LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Clemson Insider looks back at Clemson’s 6-3 loss to Duke on Tuesday night at in the ACC Baseball Championship at Louisville Slugger Field.
The Blue Devils (29-27) took a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Tigers (39-18) answered immediately on a solo homer from Chase Pinder. Clemson would take a 2-1 lead in the second as Andrew Cox hit a solo homer and extend the lead to 3-1 in the fourth on a solo homer from Logan Davidson. Duke would cut into the lead with an unearned run in the fifth and eventually tie the game in the seventh on a two-out single. The Blue Devils would plate three runs on three hits and one critical error in the eighth to take the win.
The game had two key moments, both coming on dropped fly balls in the Tiger outfield. In the fifth inning, Reed Rohlman dropped the would-be third out of the inning and allowed a run to come in to cut the lead to 3-2. In the eighth, a dropped fly ball between Jordan Greene and Weston Jackson extended the inning in which two more unearned runs scored.
What went right?
Charlie Barnes gave Clemson the start they needed on short rest as he allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits in 6.0 innings. Ryley Gilliam tossed 1.2 scoreless innings to end the ballgame as well. The Tigers had four extra base hits (three homers), but only Cox had multiple hits in Clemson’s seven-hit attack. Kyle Wilkie had his best game behind the plate, throwing out three runners.
What went wrong?
The Tigers could not hold on to a lead in the late innings, as two huge errors allowed three unearned runs. Alex Eubanks and Owen Griffith had rough relief outings, allowing a combined four runs (two earned) on four hits in 1.1 innings. Offensively, Clemson could only score on the homer as they failed to build innings throughout the game.