Cromwell's single in the 8th pushes Clemson past Tech in ACC opener

by - Senior Writer -
Jacob Hennessy pitched seven strong innings (Photo by David Grooms)
Jacob Hennessy pitched seven strong innings (Photo by David Grooms)

CLEMSON – Clemson just keeps finding ways to win games, even when the opponent gets more hits.

Patrick Cromwell’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth propelled No.12 Clemson to a 3-2 victory over Georgia Tech in the ACC opener for both teams at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Friday. The victory improved Clemson’s record to 13-1 overall and 1-0 in the ACC, while Georgia Tech fell to 9-4 overall and 0-1 in the ACC.

The Jackets tied the score in the top of the eighth, but Logan Davidson singled to center to start the bottom of the frame. He moved to third on Seth Beer’s single to right and came around to score the go-ahead run on Cromwell’s single.

Beer and Bryce Teodosio each homered for the other two Clemson runs. Ryan Miller pitched the final two innings and earned the win, improving is record to 2-0.

Georgia Tech outhit Clemson 8-6 - the opponent has outhit the Tigers in eight games in 2018 and Clemson is 8-1 in those nine games.

"We pitched and played great defense today. No free passes. Not one walk and just one error," head coach Monte Lee said. "The defense was outstanding. You have to give Jacob Hennessy and Ryan Miller a lot of credit. We threw 115 pitches today, I think that is the best of the year. The lowest pitch count in a nine-inning game this year. We had early home runs by Teodosio and Beer and one of the keys was being able to get into their bullpen early.

"We put together some good at-bats but were unable to get the big blow. If you don't score a bunch of runs, if you fight pitches off and get into the bullpen it will pay off."

Lee said his team finds ways to win games.

"Davidson led off the inning with a walk and when they pulled the infield in Cromwell came up with a big hit there," Lee said. "He stayed in the middle of the field and had a base hit and RBI. It was just enough. Jacob did a great job and Ryan Miller did a great job at the end of the game and it was just enough. When you get outhit and find a way to win that means you are pitching well and playing pretty good defense."

The Tigers got off to a good start thanks to Beer. Beer battled Georgia Tech starter Xzavion Curry to a full count with one out in the bottom of the first. Not wanting to walk Beer with the hot-hitting Patrick Cromwell on deck, Curry challenged Beer with a fastball. Beer turned on the pitch and hit it over the batting cages in right for a 1-0 Clemson lead. It was his fourth homer of the season.

Things were quiet until the third. Teodosio stepped to the plate in a 0-for-18 slump and batting just .167 on the season. However, he turned on a 2-1 fastball from Curry and lofted a 401-foot solo shot to left-center, his second of the season, and Clemson led 2-0.

Tech reached Hennessy for the first time in the fourth. Chase Murray singled to lead off the frame and moved to second on Joey Bart’s double to left. Hennessy got a soft fly to first for the first out, and the second out on an RBI groundout to third by Kel Johnson. He struck out Colin Hall to end the inning with Clemson holding a 2-1 lead.

Hennessy’s outing was all head coach Monte Lee could ask for. He gave up a leadoff single to Hall to start the 8th and was replaced by Ryan Miller. A bunt and a single scored the tying run, and Hennessy had a final line of eight innings (plus one batter), six hits, two runs (both earned), no walks and seven strikeouts. He wouldn’t factor in the decision.

Due to forecasted inclement weather during the weekend, the Georgia Tech vs. Clemson series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium is now slated to conclude with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon. The second game of the doubleheader begins approximately 50 minutes after the conclusion of the first game of the doubleheader.

Tickets for Sunday's originally-scheduled game will be accepted for the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday. Tickets for Saturday's originally-scheduled game will be accepted for the second game of the doubleheader.

LHP Brant Hurter (GAT - 0-0, 5.40) vs. RHP Brooks Crawford (CU - 1-0, 1.98) in the first game and LHP Connor Thomas (GAT - 2-0, 1.42) vs. LHP Jake Higginbotham (CU - 2-0, 2.08) in the second game.

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