CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The Clemson Insider looks back at Clemson’s 5-1 loss to North Carolina on Friday evening at Boshamer Stadium.
After five scoreless innings, the Tigers (34-9, 16-6 ACC) finally broke through with a run in the sixth as Chris Williams led off the inning with a solo homer to put Clemson up 1-0. The Tar Heels (34-9, 17-5 ACC) took the lead in the seventh as they used four hits, two walks, and a wild pitch to plate five runs and take a 5-1 lead that they would never relinquish to take the opening game of the series.
The game changed in the seventh inning. With the Tigers clinching to a 1-0 lead Charlie Barnes retired the first two batters before back-to-back singles put runners on the corners for North Carolina. Following a stolen base, the Tar Heels tied the game on a wild pitch on ball four of a walk. After another walk loaded the bases Clemson went to the bullpen but Patrick Andrews gave up a three-run double to pinch hitter Michael Busch to make it 4-1 and he later came in to score on a RBI single to push the score to 5-1.
What went right?
Despite taking the loss, Barnes pitched well as he allowed four runs on four hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Alex Schnell made a solid relief appearance, allowing a hit with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings. The Tigers outhit North Carolina 8-6 with Jordan Greene have a team-high two hits. Clemson did not commit an error and made several nice defensive plays.
What went wrong?
The Tigers had several scoring chances, but stranded nine runners in the contest as they were never able to string more than two hits together in an inning. The missed opportunities came back to bite Clemson late as they missed a chance to take the series opener.