POST-GAME PC with Lee, Schmidt, Rohlman and Beer
DURHAM, N.C. - The #12 Clemson Tigers hit four solo homers, including the first two of the year by Reed Rohlman, in their 5-3 win over #3 Louisville in the ACC Tournament at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Friday. The Tigers, who improved to 2-0 in the tourney, upped their record to 40-18 and won their seventh game in a row, while the Cardinals, who fell to 1-1 in the tournament, dropped to 47-11. It was Clemson's second top-10 win in as many days after beating #8 UVA, the defending national champion, on Thursday 5-4.
Weston Wilson belted a long solo homer, his sixth of the year, in the second inning to tie the score 1-1, then the Cardinals scored single runs in the third and fourth innings to build a 3-1 lead. Reed Rohlman laced his first homer of the year in the fifth inning, then Seth Beer was hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded to tie the score again. In the sixth inning, Rohlman crushed another solo homer to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead. He became the seventh Tiger and first since 2000 (Jeff Baker) to hit two homers in an ACC Tournament game. Beer added a solo homer in the seventh inning, his 16th of the season to set a Tiger freshman record. It was Beer's first hit of the tournament, and he has now reached base by hit or walk in 54 consecutive games. The only game in which he did not reach base was his college debut against Maine. The Tigers now have 61 HR's on the season after just 35 last season. They are one home run behind Georgia Tech for most among Power Five conferences.
Senior righthander Clate Schmidt (8-4) earned the win by tossing over 120 pitches in 8.2 strong innings, allowing eight hits, three runs (two earned) and one walk with six strikeouts. "He's just a warrior," said Monte Lee of the cancer survivor. Pat Krall recorded the last out to register his fifth save of the year. The long outing by Schmidt allowed the Clemson staff to preserve its bull pen, including ace Pat Krall, who only needed a few pitches to record the final out of the game. Louisville starter Brendan McKay (11-3) suffered the loss, as he gave up five hits, four runs and five walks with four strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched.
Clemson's 4 homers tied an ACC Tournament record for most HR's hit in a game, set by Georgia Tech back in 1991 before the bat changes. The Tigers are also tied with Miami for most homers hit in an ACC Tournament. Clemson has beaten Louisville in two consecutive ACC Tournament meetings.
The Tigers play No. 10 seed Wake Forest on Saturday at 11 a.m., on RSN and ESPN3 (subject to blackout). Clemson is the designated visiting team and will occupy the first-base dugout. Should Wake Forest lose to Virginia on Friday afternoon, it will clinch a spot in the ACC Championship Game on Sunday for Clemson against either Miami or Florida State.