10th ranked Louisville scored multiple runs in four different innings to hold off Clemson 10-8 on Saturday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville, KY. The win clinched the series for the Cardinals, who improved to 30-12 overall and 13-7 in the ACC. The loss dropped the Tigers to 28-16 on the year and 6-13 in the league. Clemson currently has the 13th best winning percentage in conference play with only twelve teams being invited to the ACC tournament in May.
Saturday started off well for the Tigers, who were looking to bounce back from Friday’s 7-2 loss to the Cardinals. Blake Wright and Tyler Corbitt each drove in a run in the first inning to give Clemson a 2-0 lead. However, Louisville answered right back, snagging a pair of runs in the bottom of the first off of two hit-by-pitches and two walks. That was a small part of a rough outing for Clemson starter Geoffrey Gilbert, who lasted just an inning and a third, allowing six runs on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Bryar Hawkins belted a solo homer, his fourth of the season, in the top of the second inning to put Clemson back in front, but the Cardinals responded again in the bottom of the frame to take the lead for good on Jack Payton’s two-run double. UofL added a pair of insurance runs to up the advantage to 6-3.
After Louisville worked two more across the plate in the fourth, Clemson scored three times in the fifth inning on Max Wagner’s two-run double and Caden Grice’s two-out, run-scoring single. In the top of the seventh, Jonathan French hit a deep drive to center field, but Levi Usher robbed him of a game-tying homer. Then Louisville scored twice more in the bottom of the frame to give themselves some breathing room. Corbitt blasted a two-run home run in the ninth inning to make it 10-8, but that was as close as Clemson would get.
Wagner continued his torrid pace at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs, two runs and two walks to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. For the week, he has nine hits and nine RBIs to go along with eight runs scored.
Louisville reliever Tate Kuehner (5-3) earned the win, as he gave up two runs on three hits in 3.0 innings pitched. Gilbert dropped to 3-3 on the season with the loss.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.