Late Heroics Lift Tigers Again

Zane Green's single to the gap in right-center plated pinch-runner C.J. Gaddis with two outs in the ninth inning to give #17 Clemson a 4-3 win over N.C. State Saturday night in front of 4,631 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Green, who had just two hits in 34 at-bats this year and no hits since March 3, hit a 2-2 pitch from Joey Devine to deep right-center, as the Tigers won with a walkoff hit for the second straight night and won in the bottom of the ninth inning for the third straight game. Clemson also upped its home winning streak to 13 games.

Clemson improved to 26-14 overall and 10-4 in the ACC, while N.C. State fell to 27-15 overall, 9-8 in ACC play. Reliever Tony Sipp (1-1) earned his first win as a Tiger by pitching a scoreless ninth inning. Wolfpack reliever Nate Cretarolo (3-2) suffered the loss.

Clemson threatened to get on the board on the third inning, but came up empty. Tyler Colvin led off with a single through the right side and stole second with two outs. After Kris Harvey walked for the second time of the game and fourth time on the year, Brad McCann hit a ball down the left-field line that missed being a home run by a few feet. Starter Vern Sterry came back to strike out McCann to end the inning.

Jason Berken, who made his first weekend start since early April, pitched 3.0 innings of no-hit, no-run ball before he was relieved by Jackson. Berken extended his streak of not allowing an earned run to 23 innings.

Clemson came right back and scored first in the fourth inning. Lou Santangelo started off the frame with a single up the middle. Travis Storrer, one of the heroes in last night's game, then hit a triple to right-center to plate Santangelo. The triple was Storrer's first of the season. The extra base hit was also the first of the series by either team. Andy D'Alessio followed with a line-drive single to left field to bring home Storrer.

Santangelo gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead when he led off the sixth with a towering home run to left field, his 11th of the season.

In the seventh inning, N.C. State got its first hit of the game, a leadoff single through the right side by Bryan Kinneberg, who entered the at-bat with a .185 batting average. After Joey Devine reached on a fielder's choice, he advanced to second on a wild pitch. Santangelo's throw to second was high, allowing Devine to advance to third base with one out. Pinch-hitter Bobby Hubbard, who entered the at-bat with a .125 batting average, hit a chopper up the middle that got through for a single to score Devine. Jackson got out of the inning when he got Jonathan Diaz to ground out and pinch-hitter Mike Jensen to line out to the Russell Triplett at shortstop.

N.C. State evened the score in the eighth inning. Lee Mezistrano drew a one-out walk. David Hicks then slapped a single through the left side off reliever Collin Mahoney. Left fielder Tyler Colvin booted the ball, allowing both runners to move up a base. Jason St. Julien then grounded a slow roller up the middle for a base hit, scoring two runs and drawing the Wolfpack even. St. Julien stole second to put the go-ahead run in scoring position with one out, but Mahoney struck out the next to batters to end the threat.

Clemson won the game in the ninth inning for the third-consecutive game in dramatic fashion. D'Alessio led off the inning with a single up the middle and Gaddis, the pinch-runner, advanced to second on Triplett's sacrifice bunt. Gaddis went to third on Colvin's deep fly ball to left field. After Devine intentionally walked Sipp, Green came through with the winning hit off the Wolfpack closer.

Santangelo and D'Alessio led the Tigers with two hits apiece. Five different N.C. State players accounted for the team's five hits.

Clemson and N.C. State will conclude the three-game series Sunday at 2:00 PM at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Youngsters are welcome to stand on the field next to their favorite Tiger during the national anthem. Top Stories