CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The Clemson Insider looks back at Clemson’s 5-4 loss to North Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium.
The Tigers (34-10, 16-7 ACC) took an early lead with a three-run second inning. Logan Davidson and Andrew Cox hit back-to-back one-out singles before a RBI double from Robert Jolly made it 1-0. After Cox scored on a passed ball, Jordan Greene lifted a sac fly to score Jolly and extend the lead to 3-0. The Tar Heels (35-9, 18-5 ACC) answered with a run in the bottom of the frame to cut the lead to 3-1. After both pitchers settled into a rhythm, Clemson added a run in the eighth as Reed Rohlman led off with a HBP, went to third on a Chris Williams single, and came in to score on a sac fly from Seth Beer. North Carolina would put together another big, late inning in the eighth as they scored four runs on five hits in the bottom of the eighth to take a 5-4 lead and take the series.
The game changed in the eighth inning. After the Tigers had taken a 4-1 lead in the top of the frame, Alex Eubanks came back out (at 108 pitches) and retired the first batter before consecutive singles chased him from the game. Ryley Gilliam entered, and after throwing a wild pitch, gave up back-to-back RBI singles to cut the lead to 4-3. Clemson headed back to the bullpen with Jacob Hennessy but another RBI single tied the game and a walk loaded the bases. Jeremy Beasley came in and allowed a sac fly to put the Tar Heels ahead before finally recording the last out of the inning.
What went right?
Eubanks gave the Tigers another good start, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts in 7.1 innings. Williams and Jolly each had two hits in Clemson’s six hit attack while Davidson and Cox picked up the other two base knocks. Defensively, the Tigers again made several nice plays in the field and did not commit an error.
What went wrong?
The bullpen let Clemson down for the second straight game as it could not hold a late lead in a tough situation and it cost them the series. The Tigers also missed some chances offensively and struggled to get hits as three of their six hits came in the three-run second inning.