After seeing his team give up a big lead against Coastal Carolina on Tuesday, Seth Beer stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning and did what he does best.
With Clemson down by a run after relinquishing a six-run advantage, Beer cranked a grand slam to right field to give the 12th-ranked Tigers an 11-8 win over the 24th-ranked Chanticleers at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Beer’s blast helped Clemson end a three-game losing streak and stay undefeated in midweek games this season. It was his 13th home run of the season and first since April 17 at Florida State.
“Seth Beer did what great players do,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said after the game. “I’m so happy for Seth. It’s been quite a while since he’s hit one, and man, it really was the difference-maker for us.”
The game saw a wild finish, with Beer’s home run coming after Seth Lancaster’s two-RBI double in the top of the eighth inning that gave Coastal its first lead of the game.
Clemson jumped out to a 7-1 advantage through five innings thanks in part to home runs by Logan Davidson, Reed Rohlman and Jackson. Coastal then responded with two homers in a four-run sixth inning and a solo shot in the seventh to cut its deficit to one run before Lancaster’s go-ahead double.
Robert Jolly walked to lead off Clemson’s half of the eighth, Grayson Byrd reached on a throwing error by the catcher and Rohlman was intentionally walked to set up Beer’s heroics.
The win gives the Tigers momentum heading into their final series of the regular season, which begins on Thursday against N.C. State in Raleigh.
“I think it’s huge for our team,” Beer said of the win. “That’s an incredible team, obviously, what they put together last year. So, for us, I think that’s huge leading up to this weekend. We can contest with anybody, and I think this just kind of reassured it.”
Clemson struck first in the first inning on a leadoff home run from Davidson, his 10th long ball of the season. Following a one-out single by Beer and two-out single by Andrew Cox, Jackson ripped a double near the left-field line to plate Beer and make the score 2-0.
The Tigers tacked on another run in the second to gain an early three-run advantage. Byrd singled through the right side with one out before moving to second when Rohlman was hit by a pitch with two outs. Beer then knocked in Byrd with an RBI single to left field.
Coastal cut its lead to 3-1 in the top of the fourth inning. Kevin Woodall began the inning with a double to right-center field and advanced to third base on a groundout by Wood Myers before reaching home plate on Kieton Rivers’ groundout to first base.
Clemson answered the Chanticleers in the bottom half of the fourth. Davidson induced a two-out walk to keep the frame alive for Rohlman, who hit his sixth home run of the season to left field, which scored Davidson and gave the Tigers a 5-1 lead.
The Tigers added a pair of runs in the bottom half of the fifth. Chase Pinder led off with a single to right before coming around to score on a two-run homer by Jackson, his fifth of the year, that made the score 7-1.
Coastal closed the gap in the top of sixth inning, scoring four runs and cutting its deficit to 7-5 on back-to-back home runs by Woodall and Myers.
The Chanticleers homered again in the seventh to draw within a single run at 7-6. Billy Cooke, who entered the game with a .341 average and nine home runs, sent his 10th into the Chapman Grandstands.
Myers and Rivers notched one-out singles in the eighth inning to set up Lancaster’s go-ahead two-run RBI double.
Beer and Weston Jackson paced the Tigers’ offense with three hits apiece. Beer went 3-for-5 with the homer and five RBI, while Jackson had three hits, including a home run and double, and three RBI.
Clemson starter pitcher Tyler Jackson pitched five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out one and walking none. Coastal starter Anthony Veneziano gave up seven runs on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts across five innings.
Ryley Gilliam (3-1) was credited with the win for Clemson, while Jason Bilous (3-2) suffered the loss.
The Tigers improved to 38-15, while the Chanticleers dropped to 34-18-1.
“We needed a win. That’s the bottom line,” Lee said. “We needed a win today. We have obviously been struggling, but the one thing I will say is what’s happened in the past doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is right now and today, and that was our message to the team today.”
Clemson and N.C. State begin their three-game series at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.