April 27, 2013
CLEMSON, S.C. – Tyler Krieger ripped a two-out single to left field in the 11th inning to lift Clemson past No. 19 Georgia Tech, 4-3, in the second game of a doubleheader Friday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C. The Tigers scored two in the ninth to force Tech into its first extra-inning game this season.
Thomas Brittle’s RBI triple made it a 3-2 game in the ninth and the tying run scored when Steven Duggar grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Clemson’s late-game rally improved the Tigers to 30-13 overall and 15-8 in ACC play, while the hard-to-swallow loss dropped the Jackets to 27-16, 11-12.
It was a pitchers’ duel early and the Jackets broke the scoreless draw in the sixth inning by pushing a pair of runs across and finally staking starter Dusty Isaacs to a lead. Kyle Wren doubled to lead off the sixth and two batters later, Zane Evans’ RBI double put the Jackets on the board. Daniel Palka’s base hit put runners at the corners and an RBI fielder’s choice from Sam Dove made it 2-0.
Isaacs, who successfully worked around trouble all night, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. An infield single from Garrett Boulware broke up the no-hit bid with one out, but after a walk, Isaacs rolled up a 5-4-3 double play to keep the Tigers off the board.
Isaacs gave up a leadoff double in the seventh and turned the 2-0 lead over to the bullpen with one out. Alex Cruz got Tech out of the seventh, but a lead-off walk in the eighth, followed by a stolen base and a throwing error put Duggar at third and Boulware’s RBI single made it 2-1.
Tech got that unearned run back in the ninth and padded its lead to 3-1 when Dove singled, swiped second and scored easily thanks to Mott Hyde’s ringing double that one-hopped the wall in the left field.
Tech looked in position to snap its five-game skid, but Jon McGibbon gave Clemson life in the ninth by working a lead-off walk from closer Zane Evans. Brittle made it a one-run game when he slashed an RBI triple past the first-base bag and into the corner of Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Two more walks loaded the bases, and the double play tied the game at 3-3. Evans would strand the winning run at third and the game went extras.
An infield single from Wren opened the 10th and the Jackets were in position for the lead after he swiped second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. But Wren was hung up between third and home on a comebacker to the mound, and was tagged out on the 1-5-2 fielder’s choice.
Clemson threatened in its half of the 10th, loading the bases with nothing to show for it. Tech stranded a pair in the 11th, and the Tigers loaded the bases again with one out in their half of the 11th inning with a lead-off error and back-to-back walks. Evans was able to erase the lead runner at home on a comebacker to the mound, but with two outs, Krieger rifled a line drive over the head of a leaping Dove at third to give the Tigers the walk-off win.
Evans allowed three runs (two earned) over his 2.2 innings and was dealt the loss (0-2), while Scott Firth worked two scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory (5-4). Wren, Evans and Dove each had two of Tech’s 10 hits. Clemson was limited to four hits, but capitalized on season-highs by the Jackets in both walks (15) and errors (five).
With rain in the forecast on Saturday and Sunday, the Tigers and Jackets will attempt to complete the series Saturday at 11 a.m.