BOX SCORE: North Carolina 6 Clemson 3
The #6 North Carolina Tar Heels scored three runs in the ninth inning, two on
bases-loaded walks and one on a sacrifice fly, to defeat #19 Clemson 6-3 in front of
5,513 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Tar Heels, who took
a 2-0 series lead, improved to 12-2 overall and 2-0 in ACC play. The Tigers, who had
won their last six ACC series, fell to 6-6 overall and 0-2 in the ACC.
The Tar Heels took advantage of eight walks and four Tiger errors to score six runs
on only six hits. In fact, North Carolina had just two hits after a leadoff single
in the third inning, but scored five combined runs in the fourth, seventh, and ninth
innings. The Tigers outhit North Carolina for the second day in a row, but suffered
another late-inning setback.
Shane Taylor (3-0), the fifth of six North Carolina pitchers, earned the win by
retiring all three batters he faced in the eighth inning. Michael Morin pitched a
scoreless ninth inning with a strikeout to record his sixth save of the year.
Daniel Gossett (0-2) suffered the loss in relief, as he yielded three runs on two
hits and one walk in the ninth inning.
After the first two Tar Heels were retired in the second inning, Tom Zengel walked
after being down in the count 1-2. Michael Russell flared a single to right field,
then Parks Jordan singled to right-center to score Zengel.
In the third inning, Jason Stolz led off with a single up the middle, but was erased
on Dominic Attanasio's fielder's choice. Thomas Brittle followed with a double to
right field to advance Attanasio to third, then Steve Wilkerson lofted a sacrifice
fly to center to score Attanasio.
The Tar Heels came right back and regained the lead in the fourth inning thanks in
large part to a Tiger miscue and without the benefit of a hit. Mike Zolk and Zengel
drew one-out walks, then Russell hit a potential inning-ending, double-play grounder
to Stolz, but the shortstop booted the ball and all runners were safe. Jordan
followed with a safety squeeze bunt that plated Zolk.
In the fifth inning, Spencer Kieboom led off with a single through the left side and
moved to second two batters later on Stolz's one-out single up the middle. Attanasio
followed with a double over the first-base bag to score Kieboom and Stolz, giving
the Tigers the lead. Wilkerson and Richie Shaffer both hit hard line drives, but
both were caught by Tar Heel outfielders, including a diving catch by Jordan in left
field to rob Shaffer of a hit and end the inning.
Clemson's third and fourth errors of the game enabled North Carolina to tie the
score in the seventh inning without the benefit of a hit. With two outs, Tommy Coyle
hit a routine grounder to Wilkerson at second, but the ball went through his legs
for an error. After Colin Moran walked, Jacob Stallings hit a hard grounder to
Shaffer at third, who made a diving stop. Shaffer's throw to first was high and
first-baseman Jon McGibbon tagged Stallings in a close play. Stallings was ruled
safe, while Coyle never stopped from second base and tied the score 3-3.
Jordan led off the top of the ninth inning with a single up the middle, the first
North Carolina hit since a leadoff single in the third inning, then Chaz Frank
walked on five pitches. Tommy Coyle followed with a single through the right side to
load the bases with no outs, then Moran walked on four pitches to score Jordan and
give North Carolina a 4-3 lead. Stallings drew another walk, this time on five
pitches, to bring home Frank. Two batters later, Zolk hit a sacrifice fly to left
field to score Coyle.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Stolz laced a one-out double down the left-field
line. But the next two Tigers were retired.
Kieboom and Stolz both had three hits to pace the Tigers' eight-hit attack.
Attanasio added a team-high two RBIs.
Coyle went 3-for-5 with two runs, while Jordan went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a run,
and steal for North Carolina. All six of the Tar Heels' hits were singles.
Clemson and North Carolina will play the series-finale of the three-game series on
Sunday at 1:00 PM.
Errors cost Tigers in 6-3 loss
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