Tigers clinch first ACC series with victory over BC
Bryar Hawkins had a two-run home run in the first inning and Chad Fairey had a solo shot in the second as Clemson beat Boston College, 12-5, Saturday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.
The Tigers’ 12 runs were a season high as were the 14 hits. Elijah Henderson led the team at the plate with a 3-for-4 afternoon and 4 RBIs.
After starting the season 11-for-18, prior to Saturday Henderson was 2 for his last 29 at the plate. Adam Hackenberg was 2-for-3 with a run batted in, while Fairey was 3-for-5 with an RBI. Bo Majkowski also brought a run home and was 3-for-4 at the plate.
Clemson head coach Monte Lee was proud of the way Henderson played Saturday despite his recent struggles.
“The first thing about a slump is there’s no such thing as a slump it’s just baseball. I never use the word slump because I don’t believe in it,” Lee said. The good thing about Elijah is he will find ways to help you win even when he is not squaring it up. It was good to see him square some up today and the two-run double was a back breaker.”
Clemson got things started in the first inning when they plated a pair of runs thanks to a two-run shot by Hawkins to leftfield.
Fairey followed Hawkins example in the second inning by launching a solo shot to the grandstand in left for a 3-0 lead, as he teed off on the first pitch for his first hit of the season.
Hackenberg kept the bats alive with a single up the middle and Majkowski brought Hackenberg to the plate with a double down the left field line to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead after two.
In the top of the third, Boston College responded with a lead-off solo home run by Peter Burns to cut the Tigers’ lead to 4-1.
The Eagles (5-8, 0-2 ACC) charged back in the top of the fourth with three runs on three hits and a wild pitch to tie the game at 4-4. Luke Gold singled with one out and scored on an RBI double in the following at bat by Ramon Jimenez to make the score 4-2. Then Jimenez scored on an RBI triple by Peter Burns that went just past the glove of a sliding Henderson in right field to cut it to 4-3.
Then Burns tied the game at four on a wild pitch by Davis Sharpe to make it 4-4.
Clemson (11-3, 2-0 ACC) regained the lead with four unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth to take an 8-4 lead. The Tigers scored all four runs with two outs.
With two outs, Sam Hall popped up to the second basemen in the outfield grass for what looked like the third out, but Luke Gold dropped the ball, allowing Fairey to score and Hall to reach second on an error for a 5-4 lead.
Dylan Brewer followed with a walk and Hall advanced to third on a wild pitch to put runners in the corners with two outs. Henderson took full advantage of the Boston College mistake with a two-run double down the third base line to make it 7-4. Kier Meredith added another run on the next at bat with an RBI single that scored Henderson to take control of the game at 8-4.
Lee was proud of the way his team put together hits and responded when the Eagles bounced back.
“We found a way to answer today. In the fourth we were up, and they found a way to tie it and we answered with four runs in the fourth,” Lee said. “We swung the bats very well and the bullpen was outstanding for us. Raffield and Hoffman did a great job and pounded the strike zone.”
Clemson added to its lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to a 2-RBI single through the left side from Henderson. Hackenberg then added an RBI in the sixth inning for the Tigers’ final run.
Clemson will go for the sweep on Sunday when host the Eagles at 1 p.m.