For Clemson baseball fans that purchased a ticket to Sunday’s ACC series finale with Louisville, they certainly got their money’s worth. In a game that featured a combined six homeruns, eleven pitchers, and twenty runs scored; the Tigers slugged their way to a sweep of the Cardinals with a 15-5 victory at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. It’s the first time since Louisville joined the ACC in 2015 that the Cardinals have been swept in a three-game conference series.
The “Senior Day” contest didn’t start off well for the Tigers, as Louisville jumped all over Clemson starting pitcher Mat Clark. Second baseman Cooper Bowman led off the contest with a solo homerun. Catcher Henry Davis followed two batters later with a solo shot to left field. Then, with two outs in the inning, right fielder Lucas Dunn socked a ball over the left centerfield fence to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead after the top of the first.
The home team roared right back with a huge bottom half of the first to seize the advantage. After a Sam Hall strikeout to begin the frame, Kier Meredith steered a three-two pitch into right field for a base hit. James Parker followed with a single to left, putting Meredith in scoring position. Caden Grice stepped to the plate next and continued his red hot hitting against the Cardinals. The DH recorded his sixth base hit of the weekend with an RBI single to right to put the Tigers on the board. Adam Hackenberg followed suit with an RBI single, plating Parker to cut Louisville’s lead to 3-2. After a wild pitch and a strikeout, Davis Sharpe blasted a three-run homerun to left field to put the Tigers in front for good at 5-2. Clemson sent nine men to the plate in the bottom of the first, scoring their five runs on six base hits.
The Tigers notched a single run in the second on an RBI single by Grice and then worked two more runs on a bases loaded walk and an RBI groundout in the third. Grice finished the day 4-for-4 with two walks. For the weekend, he collected nine hits and drove in twelve.
Clemson (21-18/15-12) blew the game wide open in the bottom of the fifth inning. Meredith, Parker, and Hackenberg each had an RBI double; following Bryce Teodosio’s fifth homerun of the season.
The Tigers finished their scoring with a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth, outscoring Louisville 31-12 over the weekend. The dominating series also marked the first time the Cardinals were swept in any three game series since 2011.
Rob Hughes picked up his first win of the year for the Tigers, pitching an inning and a third. Louisville starter Luke Smith dropped to 3-3 on the season, giving up six runs in just an inning-plus of time on the mound.
Clemson will try and extend its winning streak to seven on Wednesday as the Tigers host USC-Upstate at 6pm.
MONTE LEE, BRYCE TEODOSIO, DAVIS SHARPE Postgame Comments (Clemson Athletics YouTube)