Stayin' alive

Clemson holds off No. 3 Louisville to keep its ACC Championship hopes alive.

Clemson scored five runs in the first two innings and Zack Erwin struck out 11 batters in the Tigers’ 7-2 victory over No. 3 Louisville in the ACC Tournament at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Thursday. The Tigers, who upped their record to 1-1 in the tournament, improved to 32-26 on the season. The Cardinals, who fell to 1-1 in the tourney, dropped to 43-15 in 2015.

Reed Rohlman started the scoring with a two-run single in the first inning and Robert Jolly added a run-scoring single. After Louisville scored a run in the top of the second inning, Steven Duggar’s sacrifice fly and Tyler Krieger’s run-scoring single in the bottom of the second inning gave Clemson a 5-1 lead. Weston Wilson added a two-run double in the fifth inning.

Zack Erwin (7-4) earned the win by allowing just six hits, one run and no walks with a season-high-tying 11 strikeouts in 8.0 innings pitched. Cardinal starter Kyle Funkhouser (7-5) suffered the loss, as he yielded nine hits, seven runs (five earned) and two walks with three strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched.

The Tigers play No. 8 seed North Carolina on Friday at 3 p.m. on RSN and ESPN3. Clemson is the designated visiting team and will occupy the first-base dugout.

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