Walk-off!! Davidson's two-run, 9th inning homer leads Clemson to sweep of UNC
|Sunday, March 10, 2019, 3:16 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Have yourself a weekend Clemson baseball and Logan Davidson.
Davidson launched a two-strike, two-out home run over the wall in right to lift Clemson to a 5-4 victory over No. 3 UNC Sunday afternoon at Tiger Field, giving the Tigers the sweep of one of the nation’s top teams.
Clemson improves to 12-3 overall and starts league play with a 3-0 record. North Carolina falls to 12-4 overall and 0-3 in ACC play. The sweep is the first for Clemson over UNC since 1997.
Tar Heel reliever Austin Love entered the day with an ERA of 0.00, but Sam Hall recorded a two-out double in the bottom of the ninth to give the Tigers’ life. Davidson fell into a 1-2 hole but launched the 2-2 pitch from Love into the Cajun Café for the win.
"They really pitched me backward all series, and I didn't see a lot of fastballs until today," Davidson said. "When I got to two strikes I choked up on the bat and I was hoping I could shoot it in the hole and score Sam. He had been throwing a lot of changeups, but you can't really look changeup because he has such a good fastball. He left a changeup inside and I hit it. This is big for us, because that's a good team over there that's played a lot of baseball together."
Lee said Hall was the catalyst.
"You have to give Noth Carolina credit. Their starter was lights out and their reliever Love was tough on us," head coach Monte Lee said. "They took advantage of their opoprtunties better than we did. But Sam Hall has been our most consistent player and gives us a chance. But Logan did what big-time players do - he got a pitch to hit and hit it out of the ballpark. It was great to hear our crowd at the end of the game. North Carolina has a good club and for us to win all three games is big for us."
Reliever Carson Spiers earns the win after pitching two innings of relief.
The Tar Heels broke a scoreless tie in the fourth. Caleb Roberts singled to left with two out and advanced to second on a throwing error. Brandon Martorano singled past a diving Logan Davidson and Robert scored with ease to give UNC a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers broke through against UNC starter Austin Bergner in the fifth. With one out, Bryce Teodosio fell into a quick 0-2 count but eventually worked the count back to 3-2. He fouled off the first 3-2 pitch but hammered the second deep into the seats in left for his fifth homer of the season.
The Tigers weren’t done. Sam Hall walked with two out and scored Davidson’s double in the left-centerfield gap to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead after five innings.
UNC’s Aaron Sabato launched a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left to tie the score with one out in the sixth. Askew’s day was done after the homer, and he pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) with two walks and six strikeouts. He threw 56 strikes in his 96 pitches. He was replaced by Holt Jones, who quickly got into trouble after a single and a walk. He got out of the jam, however, and it was 2-2.
Jones ran into bad luck in the seventh. Dylan Harris’ liner to left should have been caught for the easy out, but left fielder Kier Meredith stumbled and fell down, the ball landing just out of reach for a double. Harris took third on a wild pitch to the backstop but Jones got a strikeout and groundout to short to end the threat.
Two doubles, a single, and a wild pitch plated two runs for the Tar Heels in the top of the eighth. Jones was responsible for the first run with reliever Carson Spiers responsible for the second run.
The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the eighth. Grayson Byrd singled to left to start the inning and moved to second on Kyle Wilkie’s single to right. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, but both Bryar Hawkins and Davis Sharpe struck out for two quick outs. The Tigers finally scored on another wild pitch but trailed 4-3 after eight innings having missed a golden opportunity to tie the score.
Clemson hosts Coastal Carolina at 6 pm Wednesday and resumes ACC play Friday with the start of a three-game series against Notre Dame.