Following their three game sweep of the then third-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, the Clemson Tigers baseball team defeated the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in Clemson on Wednesday night.
The Chanticleers and the Tigers met at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in October for one of the teams’ two fall scrimmages.The intersquad fall scrimmages were a new addition to NCAA baseball added this year.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Jackson Lindley got the nod on the bump for the Tigers. He had no decisions in three appearances entering the day.
The scoring started early and often for both teams, as the Chanticleers put a run on the board in the first inning on a sacrifice fly to left field.
The Tigers would answer back in the bottom of the opening frame with six runs of their own. With Sam Hall on first base, shortstop Logan Davidson hit a two-run home run to left-center field just over the reach of Chanticleers’ center fielder Kieton Rivers. Then, Grayson Byrd would reach base on a bloop single that just barely got out of the infield. He would advance to third on Bryar Hawkins’ single and score on Davis Sharpe’s sacrifice fly to left field.
Coastal Carolina starting pitcher Scott Kobos was pulled from the game with two outs recorded in the first. After the Tigers’ Bryce Teodosio singled off of relief pitcher Nick Parker, freshman catcher Adam Hackenberg hit a three-run home run to double the Tigers’ total. The Tigers sent all nine batters to the plate in the inning.
The Chanticleers were not going down without a fight. Kieton Rivers homered to right center field to lead off the second inning and was followed by another hit. A walk put runners on first and second, who were bunted over to the next base. The second run of the inning scored on a balk from Lindley. A sacrifice fly to center scored the Chants’ third and final run of the inning.
The next inning and a half would not see much action as Clemson recorded a strikeout, a lineout and ended their half of the second inning with Logan Davidson getting caught stealing at second base. Coastal Carolina would meet a similar fate in the third inning when right handed pitcher Owen Griffith entered the game for the Tigers. Griffith struck out two before hitting Chants’ designated hitter Jared Johnson with a pitch. He would retire the next batter on strikes.
Clemson would only send three batters to the plate in the bottom of the third and Coastal would only send four in the top of the fourth.
Clemson struck for one run in the fourth inning off of a Sam Hall single up the middle. James Parker who had reached earlier on an error, was called out on a throw to second after a video review of the play.
Coastal would score their fifth and final run of the game in the fifth inning when Grayson Byrd let a throw from right field get by him, and the Chants plated a run. Griffith was able to retire the next batter to end the inning.
Bryar Hawkins walked to lead off the Tigers’ fifth inning and advanced to third on a Davis Sharpe single that just barely hit the glove of Coastal first basemen Zach Biermann. Jordan Greene would pick up the RBI on his sacrifice fly to left center field to plate the final run of the game.
Coastal Carolina threatened the Tigers in the sixth inning when new pitcher Sam Weatherly allowed a hit and two walks to load the bases with just one out. Weatherly struck out the next batter and was then pulled from the game in favor of righty Holt Jones. Jones caught the next batter looking and forced the Chants to strand three runners on base.
There were only two hits following the midway point of the six inning. One of them would come with one out in the top of the ninth off of Tigers’ closer Carson Spiers. It is only the fifth hit Spiers has given up all season. Spiers retired the next two batters, stranding one and picking up his fifth save of the year to secure the Tigers’ 8-5 victory.
“I thought the difference in the game obviously was the first inning, we got off to a hot start and our bullpen was phenomenal,” said head coach Monte Lee. “They were the difference in the ballgame.”
The Tigers are back in action this weekend as they host the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Doug Kingsmore Stadium for the Tigers’ second conference series.