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Clemson loses heartbreaker at NC State

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Tigers continued their ACC slide on Thursday night as they lost 3-2 to N.C. State at Doak Field in Raleigh for their eighth league loss in a row. Clemson hasn’t lost more than six ACC games in a row since 1990.

Charlie Barnes pitched another great game but once again couldn’t get much run production. Barnes went 7.0 innings, only giving up seven hits, two runs and two earned runs. Barnes threw 110 pitches and tied his career high with eleven strikeouts.

“It was a tough game for us tonight,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee told The Clemson Insider after the game. “Charlie pitched his heart out. We played great defensively, but right there at the end, it’s really on me as a coach. We’ve got to do a better job of running the bases and being able to get a bunt down where we can advance runners. We’ve just got to be able to do the little things, the situational hitting and base-running. The little things get you beat in ball games, and that’s what happened to us tonight.”

Weston Jackson put the Tigers on top in the second inning. With two outs, Jackson hit a blast to left field to put Clemson up 1-0.

N.C. State responded with two runs in the second to take the lead 2-1.

Clemson tied the score in the top of the fourth. Seth Beer smashed a home run to right center, his 14th on the year, to start the fourth.

Owen Griffith came in and pitched the eighth and got the strikeout for what should have been the third out, but the ball got away and N.C. State took the lead 3-2.

In the top of the ninth, Chris Williams walked and K.J. Bryant replaced him on first. Logan Davidson laid down a bunt and it looked like Bryant was safe at second, but he was called out. Lee quickly came out to argue the call and showed as much emotion as we have seen since he took over as head coach last season. Reed Rohlman singled but Davidson made a base-running mistake as he looked to be going to third and instead turned back to second and was out. Beer then hit what looked like a two-run home run, but it was just foul. Beer then was called out on strike three.

“I just have to try to keep their spirits up,” Lee said. “We competed our butt off. The messages haven’t changed a whole lot from the beginning of the year until now. If anything, we’ve got to try to slow the game down. In the ninth inning we had some opportunities, and I felt like it sped up on us a little bit.”

Clemson fell to 38-16 overall and 16-12 in the ACC with the loss. The Tigers and Wolfpack play game two Friday night at 6:30 p.m.

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