The Clemson Insider looks back at No. 20 Clemson’s 3-2 win over No. 3 North Carolina in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Tar Heels (12-2, 0-1 ACC) struck first with a solo homer in the top of the first inning. After both pitchers settled into a pitching duel, North Carolina added a run in the top of the seventh to take a 2-0 lead. The Tigers (10-3, 1-0 ACC) answered with a run in the bottom of the frame to cut the deficit to 2-1. In the ninth, Clemson tied the game on a one-out single by Kier Meredith and won the game on a walk-off balk to take game one of the doubleheader and of the series.
The game changed in the final frame. After not producing much against Tar Heel pitching over the first eight innings, the Tiger offense found some life in the ninth. Michael Green led off with a single and two batters later pinch-hitter Chad Fairey drew a walk to set up the game-tying RBI single by Meredith. A balk on the next batter forced the game-winning run in and gave Clemson a 3-2 victory.
What went right?
Davis Sharpe pitched well in his first career ACC start, allowing a single run on three hits with seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings. Jacob Hennessy picked up the win in relief with 3.0 innings of one-run ball. Bryar Hawkins & Meredith led the Tigers at the plate with two hits each while Jordan Greene and Meredith both drove in a run.
What went wrong?
The offense struggled for a majority of the game against a very good North Carolina pitching staff as Clemson tallied seven total hits. The Tigers also stranded eight runners in the game. Pitching wise, Clemson walked five batters and also hit a batter for six total “free” bases.