The Clemson Insider looks back at No. 4 Clemson’s 16-6 series-opening win over Pittsburgh on Thursday evening at Charles L. Cost Field.
The Panthers (27-23, 11-17 ACC) jumped on the board quick with a one-out RBI single in the top of the first inning for a 1-0 lead. The Tigers (41-13, 20-8 ACC) responded in a big way in the third on back-to-back RBI singles by Kyle Wilkie and Seth Beer followed by a two-run Chris Williams single and capped with a two-run homer from Patrick Cromwell made it 6-1. Clemson extended the lead to 7-1 in the fourth on a Beer RBI double but Pittsburgh was able to get one run back in the fifth to cut the deficit to 7-2. The Tigers plated two runs in the sixth thanks to a Logan Davidson homer and run-scoring error but the Panthers answered with four runs in the bottom of the frame to make it 9-6. From there it was all Clemson as the Tigers scored two in the seventh on Davidson’s second homer of the game, Cromwell hit a solo shot for his second homer of the game in the eighth, Sam Hall led off the ninth with a solo homer and Beer followed with a two-run bomb before Cromwell’s RBI double capped the scoring for a 16-6 Clemson win.
The game had a couple of big moments. The Tigers six-run third inning was big as it gave them a nice cushion throughout the game and gave starter Spencer Strider some room to work. In the sixth, Ryan Miller entered in a pressure situation and got the tying-run to line out to end the inning and strand two runners in scoring position.
What went right?
The offense was on fire, collecting 18 total hits (including 10 for extra bases). All nine starters reached base at least once with eight of the nine having at least one hit. Beer had a game-high four hits while Cromwell and Davidson, who extended his hitting streak to 15 games, each had three hits. Wilkie, who hitting streak hit 20 games, had two hits along with Williams and Wharton meaning the top six in the batting order combined for 16 hits. Strider pitched well in his first start, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 5.0 innings while Ryan Miller (2.1) and Alex Schnell each had scoreless outings.
What went wrong?
Not much can go wrong in a game when you win by 10 runs, but Clemson did hit into two double plays while stranding eight runners. Travis Marr had a tough outing, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks in just 0.2 innings.