Two number one seeds from the ACC, Florida State and North Carolina, suffered home losses Friday night in the opening round of the NCAA baseball regionals. Clemson nearly became a third casualty but the Tigers held off scrappy UNCG 5-4 to advance to a winner’s bracket game Saturday night against Vanderbilt, a 13-4 winner earlier Friday over St. John’s. The win is the Tigers’ 40th of the season.
Clemson trailed 1-0 until scoring four, two out runs in the fifth. Weston Jackson delivered the go-ahead runs with a two run single. Andrew Cox followed with an infield single to second that scored one run, and a second run scored on an error by the second baseman who misplayed the slow roller.
The Spartans cut the lead to 4-3 but the Tigers pushed across an important insurance run in the 8th on a single by Logan Davidson. That was a big run because the Spartans’ Cesar Trejo hit his second solo homer of the night leading off the 9th to make it a one run game again.
The Tigers brought in Pat Krall to relieve Ryley Gilliam and he yielded a one out single before ending the game with a comebacker and a liner to second.
Alex Eubanks started for Clemson and earned his seventh win pitching 7.2 innings. Krall earned his first save.
Charlie Barnes will start for the Tigers Saturday night against Vandy ace Kyle Wright.
Monte Lee recaps the Tigers’ victory
Lee on facing Vandy’s Kyle Wright Saturday night