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Mar 09, 2019

No. 20 Tigers Top No. 3 Tar Heels 3-2 on Balkoff

By: Brian Hennessy

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CLEMSON, S.C. – Pinch-runner Elijah Henderson scored on a balk with one out in the ninth inning to complete No. 20 Clemson’s two-run frame and come-from-behind 3-2 victory over No. 3 North Carolina in the first game of a doubleheader at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers, who took a 1-0 lead in the series, improved to 10-3 overall and 1-0 in the ACC, while the Tar Heels dropped to 12-2 overall and 0-1 in ACC play.

Ike Freeman belted a solo homer in the first inning, then Michael Busch lined a two-out, run-scoring single in the top of the seventh inning to double the Tar Heel lead. Bryar Hawkins led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a double and scored on Jordan Greene’s grounder.

In the ninth inning, Michael Green led off with a single and pinch-hitter Chad Fairey drew a one-out walk. Kier Meredith grounded a single to plate Green and tie the score, then Joey Lancellotti faked a pickoff to third base, which is a balk for the first time in 2019.

Jacob Hennessy (2-0) earned the win, as he allowed three hits, one run and two walks with two strikeouts in 3.0 innings pitched. Tiger starter Davis Sharpe gave up three hits, one run and three walks with seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched. Lancellotti (0-1) suffered the loss.

The series continues Saturday with the second game of the doubleheader at 5:10 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.

Photos by Lawton Hilliard