The Clemson Insider looks back at No. 5 Clemson’s 6-5 11th inning win over Winthrop on Wednesday evening at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Tigers (22-4) took an early lead in the first as Seth Beer hit a one-out single, advanced to second on a passed ball, and came in to score on a Chris Williams RBI single to make it 1-0. The Eagles (13-12) wasted little time answering as they scored a run on two hits in the second to tie the game at 1-1. Winthrop took the lead in the third as they scored two unearned runs on back-to-back sac flies to make it 3-1. The Eagles extended their lead to 4-1 in the fourth thanks to a solo homer. However, Clemson rallied in the bottom of the frame. Weston Jackson led off by reaching on an error followed by singles from Logan Davidson and Andrew Cox to load the bases for Drew Wharton who hit a sac fly to deep center to cut the deficit to 4-2. Grayson Byrd singled in another run and Beer followed with a sac fly to tie the game at 4-4. The Tigers would take the lead in the seventh as Williams led off with a solo homer to put Clemson up 5-4. Winthrop never quit though, using a one-out walk and a passed ball followed by a RBI double to tie the game in the top of the ninth. After neither team scored in the 10th inning, the Tigers would win their eighth straight game as Reed Rohlman hit a two-out, two-strike bloop single with the bases loaded to give Clemson a 6-5 win.
The game had several different momentum swings, but as expected the biggest moment of the game came in the bottom of the 11th inning. Chase Pinder led off with a walk and Weston Jackson followed with a one-out single to give the Tigers two runners on. Logan Davidson was intentionally walked to load the bases and following an out at home, Rohlman fought through a tough at-bat (fouling off several pitches) before hitting a perfectly placed ball to center that found grass and gave Clemson the walk-off win.
What went right?
Offensively, the Tigers totaled 14 hits in the contest, led by three from Byrd. Williams, Weston Jackson, Davidson, and Cox also had multi-hit games with two hits each while Williams drove in two runs. On the mound, the bullpen allowed two runs (one earned) in 9.0 innings, highlighted by 2.2 scoreless innings from Jacob Hennessy and 1.2 scoreless, hitless innings from Ryan Miller. Miller picked up his first win in a Clemson uniform exactly one year to the date from his Tommy John surgery.
What went wrong?
The Tigers fell in an early hole thanks to two unearned runs and only two of the five runs allowed in the game were earned thanks to two errors. Clemson missed a couple of opportunities to put the game away and ended up stranding 15 runners (three at the end of the game).