5 previously but hit an 0-2 pitch into left to score Pinder with the winning run. Pinder scored two runs and drove in two runs.
"Obviously going into that at-bat, you have to have the same amount of confidence you had when you are 5 for 5 or 0 for 5," Beer said. "I was just trying to take a deep breath and just slow the game down and put a good swing on a pitch that I think I could handle. Thankfully I did. I was really excited about it, but (Chris) Okey swung the bat great today and kept us in that game to even put me in that situation. "
The Tigers have won 15 games in a row in the series with Furman dating to the Paladins’ 4-2 win in 14 innings at Clemson on March 3, 2009.
Alex Eubanks pitched three innings in relief to earn the win and improve to 4-4 on the season. Eubanks allowed just one hit and struck out one in 31 pitches.
The Tigers loaded the bases in the second and came away with two runs in the bottom of the second. Weston Wilson and Greene walked to lead off the inning, and Chris Williams was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. K.J. Bryant struck out swinging but Pinder laced a two-run single to left field for the 2-0 lead.
The Tigers finally chased Paladin starter Ryan Griffith in the fourth. Greene walked to start the inning, stole second and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Greene scored on a sacrifice fly by Williams, but Bryant struck out for the second out. Pinder singled again to left field, and Eli White was hit by a pitch. Griffith was replaced by Harry Norman, and Chris Okey greeted Norman with a run-scoring single for a 4-0 Clemson lead. Seth Beer ended the inning when he flied to right on a 63-MPH pitch from Norman.
Gilliam pitched four innings and was outstanding. He gave up one hit and struck out one while throwing just 32 pitches in his four innings.
Alex Schnell replaced Gilliam to begin the fifth and immediately ran into trouble. Sky Overton reached on a one-out error by Greene at third, and Sims Griffith lined a double into right-center to put runners at second and third with one out. Deon Sanders reached on an infield single that scored Overton to make it 4-1, and Schnell then walked Andrew MacLatchie to load the bases.
Schnell was replaced by Brooks Crawford, who got out of trouble with no further damage.
Greene extended the lead in the fifth, blasting the first homer of his collegiate career over the wall in left for a 5-1 Clemson advantage. The Paladins got to Alex Bostic for two runs in the seventh, however, and Clemson led just 5-3 at the stretch.
It all unraveled on reliever Clate Schmidt in the eighth. Schmidt gave up a single, a walk, a run-scoring double and another run-scoring single as Furman struck for three runs, taking a 6-5 lead. All three of the runs were earned.
The Tigers had a chance to tie the game in the ninth and came through. Okey doubled with one out to bring up Beer, but Beer struck out for the second out. It was just Beer’s 12th strikeout of the season. The ball bounced away from the catcher, however, and Okey strolled into third with two out. On a 3-0 count to Rohlman, the ball got away from the catcher again and Okey scored the tying run on the wild pitch. Rohlman tried to advance on another ball in the dirt two pitches later but was thrown out at second to end the threat.
The Tigers host ninth-ranked N.C. State in a three-game series that begins Friday. The Wolfpack are 31-12 overall and 12-7 in conference play. The first game is scheduled for Friday at 6:30 p.m.