Tigers off to worst start since 1983

Tigers off to worst start since 1983

Baseball

Tigers off to worst start since 1983

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Clemson has lost six straight games

For a third straight day Clemson took an early lead on North Carolina. And for the third straight day the 18th-ranked Tar Heels used one big inning to down the Tigers and complete the sweep in the three-game series at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.

This time, UNC used a five-run first inning to beat the Tigers, 5-3, in Game 3. The loss marked Clemson’s six in a row overall and their fifth straight to an ACC opponent.

Clemson fell to 5-8 this season, its worst start to a season through the first 13 games since the 1983 team started the year 4-8-1. The 1983 Tigers did bounce back to finish that season 30-20-1.

Like it did in the previous two games, Clemson jumped on top of the Tar Heels early. Dylan Brewer smacked a two-run homer to right field with one out in the top of the first, following an Elijah Henderson single to left field, for a 2-0 lead.

However, the lead was short lived as UNC (10-4, 6-3 ACC) plated five runs in the bottom frame of the first, including a two-run shot from Clemente Inclan. The Tar Heels had five of their seven hits in the first inning, including two doubles to go along with Inclan’s home run.

North Carolina ran off Clemson starter Carter Raffield with just two outs in the first inning. Raffield gave way to Keyshawn Askew. In his first appearance of the year, Askew pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings, while allowing just two hits and striking out three. He did not give up a walk.

Mack Anglin then came into strikeout five Tar Heels with no walks and did not give up a hit in 3 2/3 innings of work.

Though Clemson figured things out pitching wise, it could do little at the plate for the sixth straight game. The Tigers had just one hit after the first inning and that did not come until the top of the eighth inning when they tried to rally.

Clemson (1-5 ACC) finished the game with just three hits, a day after having just four hits in Game 2. The Tigers left the bases loaded following a Kier Meredith single through the right side.

They did score a run in the eighth inning after they loaded the bases on Meredith’s hit and two walks. Brewer got his third RBI of the game when he was hit by a pitch, scoring Bryce Teodosio, who started the rally with a two-out walk.

Max Alba earned the win for UNC. He allowed just two hits, both in the first inning, and gave up three runs while striking out nine Tigers in 7 2/3 innings of work.

Clemson returns home on Tuesday to host Georgia State, the first of a four-game homestand at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson. The Tigers will host ACC foe Virginia Tech next weekend in a three-game series.

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