Cam Cannarella has been everything Clemson head coach Erik Bakich could have hoped for through his first 21 games patrolling center field for the Tigers. Holding down the leadoff spot, the freshman from Hartsville is batting .430 with a dozen steals and an on-base percentage over .500. On Tuesday, Cannarella put another feather in his cap, blasting a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to deliver an 8-5 walk-off win over Winthrop at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Caden Grice broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run homer in the fifth. The Eagles answered back in the top half of the sixth with a long ball of their own, a two-run shot off the bat of McKinley Erves. Clemson righthander Nick Clayton (2-0) entered in the seventh and shut Winthrop down the rest of the way, retiring all nine batters he faced.
With the game still deadlocked in the ninth, the first two batters reached for the Tigers. Jacob Jarrell sparked the rally with a leadoff walk and Benjamin Blackwell fanned the flame with a bunt single. Cannarella came to the plate to face lefthander Parker Whittle with two runners on and a chance to win it. Cannarella made his chance count, launching a 1-0 fastball over the fence in left-center to plate pinch runner Jack Crighton, Blackwell and himself with the deciding runs.
Grice finished with three RBIs and Ingle Cooper extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
Clemson (13-8, 1-2) is right back in action, Wednesday, with a road trip to Kennesaw State. First pitch between the Tigers and the Owls is set for 6 p.m.