Clemson outlasts Lipscomb, 12-5 to open NCAA Tournament
CLEMSON, S.C. – Riley Bertram’s two-out, two-run double in the fifth inning gave No. 3 Clemson the lead for good in its 12-5 victory over Lipscomb in the Clemson Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday afternoon. The Tigers, who moved into the winners’ bracket, improved to 44-17, while the Bisons dropped to 36-25. Clemson also won its 17th game in a row, tied for the fourth-longest winning streak in school history.
Caden Grice put Clemson on the scoreboard first with a two-run homer, his 17th of the year, in the first inning. David Coppedge lined a two-out, run-scoring single in the second inning, then the Bisons tied the score in the top of the third inning on Trace Willhoite’s sacrifice fly. Billy Amick responded with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third inning, then Caleb Ketchup and Alex Vergara led off the top of the fifth inning with back-to-back homers to give Lipscomb a 4-3 lead.
Grice lofted a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the score, then Bertram ripped a two-out, two-run double in the frame to give Clemson a 6-4 lead. Vergara cut the Tiger lead in half in the sixth inning with a solo homer, his second of the game. Bertram plated a run in the seventh inning on a safety-squeeze bunt. Cooper Ingle added a two-out, run-scoring single in the eighth inning, then Amick crushed a grand slam, his 13th long ball of the season.
Nick Clayton (8-0) earned the win in relief by pitching 2.0 innings with four strikeouts. Bison starter Logan Van Treeck (8-5) suffered the loss, as he surrendered seven hits, six runs (four earned) and one walk with seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched.
The Tigers play the winner of the tonight’s game between No. 9 Tennessee and Charlotte on Saturday at 6 p.m.