May 17, 2001
FORT MILL, S.C. – Clemson held off a charge in the late innings to defeat North Carolina 7-6 in the second round of the ACC Tournament in Fort Mill, SC on Thursday. The Tigers improved to 38-19 and eliminated North Carolina, which dropped to 31-26.
Clemson held a 7-1 lead after 4 1/2 innings when North Carolina started a comeback. Doubles by Adam Greenberg and Sean Farrell generated a run for the Tar Heels in the fifth inning and they scored again in the seventh. Greenberg singled with one out and Russ Adams reached on Ryan Riley’s error. After Farrell walked to load the bases, Ralph Roberts singled to right field to score a run. Another run scored on a fielder’s choice and Ryan Blake hit an RBI single as North Carolina climbed to within 7-5.
The Tar Heels trimmed the Clemson lead to 7-6 in the ninth inning on Chad Prosser’s RBI single. North Carolina was in position to tie the game with runners at first and third and two outs when Jeff Baker snagged Brandon Russell’s ground ball down the third base line and threw him out at first to end the game.
The Tigers jumped out to a lead early in the game. Casey Stone singled, stole second base and slid past the tag of the catcher after Baker singled to left field. The Tigers extended the lead in the second inning when singles by Riley and Stone were followed two batters later by Khalil Greene’s three-run homer to left field. Greene’s 11th home run of the year put Clemson ahead 4-0.
North Carolina answered in the bottom of the second inning when Sean Farrell hit a blooper that landed along the right field line just short of a diving Kyle Frank. Jeremy Cleveland scored from second base to trim the Clemson lead to 4-1.
Chad Coder doubled to start the fifth inning and the bases were loaded after Riley was hit by a pitch and Stone reached on a bunt. Baker hit an RBI single, Greene drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Stone scored on Jarrod Schmidt’s ground out to push the margin to 7-1.
Steve Reba (11-3) picked up the win for the Tigers. He scattered 11 hits and struck out five batters over 6.2 innings while allowing two earned runs. Cram earned his team-leading sixth save with 1.1 innings of work. Greene drove in four runs while Riley, Stone, Baker and Coder each had two hits to lead the offense. North Carolina’s Scott Manshack (3-5) took the loss.
Clemson will take on the loser of the Florida State-Georgia Tech game Friday at 12:00 Noon. The game can be heard on the Clemson Tiger Network.
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