Tony Jenkins hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to score CJ Kayfus, as Miami defeated Clemson 3-2 in ACC action on Sunday afternoon. The victory completed a three-game sweep of the conference series for the Hurricanes and handed Clemson is sixth straight loss. It’s the second time this season the Tigers have dropped six games in a row. Clemson had a similar losing streak from March 6th through the 14th with losses to Notre Dame, USC-Upstate, and North Carolina.
In contrast to the first two games of the series, pitching was spot on for both teams on Sunday. Clemson starter Nick Hoffman worked five innings, allowing two runs (both on homeruns) on just three hits, while striking out four. Meantime, Miami starter Jake Garland tossed six strong innings, allowing one run on three hits with six K’s. However, neither starter factored in the decision.
Miami scored first on a solo homerun from Yohandy Morales in the bottom half of the first inning. It was Morales’ second homerun in as many days and the eighth homer for the Hurricanes in the series.
Clemson evened the game at 1-1 in the third inning, as Dylan Brewer started the rally with a lead-off base hit. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved over to third on a groundout to second base by Max Wagner. Brewer would touch home with the tying run on a single from Kier Meredith with two outs in the inning. James Parker grounded out to second to end the inning and leave Meredith stranded.
As was the case the entire weekend, Miami quickly responded to a Clemson run as the Hurricanes hit their ninth homerun of the series in the bottom of the third. This time, a line drive shot to right field off the bat of Jordan Lala pushed the ‘Canes back in front 2-1. The game would stay a one-run margin until the seventh inning, when a hustling play by Brewer allowed the Tigers to knot the game at 2-2.
With one out in the 7th, Adam Hackenberg singled and then advanced to third on a bloop single to right field from pinch hitter Bryar Hawkins. Brewer drove in the tying run on a fielder’s choice to shortstop. The play erased Hawkins at second, but the redshirt freshman from Latta hustled down the first base line and was ruled safe by an eye lash at first, allowing Hackenberg to score. After video review, the call was upheld.
The Tigers got two runners on in the top of the ninth, but failed to score. That set the stage for the SAC fly from Jenkins in the bottom of the ninth to give Miami its fourth straight win.
Clemson (15-17/9-12) visits Georgia this Tuesday for a 7pm first pitch.