Clemson wins Saturday doubleheader over North Carolina
CLEMSON, S.C. – Pinch-runner Elijah Henderson scored on a balk with one out in the ninth inning to complete No. 20 Clemson’s two-run frame and come-from-behind 3-2 victory over No. 3 North Carolina in the first game of a doubleheader at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers, who took a 1-0 lead in the series, improved to 10-3 overall and 1-0 in the ACC, while the Tar Heels dropped to 12-2 overall and 0-1 in ACC play.
Ike Freeman belted a solo homer in the first inning, then Michael Busch lined a two-out, run-scoring single in the top of the seventh inning to double the Tar Heel lead. Bryar Hawkins led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a double and scored on Jordan Greene’s grounder.
In the ninth inning, Michael Green led off with a single and pinch-hitter Chad Fairey drew a one-out walk. Kier Meredith grounded a single to plate Green and tie the score, then Joey Lancellotti faked a pickoff to third base, which is a balk for the first time in 2019.
Jacob Hennessy (2-0) earned the win, as he allowed three hits, one run and two walks with two strikeouts in 3.0 innings pitched. Tiger starter Davis Sharpe gave up three hits, one run and three walks with seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched. Lancellotti (0-1) suffered the loss.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Clemson scored multiple runs in each of the first five innings and totaled 20 hits in its 17-3 victory over UNC. The Tigers, who took a 2-0 lead in the series, improved to 11-3 overall and 2-0 in the ACC. The Tar Heels fell to 12-3 overall and 0-2 in ACC play.
Clemson’s 20 hits were its most since totaling 22 hits against Maine on Feb. 21, 2016. Sam Hall, Grayson Byrd and Bryar Hawkins all registered four hits. It marked the first time three Tigers had at least four hits in a game since April 20, 2003, when Herman Demmink, Kyle Frank and David Slevin accomplished the feat.
After the Tar Heels scored a run in the top of the first inning, Clemson responded with two runs in the bottom of the first inning on run-scoring singles by Byrd and Davis Sharpe. The Tigers added four two-out runs in the second inning thanks to Byrd’s two-run single, Kyle Wilkie’s run-scoring double and Hawkins’ run-scoring single. After North Carolina scored a run in the top of the third inning, Clemson answered again with two runs, highlighted by Byrd’s two-out, run-scoring double, then Hall hit a two-out, three-run double in the fourth inning. The Tigers scored five runs in the fifth inning on Hawkins’ two-run homer, his second of the season, and run-scoring singles by Hall, Logan Davidson and Byrd.
Sophomore lefty Mat Clark (3-0) earned the win in his second career start and first career ACC start, as he allowed four hits, two runs and one walk with five strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched. Tar Heel starter Tyler Baum (3-1) suffered the loss, as he yielded six runs on eight hits in 1.2 innings pitched.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m., on ACC Network Extra. Kids can run the bases after the game.