Parks Harber doubled to center field with one out and two on in the bottom of the ninth inning to score Buddy Floyd with the game winner, as No. 21 Georgia downed Clemson, 8-7, Tuesday night at Foley Field in Athens, Ga.
Harber’s walk off handed the Tigers their seventh straight defeat and their third one-run loss during the losing streak. Relief pitcher Geoffrey Gilbert suffered the loss for the Tigers.
Clemson tied the game, 7-7, in the top of the ninth inning when Jonathan French’s fly ball to right field was deep enough to bring Caden Grice home with the tying run. Grice led off the inning with a double to the gap in right center. He moved to third when Max Wagner sacrificed him over on a fielder’s choice from pitcher Darryn Pasqua.
Josh McAllister’s hit to center field off Gilbert plated Harber, who led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a blooper to right field. That gave Georgia a 7-6 lead at the time.
The Tigers (15-18) have now lost six straight to Georgia, while falling to 1-7 this season in one-run games.
Clemson scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning on three hits and two Georgia errors to take a 6-4 lead. The Tigers got RBI singles from Kier Meredith, Grice and French, while Bryar Hawkins scored on a wild pitch.
French’s hit up the middle came with two outs to score Grice, and Hawkins scored a few plays later to make it 6-4.
However, Clemson’s lead was short lived, as Georgia Cole Tate hit the Bulldogs’ fourth home run of the night with a two-run blast to left center field. Tate’s home run off Clemson reliever Nick Clayton scored McAllister, tying the game at 6-6.
McAllister drew a walk to lead off the Georgia seventh.
The Bulldogs (24-12) led for much of the night. Corey Collins got things started with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first for a 2-0 lead.
Clemson battled back to tie the game, 2-2, after Meredith scored on a sacrifice fly from Grice in the third inning and Davis Sharpe hit a solo home run to left field in the top of the fourth.
Georgia regained the lead in the fifth when McAllister homered to left field. Riley King then homered to center field to give the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
Grice was 2-for-4 with a double and 2 RBIs to lead the Tigers, who had nine hits as a team, while Meredith and Sam Hall both went 2-for-3. French was credited with 2 RBIs. McAllister led Georgia, going 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and a home run.
The Bulldogs, who had 14 hits, also got three hits from King, who had a double to go along with his home run.
Clemson returns home to Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday, as it hosts Wake Forest in the first game of a three-game series.
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