Seth Beer and Weston Wilson both hit home runs while Clate Schmidt had a career-high 11 strikeouts as No. 19 Clemson defeated No. 22 Boston College, 6-2, on Friday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Beer hit a two-run bomb in the third inning, which gave the Tigers a 4-2 lead at the time, while Wilson’s two-run shot to left field in the bottom the fifth inning made the score 6-2. Wilson has now driven in 12 runs in the last four games.
“That is starting to kind of happen a lot lately. That’s kind of nice,” Wilson said smiling. “It’s nice to be able to have someone on base.”
The Tigers finished the game with nine hits as Beer had two hits to go along with his two RBIs, while catcher Chris Okey joined him with a 2-for-4 night at the plate.
“What a really good win. I thought we played very well,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said. “We had to earn our runs tonight. If you look hitting wise, their starting pitcher is very, very good. He pounded the strike zone and he forced us to swing the bats. We had to hit our way on and we did that.”
After giving up two solo home runs in the third inning, Schmidt settled down. The righty, who was making his first career-start on a Friday night, kept the Eagles off balance for much of the game as he went seven innings for the second time this year, while allowing those two runs on six hits.
“The thing you have to do as a pitcher is be able to move on to the next pitch,” Schmidt said. “I had complete faith in my entire offense that they were going to be able to get runs back and they were able to put me in a situation where I could shut them down. I was just fortunate enough to have my off-speed (pitch) working by the end of the game.”
Clemson (14-3, 3-1 ACC) grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Andrew Cox got a two-out base hit to center field to score Beer, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Robert Jolly, who singled through the right side with one out, scored the second run when Adam Renwick drove him home with a base knock to right field.
The Eagles got two solo home runs in the top of the third inning from Stephen Sauter and Gabriel Hernandez to tie things up. Sauter took Schmidt’s second pitch of the inning and drove it over the wall in right field. Two batters later, Hernandez took a pitch over the right-centerfield wall.
The Tigers regained the lead in the bottom part of the third when Beer lifted a Mike King offering over the Cajun Café in right field. It was a two-run shot that scored Okey, who had a one-out hit earlier in the inning.
It was Beer’s eighth home run of the season. He now has a team-high 24 RBIs as well.
“The guy is super human,” Lee said.
Wilson scored Beer in the bottom of the fifth inning when he blasted a ball to left field for a two-run home run for a 6-2 lead.
“I knew it was gone when I hit it,” Wilson said.
Beer had reached with a double off the wall in left centerfield just before Wilson’s homer. It was Wilson’s second home run of the year.
Boston College (12-4, 2-2 ACC) threatened to tie things up again in the bottom of the fourth when Schmidt walked two batters and gave up a hit to load the bases with one out. But the senior got Johnny Adams and Hernandez to chase strike three to end the inning, while preserving his lead.
“That was huge. Coach (Andrew) See and Okey, like they always do, have a great sequence to the hitters,” Schmidt said. “I was fortunate enough to be able to make some big pitches and I was confident enough that if I gave up a little hit that I knew that my defense behind me would make a play.
“I was actually hoping that I would get a ground ball and get a double play rather than go for the punchouts, but I was fortunate enough to make a couple of pitches.”
Schmidt threw 114 pitches.
“Clate Schmidt showed a lot of guts,” Lee said. “If you look at the one inning where he gives up two homers and I think a double, and after that he got better. That shows you what type of makeup he has and toughness he has.
“We needed a guy that could go out there and give us a quality start and he did that and then some.”
Clemson will host the Eagles in Game 2 of the three-game series on Saturday. First pitched is scheduled for 4 p.m. Left-hand pitcher Charlie Barnes will get the start on the mound for the Tigers, while BC will counter with lefty Jesse Adams.