#Clemson defense falters as Tigers drop slugfest at Louisville, 18-15

Blake Wright hit one of Clemson’s six homers at Louisville, Sunday (Clemson University Athletics)

Louisville is a city renowned for its connection to horse racing. In Sunday’s matchup between Clemson and Louisville, both club’s lineups performed like thoroughbreds, turning both pitching staffs into hapless jockeys struggling to handle the horsepower. In the end, it was the tenth-ranked Cardinals wearing garland in the winner’s circle, 18-15.

The ACC foes exchanged big innings until Louisville started to pull away with a five-run seventh. The Cards added another run in the eighth, extending their lead to 18-9 before Clemson exploded for six runs in the top half of the ninth. With nobody out in the ninth, Louisville (31-12, 14-7) called on its ninth pitcher, Michael Prosecky, who promptly doused the flames to secure the sweep. Max Wagner pulled his weight, again, going 4-5 with two homers and five RBI. Wagner has a 12-game hitting streak going and 21 home runs on the season. Cooper Ingle (3-4), Blake Wright (2-3), Tyler Corbitt (2-5) and Bryar Hawkins (1-5, 3 RBI) also went deep.

In all, Clemson (28-17, 6-14) launched six homers and piled up 15 hits as part of their assault on Louisville pitching. The Cards’ attack was equally potent, knocking starter Billy Barlow out of the game in the second inning. Clemson’s bullpen had no better success, surrendering 12 runs over the next five innings. The staff may have struggled, but the Tigers defense was the biggest culprit, committing four errors leading to nine unearned runs.

Clemson returns home for a three-game set against Georgia Tech starting Friday at 7 p.m.

Box Score

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