Tigers defeat No. 3 Tar Heels on a rare balk-off
|Saturday, March 9, 2019, 4:25 PM- -|
CLEMSON – A balk-off is just as good as a walk-off.
UNC pitcher Joey Lancelloti balked with one out and the winning run at third in the bottom of the ninth Saturday afternoon, scoring Elijah Henderson as Clemson defeated No. 3 North Carolina 3-2 at Tiger Field in the first game of a doubleheader.
Clemson improved to 10-3 overall and 1-0 in the ACC, while the Tar Heels dropped to 12-2 overall and 0-1 in ACC play.
Clemson trailed 2-1 heading into the ninth, but Michael Green singled to deep short to start the inning. Jordan Greene popped out for the first out, and pinch-hitter Chad Fairey walked on a 3-2 count to put runners at first and second.
Kier Meredith’s check-swing roller bounced between second and short to score the tying run, with Meredith taking second and Henderson, who pinch-ran for Fairey, moved to third. That brought up Sam Hall, but Lancelloti made a move towards the plate and the umpires called the game-ending balk.
Lancelotti falls to 0-1 with the loss.
Jacob Hennessy gets the win in relief, improving to 2-0 on the season. Hennessy pitched three innings in relief of starter Davis Sharpe, giving up one run on three hits while walking two and striking out two. Sharpe pitched six strong innings, giving up one run on three hits while walking three and striking out seven.
Bryar Hawkins and Meredith were the only Clemson players with two hits.
The Tar Heels scored on Ike Freeman’s solo homer with two out in the first, then scored again in the seventh on a walk, a sacrifice bunt and a single. Clemson scored in the bottom of the seventh after Hawkins doubled to lead off the frame, moved to third on a grounder and scored when Greene reached on an error.
The series continues Saturday with the second game of the doubleheader at 5:10 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.