April 28, 2001
CLEMSON – Jeff Baker sent the game into extra innings and Steve Pyzik’s single drove in the winning run as Clemson defeated North Carolina 10-9 in 10 innings Saturday night at Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson’s record improved to 31-16 overall and 12-5 in the ACC while the Tar Heels fell to 26-23 overall, 6-14 in the ACC.
North Carolina appeared to be headed for victory holding a 9-7 lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth until Baker stepped to the plate. Clemson’s best hitter sent Jason Howell’s offering deep over the left field fence for a two-run home run that tied the game at nine and pushed it into extra innings. Baker had already homered earlier in the game and the two-homer night was his fifth multi-homer game of the season. The sophomore now has 17 home runs on the season, tops in the ACC.
In the bottom of the 10th, Khalil Greene singled and stole second base to lead off the inning. Jarrod Schmidt was intentionally walked and Chad Coder laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third base with one out. After Zane Green was intentionally walked to load the bases, Pyzik hit a chopper to the right side of the infield that got through and scored the winning run.
Josh Cram (2-1) got the win for Clemson for while Whitley Benson (3-2) took the loss for North Carolina.
Both teams opened the scoring in the second inning. After singles by Jeremy Cleveland and Chris Maples, North Carolina scored two runs off of two Tiger errors. Adam Greenberg then tripled to right field to give the Tar Heels an early 3-0 lead. Clemson loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning and Kyle Frank hit an RBI single to center field. Pyzik drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt, and Casey Stone followed with a two-run single to give Clemson a 4-3 advantage.
The momentum shifted in the fourth inning when North Carolina batted around and scored five runs, including RBI singles from Chad Prosser, Ralph Roberts and a two-run single from Russ Adams. Meanwhile North Carolina reliever Dennis Robinson, who entered the game in the third inning, slowed the Tiger offense until Baker his first home run in the fifth inning.
The Tar Heels added a run in the sixth inning to take a 9-5 lead and cruised along until the eighth inning. Howell then relieved Robinson and gave up a home run to the first batter he faced. Greene’s homer, his seventh of the year, was a two-run shot that brought the Tigers to within 9-7 and set the stage for Baker’s heroics in the ninth.
The two teams will conclude their three-game series Sunday at 2:00 PM at Kingsmore Stadium. The game will be broadcast by the Clemson Tiger Network.
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