ETSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first two innings, but the Tigers weren’t going to go down quietly as Christian Hackenberg ripped a third inning double with the bases loaded to tie the game up 2-2. As Clemson fans relied on (Seth) Beer and (Jacob) Hennessy for years, ETSU supporters are probably more in a mood for Beam. Outfielder David Beam that is, who scored the Bucs’ second run in the second inning, and then broke the 2-2 tie with a 5th inning double that scored Noah Hill. The Bucs worked a bases-loaded walk in the seventh to extend their lead 4-2, but in the bottom of the inning Kier Meredith worked some magic, slipping a single through the shift to score Elijah Henderson from second, cutting the deficit to 4-3. Meredith was then thrown out trying to steal second on a close play. The umps went under the hood to see if Meredith slipped under but could not find indisputable evidence, and the call stood. Nick Clayton gave up an RBI single in the 8th but was able to strand a pair Buc runners in scoring position, holding ETSU to their 5-3 lead. The bottom of the 8th had nothing doing for the Tigers on offense. ETSU led off the ninth with Hill rocketing a ball off 3rd base that allowed him to reach first. He made it to second on a fielder’s choice, but junior Evan Estridge was able to strand him at second.
Dyan Brewer led the ninth off for the Tigers with a sharply hit single. Chad Fairey and Elijah Henderson followed it up with a pair strike outs, bringing up Meredith. Meredith sent a double to left field that beautifully went just under Beam’s glove to put runners on second and third. Davis Sharpe then worked a full count, and hit one deep to center field but unfortunately it fell into the hands of the ETSU outfielder, giving the Tigers a 5-3 loss and moving Clemson to 7-1 on the year. While runs weren’t plentiful, there were more than enough hits to go around as Clemson tallied eleven and ETSU tallied 14. Clemson now turns their attention to College Baseball’s Best Rivalry. The Tigers will play at South Carolina’s Founders Park Friday at 6, then take on the Gamecocks in a “neutral” game Saturday at Segra Park, the home of the Columbia Fireflies in what is being branded as “The Battle for Bull Street.” The Tigers return home Sunday at one for the series finale. Keep watch for a preview and more coverage of the big series this week here on Shakin’ The Southland.
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