The Clemson Insider takes a look back at No. 2 Clemson’s 5-4 loss to No. 19 NC State on Sunday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Wolfpack (18-3, 5-1 ACC) jumped on the board quick with a two-out solo homer by Will Wilson in the top of the first inning. The Tigers (16-4, 3-3 ACC) answered immediately as Logan Davidson led off the bottom of the frame with a solo homer of his own. Clemson would strike again in the second inning. Drew Wharton led off with a walk and came around to score on a RBI double by Grayson Byrd. Kyle Wilkie then lifted a sac fly down the right field line to bring in Byrd and give Clemson a 3-1 lead. NC State responded in the top of the next inning as a HBP and two-run homer by Josh McLain tied the game at 3-3. The Tigers would break the tie in the fourth as Byrd reached on a two-out error and Wilkie followed with a RBI double to give Clemson a 4-3 lead. The Wolfpack tied the game again with a single run in the sixth and took the lead in the eighth on another solo Wilson homer. The Tigers got a runner on with one out in the ninth, but could not bring him in as NC State swept a three-game series from Clemson for the first time since 1997.
The game changed in the early innings as the Tigers wasted several opportunities to add runs. In the first inning, Patrick Cromwell singled and Seth Beer walked following Davidson’s homer and Clemson looked primed to take an early lead but an infield fly and double play ended the threat. In the fourth, the Tigers put two on with two outs for Davidson but he fouled out down the first base line and Clemson could not push a run across.
What went right?
Byrd and Wilkie each continued their strong weekends as Byrd had a team-high two hits with a RBI while Wilkie added a hit and drove in a team-best two runs. Davidson also started the game strong with a leadoff solo homer. Ryan Miller pitched well despite taking the loss, allowing a single run on three hits in 3.0 innings. Ryne Huggins and Ryley Gilliam combined to pitch a perfect ninth inning. Defensively, the Tigers did not commit an error and made several nice plays in the field.
What went wrong?
Clemson led two different times in the game and both times let the Wolfpack come back to tie the game. The Tigers totaled only five hits in the game and only had one in the final five innings as the middle of the lineup (Beer, Williams, Jolly, and Wharton) combined to go 0-for-13 in the game. Clemson stranded five runners in the game while also hitting into two double plays.