Clemson clinches Atlantic Division with win over Pitt

Clemson clinches Atlantic Division with win over Pitt

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Clemson clinches Atlantic Division with win over Pitt

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Clemson clinched the ACC’s Atlantic Division Championship Friday with a 4-1 win over Pitt Friday at Charles L. Cost Field in Pittsburgh, Pa.

It is the Tigers’ first Atlantic Division Championship since 2010 and first outright title since the 2006 season.

“I’m just really happy for our team for winning the division title today,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said afterward. “Kudos to our guys for competing as hard as they have all year and being as consistent as we have been all year.”

The road warrior Tigers have now won 10 straight ACC road games and will be at least the No. 2 seed in next week’s ACC Baseball Tournament in Durham, N.C.

Clemson (42-13, 21-8 ACC) is now 12-2 in ACC road games this season and 14-5 overall in true road games.

Brooks Crawford picked up the win for Clemson going 5 1/3 innings while giving up five hits, one run and one earned run.

“I thought Brooks Crawford pitched extremely well,” Lee said.

The Tigers jumped out to a lead in the first inning. Kyle Wilkie singled with one out, while Seth Beer and Chris Williams were hit by pitches to load the bases.

Patrick Cromwell walked to score Wilkie and then Drew Wharton singled to score Beer and Williams for an early 3-0 lead.

“We got out to a great start and put together those three runs there in the first inning, capped off by Drew Wharton’s two-strike base hit,” Lee said. “We needed it because their guy settled in a  did a really nice job for them.”

Pitt (27-24, 11-18 ACC) got on the board in the bottom of the fourth with one run.

The Tigers added some insurance in the eighth. Seth Beer hit a solo home run, his team leading 18th of the season, to center field. After the top of the eighth the lead was 4-1.

“Seth hit the insurance home run there in the eighth, but overall it was more about pitching and defense,” Lee said.

Carson Spiers was strong in relief pitching, throwing 2 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball.  Ryley Gilliam pitched the ninth to record his ninth save of the season.

“Carson Spiers was huge for us,” Lee said. “He came into the ballgame and faced eight hitters, seven of those guys were first-pitch strikes. He got every guy out. He did an amazing job for us and then Ryley was good for us there in the end.”

The Tigers’  21 ACC wins are tied for the second best in school history. In 2005 Clemson also finished with 21 wins. The record is 24 from the 2006 season.

“We are going to enjoy this one and go watch the Pirates game and get ready for tomorrow’s game,” Lee said.

The Tigers and Panthers complete the three-game series Saturday at 1 p.m. in Pittsburgh.

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