Tigers Rally Past UNC

Clemson scored two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to defeat North Carolina 5-4 on Sunday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The start of the game was delayed nearly two and a half hours for rain and ended well after 7:00 when Garrick Evans hit the game-winning RBI double down the right field line.

The win improved the Tigers to 34-17 (11-9 in the ACC) and dropped the Tar Heels to 35-16 (12-8 in the ACC).

Evans' heroics were set up after David Slevin tied the game at 4-4 in the tenth with an RBI double, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Slevin brought home Brad McCann, who was on second after a costly throwing error by Tar Heel catcher Ryan Blake. North Carolina had taken a 4-3 lead in the top half of the tenth after Chad Prosser singled up the middle to score pinch runner Blair Waggett.

McCann went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored to lead the Tiger offense. Russell Triplett also had a fine game, with two hits on the afternoon. Evans went 1-for-1 and entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch runner for designated hitter Jeff Hourigan.

Paul Harrelson (5-1) earned the win after giving up just one earned run over the final 3.2 innings. Kevin Brower (4-4) was credited with the loss after coming on in the tenth and giving up a walk and three base hits. A pair of freshmen started the game, but neither factored in the decision. Jason Berken pitched 6.1 innings for the Tigers, giving up three hits and three earned runs. Adam Kalkhof also went 6.1 innings for the Tar Heels, giving up two runs off of four hits.

Both teams scored a run in the first inning. Greg Mangum led off the Tar Heels with a walk, advanced to third on a single by Chad Prosser, and scored when Jeremy Cleveland grounded into a double play. Clemson quickly tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the frame after McCann hit a single up the middle to score Zane Green, who also led off with a walk.

Clemson took the lead 2-1 in the sixth inning after Triplett belted a 1-2 pitch down the left field line for his seventh home run of the year.

North Carolina reassumed the lead in the top half of the seventh. Ryan Blake smacked a double to left center off of reliever Paul Harrelson to plate both Jeremy Cleveland and Sean Farrell, making it 3-2 in favor of the Tar Heels.

Clemson tied the game at 3-3 in the ninth. McCann singled up the middle, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Slevin, and scored on an RBI single by Jeff Hourigan.

North Carolina threatened to take the lead in the top of the ninth after loading the bases. Harrelson issued two walks in the inning after having just one all year entering the contest. With the count at 3-0 and the bases loaded, Harrelson battled into a full count and then got Tar Heel centerfielder Chase Younts to ground out to shortstop.

The Tigers and Tar Heels will decide the three-game series Monday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 PM.

CUTigers.com Top Stories