Pitching buys Tigers time as Henderson delivers walk-off win in extras

Pitching buys Tigers time as Henderson delivers walk-off win in extras

Baseball

Pitching buys Tigers time as Henderson delivers walk-off win in extras

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Clemson and Stony Brook squared off in a pitchers’ duel on Saturday in front of 4,584 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Both teams struggled to push runners across the plate in a game that entered extra innings scoreless.

But once again solid pitching bought time and allowed for Elijah Henderson to deliver a 1-0 win in 10 innings. Henderson finished two-for-two with the games only RBI and walked twice.

Stony Brook threatened with runners in scoring position more than once in the first six innings, but Clemson right hander Davis Sharpe kept the Seawolves at bay. Sharpe allowed no runs, on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks to strand five runners.

Nick Clayton earned his first win as he finished the game with two innings pitched and allowed two hits while striking out three. Keyshawn Askew, Sheldon Reed, and Nick Hoffman also saw time on the mound.

Clemson head coach Monte Lee told members of the media after the game that the lack of offensive production needs improvement but praised his pitching staff’s ability to limit opponents.

“Offensively that was tough to watch, and we didn’t swing the bats well, but a big day out of Henderson who continues to hit the ball well and gave us a win,” Lee said. “From a situational hitting standpoint, we made some mistakes but I believe in our kids and we will keep showing up and fighting, and our pitching staff keeps giving us a chance so we’re 6-0.”

The Tigers struggled to gain momentum offensively and finished the day with just four hits. Henderson gave his team some life in the top of the fourth with a leadoff double and advanced to third with two outs, but Chad Fairey flew out to left field to end the inning.

The Seawolves pushed Clemson in the top of the seventh with a leadoff walk and subsequent single off the bat of Brett Paulsen. Both runners advanced to scoring position on a groundout to first before Askew struck out Ellis Schwartz and the Tigers brought in Sheldon Reed who struck out Evan Giordano to keep Stony Brook off the scoreboard.

Reed exited the game with a full count and one out in the eighth with an apparent arm injury.

In the bottom of the seventh, Clemson benefitted from a hit batter, balk and an error at first base to get Bryar Hawkins and Dylan Brewer in the corners to start the inning.

But Sam Hall flew out to shallow right in foul territory and Stony Brook’s Schwartz caught Hawkins as he attempted to tag and score from third. Starbuck failed to reach first on a bunt to end the inning and keep the score at zero, a score that held until the 10th inning.

In the tenth, Mac Starbuck snuck a single up the middle to kick things of for the Tigers a little bit of life with one out and Kier Meredith walked on the following up bat to bring Elijah Henderson to the plate. Then Henderson won the game for Clemson with an RBI single to right field that scored Henderson to secure the games final score of 1-0.

Lee praised Henderson’s work ethic and consistency within the program.

“No. six is a scrappy little dude and there is a reason why we recruited him. There is a reason we recruited him to play at Clemson,” Lee said. “He redshirted his first year here and didn’t play much for us last year but he didn’t complain and he is certainly going to get his opportunities now. He puts together quality at bat after quality at bad and we are proud of him.”

Clemson aims to remain unbeaten and record a second straight sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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