Clemson’s recent hot streak continued, Wednesday, as the Tigers lineup lit up Coastal Carolina pitching early and often in a 13-6 victory at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway.
Clemson put up seven runs in the top half of the third inning, highlighted by Jacob Jerrell’s grand slam to left-center field. Billy Amick (3-6, 3 RBI’s) added a two-run shot in the sixth and Caden Grice hit a solo homer in the seventh. Will Taylor rapped out a couple of hits and Ben Blackwell reached base four times, scoring twice, thanks to three walks and a single. Clemson batters drew eleven base on balls, including a bases-loaded walk from Blackwell preceding Jerrell’s big fly.
Coastal Carolina’s Derek Bender hit his 15th home run of the season, an opposite-field moon shot that resulted in the Chanticleers’ first run. Reserve outfielder Jake Books did most of the damage for Coastal, finishing with three RBI’s on two hits and a sacrifice fly.
With crucial conference games just 48 hours away, both clubs relied heavily on their bullpens. Coastal Carolina’s Gary Gilmore employed nine pitchers and Clemson’s Erik Bakich called upon eight Tigers hurlers. Joe Allen (2-0) pitched a scoreless third to pick up the win and Jackson Lindley sewed it up with a flawless ninth.
Despite winning both games against the highly-ranked Chants, Bakich stopped short of calling it “a statement,” instead focusing on the big picture. “We dug ourselves such a big hole early on that it doesn’t feel like we have time to look around and say we made a statement here or there,” said Bakich. “We just need to keep our head down and keep playing hard.”
The Tigers have won their last five games, ten of their last 11 and dropped just one midweek game since the beginning of March (April 18 vs. Georgia).
No. 10 Clemson (32-17) dives back into conference play with a trip to Virginia Tech, Friday. First pitch from Blacksburg, Va., is scheduled for 4 p.m. No. 8 Coastal Carolina (30-17) is also on the road, traveling to face South Alabama for a three-game series starting Friday at 7:30 p.m.