Clemson’s loses fourth straight game
CONWAY, S.C. — For seven innings Tuesday night at Coastal Carolina, 10th-ranked Clemson looked like the same team that just got swept at by NC State.
The Tigers were lethargic at the plate, totaling just two hits.
Then suddenly, they woke up and tore through the Coastal Carolina pitching in the eighth inning to erase what was a four-run deficit thanks to a Patrick Cromwell RBI single and a three-run home run by Chris Williams.
However in the end, Coastal Carolina’s Lee Sponseller hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning off Clemson reliever Ryan Miller to stun the Tigers for a 9-5 victory. The loss was Clemson’s fourth straight.
Trailing 5-1 in the eighth inning, Logan Davidson began the Clemson rally when he singled to right center field. Beer followed with a base hit to left centerfield and then Cromwell brought Davidson home with a hit to right center to make the score 5-2.
With the count 0-1, Williams took the pitch from pitcher Zach McCambley and drove it to right centerfield to score Beer, Cromwell and himself. The three-run shot tied the game at 5-5.
In the bottom of the ninth, Cory Wood doubled to centerfield off Clemson’s Carson Spiers. Kevin Woodall was then intentionally walked by Clemson head coach Monte Lee, who brought in Miller to try and push the game into extra innings.
However, Miller walked Zach Biermann on four pitches, and then on a 2-2 count, he allowed Sponseller to hit his grand slam to straightway centerfield to end the game.
Things looked bleak for the Tigers early on as Coastal Carolina pitching kept them off balance for much of the game. Anthony Simonelli and Davie Inman combined to allow one run on two hits through seven innings.
McCambley came on in relief of Inman in the seventh inning and gave up the four runs which allowed Clemson to tie the game at 5.
Williams’ home run was not the Tigers’ (16-5) only homer of the night. Robert Jolly, who is from the Myrtle Beach area, sent a home run over the left centerfield wall to lead off the second inning, tying the score at one.
The senior took Simonelli’s 3-2 offering deep over the wall and into the road.
The Chanticleers scored five runs in the first three innings on five hits, running off starter Holt Jones with one out in the second inning.
A two-base error allowed Coastal Carolina to get one run in the first and then RBI singles from Matt Bearid and Seth Lancaster in the second and then a fielder’s choice sacrifice on a bunt scored Bearid for a 4-1 lead. The Chanticleers added another run in the third inning to take a 5-1 advantage as Parker Chavers singled through the left side, scoring Kieton Rivers.
Travis Marr came on with one out in the second and put out the flames, though he was charged with allowing a run in the third. However, he pitched well in relief of Jones, going five innings and allowing just five hits. He struck out two batters and did not issue a walk.
Clemson will travel to Louisville on Friday to start a three-game series against the Cardinals.