Despite taking the early 1-0 lead in the first, Clemson ultimately fell to Duke by a score of 3-2 in the first of two games against Duke on Saturday, March 18, at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
It all came down to the fifth inning where the Blue Devils were able to tack on all three of their runs thanks to two homers hit by outfielders Andrew Fischer and Giovanni DiGiacomo to right and left field respectively.
En route to the loss, the Tigers left 16 runners stranded while only converting two runs off nine total hits, stranding at least one runner in all nine innings of play.
Clemson starter Austin Gordon tallied the loss, his first of the 2023 season, allowing three runs off four hits along with six strikeouts in his 6.0 innings pitched. Duke’s Charlie Beilenson earned the win while closer James Tallon earned the save.
The Tigers were the first to strike, doing so in the bottom of the first inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, second baseman Riley Bertram reached on a walk that brought in outfielder Will Taylor for Clemson’s first RBI of the day. The Tigers led 1-0 after one.
After two scoreless innings for both ball clubs, Clemson tacked on its second run of the day thanks to freshman Nathan Hall’s RBI single up the middle that scored Grice from second to extend the lead to 2-0 through four innings.
The Blue Devils came up with an answer of their own in the fifth inning though thanks to two long balls that combined for three RBIs. Fischer led things off for Duke, hitting his third home run of the year, a solo shot to right field to put the Blue Devils within one. With two outs and a runner on first, DiGiacomo sent a two-run homer out the park to left, giving Duke its first official lead of the day by a score of 3-2 after five.
Despite getting at least one runner on base in the last three innings of play, the Tigers left eight baserunners stranded and succumbed to the game one loss by a score of 3-2.
Clemson looks to even out the series with game two of today’s doubleheader at Doug Kingsmore Stadium set to begin at 5:15 p.m. on ACCNX.
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