Jon McGibbon and John Hinson both hit long home runs to lead #15 Clemson to a 7-3 win over N.C. State at a chilly Doak Field on Sunday afternoon. Clemson improved to 13-9 overall and 4-5 in the ACC. The Wolfpack, who won the series 2-1, fell to 14-11 overall and 3-6 in ACC play.
The Tigers tallied three doubles in the second inning to jump out to a 3-0 lead. After N.C. State pulled to within a run on a solo homer in the third, the Tigers pulled away with a run in the fourth and three runs in the fifth inning. The victory was Jack Leggett’s 1,159th in his career, which moved into solo possession of 19th place on the all-time wins list by a head coach at a Division I school.
Starter Scott Firth (2-0) earned the win in 5.0 innings pitched. He yielded three hits, two runs, and six walks with five strikeouts. After David Haselden pitched 3.1 effective innings, Alex Frederick retired the only two batters he faced to record his second save of the season.
Wolfpack starter Danny Healey (1-3) suffered the loss. He allowed five hits, five runs (three earned), and one walk with three strikeouts in 4.0 innings pitched.
The Tigers took the game’s first lead with three runs in the top of the second inning thanks to three doubles and a costly Wolfpack error. Phil Pohl led off with a double off the top of the wall down the left-field line and moved to third on Will Lamb’s groundout. Richie Shaffer followed with a double to right-center to plate Pohl. Chris Epps lofted a flyball to shallow left-center that was missed by Dylan Brown for an error, the first by the Wolfpack in the series. Two batters later, Jason Stolz belted a two-out double to right-center to score Shaffer and Epps.
In the bottom of the second inning, Harold Riggins led off with a walk after being down in the count 1-2. Three batters later, Brett Williams lofted a routine flyball that got over Epps, who was playing shallow in right field, that allowed Riggins to score on Williams’ triple.
Pratt Maynard cut Clemson’s lead in half when he lined a solo homer to right field with two outs in the third inning. It was his second long ball of the year.
Clemson returned the favor in the fourth inning when McGibbon crushed a two-out, solo homer to right field. It was his first career long ball and the first by the Tigers in the series.
Hinson led off the fifth inning with a towering solo homer to right field, his second long ball of the year. Three batters later, Pohl drew a two-out walk, advanced to second when Lamb reached on a fielding error, and scored on Shaffer’s single on a 1-2 pitch to left field. It was Clemson’s first single of the game. Epps followed with a routine grounder to second, but Riggins dropped the throw at first base and Lamb scored from second base on the play.
In the ninth inning, Riggins led off with a single through the left side and pinch-hitter Peter Bako lined a single to right field. Brown reached on a fielder’s choice to first base as Bako was retired at second base for out #1. After pinch-hitter Antonio Alvarez walked to load the bases, the Tigers called on Frederick to take the mound. Matt Bergquist lined a sacrifice fly to left field to score pinch-runner Ryan Mathews, then John Gianis grounded out to second to end the game.
Pohl led the Tigers at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a double, two runs, a walk, and hit-by-pitch. Shaffer went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, while Stolz added a double and two RBIs for Clemson, who totaled seven hits in the game.
N.C. State was led offensively by Maynard, who went 1-for-2 with a homer and two walks. N.C. State had five hits in the contest.
Clemson will return to action on Tuesday when it hosts Georgia at 7:00 PM. The game will televised live by CSS.