Photos by Clemson Athletics
MLB sportswriters have deemed Angels’ star Shohei Ohtani a “unicorn” for his singular ability to produce at the highest level as both a hitter and a hurler. There is, perhaps, another mythical creature of distinction that can describe Tigers’ two-way star Caden Grice. A fire-breathing dragon or powerful Minotaur couldn’t have loomed much larger than Grice did over UNC in Clemson’s regular-season finale. Grice did his best Ohtani impression at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Saturday, hitting a two-run homer while dominating from the mound in the Tigers’ 3-1 victory over North Carolina.
Clemson heads into the ACC Tournament as the no. 3 seed and riding a 12-game winning streak. The Tar Heels managed just one unearned run off of Grice (7-1, 3.18) in 7.1 innings as the Tigers finished off a sweep to claim their seventh straight ACC series. Rob Hughes (1.42) shut down UNC over the final 1.2 innings to pick up his second save of the season.
Grice’s big fly came in the first inning, giving Clemson (39-17, 20-10) an early advantage. UNC (33-21, 14-14) cut the lead to 2-1 on a sacrifice fly before Tigers second baseman Rily Bertram provided an eighth-inning insurance run with an RBI double. Cam Cannarella piled up three more hits in the finale and finishes the regular season with a .393 average.
The ACC Tournament from Durham, NC, will run Tuesday through Sunday. The Tigers head up Pool C which also features sixth-seeded Boston College and 10th-seeded Virginia Tech. Clemson’s game day and time will be announced Sunday.