Durham, NC –
The #9 N.C. State Wolfpack broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the seventh inning and held on for a 6-3 win over #14 Clemson in the ACC Tournament in front of 4,834 fans at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Wednesday night. The Wolfpack, who moved to 1-0 in the ACC Tournament, improved to 43-13 on the season. The Tigers, who fell to 0-1 in the ACC Tourney, dropped to 39-18 in 2013.
Wolfpack reliever Josh Easley (5-2) earned the win, as he allowed two hits, one run, and no walks with three strikeouts in 4.0 innings pitched. Starter Brad Stone gave up six hits, two runs (one earned), and one walk with three strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched.
Tiger starter Daniel Gossett (9-4) suffered the loss. In 6.1 innings pitched, he yielded six hits, six runs (five earned), and two walks with six strikeouts. Patrick Andrews pitched 1.2 hitless and scoreless innings in relief as well.
The Tigers grabbed the game’s first lead in the top of the second inning. Garrett Boulware led off with a single through the left side, but was erased on Shane Kennedy‘s fielder’s choice. After Kennedy stole second and third, he scored on a passed ball.
Grant Clyde evened the score in the bottom of the second inning when he belted a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left field for a solo homer, his fourth long ball of the season.
Jake Armstrong led off the third inning with a single to left field on a 1-2 pitch and advanced to second on Logan Ratledge’s sacrifice bunt. After Trea Turner walked and Jake Fincher struck out, Brett Austin reached on a fielding error by second-baseman Steve Wilkerson, while Armstrong never stopped and scored from second on the play to give the Wolfpack a 2-1 lead.
Maleeke Gibson led off the sixth inning with a single to right field, Wilkerson followed with a single up the middle on a 1-2 pitch, and Steven Duggar loaded the bases with no outs on a bunt single. Boulware grounded into a double play as Gibson came home to tie the score.
Bryan Adametz led off the seventh inning with a single through the right side and Armstrong was hit-by-pitch. Ratledge reached on a fielder’s choice, but Adametz was retired at third on Ratledge’s bunt back to the mound. Turner walked to load the bases, then Fincher grounded a single through the left side to score Armstrong. Ratledge also scored on an error after the throw back to the infield. Austin followed with a double to left-center to score Turner and Austin.
Boulware hit a long solo homer to left field in the ninth inning, his eighth home run of the season, but it was not enough, as Clemson fell by three runs.
Fincher had a team-high two hits, while Austin had a team-high two RBIs for N.C. State.
Boulware had a game-high three hits, including a homer and double, for the Tigers, who outhit the Wolfpack 8-6.
Clemson will have Thursday off before it plays #3 North Carolina in the ACC Tournament on Friday at 7:00 PM at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Tigers will be the designated home team and occupy the third-base dugout. For the Tigers to advance to the ACC Tournament Championship game, Clemson must win its final two games and N.C. State must lose its finals two games.
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