The Clemson Insider takes a look back at No. 7 Clemson’s come-from-behind, 9-8, win in 10 innings over Winthrop Tuesday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.
Kyle Wilkie drove home the game winner with a base hit up the middle in the bottom of the 10th inning. Wilkie also had an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Tigers (8-0) jumped to a quick lead in the first as Chris Williams hit a three-run homer and Drew Wharton added a solo shot to make it 4-0. The Eagles (3-6) would scratch a run across in the second to make it 4-1 before taking a 5-4 lead with four runs in the third. Winthrop would add two runs in the fourth and another in the sixth to extend the lead to 8-4. Clemson fought back in the sixth with three runs on RBI hits from Wharton (double), Grayson Byrd (single), and Kyle Wilkie (single) to cut the deficit to 8-7. Patrick Cromwell would tie the game with a one-out solo homer in the bottom of the ninth and send the game to extra innings. In the tenth, Wharton drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a perfect hit-and-run by Byrd before Wilkie drove a ball up the middle for the walkoff hit, giving the Tigers a 9-8 win.
The game had several momentum swings. In the third inning, a misplayed ball in the outfield led to four Winthrop runs while later in the game Wharton hit a ball just over the left-fielders head to key a three-run inning. The biggest moment in the game came in the tenth inning as Wharton drew a leadoff walk before a perfect hit-and-run by Byrd put the winning run on third for Wilkie’s game-winning hit.
What went right?
After blowing an early lead, the Tigers did not quit and kept battling to get the win. Williams, Wharton, Byrd, and Wilkie each had two hits in Clemson’s 10-hit attack while Williams (3), Wharton (2), and Wilkie (2) each drove in multiple runs. Ryan Miller pitched very well over 4.0 innings, allowing a single run on two hits while allowing the offense to get back in the game. Ryne Huggins (0.2), Carson Spiers (1.2), and Mat Clark (0.2) combined to pitch the final 3.0 scoreless innings.
What went wrong?
As mentioned above, Clemson blew an early 4-0 lead. Starter Sam Weatherly and reliever Travis Marr had difficult outings, combining to allow seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits in 3.0 innings. Overall the Tigers allowed 14 hits to an offense that was averaging only seven per game.