Clemson head baseball coach Erik Bakich believes his team has been playing better the last few weeks and they are finally seeing the fruits of their labors. After claiming their first ACC series of the season last weekend at Florida State, the Tigers doubled down to take out Notre Dame two games to one this weekend. Bakich’s boys clinched the set with a 6-4 victory over the Irish on Sunday, utilizing five pitchers to pick up the win. The victory improved Clemson to 22-15 on the season and 6-9 in the ACC. Notre Dame falls to 18-15 overall and 8-10 in the league.
As the score indicates, it was a tightly contested game right from the start. The Irish struck first on a two-out RBI double from Brooks Coetzee to take a 1-0 lead into the home half of the first inning. That’s when Will Taylor grounded a run-scoring single to knot the game at a run apiece in Clemson’s first swings. Notre Dame scored an unearned run in the top of the second inning before Clemson grabbed its first lead in the bottom of the frame with a pair of runs, highlighted by Tristan Bissetta’s run-scoring double.
Caden Grice, who was making his seventh start of the season on the mound, pushed Clemson back in front 4-3 with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Notre Dame tied the score in the top of the seventh inning on a two-out wild pitch, then Billy Amick, who was 3-for-4 at the plate, lined a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh inning to score the go-ahead run. Riley Bertram followed with another double, giving the Tigers a 6-4 advantage heading into the late innings.
Tiger reliever Nick Clayton (3-0) earned the win by shutting out the Irish over the final three innings. Notre Dame reliever Radek Birkholz (0-3) suffered the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) over two and two-thirds innings of work. Grice threw four and a third, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits with six strikeouts.
The Tigers host Georgia on Tuesday at 6:30pm.