Clemson rattled off its fourth straight victory to open the season thanks to some clutch hitting and a lockdown performance from the back end of its bullpen. The Tigers spotted Charlotte a 2-0 lead before the bats woke up and helped the Tigers deliver a 9-5 victory at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Tuesday.
The 49ers put Clemson on its heels with an RBI single in the second and a solo homer in the third. Erik Bakich’s group answered with a four spot in the fourth, punctuated by freshman Jacob Jarrell’s two-run homer to left. But Charlotte wouldn’t go quietly, countering with three runs in the sixth.
Trailing 5-4, Tigers shortstop Benjamin Blackwell scorched a single through the right side to plate Cam Cannarella with the tying run in the bottom half of the sixth. Clemson retook the lead in the following inning on Caden Grice’s RBI double. Blake Wright’s two-run single provided all the insurance the bullpen would need, but Blackwell added a run-scoring triple for good measure. Blackwell also made a diving stop behind second base in the eighth to help preserve the lead and cap his banner day.
Relievers Ty Olenchuk, B.J. Bailey, Nick Clayton and Jackson Lindley made sure the rally stood up, shutting Charlotte down over the last 3.2 innings. SMC transfer Bailey got the win, his first as a Tiger.
The season-opening homestand continues through the weekend as UCF pays a visit to Clemson for a three-game set. First pitch from Doug Kinsgsmore Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m., Friday.