Tigers fall in rubber match

Clemson fell 6-3 to North Carolina State in the third and final game of the weekend home series.

Box Score: N.C. State 6 Clemson 3

The #17 N.C. State Wolfpack broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the fifth inning and cruised to a 6-3 win over Clemson in front of 4,605 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Wolfpack, who won the series 2-1, improved to 24-10 overall and 11-7 in the ACC. The Tigers fell to 20-17 overall and 9-9 in ACC play.

N.C. State took a 2-0 lead with a run in the top of the third inning before the Tigers scored single runs in the bottom of the third inning and fourth inning. But the Wolfpack took advantage of three hits, two walks, and a Tiger error to score four runs in the fifth inning. The Tigers scored a run in the seventh inning, but it was not enough.

Logan Jernigan (4-1), the first of three N.C. State pitchers, registered the win. He gave up just three hits, two runs (one earned), and two walks with three strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched. Vance Williams surrendered one hit and no runs with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings pitched to record his first save of the season.

Tiger starter Kevin Pohle (4-2) suffered only his second loss of the season. In 4.1 innings pitched, he yielded six hits, six runs (five earned), and four walks. Five Clemson relievers combined to give up just two hits and no runs in the final 4.2 innings pitched.

Trea Turner hit the first pitch of the game up the middle for a single, then Chris Diaz walked on four pitches. Danny Canela ripped a double to right field, but Turner was thrown out at the plate. Ryan Mathews then drove home Diaz with a safety squeeze bunt.

In the top of the third inning, Turner led off with a walk and stole second. Turner moved to third on Diaz's groundout to second and scored on Canela's groundout to second.

Clemson dented the scoreboard for the first time in the bottom of the third inning. Tyler Slaton led off with a hit-by-pitch, but was erased two batters later on Steve Wilkerson's fielder's choice. Thomas Brittle then lined a two-out triple down the right-field line to score Wilkerson and up his hitting streak to 10 games.

In the fourth inning, Jay Baum reached as the leadoff batter on a muffed throw by first-baseman Andrew Ciencin. After Baum stole second and the next two Tigers were retired, Tyler Slaton singled through the right side to plate Baum and tie the score.

Matt Bergquist led off the fifth inning with a walk on six pitches. Two batters later, Diaz belted a single to center, then Canela grounded a ground-rule double over the first-base bag to score Bergquist. Mathews doubled to center to plate Diaz and Canela. Tarran Senay reached on a fielding error by Wilkerson at second and pinch-hitter Carlos Rodon walked to load the bases. Brett Austin then lofted a sacrifice fly to deep right-center to score Mathews, giving N.C. State a 6-2 lead.

In the seventh inning, Wilkerson led off with a bunt single. Two batters later, Richie Shaffer laced a single up the middle, then both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. Phil Pohl then grounded out to short, enabling Wilkerson to score.

Mathews had a game-high three RBIs to lead N.C. State, who totaled eight hits in the contest. Canela went 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBIs, and two walks, while Turner added two singles, two walks, and two stolen bases.

Brittle and Shaffer had two hits apiece to pace Clemson, who amassed seven hits. Wilkerson contributed two of the Tigers' three runs as well.

N.C. State's series win was its first at Doug Kingsmore Stadium since 1996, as Clemson had won the previous seven series in Tigertown. It also marked only the second time in history that the Wolfpack won two games at Clemson in one season. The two teams have played at least two games at Clemson in 20 different seasons since the series began in 1921.

Clemson will host Charleston Southern on Tuesday at 6:30 PM.

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